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Early Childhood Education, M.S. (Birth to Grade 2, Initial/Professional)

Teach young learners as they embark on a journey of lifelong learning. Our master's degree program is grounded in an understanding of early childhood development and will help you create effective teaching practices that fully integrate cutting-edge technology. Upon completion, you'll receive New York State certification and be eligible for either initial or professional certification in early childhood education from birth to grade 2.

Degree options include:

  • Initial certification (39 credits): if you have a bachelor's degree with the appropriate coursework and passing score on the New York State Teacher Certification Examination.
  • Professional certification (30 credits): if you have a bachelor's degree and hold initial certification in another area of teaching.
  • Internship certification: after completing the first 50 percent of the program credits and receive the program chair's approval, you may begin to teach while completing the remaining credits of the degree.
  • Bilingual extension option (9 credits): if you are already certified to teach in New York State and wish to teach English Language Learners (ESOL) in multilingual settings (upon successful completion of the Bilingual Education Assessment and course requirements for this extension, you'll receive certification in this field). To receive NYSED certification, you will need to independently pass the Bilingual Education Assessment in addition to successfully completing the course requirements for this extension.

Graduates of the program are able to integrate instructional technology throughout the content study, are capable of planning instruction and selecting strategies and materials that foster multicultural understanding, and have the knowledge and skills needed to engage children in successful constructivist learning practices. The program incorporates the Next Generation Learning Standards throughout the curriculum and develops the skills and knowledge to use data to drive instruction to teach all children. Program content and experiences are aligned with state certification requirements, and successful completion of all parts of the program leads to an endorsement for certification. The Master of Science in Early Childhood Education program is available face-to-face, hybrid, or completely online.

Preparation for a career as an early childhood educator begins with a solid foundation in general studies and a major in one of the arts and science areas represented in the childhood curriculum. Candidates must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major or its equivalent (minimum of 30-credit concentration) in one of the following areas:

Prerequisite Foundations for Early Childhood Education Program (Initial Certification)

  • Biology
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • History
  • Physics
  • Economics
  • Life Science
  • Psychology

Candidates with less than 30 credits in these areas should speak with the program chair to review their academic record for potential qualifying options.

In addition, New York state certification requires candidates in early childhood education have college-level study in liberal arts and sciences, including but not limited to artistic expression, communication, information retrieval, concepts in history and social sciences, humanities, a language other than English, scientific and mathematical processes, and written analysis and expression. Candidates who have deficits in one or two of these areas may enter the program, but are required to make up the deficits prior to student teaching. Candidates needing coursework in more than two areas should speak with the program chair to plan the prerequisite course of study.

Candidates are also required to have a satisfactory command of spoken and written English. Applicants who are judged to have inadequate English language skills may be required to take undergraduate coursework to strengthen their language skills before continuing in the childhood education program. A structured interview is part of the admission process.

Field Experience and Student Teaching
Field experience and student teaching provide candidates with substantial clinical practice prior to graduation and independent professional practice. Field experience is linked with course assignments and progresses from observation to participation in clinical practice. Teacher candidates observe in a school setting under the supervision of a cooperating teacher and complete a keystone assignment directly linked to each required course. The field experience component of the program is a critical part of a candidate's professional development and provides opportunities for candidates and the faculty to assess the development of their professional skills and the application of their classroom learning.

Candidates who have completed 30 semester hours in the program may be eligible to apply for student teaching. Applications must be submitted by March 1 for fall semester student teaching, and by October 1 for spring semester student teaching.

Student teaching placements are based on the semester schedule of the cooperating school and provide the teacher candidate the professional environment to observe, prepare instructional plans, and teach students under the guidance of a master teacher during student teaching. The teacher candidate is required to remain at the cooperating school five days per week commencing the first day of the school's semester through the final day of classes in the NYIT semester.

Teacher candidates keep journals and logs that record the field experience and their development as reflective teachers. Journals are submitted for review as part of the assessment of progress and achievement in student teaching.

During student teaching and within the college calendar, teacher candidates attend professional education seminars on campus required by the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Education. The demands of the student teaching placement require a five-day-a-week commitment for the professional semester. A student teaching orientation program and handbook provide additional information to the candidates at the beginning of the professional semester and student teaching experience.

The checklist for the admission requirements for student teaching can be obtained from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Education, Office of Field Experience and Student Teaching.

Students graduating from this program are eligible for teaching certification once they have passed all required portions of the New York State Teacher Certification Exam (NYSTCE). Students may also apply for internship certification after completing 50 percent of the courses. Internship certification permits students to begin teaching while they complete their degrees.

The program is eligible for Troops to Teachers funding and financial aid is available for qualified students.

Course Requirements
The program is organized to build knowledge and skills through carefully developed course content and related field experience. It culminates with student teaching, research methods and assessment, and the planning and implementation of a field project. The program of studies should be followed as designed; exceptions may be made only with the approval of the program chair.

In addition to the courses and experiences above, candidates in the Childhood Education Program must complete the following non-credit required workshops:

  • Child Abuse Identification and Reporting
  • School Violence Prevention and Intervention
  • Personal Health and Fitness
  • Safety, Fire Prevention, and Safe Environment
  • Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

Program Chair

Dr. Hui-Yin Hsu
516.686.1322
hhsu02@nyit.edu

Office Contact

Elizabeth Pirri
516.686.4931
epirri@nyit.edu


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Admission Requirements

The admission requirements are the same for both the initial and professional certification options.

M.S. in Early Childhood Education Initial Certification Program (39 credits) or Professional Certification Program (30 credits)

  • B.S. degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university with a major or its equivalent (minimum of 30-credit concentration) in one of the following areas: biology, chemistry, economics, English, history, life science, math, physics, or psychology.
  • Completed required general education core in the liberal arts and sciences, including but not limited to artistic expression, communication, information retrieval, concepts in history and social sciences, humanities, a language other than English, scientific and mathematical processes, and written analysis and expression.
  • In accordance with New York State's regulation and accreditation agency's requirements, applicants should submit official report of a national standardized exam with a competitive score. Please contact the admissions office or department for details.
  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  • Students who have a GPA between 2.85 and 2.99 may be considered for conditional admission by the program chair. If students are admitted conditionally, they must achieve a 3.0 GPA in the first six graduate credits to continue in the M.S. in Early Childhood Education program.

Additional Requirements for the Professional Certification Program

Students in the professional certification program must hold initial certification in another area (students with prior initial certification in another area will, upon completion of this program, also be eligible for professional certification in their original certification area).

Students graduating from this program are eligible for teaching certification once they have passed all required portions of the New York State Teacher Certification Exam (NYSTE). Students may also apply for internship certification after completing the first 18 credits. Internship certification permits students to begin teaching while they complete their degrees.

Master of Science in Early Childhood Education, Birth to Grade 2 (39 credits initial certification/30 credits professional certification), Online or Blended

Upon completion of all NYS certification requirements, this program leads to a master's degree and eligibility for NYS initial certification in Early Childhood Education, Birth to Grade 2. This program facilitates the development of an understanding of early childhood development, curriculum design; effective instruction practices to teach young children; and the integrating of technology in teaching and learning. It prepares candidates for teaching in a variety of educational settings within the birth to grade 2 levels.

Master of Science in Early Childhood Education, Birth to Grade 2 (48 credits initial certification/39 credits professional certification) With Bilingual Education Extension, Online or Blended

The Bilingual Extension program is offered to candidates who are already certified to teach in New York State and wish to teach English Language Learners (ELLs) in a bilingual setting. Upon successful completion of the Bilingual Education Assessment (BEA) and course requirements for this extension, teacher candidates will be certified to teach English Language Learners in a bilingual setting. As part of the required clinical experience, candidates must complete college supervised field experiences of 50 hours within a bilingual setting.

Application Process

Apply online today. Applying is easy with our online application. The completed online application form requires general contact information as well as information about undergraduate coursework and GPA. It is possible for you to begin an online application, save the initial information entered, and return at a later time to complete and submit the full materials.

For initial certification in M.S. in Early Childhood Education program:

  • Online application
  • Personal statement: Why do you want to become an early childhood educator?
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A copy of your initial teaching certification
  • Immunization form
  • $50 application fee
  • Official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • A competitive score on the GRE or MAT (Miller Analogies Test), which could be submitted after being conditionally admitted to the program, or an SAT score within last five years
  • An interview with the program chair. The interview may be held electronically.

For professional certification in M.S. in Early Childhood Education Program:

  • Online application
  • Personal statement: Teaching philosophy
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A copy of your initial teaching certification
  • Immunization form
  • $50 application fee
  • Official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • A competitive score on the GRE or MAT (Miller Analogies Test), which could be submitted after being conditionally admitted to the program. An exemption can be made if you already hold a master's degree.
  • An interview with the program chair. The interview may be held electronically.

Special Note
New York education law now permits nonresident aliens to qualify for an initial license. Individuals with U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status may qualify for a permanent or professional New York State Teaching Certificate.

Read more at NYSED