Elementary Education

Student teaching a classroom of children.
Student helping children with science experiments.
Student pretending to talk on the phone with children who are also pretending to talk on the phone.
Aubrey a student teaching children.

About the Curriculum

SUNY Oneonta has a long and distinguished history in teacher education, and we take great pride in continuing to promote excellence in classroom teaching. Students interested in teaching at the early childhood, preschool or elementary school level can choose between two nationally accredited programs: Childhood Education (Grade 1-6) and Early Childhood/Childhood Education Dual Certificate (Birth through Grade 6).

The curriculum in each major consists of coursework in three areas: general education, a liberal arts concentration and professional education. Our education class sizes typically range from 20 to 30 and allow for plenty of classroom interaction, individual attention and faculty support. A strength of the program is the “block” semester, when students enroll as cohort groups of 20 to 25 in a block of five methods courses. The purpose of these block semesters is to promote a collegial and supportive environment as students develop and practice their teaching strategies. We have very strong partnerships with area school districts, and the block semester culminates in a three-week, full-time teaching assistant experience in local classrooms. The final semester consists of two student teaching placements, which may be done in various districts throughout New York state.

Teacher Residency Program

A new Teacher Residency Program offers an immersive experience for about a dozen specially selected teaching candidates each year. Through the program, which was developed in partnership with Oneonta's Riverside Elementary School and is now in its third year, student teachers spend two semesters working four days a week in Riverside classrooms, with one day of classes on campus. By spending so much time in one school, our future teachers gain rich hands-on experience and have the chance to build relationships with both their teacher-mentors and the elementary school children.

Dual Program with Mohawk Valley Community College

In partnership with Mohawk Valley Community College, we offer a dual degree program in Liberal Arts & Sciences: General Studies/Childhood Education, Grades 1-6. This program leads to an Associate in Science (A.S.) from Mohawk Valley Community College and a Bachelor of Science (B.S) degree from SUNY Oneonta.


Best Colleges in Education badge

SUNY Oneonta has the #2 Elementary Education program in the U.S., according to a ranking of more than 780 qualifying colleges by Teacher.org.


Department of Elementary Education & Reading
374 Fitzelle Hall

Kristen Aviles
Being a part of the Teacher Residency Program at Riverside Elementary School is definitely one of my best experiences. One extra semester of student teaching is helping me grow so much, and my kindergarten class is so fun! I take all my classes on Mondays, and then Tuesday through Friday I am in my kindergarten classroom. It’s so great because I learn something on Monday, and then I can implement it the next day in the classroom!
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