Childhood Education

Childhood education is the instruction of children in grades 1-6. Elementary school is a critical time to instill a love of learning and foster positive social experiences. Great teachers ignite an interest in children of all abilities and prepare them for academic success and a lifetime of learning.

Why Choose Childhood Education?

Teachers play a crucial role in the lives of developing children. They support their educational needs, but, equally as important, elementary school teachers serve as mentors, advocates, and guides for their students. Becoming a childhood education teacher is one of the most challenging but rewarding professions you can pursue because it gives you the ability to impact lives for generations.

Manhattan’s TEAC-accredited Childhood Education program provides students with the academic and practical skills to succeed in the classroom. The program leads to certification in teaching all subjects for grades 1–6 in a regular education elementary school classroom. Upon declaring your major, you will choose an academic concentration from these options:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English
  • French
  • General Science
  • General Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology
  • Social Studies
  • Spanish

Once you successfully complete all requirements in the Childhood Education program, as well as pass all NYS-mandated exams, you will be recommended for New York State initial certification to become an elementary school teacher.

The Curriculum

The childhood education teacher preparation program has three components:

  • core course requirements in the liberal arts and sciences
  • studies in your chosen academic concentration
  • pedagogy: including all education courses, field experiences, and student teaching in the classroom

Each term, often beginning in freshman year, students will be in a classroom as an observer under the direction of the cooperating teacher. During senior year, childhood education students are required to fulfill one full semester of student teaching fieldwork in addition to their academic coursework. During the student teaching experience, students are encouraged to assume more responsibility, planning and leading daily lessons, and assisting their cooperating teachers in classroom management, organization, and grading.

Our campus is located in the Bronx, with fieldwork access to students in the New York City public school system. Students are placed in the most culturally and economically diverse school districts. In addition, students may be placed in local parochial and private schools.

Co-Curricular Experiences

In addition to our local school district, the Manhattan College campus and our local community provide numerous opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom, including:

Center for Academic Success: Become a one-on-one peer tutor for your fellow Manhattan College students in the Center for Academic Success where you will:

  • help lead instructional sessions
  • organize study groups
  • participate in workshops designed to teach strategies and techniques that assist with academic challenges

Summer Literacy Institute: Serve as a mentor for local Bronx high school students during the Summer Literacy Institute when Manhattan College invites local high schoolers to live in the campus residence halls and get a feel for college life. Along with faculty members, you’ll work on a team of fellow student mentors to lead a writing workshop and walk the high school students through the college application process.

Center for Optimal College Readiness (COCR): Get involved with the COCR program and you’ll be placed in a local school where you’ll work with students to provide them:

  • outreach tutoring
  • mentoring
  • help with academic counseling
  • assistance with college applications
  • Meet a Childhood Education Major: Allyson Vena
    Childhood Education Major student

    "Choosing Manhattan was the best decision I’ve made in my entire life. When I visited campus, met the professors and saw the Quadrangle, my mom said, ‘This is the place for you.’

    "Within my first four weeks of my freshmen year, living in Jasper Hall, I met my friend group and took my first ride on the subway. Then the second best thing to ever happened to me, happened. I met Dr. Lisa Rizopoulos, who helped me create a schedule. She really solidified my dreams to one day become a teacher. Four years later I’m now the vice president of the Education & Health honor society, Kappa Delta Pi, an organization that helps bring education to the local community and hosts a ton of campus events. Safe Halloween was one, and we also orchestrated a panel that had student teachers telling current students about what they can expect from the field.

    "As for co-curricular experiences, I’ve had a lot in the 100+ hours I’ve had to complete as requirement for my Childhood Education bachelor’s degree. In the Bronx, I’ve been at P.S. 24, the Spuyten Duyvil School, P.S. 37, the Multiple Intelligence School and P.S. 007, the Samuel Stern School in Manhattan.

    "I’m also on the student advisory board of the College’s Center for Academic Success, which is where I met another staff member who’s shaped my time here: its director, Marisa Passafiume. I started tutoring at the Center my sophomore year, and I remember her giving me a certificate at the end of the year congratulating me on a job well done. That’s really important, because sometimes you need to see yourself through the eyes of someone else to realize ‘I’m good at what I do. I’m a great teacher.’

    "As a senior, my time is coming to an end but I can confidently say I’ve done everything here I could have done academically. I’m just so happy. When parents visit campus with their children who are considering the College, they ask, ‘Do you love it here?’ I always say, ‘Your child is so lucky they’re just going into their freshman year; they have the next four years to enjoy. They have to choose Manhattan.’"

What Will You Learn?

You will graduate from this program with an ability to understand the core principles of childhood education, including:

  • current issues in education
  • the process of becoming an educator
  • content knowledge
  • child development
  • instructional strategies
  • assessment strategies
  • data driven decision making
  • historical and philosophical foundations of education
  • implications of the multicultural nature of schools
  • differentiating instruction for special needs populations
  • the role of technology in the teaching and learning process

See degree requirements

What Will You Do?

Our childhood education program has a well-earned reputation for producing excellent educators who teach across a broad spectrum of schools in both urban and suburban districts.

I’ve been able to engage my students in hands-on instruction through techniques I learned from my Manhattan College professors. This program and its professors has given me confidence in my teaching abilities.

Rachel Tomashosky ’15, first grade teacher at P.S. 081 in the Bronx