Course Catalog: About Wheelock College

The information and degree requirements outlined in this catalog are intended to be used for students entering Wheelock in the 2016-2017 academic year.


Wheelock College reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, academic schedule, or fees whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the scheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, cancelling of scheduled classes, and other academic activities and requiring or affording alternatives for scheduled classes. The College catalog and the Wheelock College website ( contain current information regarding the calendar, admissions, degree requirements, fees, regulations and course offerings. The policy of Wheelock College is to give advance notice of change, whenever possible, to permit adjustment. However, Wheelock reserves the right to make changes from this published information when it is deemed advisable.

The Wheelock Catalog is published every one or two years. Copies may be obtained from the Office of Academic Advising and Assistance or the Office of Admissions. Both of these offices can be contacted at:

200 Riverway
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Telephone: 617.879.2000
Web Site:

Wheelock College Notice of Non-Discrimination

Applicants for admission and employment, students, employees, sources of referral of applicants for admission and employment, and all organizations or professional agreements with Wheelock College are hereby notified that Wheelock College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities. Wheelock College does not tolerate sexual harassment of students or employees. Any person having inquiries or complaints concerning Wheelock College’s compliance with the regulations implementing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the Americans With Disabilities Act is directed to contact the Director of Human Resources at 200 The Riverway or telephone her at (617) 879-2395. The Director of Human Resources has been designated by Wheelock College to coordinate Wheelock College’s efforts to comply with the regulations implementing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Age Discrimination Act of 1973, and The Americans with Disabilities Act. Any person may also contact the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Region One, Boston, Massachusetts 02109, regarding Wheelock College’s compliance with the regulations implementing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 34 C.F.R. Part 100; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 34 C.F.R. Part 106; Age Discrimination Act of 1975, 45 C.F.R. Part 90; or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 34 C.F.R. Part 104.

Academic Calendar


August 2016
12 Summer Session 2 ends- classes meet
12 Final Grades due Summer Session 2 (August graduates) (10 am)
15 Final Grades due Summer Session 2 (non-degree candidates) (10 am)
15 Degrees conferred.
Aug 21-Sept 1 Summer Bridge Program

FALL 2016

September 2016
5 Labor Day Holiday
6 Convocation
7 Fall Semester Begins (classes meet)
14 Last day to add full-semester Undergraduate courses
21 Last day to drop full-semester undergraduate courses
28 Spring and Summer 2016 Incomplete grades converted
October 2016
10 Autumn Holiday (no classes)
14-16 Family Weekend
Oct 17–Nov 4 Undergraduate course selection advising
25 1st 7-week classes end (classes meet)
26 2nd 7-week Classes begin (classes meet)
See Last Date Undergraduate Mid-semester Evaluations
See Last date to add Capstone (Education majors) Registrar
31 Graduate Spring Course Registration begins Please note that dates are subject to change. For the most up to date information refer to academic-records-and-registration/academic-calendar.
November 2016
2-4 Undergraduate Spring Course Selection begins
7-14 COF Undergraduate Spring Cross-Registration Week
11 Veterans’ Day (no classes)
16 Last day to withdraw from full-semester courses (undergraduate and graduate)
23-25 Thanksgiving Holiday Break (no classes)
28 Classes resume
December 2016
16 2nd 7-week undergraduate courses end (classes meet)
16 Fall semester ends (classes meet)
17 Undergraduate Reading Day.
19 Graduate courses meet on a Monday schedule
19-20 Undergraduate examination period
21 Final Fall semester grades due for degree candidates and non-degree candidates (10:00AM)
23 Degrees conferred

Spring 2017

January 2017
16 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday (no classes)
17 Spring semester begins (classes meet)
25 Last day to add full-semester undergrad courses
February 2017
1 Last day to drop full-semester undergraduate course
8 Fall 2015 Incomplete Grade Conversion
20 President’s Day (no classes)
March 2017
6-10 Spring Break
Undergraduate mid-semester evaluations
13 Classes resume
13 1st 7-week undergraduate courses end (classes meet)
14 2nd 7-week undergraduate courses begin (classes meet)
20-&#9 Undergraduate course selection advising
See Last date to add Capstone (Education majors)
29 Last day to withdraw from full-semester courses
April 2017
3 Graduate Summer and Fall course registration begin
5-7 Undergraduate Summer and Fall Course Selection begin
3-7 Colleges of the Fenway Undergraduate Summer and Fall Cross-Registration Week
17 Patriot’s Day (no classes)
May 2017
8 2nd 7-week undergraduate courses end (classes meet)
8 Spring semester ends (classes meet)
9 Undergraduate Reading Day (no classes may be held) Graduate courses meet on Monday schedule.
10-11 Undergraduate Examination Period
15 Final Spring semester grades due-graduating students only (10:00AM)
17 Final Spring semester grades due- non-graduating students (10:00AM)
19 Commencement
22 Summer Session 1 begins (classes meet)
29 Memorial Day Holiday (no classes)
29 Memorial Day Holiday (no classes)

Summer 2017

June 2017
30 Summer Session 1 ends (classes meet)
TBD&#9 FYI Session 1
TBD&#9 FYI Session 2
July 2017
3 Summer Session 2 begins (classes meet)
4 Independence Day Holiday (no classes)
6 Summer Session 1 final grades due (10:00AM)
August 2017
11 Summer Session 2 ends (classes meet)
14 Summer Session 2 final grades due – All students (10:00AM)
18 Degrees conferred
21-31&#9 Summer Bridge Program

The Mission of the College

Wheelock College’s mission is to improve the lives of children and families.

A private college with a public mission, Wheelock College is recognized as a national leader in its professional fields — child life, educator preparation, human services, and social work. Wheelock carries out its mission by providing a sound education in the arts and sciences and in the professions. Historically, the College was founded as an institution with a focus on early childhood education and is recognized nationally and internationally as a premier institution that prepares early childhood, elementary and special needs educators at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and reading teachers through an advanced master’s program. The mission has now expanded to meet the broader evolving needs of children and families. The College also offers outstanding professional preparation in child life, social work, juvenile justice, parent education, community leadership, communications and media. The Wheelock mission is sustained by the College’s academic programs and by its involvement in the life of many communities.

Members of the Wheelock community are committed to the mission and the practice of its meaning in their work. The community includes undergraduate and graduate students; alumni; faculty members, and; administrators in on-campus, national, and international programs; trustees, and members of the Corporation.

Wheelock’s undergraduate students all pursue a rigorous academic education in the arts and sciences while preparing to be knowledgeable and caring professionals. A curriculum with multicultural dimensions prepares students to work with children, youth and families, to be responsible citizens, and to help to create a just society. Through demanding and responsive teaching, faculty members inspire students to become informed and actively engaged citizens.

The undergraduate arts and sciences program introduces students to social sciences, humanities, visual and performing arts, math, and science, and offers arts and sciences majors and minors in related disciplines. A carefully conceived program of field placements beginning in the first year gives students experience in schools, hospitals, and community agencies, providing a foundation for the professional undergraduate majors in Early Childhood, Elementary, or Special Education; in Social Work, Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy or several minors. Students who attend Wheelock College come to see themselves as advocates for children and families in a global way. They move from understanding the personal impact they can have in children’s lives to understanding the societal forces that must shape their work and the effects they can have on those forces.

Graduate programs are designed to honor the prior experience and knowledge of graduate students, many of whom are working professionals. These students bring intellectual independence to their studies at Wheelock. Graduate programs emphasize human development within a cultural context, have a multicultural perspective, and strengthen students’ research skills. Their Wheelock experience enables graduate students to become leaders in their fields and advocates for children and families. The graduate programs help extend the Wheelock mission into the working world.

Wheelock alumni remain devoted to the College’s mission long after they have graduated. They carry the essence of the mission into their professional and private lives. Whether they work in the College’s traditional professions or use their degree experience to launch other innovative work, Wheelock alumni continue to express their commitment to an ethical and caring society. They become leaders in their professions, and help shape national thought about children, families, and society.

The Wheelock faculty and administrators work continuously with the professional community to reflect on and improve the academic programs for the preparation of effective practitioners in the multicultural democratic society. As an institution, Wheelock is committed to maintaining a diverse learning community and accepts its obligation to prepare students to live effectively in a world of unprecedented global connectedness. Wheelock seeks to create lifelong learners and leaders who will bring informed and flexible ways of thinking into complex situations where prior learning is not enough to solve problems.


The Wheelock Compact is an expression of the common purpose shared between the College and its students. It is an agreement we make with each other to engage, connect and act in ways that will inspire a world of good.

What you bring. You bring your passion and potential to lead and serve others. You bring your values and your desire to shape your own path. You bring your commitment to doing your best work, as you set your sights on changing the world.

What we offer. We offer an engaging and diverse teaching and learning community within a dynamic urban setting. We provide the academic grounding and real-world experiences you need in your chosen field. We are focused on social justice, engaged in the wider world, and are committed to every student’s success.

What you will become. You will become a more confident, knowledgeable, capable advocate for change, prepared to serve, lead and succeed in a variety of careers. You will value learning, growth and opportunity as keys to a sustainable society. You will inspire a world of good.


In 1888, six students met daily to investigate the “new education,” as the kindergarten movement in America was then known. The Wheelock School occupied a single classroom at Chauncy Hall in Boston’s Copley Square. But its mission placed it at the forefront of our nation’s efforts to understand and shape early childhood education.

This first class studied and trained under the direction of Lucy Wheelock, a pioneer in the United States kindergarten movement, and founder of the Wheelock School to educate and train kindergarten teachers for public and private schools in the surrounding communities.

From the beginning, a Wheelock education engaged individuals as students and teachers. Readings in literature and the innovative field of psychology were complemented by observation of children in classrooms and at play.

During her first 25 years as the School’s director, Lucy Wheelock explored the implications and potential of early childhood education. She drew to her classrooms educators, philosophers, and the working women and men who shared her inclusive view of teaching as “the loving, watchful observation of one who wishes to know the meaning of all she sees.” In 1914, the American kindergarten movement celebrated Wheelock’s move to the Riverway and a building designed specifically for its use. With this move, the future of Wheelock and its rightful place as an institution of higher learning for teacher preparation were secure.

Over the next 25 years, Miss Wheelock broadened the scope of the educational programs and sent students out to work with the children of recent Portuguese, Filipino, and Italian immigrants and those of other newcomers. She developed courses and invented programs to nurture the bonds between children and their families. Her whole-child approach to education encouraged the cultivation of a dynamic relationship with the civic community.

The School was incorporated as a nonprofit institution when Lucy Wheelock retired, having completed her 50th year as the director. In 1941, the institution’s name was changed to Wheelock College. The academic program was expanded to four years, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts authorized the College to grant the Bachelor of Science degree. The curriculum was revised to respond to advances in educational theory and scholarship in the Arts and Sciences.

Graduate degree programs at Wheelock date from 1952, when the Commonwealth authorized the College to grant the Master of Science. The Wheelock Graduate School extended the scope of the College’s mission, broadening its research and professional programs, and integrating advanced scholarship and the contributions of working professionals. In 1978, the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study was created to expand the opportunities for intensive research and certification at Wheelock. In 2003 the College became authorized to confer the Master of Social Work degree.

Wheelock’s distinguished academic and professional programs have evolved from these efforts to forge a comprehensive relationship between educated women and men and the children, families and communities they serve.

Portrait of the Present

The Wheelock College community today includes over 850 undergraduates and over 400 graduate students on the Boston campus, with another 500 students completing local, regional, and international off-campus programs. In their diversity, they reflect our multicultural society, and their willingness to approach life in this community cooperatively reflects a remarkable unity of spirit.

Most students who choose this College are motivated by a conscious idealism that promotes service to others as meaningful work. Wheelock students intend to make a positive difference in the communities where they engage. They are sensitive to injustice, particularly when its victims are children. Wheelock students use their time at the college to master skills that will enable them to do something purposeful with their drive to help improve the lives of children, families, and society in general.

The Campus

The brick buildings, lawns and terraces of the Wheelock College campus are located on either side of Boston’s Riverway, near the center of the city’s Emerald Necklace. Wheelock’s Classroom Building, studios and residences are bordered by the nine-level Wheelock College Library, the Student Center, the Administration Building and the Wheelock Family Theatre. The CCSR, the College Center and Student Residence, houses state of the art dining services, the post office and copy center, book store, residence hall, and meeting spaces. The newest addition to the Boston campus is a three-story addition to the Activities East building. The centerpiece of the addition is a state-of-the-art Earl Center for Learning and Innovation designed to serve as a resource for students, faculty, and members of the Greater Boston community who work with children and families. The College has two additional buildings located in Brookline, as the campus spans the border between Brookline and Boston along the Emerald Necklace in the Riverway and Fenway neighborhoods. The main building located in Brookline is a multi-purpose facility with classrooms, meeting spaces, faculty and staff offices and a café.

Among Wheelock’s immediate neighbors are the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the five other colleges and universities that, with Wheelock, comprise the Colleges of the Fenway partnership, and the Longwood Medical Area that consists of a complex of hospitals and medical schools. Within a block or two of the campus, subway stations and major bus routes connect Wheelock to downtown Boston, Quincy Market and Government Center, the Children’s Museum, the Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium and Harvard Square.

The personal and professional ties a student develops while living in Boston are strengthened by the College’s longstanding cooperation with the schools, hospitals, agencies and museums in the city and surrounding towns. Wheelock students are directly involved in the life of the city and their ideals are put to work throughout Greater Boston, creating a community context for students’ academic work. Based in this context, the contributions of every student will endure long after graduation.

The Wheelock Family Theatre

Wheelock Family Theatre (WFT), New England’s only Equity theatre dedicated to producing plays for family audiences, was founded at Wheelock in 1981. The Theatre offers audiences of all ages message-driven, thought-provoking, classical and contemporary adaptations from great literature, as well as original plays and musicals. Responding to a community need for professional theatre at reasonable prices, WFT is nationally recognized for innovations in nontraditional casting (which transcends ethnic and cultural perceptions), access for people with disabilities, and theatre education for children. WFT encourages Wheelock students to join the family—onstage, behind the scenes, and in the WFT Education Program. For more information, visit

Towne Art Gallery

The Towne Art Gallery presents four exhibitions a year highlighting the work of professional artists in a variety of media. The gallery has a special interest in works produced by artists from the New England region. It also presents special exhibitions by organizations that support and nurture children’s endeavors in art. Twice a year the gallery showcases the work produced by Wheelock students involved in the Visual Arts Program at the college.

The Towne Art Gallery highly encourages student involvement ranging from gallery sitting to show installations to gallery assistantships and special projects. Students and the entire Wheelock Community are always invited and welcome to attend receptions to meet and interact with the artists whose work is being shown. For more information, please view the gallery website at

Wheelock and Beyond


Wheelock College is a member of the Colleges of the Fenway, collaboration among Emmanuel College, Massachusetts College of Art, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Simmons College, Wentworth Institute of Technology and Wheelock College. Each college maintains its distinctive identity, while providing students with access to academic programs and student services on all six campuses. Wheelock undergraduate students can cross-register for courses at any of the other participating institutions; students from the other colleges can enroll in courses at Wheelock College. Each college reserves the right to limit access to certain courses.

The Colleges of the Fenway partners believe that by working together they can enhance the student and faculty environments of their individual institutions while retaining the unique qualities of each school. Moreover, they believe that through the economic benefits of collaboration, they can slow the escalating cost of higher education by sharing resources to end costly duplication, and by taking advantage of joint purchasing arrangements. In collaboration, students and faculty continue to study, to live and to teach in small college environments while enjoying the resources of a major academic center.


Wheelock College hosts selected master’s in local communities throughout New England. Through these regional programs students are able to earn a Wheelock degree close to home, with class schedules that are compatible with their work schedules.

Our off-campus programs are cohort learning experiences. Students begin and often complete their program together developing strong bonds as professional, academic, and personal experiences are shared. Through collaborative work, strong support networks are built among cohort members, faculty, advisors, and staff lasting well beyond the academic program. Off-campus or regional classes take place once a week in the evening, or in a three-weekend format (approximately every other weekend) on Fridays from 4:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Several online or blended courses are offered in undergraduate and graduate programs. One online degree program is offered by the College, the Master’s in Educational Studies: Achieving Excellence in Teaching Math and Science. The online program is designed for teachers and other professionals who promote learning in math and science with students in grades 1-6. Students enrolled in the online program take a minimum of two eight-week courses each semester.


Wheelock College offers a master’s program in Social Work in Worcester, Massachusetts. Wheelock’s MSW curriculum is based on human rights and social justice. This prepares graduates to practice strengths-based social work, taking into account the dynamics of oppression and privilege, and the importance of cultural differences and how to leverage them to help individuals and communities grow creatively and safely.

All off-campus offerings are conducted within student cohort groups further enhancing the educational experience by allowing students to form strong bonds with other professionals over time. All classes are held either in evenings, on weekends, or through online offerings. These programs are particularly convenient for people who are working full-time or who live some distance from the Boston campus. Depending on the program, students complete their degrees in approximately 2- 3 years.

Centers and Institutes


Dr. Linda Davis, Dean

Wheelock College’s Center for International Programs and Partnerships (formerly the Center for International Education, Leadership, and Innovation) was established in 1992 to develop and deliver globally a range of academic degree programs, innovative seminars, and professional development programs. The Center coordinates all of Wheelock College’s international endeavors, including but not limited to international articulation and academic partnership agreements, degree-granting programs in Singapore and elsewhere, facilitation of study tours for international students and visitors, study abroad programs and the Presidential International Service Learning Program.

The Center contributes to the internationalization of the Wheelock College community by coordinating all of the College’s on-campus international events including the Presidential International Visiting Scholar Program and International Education Week. The Center also supports the delivery of a range of culturally-responsive, state-of-the-art educational programs abroad in collaboration with local education ministries, universities and other educational institutions. Currently, the Center has the capacity to offer programs leading to an Associate of Science, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees.

These engagements further augment the range of global opportunities, experiences and research collaborations available for the benefit of Wheelock College students, faculty and alumni and those of the Colleges of The Fenway.

For detailed information on programs offered internationally see p. 16 in the Academic Experience section of this catalog.


Dr. Janine Bempechat, Director

The Center for Scholarship and Research (CSR) encourages, supports, and celebrates faculty scholarship, research, and creative production in light of the college’s vision, mission, values, and academic principles. In meeting this purpose, the CSR 1) provides direct services and programs to support individual and collaborative faculty research, scholarship, and creative production; 2) facilitates and supports faculty development and interconnected initiatives in teaching and scholarship; and 3) engages with mission-oriented partners in collaborative research efforts and through provision of professional services.

In collaboration with Wheelock faculty, staff, and students, the CSR supports Wheelock faculty as they contribute to the knowledge bases of their disciplines and professions and provide professional services to its partner communities to improve the lives of children and families through scholarship.

Areas of Focus

The Center for Scholarship and Research works collaboratively and inclusively through three integrally related areas of focus:

Scholarly Work. Support and promote faculty scholarship, research, and creative production.

Teaching and Learning. Highlight, develop, and study excellence in teaching and evaluation of learning outcomes while supporting initiatives connecting teaching, learning, and research.

Mission-Oriented Partnerships. Identify and support collaborations with community partners through scholarship, research, evaluation, development and dissemination of work products, and provision of professional services.


Dr. Stephanie Cox Suarez

The Documentation Studio at the Center for Scholarship and Research is a venue for exhibiting and sharing artifacts of teaching and learning. The Documentation Studio offers workshops, special exhibits and discussions for Wheelock faculty, students, and area educators from toddlers to higher education. It is a place for educators to create, display, and discuss artifacts of learning by students of all ages. Inspired by the work of early childhood educators in Reggio Emilia, Italy, the tool of documentation includes artifacts of learning such as student work (i.e. a drawing, a written story), photos of students working in their classrooms, a transcript of a student’s words describing what he has learned, a video clip of a teacher and students working together. The Documentation Studio is located on the ground floor of the Hawes building on the Brookline campus and is open and available to view on-going exhibits; Contact the director for more information and to be included on emails regarding future events.

inspire a world of good

200 Riverway, Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Contact Us | 617-879-2000

© 2016 Wheelock College is a registered trademark.