SUNY Potsdam to Offer In-Demand Master's Degree in Childhood Education Fully Online
SUNY Potsdam Approved to Launch 100% Online Master of Science in Teaching Program in Childhood Education
Potsdam, NY (09/07/2022) — To meet the need for new educators across the country, SUNY Potsdam is proud to announce that its popular Master of Science in Teaching (MST) degree program in childhood education is now 100 percent online -- making it easier than ever for aspiring teachers to get the experience and credentials they need, no matter where they're located.
"Our online program is ideal for working professionals. Academic advisors can customize a program completion plan to maintain a level of course workload which can realistically fit within a candidate's other commitments," said K. Chad Graham, the assistant chair of the Department of Elementary Education and a clinical faculty member. "This online program still maintains the commitment to quality field-based experiences which have always been the cornerstone of teacher preparation programs offered at SUNY Potsdam."
The nationally accredited graduate program can be completed in as few as three semesters, full time. The program is open to students from all backgrounds, no matter where their career path started, and no GRE scores are needed to apply.
"Given that most of the coursework can be completed in an asynchronous manner, candidates are able to weave academics into their own customized schedules. Many instructors still offer optional synchronous/live virtual sessions for individuals who appreciate opportunities to connect with faculty and fellow class members in 'real time.' Even in the virtual realm, department faculty in this program pride themselves on connecting with their students," Graham said.
The childhood education MST program has offered a virtual/hybrid option since Fall 2020, which has been so successful that the College sought and received approval to move the entire degree fully online.
The virtual format has made a difference for graduate students juggling work and family obligations, like Autumn Frazee Brown '23 and Donica Robinson '23.
"My youngest son finished high school and joined the military, so the time was right for me to focus on what I really wanted to do. It was a smooth transition with lots of support. I couldn't be happier. It was the best decision I ever made," said Brown, who is completing the program while working in the district office at Canton Central School, where she is also starting a field experience placement this fall.
"I enjoy the flexibility of online classes. It's a lot of work, but being able to take courses from the comfort of my living room, instead of trying to find parking on campus, is a lifesaver. The staff is so helpful and friendly as well," said Robinson, who is completing her studies while working full time as a BOCES teaching assistant at Heuveulton Central School and parenting two teenage sons.
The MST program leads to initial certification in childhood education (Grades 1 to 6), with a pathway for an additional B-2 (Birth to Grade 2) certification available. Pre-student teaching field work and the culminating student teaching internship requirements are coordinated by the SUNY Potsdam Center for School Partnerships and Teacher Certification, which works with candidates to find appropriate placements with public schools wherever they are located.
Additionally, Canadian students who complete the program and all New York State teacher certification requirements are eligible to apply to the Ontario College of Teachers to receive certification at the primary/junior divisions in Ontario. Currently, more than 20 Canadian graduate students are already enrolled in the program, and the College hopes to welcome even more now that there is no need to cross the border for students to earn their degrees -- unless they would like to attend Commencement, of course.
The program is accredited through the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (now the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation).
The School of Education and Professional Studies at SUNY Potsdam has been preparing educators for more than 200 years. Today, that legacy of educational excellence also stretches to undergraduate and graduate programs in business administration, public health and human performance, to help students prepare for professions in the global economy. For more information, visit potsdam.edu/academics/SOEPS.
About SUNY Potsdam:
Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges -- and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit www.potsdam.edu.