Follow these links to view the M.S. curriculum by term, or browse the sections below to view the program in whole.

May Term (an intensive, two-week summer session in mid-late May):  


Students who have not completed the prerequisite coursework in education can be admitted provisionally to the M.S. Program. The May Term at Ithaca College provides an opportunity for provisionally-admitted students to complete one of the prerequisite courses in education:

  • EDUC 21910: Early Field Experiences: Theory and Practice (3 credits)
  • EDUC 34000: Social and Cultural Foundations of Education (3 credits)
  • MATH 29000: Mathematics for Childhood Education (3 credits) prerequisite beginning Summer 2009

Note: These Ithaca College courses are also offered during the fall and/or spring semesters and can be taken prior to application to the program.  The two courses offered by the Education Department are also offered during the January Term.  In addition, equivalent coursework can be taken at other accredited colleges and universities.

Summer Sessions I and II (late May through late July/early August):  

The M.S. Program begins

The Childhood Education Program begins on the first day of Ithaca College's first summer session with a Program Orientation designed to provide an overview of the program's goals and structure, an introduction to the work of the summer session, and the opportunity to engage with fellow learners in the cohort.

Coursework during Summer Sessions I and II consists of 12 graduate credits:

  • Teaching and Learning in Diverse Elementary Schools (3 credits)
  • Language Development and Second Language Acquisition (3 credits)
  • Curriculum and Instruction in Elementary School Science (3 credits)
  • Curriculum and Instruction in Elementary School Social Studies (3 credits)

In addition, M.S. students attend the Ithaca City School District's orientation for new teachers and assist a mentor teacher as she/he prepares an elementary school classroom for the school year.

Fall Semester (late August through mid-December):  

M.S. Program coursework and field experiences

The fall semester in the Childhood Education Program is an intensive one, as students enroll in 12 graduate credits and spend three days per week working with a mentor teacher in a local-area elementary school.

Coursework during the Fall Semester:

  • Teaching and Learning for Healthy Growth and Development (3 credits)
  • Curriculum and Instruction in Elementary School Language Arts and Literacy (3 credits)
  • Curriculum and Instruction in Elementary School Mathematics (3 credits)
  • Exceptional Child in the Classroom (3 credits)

In addition, students attend state-required sessions on Child Abuse, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, and Violence Prevention.

Fall field experiences include the following:

  • Two days per week of observation, tutoring, team-teaching, and general classroom assistance in an elementary school classroom
  • A week-long October field experience at Harlem Promise Academy in the Harlem neighborhood of NYC

January Term (an intensive, two-week session in mid-January):  


  • The opportunity to take a program prerequisite (3 credits)

Spring Semester (mid-January through early May):  

Student teaching internships

During the spring semester in the program, students enroll in 9 credits:

  • Professional Semester in Education (6 credits)
  • Seminar in Reflective Practice (3 credits)

M.S. students participate in two student teaching internships, one in grades 1-3 and the other in grades 4-6. Experienced cooperating teachers provide modeling, mentorship, and ongoing feedback throughout the internships. College faculty meet regularly and work closely with the Childhood Education students and their mentors in shared discussions and analyses of teaching and learning.

Reflective practice and teacher research are core components of the professional experience.  Students meet weekly in collegial seminars to engage in critical reflection on their teaching practices and to support one another's professional development.  Each Childhood Education student explores a classroom issue in an action research project that helps inform the student's teaching practice.

May Term (an intensive, two-week session in mid-May):  

  • Enroll in a one-credit module in Art

The culminating project

The May Term provides M.A.T. students with some time to reflect on and analyze the results of the teacher research project conducted during the professional experience in the spring.  Written reports on these action research projects are completed, and oral presentations are prepared for a program mini-conference in June.  This research project paper/presentation is completed in lieu of a thesis or comprehensive exam and is expected to demonstrate the candidate's strengths as a reflective practitioner, knowledgeable of both recent research and current best practice.

Summer Session I (late May through late June):  

The final semester

The M.S. Program concludes at the end of Summer Session I, approximately 13 months after its start.  During this final semester, students

  • Enroll in a three-credit course in Educational Technology
  • Enroll in a one-credit module in Music
  • Complete the final revision of the Action Research Paper, and
  • Give a presentation on their Action Research project at a Graduate Programs in Education mini-conference.

Upon completion of this final semester in the program, M.S. students work with our Office of Teaching and Certification to apply for an initial teaching certificate in New York State.  

Course Descriptions

Descriptions of the graduate courses offered as part of our Childhood Education Program can be found in the Graduate Catalog.