Early Childhood Special & General Education

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  • Master of Science in Education: 54 credits

Learn to engage all young children in play, learning and interaction

Develop skill in engaging with young children of varying development and need in meaningful ways. Gain valuable practical experience in collaboration with families.

Become certified in teaching students with disabilities

When you graduate, you will be eligible for New York initial certification in Early Childhood General Education and Teaching Students with Disabilities.



Sue CarbarySue Carbary
Program Director

The Early Childhood Special and General Education program will provide you with the understanding and skill to work with young children in the full range of development in general, inclusive or special education settings (PreK, Kindergarten, 1st or 2nd grade). In this curriculum rich program you will engage diverse learners in active, experiential learning, meeting their needs by building on children's strengths and interests while addressing their challenges. Through studying the ongoing cycle of observation, assessment and instructional planning you will be able to help young children with varying ability realize their full educational potential.

You will learn to understand the relationships among culture, language and learning in families. Bank Street's interdisciplinary approach and developmental - interaction philosophy will enable you to support growth and learning of the whole child in the context of famly and community.

Certification in Education

Graduates of this program are eligible for New York State initial certification in:

  • Early Childhood Education, birth through 2nd grade
  • Teaching Students with Disabilities, birth through 2nd grade
  • Professional certification is possible after three years of paid classroom teaching.

Supervised Fieldwork/Advisement

Taken concurrently with coursework, supervised fieldwork is designed to foster the integration of theory and practice. You will:

  • Work in classroom settings as a full-time assistant, head teacher or as a student teacher (3 days each week):
    • Student teachers will be placed at three age levels within the early childhood range (pre-k, kindergarten, and grade 1 or 2), and in general education, inclusive, and special education settings.
    • Working teachers and assistants (in approved settings) who stay with a particular grade in the age range may use their own classrooms for their fieldwork setting. These students will gain additional experience through summer supervised fieldwork/ advisement during a July (summer 2) term.
  • Be supervised by your advisor, a core graduate faculty mentor, as you work with children in your fieldwork setting.
  • Participate in a weekly conference group of 5-7 students and your advisor.
  • Meet individually with your advisor twice each month.

Career Opportunities

  • Teach in early childhood general education, special education, or inclusion classrooms in public, charter or independent schools.
  • Work as an early-interventionist in social service or education-based agencies, as well as in hospitals or daycare settings.
  • Work one-on-one as a Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) in home and classroom and daycare settings.

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants to the Early Childhood Special and General Education Dual Certification program need to have an academic background in the liberal arts and sciences.
  • See the Admissions Criteria.