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Our School of Education purpose


The 36-credit Master of Science in Childhood Education, Grades 1-6, leads to initial/professional certification.

Candidates seeking initial certification who do not yet have appropriate experience at both the lower and upper grade levels covered by their prospective certification areas will fulfill this requirement by completing 20 days of supervised student teaching in each area of certification they are seeking. Degree candidates seeking initial certification will complete an e-portfolio project in the clinical practice course. Candidates who are already certified will instead take EDUC 537. All candidates must successfully complete the education capstone requirement specific to the Childhood Education program prior to degree conferral. To qualify for professional certification, candidates must also have completed three years of teaching in the area of the certificate.

Candidates may earn an additional Students with Disabilities certification with additional coursework.

School of Education

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Childhood Education, Grades 1-6 program are able to obtain teaching positions in Grades 1 through 6.

Dual Certification

Degree can be combined with 
Students with Disabilities 

$83K Salary

Average Pay
For an elementary teacher  
in the New York region 

36 Credits 

Total Credits to Earn Your Degree 
Classes in Educational foundations
& diverse perspectives

What We Offer
The Mercy Advantage

  • Strong relationships with elementary and secondary schools across New York City and Westchester
  • National accreditation by NCATE, CAEP and NAEYC
  • Program can be completed at our Dobbs Ferry, Bronx or Manhattan Campuses or online

Full-Time Faculty

Photo of Wendy Mages
Wendy Mages Associate Professor
Childhood Education
Elena Nitecki
Elena Nitecki Professor
Childhood Education

Chair, Department of Early Childhood and Childhood Education
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Aki Ohseki Assistant Professor
Childhood Education

Director of Clinical Placements, Practice, and Fieldwork
Assistant Professor
Teresa Quackenbush Assistant Professor
Childhood Education
Profile Picture Helge Wasmuth
Helge Wasmuth Associate Professor
Childhood Education

Part-Time Faculty

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Hope Cannady Adjunct Instructor
Childhood Education
Mercy seal; placeholder for person with no headshot available
Felix Flores Adjunct Instructor
Childhood Education
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John Gibson Adjunct Instructor
Childhood Education
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Randall Glading Adjunct Professor
Childhood Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Which state exams do I need to take to earn my initial certification as a teacher?

The following exams are required: EAS and CST(s) in your certification area(s), and the edTPA during student teaching, which is the last semester. Other state requirements include fingerprinting and workshops (DASA, Child Abuse Prevention, Violence Prevention).

What are the fieldwork requirements?

There are two types of classroom experiences required in our programs, per state requirements: 1. In each class, there is a 10-15 hour fieldwork observation experience. This experience will vary by class and is integrated into the class assignments. For example, in the math methods course, teacher candidates would observe math lessons. The experiences in diverse classroom settings better prepares teacher candidates for the clinical experience. 2. The Clinical Experience (student teaching) – EDUC 709 or EDUC 713 is a semester-long capstone course.

What are the graduation requirements?

Successful completion of all required coursework in the selected master’s program including the appropriate clinical practice experience, a 3.0 cumulative GPA, and successful completion of a capstone requirement. See the specific program for the capstone requirement.

What are the admission requirements for the Early Childhood & Childhood Education Programs?

Applications are accepted for Fall, Spring, or Summer admission. The requirements for admission and matriculation into the Early Childhood or Childhood Program include: 1) A completed application for admission 2) Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate degrees 3) Effective Teaching Statement 4) A résumé 5) Pre-Requisites: B.S. Degree in a liberal arts and sciences content area with a 3.0 GPA 6) Other Admissions Requirements: College Transcript with evidence of the following credits: Mathematical processes (6 credits); Scientific processes (6 credits); Historical and social sciences (6 credits); Language other than English (3 credits); Information Retrieval (3 credits); Communications/ Humanities/ Written analysis and expression (3 credits); Artistic expression (3 credits); Liberal arts and sciences subject area (30 credits); 7) Submission of scores on the Verbal Reasoning, Mathematical Reasoning, and Analytic Writing subtests of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the PRAXIS Core Exams in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.* *Please note that all students must take the GRE or the Praxis Academic Core Skills Test unless applying for the non-certification (Educational Studies) option.

How can I find out about job postings in Early Childhood and Childhood Education?

Mercy College often receives job postings for Early Childhood and Childhood teaching positions, which are posted by the Office of Career and Professional Development (

How do I apply for student teaching?

Student teaching, either EDUC 709 or 713, is the last course in the program. The semester before you are expecting to start student teaching, students must apply for student teaching. For questions, contact one of our certification officers: Helen Gerken ( for New York City or Ivan Toper ( for areas outside of New York City.

Can I get certified in Teaching Students with Disabilities?

Yes, in the following programs: Childhood Education, Grades 1-6; Early Childhood Education, Birth-Grade 2; and most content areas in Secondary Education, 7-12. 

If I am already certified in Childhood Education (1-6) and want to add on the Early Childhood (B-2) certification, how do I go about it?

If you already have a valid certification in Childhood Education, you may self-certify through New York State's TEACH system: The procedure would be to submit official transcripts to New York State with a cover letter requesting to take the appropriate courses necessary to individually certify in Early Childhood. The state will evaluate the transcripts and send a letter stating which courses are needed for this new certification. Once the letter is received, the state requirements can be aligned with Mercy College course offerings. For most students, a course specific to early childhood education, our EDUC 513, is required. In some cases, the state may require additional courses, but is dependent on a candidate’s prior coursework. More information on non-matriculated student status can be found at:

Are there any frequently used links I might need during the application process?

Program Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a solid content knowledge base that enables them to deliver effective educational and professional services based on current research, theory and practice

  • Employ multiple pedagogical and professional strategies and tools to enable them to be effective practitioners in educational settings and deliver services that promote students’ intellectual, social, and emotional development

  • Understand the diverse cultural, linguistic, learning, and social strengths and needs of all populations, and incorporate and demonstrate sensitivity to the richness of diverse cultures when providing educational and other school services

  • Employ technology to deliver information, instruction, and professional services to all members of the school community

  • Reflect on professional practice to make educational decisions and enhance student learning

  • Demonstrate positive dispositions that enable them to work as effective educators, citizens, and practitioners within the school and broader community

Program Details & Curriculum

Curriculum Overview


The programs of study in the School of Education are designed to provide professional preparation for candidates planning to teach and serve as educational leaders.

Mission Statement of the School of Education

The Mercy College educational unit is dedicated to preparing effective educators, including teachers and other school professionals, who are reflective practitioners, equipped with the knowledge base, technological skills, research tools, and professional strategies and insights to empower them to help diverse populations of students succeed in their learning and community environments. The values of competency, diversity, and ethical practice support the proficient development of candidates enabling them to become skilled professionals and lifelong learners. The unit is committed to creating innovative, flexible, and accessible programs of study for its candidates, and to developing partnerships and opportunities for collaboration and clinical experiences within Mercy College and with external communities.

Admission Requirements

Please refer to the general requirements for admission and matriculation in the Graduate Admissions section of the course catalog. Please review the prerequisite preparation for each program and consult with the program chair or associate dean. 

To be accepted into the B.S. and M.S. Education program, a student must:

  • Be a high school graduate who has earned a New York State Regents Diploma with an 85 average or better


  • Be a high school graduate with a score of 500 or better on the verbal portion of the SAT and 500 or better on the math portion of the SAT or corresponding ACT


  • Place at ENGL 111 and MATH 115 on the Mercy College Placement exam

Students must have earned an associate degree in Liberal Arts with an overall GPA of 3.0. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 each semester at Mercy College to remain in the Five-Year Program and must adhere to the above requirements. An interview is also required. 

Students who do not meet the above admission criteria may apply to the dual program upon completion of the 60-credit General Education requirement and completion of at least 15 credits in their major field of study with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Thirty credits must be taken in residency at Mercy College.

Effective Educator Statement

Students must submit an Effective Educator Statement to complete their application. You can download requirements here. 

Please submit the completed statement to your application portal

Degree Requirements

To remain in the Five-Year Program, a student must:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 each semester at Mercy College
  • Register for an introductory 3-credit graduate education course in the upper junior year or upon completion of 70-75 undergraduate credits with a B or better average
  • Register for 12 credits in graduate education courses in the senior year
  • Pass the ALST within 12 credits of graduate course registration

Please note that all graduate course descriptions as well as specific teacher certification parameters can be found in the Mercy College Graduate Catalog. 

Additionally, all matriculated Mercy College students are required to demonstrate an appropriate level of achievement in each of the six college competencies to ascertain that they can communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing. They must also demonstrate their ability to use critical thinking and established methods of computation and use of contemporary technology.


All initial certification programs are nationally recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Childhood Education, Grades 1-6 Objectives

Childhood Education Program Goals

  • Candidates will understand, explain, analyze, and apply major theories and philosophies that address physical, affective, and cognitive development during the childhood years.
  • Candidates will create high-quality, meaningful learning opportunities that are based on competencies and content knowledge, utilize developmental knowledge, employ formal and informal assessment strategies, and incorporate collaboration with all aspects of the broad school community to facilitate academic achievement to a child’s maximum potential.
  • Candidates will become reflective practitioners who continually reflect on their practice and actively pursue opportunities for professional growth.

Goals of the School of Education

The unit goals establish the shared vision, mission, philosophy, and guiding principles agreed to by members of the faculty and other stakeholders in the learning community. The unit’s proficiencies, strategies, and assessments are designed to ensure that candidates acquire the academic, pedagogical, professional, and interpersonal skills required of teachers and other school professionals who prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing global environment. The six goals reflect the integrated knowledge, skills, and dispositions that together ensure that candidates develop as effective educators and reflective practitioners. These goals are as follows:

Content Knowledge: Candidates demonstrate a solid content knowledge base that enables them to deliver effective educational and professional services based on current research, theory and practice.

Pedagogical and Professional Knowledge: Candidates employ multiple pedagogical and professional strategies and tools to enable them to be effective practitioners in educational settings and deliver services that promote students’ intellectual, social, and emotional development.

Diversity: Candidates understand the diverse cultural, linguistic, learning, and social strengths and needs of all populations, and incorporate and demonstrate sensitivity to the richness of diverse cultures when providing educational and other school-services.

Technology: Candidates employ technology to deliver information, instruction, and professional services to all members of the school community.

Reflection: Candidates reflect on professional practice to make educational decisions and enhance student learning.

Dispositions: Candidates demonstrate positive dispositions that enable them to work as effective educators, citizens, and practitioners within the school and broader community.

The six unit goals are supported by the professional literature including theories, research, wisdom of practice, and education policies.

Student Classification and Prerequisites

Candidates who meet all prerequisites and admission requirements will be accepted and classified as matriculants.

Candidates without a sufficient undergraduate background in the liberal arts and sciences will be required to take recommended prerequisite courses in accordance with New York State certification requirements. Sufficient college-level background includes: English, mathematics, science, social studies, information retrieval, artistic expression, a language other than English, and a 30-credit concentration in a liberal arts and science academic subject. Candidates will be able to take the necessary prerequisite courses at Mercy College.

Undergraduate prerequisites for students seeking the initial certificate in Childhood, Early Childhood, Literacy, TESOL*, the Dual Certifications programs or the Tri-Certification program are:

  • Mathematical Processes - 6 credits
  • Scientific Processes - 6 credits
  • Historical and Social Sciences - 6 credits
  • Language other than English - 3 credits*
  • Information Retrieval - 3 credits
  • Communications/Humanities/Written Analysis and Expression - 3 credits
  • Artistic Expression - 3 credits

*TESOL majors require 12 credits of the same language.

A course in Child Development or Developmental Psychology is required.

Candidates should consult with the program chair or designee regarding acceptable academic concentrations or majors.

Undergraduate prerequisites for candidates seeking the initial certification in Secondary Education and the Dual Certification program are:

  • Communications - 3 credits
  • Humanities - 3 credits
  • Written Analysis and Expression - 6 credits
  • Historical and Social Sciences - 3 credits
  • Scientific Processes - 3 credits
  • Mathematical Processes - 3 credits
  • Artistic Expression - 3 credits
  • Information Retrieval - 3 credits
  • Language other than English - 3 credits

A 30-credit major or equivalent in a liberal arts and science academic subject taught in secondary schools:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Social Studies (at least 21 credits must be in the history and geography of the U.S. and the world)

Candidates must present at least 18 of the 30 required prerequisite credits in the specific secondary content area or 18 of the required 30 prerequisite credits in the liberal arts and sciences area for matriculation into a program of study. Transcripts are subject to review regarding the appropriateness of courses for specific programs of study.

Language Proficiency

Since the ability to communicate effectively in English with pupils in the classroom is considered paramount, all candidates seeking teacher certification are expected to demonstrate competencies in oral and written English.


Upon matriculation, the candidate is assigned an advisor from the graduate PACT office. Each candidate must consult with the advisor, program chair or his/her designee regarding required courses and electives for the program of study selected, and to develop a plan of study for degree completion.

Course Load

Full-time candidates may take nine to twelve credits per semester. No candidate may exceed twelve credits per semester. Part-time candidates may take three to six credits per semester. Courses are offered during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Online Component

The courses in the programs have a mandatory online component that enables candidates to interact with the instructor and with one another between class meetings. The purpose of the online component is to encourage interaction among candidates and enrich the learning experience using technology as a learning and communication tool.

Transfer Credits

Graduate courses taken at other institutions prior to admission at Mercy College may, if pertinent to the plan of study, be credited to the graduate degree. Permission to transfer credits must be requested at the time of admission and official transcripts and course descriptions must be submitted to the program chair or associate dean for evaluation. Transfer credit is limited to six semester hours of credit for courses taken within the last five years in which the student has received a grade of B or better. Transfer credits are not recorded as part of the GPA. Courses with a grade of B- or below are not transferable.

After matriculation, candidates may not register for courses at another institution with the intention of transferring credit to Mercy College unless written permission from the Associate Dean is obtained prior to registering for courses. If prior approval is not received, transfer credit will not be accepted.

Maintenance of Matriculation

It is expected that candidates will fulfill the requirements for their graduate degree by registering during successive sessions. For cohort programs, registration is required during summer session(s). Registration is accomplished by either enrolling in classes or maintaining matriculation. The Maintenance of Matriculation fee is $100 per session and is processed as a registration.

Candidates who have not maintained matriculation and wish to return to their program within one year after their last course will be charged the Maintenance of Matriculation fee of $100 for each missed term. Maintenance of matriculation without attending classes is limited to one year. Activated U.S. Military Reservists are not required to pay the Maintenance of Matriculation fee.

Maintenance of Good Academic Standing

The cumulative GPA for both good academic standing and degree conferral is 3.0. A student admitted with specific academic conditions is required to achieve a 3.0 GPA or better after completing a certain number of credits as stipulated by the student’s respective program. Grades are subject to review by the associate dean and program chair at the end of each term. If the academic GPA falls below 3.0, the student may be dismissed or placed on academic probation.

Academic Probation and Dismissal Review

Please refer to the college policies in the Academic Regulations and Procedures section of the course catalog.

Incomplete Grades

If, due to an unforeseeable and extenuating circumstance, a teacher candidate has been unable to complete all course assignments, and has been in attendance for the full term, and has completed the majority of the course assignments, she/he may request an incomplete grade. The issuance of an incomplete grade is at the discretion of the course professor and is not automatic. If granted, the “AGREEMENT FORM FOR INCOMPLETE GRADE”
must be completed by both the professor and the teacher candidate.

After receiving the assignment(s) by the specified due date, the professor will grade the assignment(s), and will contact the registrar and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs to have the final grade changed based upon the accomplishment of the course objectives according to a specified evaluation plan as presented in the course syllabus.

If the assignment(s) are not completed by the specified due date, the professor reserves the right to change the grade to that which the candidate had earned before requesting the incomplete, or to let it remain a permanent incomplete as outlined in the Mercy College Graduate Catalog.

Time Limit

The School of Education Degree must be completed within five years from the date of the candidate’s admission (exclusive of time spent in the Armed Forces). Exceptions will only be made if a candidate requests an extension in writing and receives the approval of the school dean.

TaskStream Requirement

All School of Education degree, advanced certificate and non-degree candidates must register for and establish an electronic portfolio account through TaskStream. TaskStream accounts are free for candidates and faculty. Course instructors have the information needed to set up an account, if you do not already have one, or to renew a previous account. Candidates will contribute assignments to the portfolio throughout their program of study and will include the course key assessments and specific assignments as required by the candidate’s degree or advanced certificate program. The key assessments are critical to our program improvement efforts and to continuing accreditation. A student’s final course grade for courses with a key assessment cannot be submitted until all necessary assessments have been uploaded to TaskStream.

The completed e-Portfolio is the capstone requirement in all School of Education degrees and certificate programs and successful evaluation of the e-Portfolio is required for the degree or certificate.

Certification Tests

Initial certification candidates must pass the CST in their main certification area prior to their student teaching semester. Additionally, a candidate in a clinical practice course - EDUC 537, EDUC 709 and EDUC 713 - must submit an edTPA examination to Pearson as one of the course requirements. A candidate will not pass the clinical practice course without submitting proof of his or her edTPA submission in the form of a receipt from Pearson by the end of the semester's grading period. 

Mercy College provides support for candidates to prepare for these tests. Workshops are provided for the EAS and some CSTs. Also, candidates or graduates who need to retake the edTPA may opt to take a workshop for more support. Interested candidates should contact the School of Education or more information. 

Other certification requirements include:

  • Completion of a Child Abuse Awareness seminar
  • Completion of a Violence Identification and Prevention seminar
  • Completion of the Dignity for All Students Workshop (DASA); and
  • Fingerprint clearance