Majoring in Childhood Education/Early Childhood Education/Special Education

Education majors in this program will be ready to serve all types of learners and will be highly marketable due to their multiple certification areas.

Education Programs at Sage

This unique B.S. in Childhood Education/Early Childhood Education/Special Education allows students to complete their undergraduate degree and become eligible for New York state initial certification in grades B-6 classroom and for all grades in special education.

Russell Sage College has prepared educators for more than 100 years, and our name comes with a legacy of excellence. With programs ranging from the bachelor’s to doctorate level, we equip future teachers, principals, superintendents, counselors, and other education professionals and can support you from the first step in your career to your last.

student teacher with laptop sitting at table with two smiling elementary students

Our concentrations: We offer the following areas for concentration: English, History, Science, Biology, Foreign Language, Spanish, or Liberal Arts and Sciences, which draws from a combination of 30 credits in various disciplines, allows candidates to be prepared to teach across all the disciplines with confidence and skill. Students have flexibility and choice in the focus they pursue.

One major, multiple certifications: Very few bachelor’s programs offer both a B-6 classroom certification and an all-grades special education certification in one major.  

Our hands-on approach: We believe in Engaged Learning, so don’t expect to be lectured at all day in your classes. It’s not the kind of teacher we want you to be, and it’s not the kind of educators we are either.

Schools call us: Because of our longstanding reputation in the field, we get calls every week from school leaders looking to hire our graduates. Our faculty have expansive networks regionally and throughout the state. We mentor you as a student and well beyond when you are our colleagues in the field.

Join NYSUT now: Russell Sage was the first New York State United Teachers preservice union in New York state. This partnership with New York State United Teachers enables Russell Sage students to join NYSUT as members and receive many of the member benefits, including special guidance from certification experts, professional development opportunities, and member discounts on items like books and travel.

Peer support: We have an active Future Educators Club that facilitates training and partnerships in the community. These experiences and memberships create a powerful resume.

“Our small class sizes allow us to really get to know our students and shape individualized experiences that meet their learning needs, harness their passion, and facilitate their career goals. We believe that happy and fulfilled teachers create classrooms of learners who will change the world. Our goals are big, our connections run deep, and our commitment lasts a lifetime.”

Kelly Smith

Chair of the Professional Education Programs Department, Director of the Undergraduate Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education Programs, Assistant Professor of Education

Best Class Ever: Education and Occupational Therapy Workshop

In this video we are highlighting a unique workshop that simulates the collaboration between OT and educators by creating lesson plans for students with learning challenges

Fieldwork, Practicums, and Student Teaching

  • Hands-on experiences: You’ll take a variety of courses preparing you for work in classrooms. Courses at the undergraduate level often include fieldwork and practicum experiences in school settings.  
  • Fieldwork and practicums: Required fieldwork can consist of anything from observations to a combination of observation and interaction with students. Practicum experiences involve more student interaction and classroom responsibility. Practicums are typically more closely supervised and help prepare you for student teaching.
  • Unique student teaching: You’ll have two 35-day student teaching placements, which will vary based on your previous practicums and fieldwork. One experience will be in an inclusion classroom at the elementary level, and the other will be determined based on the types of experiences accrued. This is just one way students in this program participate in designing their own meaningful path.
  • Initial Teaching Certification in New York: By completing this Childhood Education/Early Childhood Education/Special Education degree, you’ll be eligible to become certified by the New York State Education Department as a classroom teacher for birth through sixth grade and special education teacher for all grades.
  • After graduating, you’ll be able to apply for teaching positions. You’ll also have to sit for a series of tests and obtain a master’s degree to earn professional certification. According to a National Education Association (NEA) 2023 report, New York state leads the nation in average teacher salaries at $91,097, and it ranks 10th in the nation for average starting salary ($47,981).
student teacher reads to two elementary students

Your Next Step with a Childhood Education/Early Childhood Education/Special Education Degree

When you graduate from this program, you’ll be eligible for initial teacher certification in New York state. You’ll then have five years to earn your master’s degree to qualify for professional certification. 

Graduate Studies

Russell Sage offers the following master’s programs that prepare you for professional certification:

Next steps?

It’s time to take the next step. Choose yours below.

Have questions about a bachelor’s degree in Education?

Assistant Professor of Education
Assistant Professor of Education
Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives