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Programs in Curriculum & Teaching
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Programs in Curriculum & Teaching

In the Department of Curriculum & Teaching

Degrees > Professional Certification In Elemenary Education (CUED, M.A.)

Professional Certification In Elemenary Education (CUED, M.A.)

Program Description

The MA program in elementary education (CUED) is a 32 point program which can lead to professional certification as a grades 1-6 teacher in New York State. The program supports three shared philosophical stances underlying our long-standing tradition of preparing teachers as education leaders.  These stances include teaching as inquiry, teaching as curriculum making and teaching for social justice.  The overarching intention of the program is to assist educators who expect to exert leadership in their school settings and with their colleagues. With careful planning and advisement, the program can be completed in 12 months starting in the fall semester or the summer, or in 17 months if starting in January.  The program may also be taken part-time.

Point Requirement

The program is a 32 point program for students who have initial teacher certification at the elementary level. In some cases, students entering with early childhood or middle school certification, may need to take additional points (usually 3-6 points) depending upon a review of their previous coursework and practicum, student teaching or teaching experience.

Planning Guide for CUED

Required Courses
  1. C&T 4002 Curriculum Theory and History (3)
  2. C&T 4005 Principles of Teaching and Learning (4)
  3. 12 credits of content pedagogy courses (3 point minimum each)
    1. Mathematics MSTM 5010 (non-preservice section)
    2. Science MSTC 5040 or Technology MSTU 4052—online course cannot be used to meet the requirement
    3. Literacy (Choice of C&T 4136, 4137, 4138, 4139, 4140, 4141, 4151, 4842, 4858, 5800, 5850)
    4. Social Studies C&T 4052 (elementary social studies section only)

  4. C& T 4130 Critical Perspectives in Elementary Education (3) and taken concurrently C&T 4502 Master’s Project (1) (Pre-requisite or co-requisite is C & T 4005.)
  5. C&T 4502 is taken the following spring term for zero credits and every semester thereafter until the action research project is approved.
  6. One diversity course selected from the following (2 or 3 credits)
    1. C&T 4000 dis/Ability in Context (3)
    2. C&T 4001 Differentiated Instruction/Inclusive Classroom (3)
    3. C&T 4078 Curriculum and Teaching in Urban Areas (2-3)
    4. C&T 4114 Multicultural Approaches to Teaching Young Children (2-3)
    5. C& T 4010 Immigration and Curriculum (2-3)                                                
    6. C&T 5037 Literacy, Culture and the Teaching of Reading (2-3)
  7. One social context course selected from the following (2 or 3 credits)
    1. C&T 4004 School Change (2-3)
    2. C&T 4023 Differentiated Curriculum for Gifted Students (2-3)
    3. C&T 4032 Gender Differences and Curriculum (2-3)
    4. C&T 4121 Evolution of Early Childhood Teaching Strategies (2-3)
    5. C&T 4161 The Teacher: Socio-Historical, Cultural  Context of Teaching (2-3)
    6. C&T 4615 Young Children and Social Policy (2-3)
  8. Elective courses (3-5 points)

Students must take at least one elective course (minimum 2 points) outside of the Department of Curriculum and Teaching. The remaining electives may be taken inside or outside the Department. Any of the choices not taken above may be chosen as an elective. A wide variety of electives are available; the elective should relate to your professional development as a teacher in some way. Check with your advisor, if you are unsure if your choice is appropriate.

Breadth Requirement

The math and science/technology content pedagogy courses listed above meet two of the three required breadth courses. The third course is met through the choice of an out-of-department elective for a minimum of 2 points.

Integrative Project

The integrative master’s project is an action research project, initiated in C&T 4502 Master’s Project.   It is taken in the fall and completed independently in the spring. The action research project can be conducted in one’s own classroom or in a host teacher’s classroom. Host classrooms are arranged for students, or students may choose their own placement.

Students may enroll in 4502 in the Fall 2012, only if they intend to complete their course work in May 2013, Summer 2013 or December 2013. If coursework is to be completed later than December 2013, they should enroll in 4502 in Fall 2013 or later.

If a student fails to complete an approved master’s project by the announced deadlines, the student must retake 4502 for 0 points. If the student completes a viable project but just needs revisions on the written report, the student registers for 4502 for zero credits and works independently with the same instructor.   If the student needs to start a new project, the student registers for 4502 for zero credits and attends all 4502 course meetings again. The instructor of 4502 then becomes the assessor of the student’s new project.  If the student fails to complete an acceptable project again, the Department faculty will consider whether or not the student should be allowed to continue in the master’s program and under what circumstances.

Student Teaching/Fieldwork/Practicum/Internship

There is a 50 hour practicum associated with C&T 4005 Principles of Teaching and Learning. There is fieldwork associated with C&T 4502 Master’s Project.

If students are teaching, they can use their own classroom for both 4005 and 4502 field work. For students who are not currently teaching, the program will arrange host teachers for the 4005 practicum and the 4502 action research placement.  Students, in consultation with the 4005 and 4502 instructors, may find their own placements for field work.

Certification and Licensure

This program can lead to NYS professional certification as an elementary teacher (1-6), when the student meets other requirements (e.g., tests, years of teaching experience).  These other requirements are the responsibility of the student.

For students who hold an initial certification for elementary teacher (1-6) from New York State, graduation from this approved program will meet all the educational requirements for professional certification.

There may be additional requirements if a student holds an elementary, early childhood, middle school teaching certificate from another state. It is the student’s responsibility to check this information with the State Department of Education. In many cases, any additional requirements can be worked into the student’s program through electives or some extra coursework.

Students who hold initial elementary teacher certification from another state and wish to obtain professional certification from NYS should apply to the NY State Department of Education as early as possible for NYS initial certification through inter-state reciprocity.  This will enable TC to recommend them for professional certification when they complete all MA requirements.   This is the only way that they can obtain professional certification at the elementary level, since NYS is only granting professional certification at the elementary level through “program approval.”

NCATE Review

All NCATE assessments are built into the required coursework.

Transfer Credit Evaluation

New York State does not allow any transfer credits into the 32 point MA programs.

Students, who have had two years of teaching experience, may apply for the Ed.M degree, near the completion of their MA degree or later when they have completed two years of teaching experience. All 32 points from the MA degree will be counted toward the 60 point Ed.M degree. Since most of the requirements for the Ed.M degree are similar to the MA degree, the student will have 27 points of electives.

Statement on Satisfactory Progress

The MA degree must be completed within 5 years. If the student has an adequate reason for needing an extension, she/he must petition the program coordinator (Professor Zumwalt, 2010-2011). At that point, the student’s transcript will be reviewed to ascertain that satisfactory performance (“B” average minimum) has been maintained, that the student has a reasonable plan to complete the degree, and that any current requirements for the degree will be met.  The student must also meet the college requirement that at least 16 credits be completed in the 5 years prior to graduation.  Once a plan has been devised and approved by the program chair and the department chair, the petition will be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office for approval.