Childhood Certification (Grades 1-6)
Students seeking certification in Childhood Education choose a liberal arts major (click here for a list of eligible majors) that will foster and support their own intellectual development and curiosity, as well as prepare them for the demands of an elementary school classroom. The certification program provides a strong base in current, relevant, effective pedagogy rooted in field-based methods courses that develop Wells students into reflective, driven, knowledgeable educators. Students who successfully complete their major and the certification program earn New York State certification to teach in grades 1-6.
Students may begin taking education courses in the first semester of their first year at Wells. Our introductory course, “Teaching in a Diverse Society,” offers students the opportunity to spend a day in a K-12 classroom shadowing and interviewing a teacher to get a sense of what life is like “in the trenches.” Students go on to take courses in areas such as inclusive education, literacy, classroom management, and multicultural education. As students move through the program, their field experiences grow more intensive and they are given multiple opportunities to work directly with students in grades 1-6. Wells education students work closely with our highly qualified education faculty throughout their time on campus in order to make sure that each student gets the most out of her/his time in the education program.
Student teaching, which typically takes place during the second semester of a student’s senior year, is the capstone experience of the education program. Students who meet program requirements complete two student teaching placements. During each 6-7 week placement, students are mentored by cooperating teachers as they take over all aspects of classroom life: planning and delivering lessons, managing parent communication, and developing a safe, productive classroom community. One placement occurs in grades 1-3 and the other in grades 4-6. Students create a professional teaching portfolio documenting their experiences, which serves as tangible evidence of the students’ growth and acquired expertise over their four years in the Wells education program.
New York State Certification Requirements
New York State requires students to take and pass the following tests in order to complete their certification: Educating All Students (EAS), Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), Content Specialty Test (CST) and the edTPA.