The undergraduate major in elementary education helps students develop knowledge and skills necessary for effective teaching in today's elementary schools. Students are prepared for teaching in a way that is reflective of Franciscan service to others - an ideal that is central to the mission of St. Bonaventure University.
Students who major in elementary and early childhood education prepare for New York teacher certification in Childhood Education (grades 1–6) with dual certification in Early Childhood Education (birth-grade 2).
Graduates from our programs can be found in school districts all over the country, and should you want to teach outside of New York, our Certification Office will give you advice about obtaining certificates in other states.
Teachers are best prepared when they learn how to teach in real classrooms, so our program involves students in extensive field experiences beginning in freshman year. While you develop knowledge about teaching, you will spend a significant amount of time interning and teaching in actual classrooms. As a student seeking early childhood certification, you will work not only in elementary classrooms, but in a variety of child care and preschool settings.
Within a curriculum focusing on developmental learning theories, pedagogy, principles of classroom management, and sound educational research, SBU education majors are encouraged to be active participants as they create their own knowledge and develop as teachers.
For the two semesters before student teaching, you will be involved in a Professional Development School program where you and about 15 other SBU students (along with two faculty members) spend two days a week at a local elementary school. During those two semesters, you will develop the skills needed to create supportive learning environments for children.
You will learn to adapt curriculum so that you can meet the learning and developmental needs of all children. By the end of your four-year program, you will be ready to work with young children, constructing learning opportunities to meet their intellectual, social, emotional and physical needs. You will be a caring, professional educator.