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Elementary Inclusive Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Elementary Inclusive Education

In the Department of Curriculum & Teaching

Degrees > Degree Overview

Degree Overview

Our Program

The Preservice Program in Elementary Inclusive Education is both a graduate program and a professional course of study. This rigorous academic program is designed primarily for those who have no (or minimal) formal preparation or coursework in education and are beginning their study of teaching. The program leads to an M.A. degree and New York State teacher certification. Upon completion of the program, graduates can also apply for teacher certification in states other than New York, and many secure teaching positions elsewhere in the U.S. as well as internationally. There are two main components to the program: course work and student teaching. All M.A. students have a five-year candidacy period in which to complete their degree program.

40 CREDIT PROGRAM - Elementary Only

Our students typically choose to either: 1) accelerate through the program in 13 or 16 months (summer, fall, spring, summer OR spring, summer, fall, spring, summer), taking courses as they engage in student teaching; or 2) complete the program over 2 or more years, an option that enables them to complete most classes before beginning to student teach and to hold a part-time job while taking coursework only. Because of the intensive nature of an accelerated approach, part-time employment is strongly discouraged. While courses generally meet in the late afternoons and evenings, the Preservice Core includes some full day classes.

52 CREDIT PROGRAM - Elementary and Teaching Students with Disabilities

The 52 credit program builds on the 40 credit program. After completing two semesters of student teaching and accompanying coursework from the regular Elementary Inclusive program, students in the dual certification track spend an additional Fall semester taking courses and interning in schools. This is the Critical Special Education Core semester and is anchored by a practicum placement in schools that serves as laboratories for assisting students and teachers to design increasingly inclusive learning environments for students with a range of disabilities.

52 CREDIT PROGRAM - Elementary and Teaching Students with Disabilities with Gifted Extension

The gifted education extension option allows students in the Elementary Inclusive Education Program to receive the New York State extension in gifted education along with their initial elementary education certification by including 12 credits in gifted education in their course of study. Students who choose this option complete an additional semester of student teaching (3 credits) in a gifted education setting, which can be an inclusive setting, along with three courses in gifted education. This is a 52-point M.A. program.

Undergraduate Liberal Arts Requirements

New York State and the Preservice Program require that degree/teacher certification candidates complete a distribution of liberal arts course work at either the graduate or undergraduate levels before graduation from the program. This includes a minimum of 6 points in each of the following domains: English, Mathematics, Social Science, Science, and two term length courses in a language other than English (proven proficiency may substitute for course work in language). In addition, those seeking New York State certification must demonstrate knowledge of technology and experience in the arts.

This requirement can be satisfied by:

  1. Transcript review of course-work taken prior to entering Teachers College;
  2. Elective course work taken at Teachers College either as a part of or in addition to the 40 points required for the degree;
  3. Graduate or undergraduate course-work taken elsewhere, in consultation with faculty, while completing the Teachers College degree; these would be in addition to Preservice Program degree requirements;
  4. Successful completion of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test can be substituted for course-work in a second language, or in each of the liberal arts subjects.

Faculty review the transcripts you send with your application to determine if you have met these requirements. You can be accepted to the Inclusive Preservice Program without having completed these liberal arts courses; however, you CANNOT be recommended for certification in New York State until you have done so. We recommend that you also review your transcripts to see whether you have completed these requirements. It may be to your advantage to take some of these courses at an undergraduate institution, although approrpriate courses are available at the graduate level at Teachers College or Columbia University.

Please note that for New York City licenses and for states other than New York, requirements for certification may be different. It is up to the student to be aware of any additional provisions. Contact the Department of Education of New York City and applicable State Education Departments for current licensing requirements.