Education: Adolescence

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In conjunction with General Education courses and an academic major in a liberal arts and sciences content area, the Division of Education offers courses that allow students to complete academic requirements for initial New York State certification in the areas listed below:

  • Adolescence Education, grades 7-12
  • Dual Adolescence Education and Special Education
  • Adolescence Education with Middle School Extension (grades 5-6)

Adolescence Education at the Mount

The programs in Adolescence Education prepare teacher candidates to teach Biology, Chemistry, Math, English, and Social Studies to students in grades 7-12. Our programs are structured to provide teacher candidates with the principles for engaging teaching and learning in the content areas.

We believe that excellent adolescence teachers have a strong background of research-based principles for teacher effectiveness, as well as a thorough understanding of how students learn in grades 7-12. Teaching candidates successfully attain these knowledge bases through a carefully planned sequence of courses taught by veteran teacher-researchers, and with individual or course-embedded fieldwork.

Students seeking certification in English, Mathematics, Biology, or Chemistry must complete the major as listed in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Students seeking certification in Social Studies must complete a 30‑credit History major, with additional Social Sciences requirements, to be prepared to teach the different types of classes a Social Studies teacher may be assigned to (see Undergraduate Catalog).

Dual Adolescence and Teaching Students with Disabilities 

This program prepares candidates for initial certification in Teaching Students With Disabilities. Candidates will learn about teaching students with a variety of disabilities, including autism, emotional disturbance, intellectual disability, learning disability, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, traumatic brain injury, or multiple disabilities in inclusive or special settings.

Several courses feature individual or 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.

Program Requirements

Since 2011, New York State allows teacher candidates seeking Adolescence Certification in Teaching Students With Disabilities, along with adolescence certification in a subject area, to be certified as Adolescence Generalists for Teaching Students with Disabilities in grades 7-12.

To be eligible for this certification, all candidates must have completed six hours of study in college level courses in each of four areas: English, Social Studies, Mathematics, and Science (including at least 3 credits of lab science), in addition to completing all required pedagogical courses.

Mount Saint Mary College students will likely complete most of these distributive requirements as part of the required CORE or General Education requirements for the bachelor’s degree. However, even if one has met the Mount Saint Mary College General Education requirements, these required courses must be met to be eligible to receive New York State certification as an Adolescence Generalist for Teaching Students with Disabilities in grades 7-12

Students must take all certification courses at Mount Saint Mary College unless otherwise approved by an advisor. Students working toward certification must consult with both an education advisor and an advisor in the major each semester.

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.

Adolescence with Middle School Option

Candidates for a Middle School Extension will take additional coursework preparing them to teach their content area in grades 5 and 6. This can make such candidates good prospects for a principal who must staff a school with grades 5 - 8 or 6 - 9. Individuals interested in this option must complete complete all the requirements for the initial Adolescence Education (grades 7-12) program, including the semester of student teaching before the practicum experience.

Program Requirements 

To be admitted to the program, candidates must pass the Education Proficiency Tests with a minimum score of 85% on each test. All candidates must pass ED 2051 Orientation to Teaching. Candidates must maintain an overall 2.75 GPA to student teach, and receive a C+ or better in all certification courses. Certification courses may be repeated only once.


While completing the teacher education program in Adolescence Education, students must complete 100 hours of course-related, supervised fieldwork before student teaching. Students pursuing Dual Certification must complete 150 hours, while students pursuing a Middle School Extension must complete 100 hours before student teaching, plus a 3-credit practicum after student teaching.

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 (7-9 and 10-12 for Adolescence programs). Students pursuing 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 adviser. Students pursuing Adolescence certification are also required to complete at least 30 credits in the content area before student teaching.

Students are required to take and pass the New York State Liberal Arts and Science Test (LAST) prior to student teaching. The testing dates and sites are posted on the New York State Education Department website.

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.

Where Mount students have interned

Mount Saint Mary College teacher candidates have student taught in more than 50 school districts within a 25 mile distance from the College. Some candidates have student taught in the New York City Public Schools.

Career Options

Teaching in the content areas in a variety of public and private school Adolescence settings.

Career Outlook

With many current educators reaching retirement age, there is a growing need for new teachers. The U.S. Department of Education estimated that 1.6 million new teachers will be needed nationally between 2012 and 2022, and SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher predicted that more than 180,000 new teachers will be needed in New York state alone over the next decade. At the Mount, we strongly encourage our teacher candidates to pursue dual certification in Childhood Education and Teaching Students with Disabilities, so that they are prepared to work with a diverse range of learning needs in today’s classrooms.


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).

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.

Learn about our upcoming 2018 CAEP Accreditation Visit.

 Mark Botta Quote
"I chose teaching because I want to help children reach their full potential. I want to make a difference. Mount Saint Mary College has given me the skill set that I need to complement my passion for teaching.