Education: Dual Childhood and Special Education

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Courses in the Childhood Education program fulfill requirements for initial certification to teach grades 1-6. Students may also pursue either a Middle School Extension of the Childhood Education certification to teach an academic subject in grades 7-9, or dual certification in Childhood and Students with Disabilities (grades 1-6).

Dual Childhood and Students with Disabilities at the Mount

This program prepares candidates for initial certification in teaching students with a variety of disabilities, including autism, emotional disturbance, learning disability, intelltraumatic brain injury, or multiple disabilities and teaching such students in inclusive or secial setting. ectual disability, othopedic impairment, other health impairment.

Several courses feature faculty supervised course-embedded fieldwork. Course-embedded fieldwork gives teacher candidates the chance to learn from each other, to gain ideas for teaching, to reflect with peers on what works and what does not work well, and finally to support and become part of a community of learners who care about teaching as a profession.

A student preparing to teach in the elementary school either as a general educator or as a teacher of students with disabilities combines a study of professional courses and student teaching with a major in one of the following areas: Biology, Chemistry, English, Hispanic Studies, History, History/Political Science (Social Studies), Information Technology, Interdisciplinary Studies in Science, and Mathematics.

New: Early Childhood Certification available with Dual Childhood and Students with Disabilities

Early Childhood (B-grade 2) certification is now an option for students in the dual certification program of Childhood (grades 1-6) and Students with Disabilities (grades 1-6).

Program Requirements

In order to be admitted to the program, candidates must pass the Education Proficiency Tests with a minimum score of 85% on each test. In addition, all candidates must pass ED 2051 Orientation to Teaching. During this course two writing samples are required.

Candidates must maintain an overall 2.75 GPA and receive a C+ or better in all certification courses. Certification courses may be repeated only once.


While completing the teacher education program in Childhood Education, students must complete 100 hours of course-related, supervised fieldwork before student teaching. Students pursuing dual certification in teaching Students with Disabilities must complete 150 hours.

Student Teaching

Students must complete a semester of full-time student teaching as arranged and supervised by Mount Saint Mary College, within 25 miles of the college. Each student has two placements during the semester (grades 1-3 and 4-6 for childhood programs). Students pursuing the dual certification will complete one placement in teaching Students with Disabilities.

All certification courses must be completed before student teaching unless otherwise indicated or approved by an advisor. Candidates are recommended for certification to NYS after they have completed program requirements and teacher certification examinations required by New York.

The Student Teaching Handbook outlines policies and procedures that are required in order for students to successfully complete the student teaching experience. The College will not accept transfer credits from other institutions to fulfill the student teaching requirement. Student teaching must be completed within three years of graduation from Mount Saint Mary College.


The Mount's Education program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and by the following professional agencies: Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI), International Reading Association (IRA), National Council of Social Studies (NCSS), National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

Where Mount Students Have Interned

Over 50 local school districts, including BOCES.

Career Options

General education or Students with Disabilities teachers in both public and private settings. Program faculty are keenly aware of administrators' preference for dually-certified teachers to staff their general education classes in local districts. 

Career Outlook

According to the New York State Education Department, the areas of need in teaching are in teaching Student with Disabilities, Information Technology, Mathematics, Sciences, and Languages other than English.


The Division of Education at Mount Saint Mary College is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and/or advanced educator preparation programs at the College in Newburgh, New York. However, the accreditation does not include individual education courses that the institution offers to P-12 educators for professional development, relicensure, or other purposes.

As part of the maintenance of NCATE accreditation, the college is required to display data revealing the success of our programs. The following link displays a connection to the most recent results of Mount Saint Mary College teacher candidate “completers” (graduates of our programs recommended for certification) on New York State Teacher Certification Exams.

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