Combine theory and practice.

This program is designed to have an impact on the performance of professional educators and master teachers, placing highly skilled individuals in elementary schools.


This program, designed for those with no education background, will give you the chance to combine advanced study and research with the ability to develop, refine and evaluate leadership and teaching skills. You’ll learn to teach all common-branch subjects in grades 1-6 and specialize in teaching students struggling to read and write. 


Faculty in this program are current educators and administrators within a variety of schools, ensuring the program is enriched with real-word problems and solutions. 

Program Distinctions

This program stands out due to its focus on best practices and digital literacy. You’ll learn how to teach in a face-to-face format as well as remotely, getting experience teaching general education students and diverse, at-risk urban learners alike.

It is also a dual degree, meaning when you leave, you’ll be certified in Childhood Education (Grades 1-6) and Literacy Specialist (Birth-Grade 6).

This program, part of the Esteves School of Education, is accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP).

General Educators

Those who teach common-branch subjects (reading, writing, science, mathematics, social studies) are general educators. General educators provide high-quality instruction for all learners within their classroom. They also work closely with other colleagues, including literacy specialists, speech/language teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists and special educators to provide appropriate, targeted instruction within the regular classroom.

Literacy Specialists 

Literacy specialists have advanced and detailed understanding of how to teach reading and writing. They provide targeted instruction for students who struggle in these areas, diagnose, interpret, design and implement small group work within and outside the classroom as appropriate. They also provide professional development and support for general education teachers.

“Russell Sage College and the Esteves School of Education act as leaders in education not just in the Capital District, but in New York State.”

Peter Stapleton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Education
Spotlights Pattern

Your Future

Candidates are recommended for certification in Childhood Education and Literacy upon completion of their program, provided they have successfully completed the Content Specialty tests and edTPA.

Real-World Experience

You’ll complete two 7-week student teaching experiences, one in grades 1-3 and another in grades 4-6. You’ll be placed in urban, suburban and rural school districts and student-teaching placements. Within the literacy clinical experience, you’ll also teach at-risk learners in closely supervised practica, where you implement targeted instruction of at least 50-hours across the academic year.


You’ll go on to teach childhood education to students in grades 1-6 and literacy education for birth-grade 6 after you finish the program and pass the CST and complete the edTPA. With this dual degree, you’ll be prepared with a diverse set of skills to take with you into elementary schools. 

Learning Experience

You’ll be prepared to teach all types of learners — with a special expertise in literacy instruction — when you leave this program, due to the many field experiences and topics learned during classes.

Comprehensive Learning

Learn strategies to teach all core subject areas (grades 1-6) and literacy content, from teaching emergent readers and writers to providing content-area instruction for general-education students. You’ll also work in Assessment Teams to diagnose and develop an instructional plan for a student reading and/or writing significantly below grade level.

Course Objectives

  • develop, implement units and evaluate units of study and lesson plans that are aligned to appropriate standards
  • learn to use assessment to inform instructional decisions
  • become a reflective educator grounded in best practices
  • use technology to aid you in the classroom

Application Requirements

Students are required to submit the following:

  • official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • one letter of recommendation
  • 1-2 page career goals essay
  • scores from one of the following, or equivalent:
    • GRE (Graduate Record Exam)
    • edTPA
    • Content Specialty Tests
    • MAT (Miller Analogies Test)

Deadline: Rolling Admission
Start Date: Fall, Spring, Summer semester

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Coordinator, Professional Educational Programs