Education: Childhood

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Mount Saint Mary College's program in Childhood Education is guided by the principle that excellent elementary school teachers have a strong background of research-based principles. 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.

Childhood Education at the Mount

Along with Education courses and an academic major, the Division of Education offers courses that will prepare students with the academic requirements for initial New York State certification in:

  • Childhood Education, grades 1 - 6
  • Dual Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities (new option for Early Childhood Certification is available.)
  • Childhood Education with Middle School Extension (grades 7-9)

Students interested in Childhood Education may choose from the following majors: Biology, Chemistry, English, Hispanic Studies, History, History/Political Science (social studies), Information Technology, Interdisciplinary Studies in Science, and Mathematics.  

Dual Childhood and Teaching Students with Disabilities

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

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.

Program Requirements

  • Candidates must pass the Education Proficiency Tests with a minimum score of 85% on each test.
  • Candidates must pass ED 2051 Orientation to Teaching, which requires two writing samples.
  • Candidates must maintain an overall 2.75 GPA and receive a C+ or better in all certification courses, which may be repeated only once.

Childhood Education with Middle School Extension

Students may also pursue an extension of the Childhood Education certification to teach the subject matter of their academic major in grades 7-9.

Program Requirements

  • All candidates must receive a C+ or better in all certification courses and may repeat a certification course only once.
  • Candidates must maintain a 2.75 minimum GPA in order to student teach.
  • Candidates must complete all the requirements for the Childhood Education (grades 1-6) program, including student teaching, before the middle school practicum.
  • Students who are pursuing the 7-9 extension must meet all of the required content courses for Adolescence certification.
  • Students must pass the appropriate New York State content specialty test, in which the extension will be granted, to be certified in the extension area.

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.

Bishop Dunn Elementary School on Campus

Mount Saint Mary College has a pre-K to grade 8 school, Bishop Dunn Elementary School, right on campus. Our students complete field work and observe teachers of Childhood Education in practice at Bishop Dunn. They then gradually move into local school fieldwork placements, helping to build the variety of experiences that prospective employers look for.


While completing the teacher education program in Childhood or 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 (grades 1-3 and 4-6 for childhood programs). Students pursuing the dual certification will complete one placement teaching Students with Disabilities.

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.

Candidates are recommended for certification to NYS after they have completed program requirements and teacher certification examinations required by New York. 

Where Mount students have interned

Teacher candidates have student taught in more than 50 school districts within a 25-mile distance from the college. Additionally, some candidates have student-taught in the New York City public schools.

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.


 Alexandria Hercules Quote
"I chose education because I believed that I could have an impact on young children  in the classroom environment. I wanted to be one of those people who shaped the future professionals."