Early Childhood Education, M.S. (Birth to Grade 2, Initial/Professional Certification)
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/Professional certification (39 credits): initial certification is open to all students with a bachelor’s degree with the appropriate coursework. Professional certification is open to students with a passing score on the New York State Teacher Certification Examination (NYSTCE).
- 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/Professional Certification)
- Life Science
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 early 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 College of Arts and Sciences. 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 College of Arts and Sciences, 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.
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 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)
Dr. Hui-Yin Hsu
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- 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.
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 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/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 with Bilingual Education Extension (48 credits initial/professional certification), 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.
For initial/professional 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 (if applicable)
- $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.
- International student requirements: English proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS/PTE), I-20, and transcript evaluation
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.