Master of Science Degree in Education in
Early Childhood Education (Birth-Grade 2) Leading to Initial/Professional Certification – 36-39 credits
This program is designed to prepare graduate students for their initial and professional certifications in Early Childhood Education. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university demonstrating 30 credits in a liberal arts major and six (6) credits each in mathematics, science, social studies, English language arts, and three (3) credits in a foreign language. Coursework in artistic expression, communication, information, retrieval, and humanities is also required by New York State regulations. Any deficiencies will need to be satisfied prior to acceptance for candidacy. Grades C or better for undergraduate coursework and B or better for graduate coursework are required. All courses are required in order to develop teaching competencies according to the New York State Teaching Standards. New York State regulations require that each course in this program includes field experience.
In accordance with the New York Teacher Education Standards, the program provides substantive coursework, supervised field experiences and in-depth reflective seminars. Requirements for graduation require that candidates demonstrate mastery of pedagogical knowledge, understandings, and skills appropriate for teaching in early childhood (birth through 2nd grade).
The program offers challenging educational experiences to assure that students in the program achieve the highest standards of academic excellence. Courses in the program reflect a strong cognitive developmental perspective and focus on developing teachers who have an appreciation and respect for the full range of intellectual, social, emotional, physical, cultural, and spiritual differences among their colleagues and students. Candidates learn to view developmental differences and diversity as opportunities for enhancing the process of teaching and learning. A major emphasis in this program is nurturing the candidate’s ability to synthesize children’s developmental needs, strengths, and interests while constructing effective educational experiences in the early childhood classroom.
The program is committed to preparing candidates who are confident in using educational technology to help all children learn. Developmentally appropriate practices for the use of technology are integrated into all courses and field experiences. Candidates learn to construct a media-rich environment for the purpose of instruction and assessment. Course assignments encourage the creative use of technology so that teachers can further support children’s enthusiasm for learning.
Faculty serve as role models for candidates who are developing their own professional identities as teachers with professional codes of ethics. Through mentoring, advisement, and instruction, faculty share the dispositions of valuing children, seeking fairness and justice for all students, and creating a learning environment that encourages intellectual exploration and discovery.