Admission to the childhood education program is highly selective. Applicants are expected to have a strong general education background in the liberal arts and sciences and a demonstrated interest in and commitment to working with diverse student populations in educational settings.
Applicants must have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) from an accredited college or university, with the completion of a major in an academic discipline. Admission to the childhood education program -- and teaching certification in New York -- also requires the successful completion, or the equivalent, of at least one year of college-level study in a language other than English.
The M.S. program in childhood education has established two prerequisite courses in education:
These prerequisite courses are offered at Ithaca College multiple times each year. Ithaca College undergraduates who plan to apply to the childhood education program are encouraged to take these courses prior to graduation. Applicants from other accredited institutions can submit evidence of course-equivalent syllabi and grades of B or better in these courses, as well as satisfactory completion of 50 hours of course-connected, school-based field experiences. Childhood education applicants who have not completed these prerequisites may be admitted provisionally with the expectation that these prerequisites be met according to stipulations established by the graduate chair.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to take -- prior to admission, for advising purposes -- the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST), one of the three examinations required for New York State teacher certification. For information about this exam:
A total of 38 credits, including a full professional semester of student teaching, is required. A cumulative average of 3.00 or better is required for graduation from the M.S. program in childhood education. This program is designed for candidates seeking initial teaching certification in childhood education, grades 1-6.
Childhood Education Program Coursework (38 credits):
Teacher certification requirements (noncredit workshops):
Prior to graduation, all childhood education students must have attended and participated in two state-required workshops, both of which are offered several times a year on the Ithaca College campus:
Professional Portfolio and Action Research Project
In lieu of a thesis requirement and/or a comprehensive exam, the childhood education program includes the graduation requirement that all students complete both a professional portfolio and an action research project. The professional portfolio provides evidence that the childhood education candidate has met College, state, and national standards for effective teaching, and its preparation begins during the first week of the childhood education program. The action research project is also a yearlong project: the research proposal is developed and refined in the summer and fall, data is collected and analyzed in the spring, and the research report is written and presented in the final summer semester of the program.
Professional Semester in Education
During the spring semester in the program, childhood education students complete two student teaching experiences, one in grades 1-3 and the other in grades 4-6. Student teaching is a full-time commitment requiring full days in public schools and additional hours spent in planning, assessment, after-school activities, and a weekly seminar. Childhood education students are not allowed to enroll in additional courses or participate in varsity sports during the professional semester.