Undergrad Teacher Prep Program

Paul Pacheco, graduate of the Teacher Prep Program in his first classroom.

Teachers Make a Difference, Everyday.

GoATeach: Teaching to Change the World

Armed with leading-edge best practices in education along with mastery in your chosen discipline, you’ll be prepared to become a new kind of teacher—a teacher who engages and challenges students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects to meets the future challenges in the field of education.

The Teacher Preparation Program application is now LIVE! 

See the section below entitled "Application" for additional details and the link to Qualtrics.
Applications due Feb. 16, 2024.



Worcester Polytechnic Institute
157 West St
STEM Education Center-WPI
Worcester, MA 01609
Location: 157 West Street
Phone: 508-831-4888


Joining the Teacher Preparation Program (TPP) at WPI in conjunction with your chosen 4-year undergraduate major program of study will provide you:

  • Deeper understanding of your chosen STEM discipline
  • Practical application of subject matter knowledge in a secondary school setting
  • Entry into a network of educators ready to shape young minds, direct tomorrow’s technologies and inspire the next generation of STEM learners
  • Leadership, collaboration, & scaffolding skills that extend beyond the classroom                       

Earn your Massachusetts DESE approved Initial Teaching License to teach middle or high school in one of the following areas: 

  • Biology 8-12
  • Chemistry 8-12
  • Physics 8-12
  • Middle School Science 5-8
  • Middle 5-8 or High School 8-12 Mathematics
  • Digital Literacy/Computer Science 5-12 (pending)
  • Technology/Engineering 5-12

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Program Requirements


In addition to the course required for your content major, you will need to take the following courses in Teacher Prep: 

  • EDU 2200 (⅙): Early Fieldwork & Community Engagement
  • EDU 2300 (⅙) Teaching K-12 STEM in the Local Community
  • EDU 3200 (⅓) Sheltered English Immersion (SEI)
  • EDU 4100 (⅓) Teaching Methods in Mathematics & Science
  • EDU 4200 Senior Seminar (0 credit)-meets 1x per term
  • PSY 2401 (⅓) Psychology of Education 
  • ONE other Psychology course (Choose from PSY 2410, PSY 1404 or PSY 1401)

See the undergraduate catalog for course descriptions.


Program Sequence of Study


Applications to the program are due mid B-term (Fall) or mid C-term (Spring) following recruiting and are open to first year and sophomore students majoring in math, science, or engineering. 

To be complete, your portfolio consists of the following:

  1. A Qualtrics application
  2. Two (2) letters of recommendation: Teacher Prep Rec Form.pdf
  3. Your current resume: Teaching Resume Sample

Interviews are conducted in Nov/Dec (Fall recruitment) and March (Spring recruitment) by the program director and associated faculty.

Program decisions are made by December 31st for Fall term and March 31st for Spring term.

MTEL Licensure Exams

Initial Certification Licensure Exams (MTEL)

Teacher candidates must take & pass two (2) MTEL exams in order to be initially licensed in Massachusetts. 

  1. Communications & Literacy Exam ($112-)
    • Both Reading & Writing subtests
    • This should be taken before student teaching. 
  2. Subject Matter Knowledge Competency Exam ($139-)
    • Based on the area and level of licensure you are seeking
    • This should be completed at your convenience in the summer or during your senior year. 

Financial assistance is provided to students with demonstrated need.  Please ask for more information, all conversations are kept in the strictest of confidence to ensure privacy. 

You can schedule the exam here: Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL)

Study materials are available here: MTEL Test Prep

HELP Planning your Course of Study

Schedule a consultation with Jillian DiBonaventura, Director of Teacher Preparation today! 

Email jdibonaventura@wpi.edu


EDU 2200 Early Fieldwork & Community Engagement

Students will engage on a regular basis with community-based organizations (CBOs) that support local PreK-12 students (& their families) to develop relationships that enable reciprocal learning of each other’s assets and lived experiences.  

Course Objectives: 

  • Examine and define the meaning of “community” and “community engagement” 
  • Investigate one’s identities and position in the local community 
  • Explore the City of Worcester and its assets 
  • Adopt a culturally responsive lens to working with the community 
  • Practice cultural humility when engaging with community members  
  • Be immersed at a local community-based organization and develop authentic relationships with K-12 students through tutoring or other educational programming 
  • Develop reflective practices about one’s community engagement experiences 
  • TPP students focus on the CAP elements of Safe Learning Environment and Reflective Practice 

Hour Requirements: 

18 hours fieldwork @ specified CBO partners supporting K-12 students by providing tutoring, STEM enrichment activities, team-building experiences etc.  Note: Work-study students can get paid after completing 18 hours.  

EDU 2300 Teaching K-12 STEM in the Community

Students will gain practice in developing and facilitating culturally responsive K-12 STEM activities informed by the Massachusetts DESE curriculum frameworks that fosters student-centered learning and meets the needs of diverse groups of learners. Students will reflect upon their areas of strength and growth as educators, and reiterate lessons completed in an out-of-school time program with coaching support.

Course Objectives

  • Interact with community members, and educators and local K-12 students within the local educational ecosystem  
  • Explore and evaluate a variety of published STEM activities and lessons 
  • Co-develop a STEM activity lesson plan at the appropriate level of the learners that incorporates culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogical practices  
  • Co-design a well-structured lesson with support and guidance
    • Attend to “appropriate student engagement strategies, pacing, sequence, resources, and grouping; purposeful questioning; and strategic use of technology and digital media;”
    • Explore the framework of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
      • Practice "backward" design of a lesson
      • Incorporate formative assessment of learning
      • Attend to proper pacing & shape of a lesson  
  • Facilitate a co-taught STEM lesson at a community-based organization that is observed.
    • Respond to feedback that is based on DESE's rubric of CAP elements 
  • Reflect upon lesson facilitation, make improvements, and deliver the lesson again, building on success & strengthening areas of challenge 
  • Discuss equity in STEM opportunities in both global and local contexts 

Hour Requirements: 

20 documented hours of development, preparation, delivery and iteration of a co-taught STEM lesson delivered at a CBO partner to K-12 students. 


Many of the courses that comprise the Teacher Preparation Program (TPP) include observation hours.  These are required as part of the coursework so that you may better connect theory (what you are learning in WPI courses) to actual classroom practice as embedded within school climate and culture.  

Observations should take place in a local secondary school. WPI teacher candidates are required to be CORI checked through the Worcester Public Schools, and will need to be fingerprinted to complete the student teaching practicum. 

Courses that include observation of classrooms in the field:

  • Psychology of Education
  • School Psychology
  • Sheltered English Immersion (SEI)
  • EDU 4100 Teaching Methods in Mathematics & Science
  • PQP (Pre-Qualifying Project)-the term before practicum



Student Teaching Practicum

In the teaching practicum, you are immersed in a classroom to complete your student teaching.  You have the opportunity to register for student teaching as an IQP or in special cases, as an Independent Study. (ISU) Some majors may also count the practicum as their MQP. 

Overview of the Practicum: 

  • 15 week experience in a local school.  
    • Our placements are most often with the Worcester Public Schools or in a surrounding town.  We strive to place our students in urban environments.


  • Teacher candidates spend a minimum of 300 hours in the classroom (over C/D term). This is usually completed junior year. 
    •  150 hours will be as the "teacher of record"
    • 150 hours will be in an assistive or supporting role 


  • ID 2050 is taken C term to aid in the development of the ePortfolio 


  • EDU 4000 Practicum Seminar: course that supports the practicum D term

Seeking First & Second Year STEM Students!

Information Sessions (C-Term)



Spring 2024 Teacher Prep Flyer

Still Have Questions?

Reach out to Jillian DiBonaventura, Director of Teacher Preparation at jdibonaventura@wpi.edu or by calling 508-831-4888 to book an appointment. 

Ready to Apply?

QR for Application

QR Code to Qualtrics Application

Meet Our Students

Genesis Bernabel

Genesis Bernabel

Class of 2024

Major: Electrical & Computer Engineering

Licensure sought: Physics 8-12 

"I was drawn to the Teacher Prep Program because it allows me to train as a teacher while pursuing my engineering degree. The skills from both disciplines help me inspire students to pursue STEM."

Jacob Kinkead

Jacob Kinkead

Class of 2026

Major: Physics

Licensure sought: Physics 8-12

"I am pursuing my physics licensure as it is my major and the subject that began my STEM journey in highschool. I hope to do the same for others one day, to inspire and support them in such a formative time!"


Joelis Velez Diaz

Class of 2024

Major: Chemical Engineering

Licensure sought: Chemistry 8-12

"Realizing that I can learn on my own and communicate knowledge with others provided me a sense of mission. Leading me to pursuing the WPI Teacher Preparation Program for high school chemistry teaching licensure. I am committed to persevering in improving the quality of life, our environment, and helping the younger generations visualize themselves as agents of change!"

Wilson Gramer

Wilson Gramer

Class of 2026

Major: Computer Science

Licensure sought: Digital Literacy & Computer Science* 5-12 (*pending DESE approval)

"I joined the Teacher Preparation Program to pursue a license in Digital Literacy and Computer Science. I want to develop educational tools to teach students how to code, and experience in the classroom will help me build software that’s accessible to all. Coding teaches you how to break problems down into steps and solve them one at a time, and I think every student should have the opportunity to learn this fundamental skill."

Ally Morin

Ally Morin

Class of 2025

Major: Chemistry

Licensure sought: Chemistry 8-12

"I am currently pursuing my license in Chemistry 8-12. I have found throughout my educational career that many people have a bad experience with chemistry, especially in high school and don't feel a connection to the subject. I want to make chemistry more approachable and encourage students to have fun in the lab and realize that the physical sciences can be for everyone!"

Aaron Lowy headshot

Aaron Lowy

Class of 2025

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Licensure sought: Mathematics 8-12

"I have wanted to be a teacher and help people my whole life, and TPP was the perfect opportunity to get a teaching license while still getting an engineering degree. It also has given me several opportunities teaching in the Worcester county area, which have been extremely valuable and experiences I would not have gotten anywhere else. I am pursuing a license for high school math, since I have always had a passion for math, and I am currently working with high schoolers, whom I feel like I can build the strongest relationships with and help the most."

Lucas Dion headshot

Lucas Dion

Class of 2026

Major: Robotics Engineering

Licensure sought: Technology & Engineering 5-12

"I think TPP here at WPI is unique because it is such a close-knit community. I would consider the people I’ve met here to be some of my closest friends, and we’re often each other’s biggest supporters. We have game nights and activities every month and they’re always so much fun! TPP is a group like no other."

Sarah Roberge

Sarah Roberge

Class of 2026

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Licensure sought: Mathematics 8-12

"I was drawn to the TPP because I have always wanted to become a teacher but ultimately decided to pursue an engineering degree in undergrad instead. I love that this program allows me to have the best of both worlds and obtain a valuable STEM education as well as learn how to teach!"

Jesse Drozd

Jesse Drozd

Class of 2026

Major: Chemistry

Licensure sought: Chemistry 8-12

"I was drawn to the Teacher Prep Program here at WPI because of how welcoming the community is and how much opportunity it brings to its students. I love the fact that I can pursue my STEM degree while getting my licensure, and my TPP advisors have helped me every step of the way towards pursing my goals."


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Teaching to Change the World


Advantages to joining the Teacher Preparation Program at WPI: 

  • MA initial licensure allows you to teach middle or high school post-graduation OR as a career option further into your journey
  • Strengthen leadership, collaboration, scaffolding, modeling and “chunking” skills
  • Increases communication abilities with articulating subject matter to wide, varied and diverse audiences
  • Provides a deeper understanding of the K-12 field through a career pipeline as part of a network of professionals
  • Scholarships as an undergraduate through NSF & Noyce
  • Loan forgiveness programs once you complete 5 years of full-time service