The Childhood Education Program

Semester by semester.

Program Orientation

A full-day program orientation is held each year on the Tuesday after Memorial Day.

Summer Sessions I and II (ten weeks, late May-early August)

The M.S. in Childhood Education begins on the first day of Ithaca College's first full summer session in late May 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:

  • Foundations of Language, Literacy, and Culture (3 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)
  • In addition, students also attend the state-required workshop on Harassment, Bullying, and Discrimination.
  • Students participate in a local-area field experience during Summer Session II.
  • Towards the end of the summer, students assist a mentor teacher with preparation for the school year.

Fall Semester (late August through mid-December)

Coursework during the Fall Semester includes the following:

  • Curriculum and Instruction in Elementary School Language Arts and Literacy (3 credits)
  • Curriculum and Instruction in Elementary School Mathematics (3 credits)
  • Curriculum and Instruction in Elementary School Social Studies (3 credits)
  • Exceptional Child in the Classroom (3 credits)

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

Fall field experiences include the following:

  • Observation, tutoring, team-teaching, and general classroom assistance in an Ithaca-area elementary school classroom
  • A week-long October field experience at the Washington Heights Academy in NYC

Spring Semester (mid-January through early May)

During the spring semester, 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 mentor teachers provide modeling 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 professional development issue in a teacher inquiry self-study project.

May Term (two-week session in mid-May)

Childhood Education graduate students reflect on and analyze the results of the teacher inquiry project conducted during the professional experience in the spring. Written reports on these research projects are completed, and oral presentations are prepared for the annual teacher inquiry conference held 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 about both recent research and current best practice.

Summer Session I (late May through late June)

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 3-credit course in Educational Technology
  • Enroll in a 1-credit course in Music
  • Enroll in a 1-credit course in Art
  • Complete the final revision of the Teacher Inquiry Project Paper, and
  • Give a presentation on their research project at IC's annual Conference on Teacher Inquiry.

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.

Optional Study during the May and January Terms

Graduate students who have not completed the prerequisite coursework in education can do so by enrolling in coursework during the May Term just prior to the start of the M.A.T. program and/or during the January Term.  Prerequisite courses include the following:

  • EDUC 21910: Early Field Experiences: Theory and Practice (3 credits)
  • EDUC 34000: Social and Cultural Foundations of Education (3 credits)

Note: Most M.S. students complete these prerequisites before they begin their graduate study. These courses are offered every semester at Ithaca College, but equivalent coursework can also be taken at other accredited colleges and universities.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

Applicants to the M.S. in Childhood Education must submit GRE scores as part of the application process.

Course Descriptions

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

Childhood Education M.S. At-A-Glance

  • 38 credit, 13-month program (late May through late June of the following year) 
  • Summer - 12 credits
    Fall -         12 credits
    Spring -     9 credits
    Summer -  5 credits 
  • Intensive, year-long field experiences in multiple, diverse sites, including our partnership school in Washington Heights, NYC
  • Small cohort of students proceeds together through the graduate program
  • Teacher inquiry project required for graduation