Early Childhood and Childhood Education

Students who choose the early childhood and childhood education program will be qualified to teach children from birth through sixth grade. This program is recommended for prospective teachers who want to teach in an early childhood setting, preschool, kindergarten, the primary grades, or in the intermediate grades 4-6.

Upon successful completion of the program, candidates will earn initial teacher certifications in New York state for BOTH early childhood (birth-grade 2) and childhood education (grades 1-6).

Job Projections

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13):

  • The field of early childhood development education is predicted to expand throughout the decade as the federal government increases funding for many key early childhood programs.
  • The job projection for elementary teachers in 2020 is expected to rise by 17 percent (281,500 new jobs).

Program Curriculum and Requirements

All programs include a general education requirement, major academic concentration in a selected area of study, professional education requirement, and comprehensive field experiences. The academic concentration, in combination with general education coursework in liberal arts and sciences, ensures that students gain extensive knowledge of their subject matter. The Common Core standards and New York State learning standards are integrated into required coursework throughout the program and serve as the basis of performance assessment requirements. A focus on literacy and teaching students with diverse learning needs is embedded in coursework that is required of all education majors. Comprehensive field experiences begin in the first semester of study and continue each semester of the program – leading to a teaching assistantship and comprehensive student teaching experience. All programs include experience with English language learners and students receiving special education services, as well as a range of placements across various types of school districts.

Students in this program select one content area concentration from the following subjects: English language arts, mathematics, biology, chemistry, social studies, or the languages of Spanish or French. The distinctive  Liberal Arts concentration allows students to take courses across three subjects of their choice, ensuring rich content knowledge preparation in the program. 

Students who wish to be certified to teach in Ontario will earn their New York state initial teacher certification and be assisted to apply through the Ontario College of Teachers for the letter of eligibility to teach in Ontario in the primary-junior grades.