Elementary Education and Reading Department

The Department of Elementary Education and Reading at SUNY Oneonta has a long and rich history of teacher education, and our graduates have a strong track record of finding jobs, both in New York State and across the nation.


If you are interested in teaching at the early childhood, preschool or elementary school level, you can choose between two programs:

  • Childhood Education (Grade 1–6).
  • Early Childhood/Childhood Education Dual Certificate (Birth–Grade 6).
  • In addition, we have a cutting-edge articulation program with Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC), which provides a pathway for community college students to pursue their teaching certifications beginning as first-year students and continuing through the end of their master’s degree in one of our Literacy Education graduate programs, taught fully on-site at MVCC.

All of our educator preparation programs are accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP).

The curriculum in each major consists of coursework in three areas: general education, professional education and one of 13 liberal arts concentrations of your choosing. Class sizes typically range from 20–30 and allow for plenty of interaction, individual attention and faculty support.

A strength of the program is the “Block” semester, when students enroll as groups of 15 to 25 in a block of five teaching methods courses. The purpose of these block semesters is to promote a collegial and supportive environment as students develop and practice their teaching strategies. Students are on-site in area school districts weekly to engage in early field experiences before student teaching. The final semester consists of two student teaching placements, which may be done in various districts throughout New York state.

Real-World Teaching Experience

We have well-established, collaborative partnerships with four regional school districts that provide our students with teaching and learning opportunities on-site in local classrooms. These experiences will enable you to learn first-hand how to successfully navigate a rapidly changing educational environment and develop teaching practices that engage all learners.

  • Three of our partnerships are with rural schools near Oneonta (the Milford, Sidney and Worcester central school districts). Through these partnerships, SUNY Oneonta preservice teachers, as part of their Methods Block courses (taken the semester before student teaching), are placed in elementary school classrooms in these districts, teaching children on-site weekly in collaboration with partnering teachers using a place-based, learn-by-doing, culturally relevant curricular approach to the content.
  • Our fourth program is a Residency Program in partnership with the Oneonta City School District. Our preservice teachers are invited to apply and, if accepted, spend both their Methods Block and student teaching semester in the school district.

Expert Faculty

You’ll learn from faculty with a range of expertise, including: Multimodal Literacy, Multiculturalism, Multilingualism, English Language Learning, Culturally-Responsive Pedagogies, STEM Place-Based Education and Play-Based Education.

Our Philosophy

Our programs are grounded in the belief that all children can learn. We foster an Interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning that focuses on the assets children and families bring to the classroom setting.

We are committed to creating new inclusive educational pathways to diversify the teacher workforce, with particular attention to welcoming and supporting first-generation college students.


SUNY Oneonta Elementary Education majors are consistently on par with or outperform students from other New York State colleges and universities on their teaching certification exams.

Graduate Programs

Many Elementary Education majors choose to continue their education at SUNY Oneonta after graduation. You can choose from two master’s degree programs and/or a certificate program taught by the same Elementary Education and Reading faculty you got to know as an undergraduate student as well as other practitioners within the field of education.

  • Online Master’s in Literacy Education that leads to professional certification in Grades B–6.
  • Online Master’s in Literacy Education that leads to professional certification in Grades 5–12.
  • Online Bilingual Education Certificate that leads to NYS certification as an ELL teacher.

Graduate Careers

In addition to the many, many elementary school teachers who are working in schools throughout New York State and beyond, here’s a sampling of careers alumni of the Elementary Education program have pursued:

Rosalind M. Hewsenian ’75 is Chief Investment Officer at The Helmsley Trust.

Eileen LaCorte ’76 is President of LaCorte Companies, Inc.

Rosanne Catella ’76 is President of Ohio Business College.

What Can I Do With This Major?

  • Adult Education
  • Camp Director
  • Day Care Center Owner/Operator Elementary School Teacher
  • Librarian
  • Non-Profit Administration
  • Preschool Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Technical Writer
  • Tutor

Contact Us

Department of Elementary Education & Reading
374 Fitzelle Hall
Phone 607-436-3176
Fax 607-436-3664
Victoria Bowker, Administrative Assistant

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