Academic Programs

Childhood Education (M.S.)

Scholarship, passion, and commitment are the keys to success in Ithaca's new childhood education program. This master of science degree prepares academically talented graduate students for careers as elementary school teachers. The childhood education program is designed as a cohesive, full-time, 13-month graduate program leading to a master's degree and full eligibility for initial teaching certification for grades 1 through 6.

Graduate students in the program take coursework in educational theory and practice while gaining invaluable field experience in school and community settings. Our students actively analyze and discuss current issues in education and practice research-based strategies for effective teaching. We offer multiple opportunities for observation, tutoring, and teaching in varied grade levels in suburban, rural, and urban schools. Our faculty and students collaborate with public schools to improve educational equity and excellence for all students. Graduates of our program will have the right knowledge and skills to make a positive difference in the lives of the children with whom they work.

Distinctive features of the IC childhood education program include

  • the chance to earn teaching certification and a master's degree in just 12-13 months; begin the program one summer and apply for certification and a teaching position the next
  • the integration of theory and practice, coursework and field experiences
  • opportunities to observe, tutor, and teach in multiple and diverse settings
  • an emphasis on culturally responsive teaching that supports the personal and academic achievement of all students
  • the development of future teachers as reflective practitioners and action researchers in their own classrooms
  • the preparation of teachers who contribute actively to school and community improvement and take leadership roles in our nation's schools.

Graduates of our program are fully eligible for initial teaching certification in the state of New York, which has reciprocity agreements with more than 30 other states and jurisdictions.

Program Prerequisites

Since our M.S. program is intensive, we believe it is important for applicants to have completed some initial study of and experience in the field of education. As a result, we have established the following preprofessional prerequisites for admission:

  • EDUC 21910 Early Field Experience: Theory and Practice (includes 50 hours of field experiences in school settings)
  • EDUC 34000 Social and Cultural Foundations of Education
  • MATH 29000 Mathematics for Childhood Education (required for 2009-2010 program)

Applicants from other accredited institutions may submit evidence of equivalent courses, as well as satisfactory completion of 50 hours of course-connected field experiences in public schools.  Applicants who have not completed these prerequisites may be admitted to the program provisionally and will be expected to enroll in these courses according to an academic plan developed by the chair of graduate programs in education.