In the Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education programs leading to dual initial certification at Teachers College, Columbia University, we prepare early education professionals who are committed to the well-being of young children with and without disabilities and knowledgeable about Birth-Grade 2 education, special education, and early intervention. Our degree programs focus on urban settings and center issues pertaining to curriculum, social justice, teaching, and learning across abilities. Our students are prepared to engage in the real world, skillfully addressing important issues pertaining to inclusive education via pedagogical, political, psychological, and sociological perspectives.
Through a curriculum that integrates early childhood education, early childhood special education, and bilingual education content, the Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education programs at TC prepare initial certification students to become outstanding early childhood teachers, early interventionists, early childhood special education professionals, decision makers, and leaders. Honoring the contextualized and situated nature of teaching and learning, the Master of Arts program emphasizes collaboration with families and other professionals and considers policies affecting young children with and without identified disabilities and their families.
Prioritizing theory in practice, students in the Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education programs (dual certification) at TC participate in several field experiences (student teaching, practicum), which serve as the foundation from which to theorize about child development, learning, and inclusive curriculum. By bringing together coursework and fieldwork, graduates are well-prepared to begin and continue to develop their professional identity and practice in research-informed ways.
Course requirements for M.A. students seeking initial dual certification as both early childhood teachers and teachers of students with disabilities in early childhood (birth–8 years):
Students complete an integrative portfolio over the course of the program reflecting their growth as an early childhood teacher.
New York State Education Department (NYSED) has teacher certification requirements that are needed for program completion and graduation which are listed in the Office of Teacher Education section of the catalog.