Elementary Education Major

Elementary Education Hands On
Elementary Education student working with Sidney NY school students as part of a partnership.
Elementary Education student teaching children how to draw.
Elementary Education student teaching using tablets.
Elementary Education student teaching a child how to read.
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About the Major

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 of these programs has three dimensions of education: general, content and 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.

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Department of Elementary Education & Reading
374 Fitzelle Hall

Department Website

Course Topics Include

  • Issues, Philosophy and Foundations of Education
  • Diversity and Teaching
  • Psychological Foundations of Education: Learning and Motivation
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Education Law Requirements
  • Integrating Technology into the Curriculum
  • Reading and Literacy
  • Early Childhood Education Curriculum and Assessment
  • Survey of Exceptional Children
  • Social Studies and the Arts

Elementary Education majors will also need to complete non-course requirements.


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SUNY Oneonta has the No. 3 Elementary Education program in the U.S., according to a ranking of more than 780 qualifying colleges by Teacher.org.

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.

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

Student & Alumni Spotlights

Cooper Levine
My senior year, I was looking for schools for education because I worked at a summer camp and I loved it. I saw SUNY Oneonta on my list, and I remembered visiting. So I started looking at all the facts and I visited again after being accepted. And you know that feeling you get when you just know something is right but you can’t put your finger on why? I got that feeling. I knew I had to go here.
Maddie Nedell
As both a transfer and a first-generation student, Maddie Nedell faced challenges in transitioning to college and completing her degree, If that wasn’t enough to overcome, Nedell also lost a loved one shortly after transferring to SUNY Oneonta.
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