Early Childhood (A.A.S.)

The A.A.S. degree in Early Childhood emphasizes best practices in the development and care of young children, birth through age eight. The program includes a foundation in the liberal arts and sciences. The curriculum offers a solid base of theory and practice through early childhood course work. A 230-hour practicum is designed to meet students' career goals. Practicum placements are supervised by full time faculty in settings such as early childhood programs, community agencies, and public schools. Graduates are prepared to enter the profession or continue in higher education. The program is designed for seamless transfer into the B.S. in Early Childhood Studies: Birth – Age 5.


     Admission Requirements

Generally, students accepted to SUNY Cobleskill have an 82 high school average. SAT/ACT scores are required for baccalaureate programs and on average students score a 1000 on the SAT and 21 on the ACT.

     Program Highlights

Expert faculty who are actively involved in professional organizations and stay current with the latest research and practices in the field.

Students engage in meaningful assignments in the first semester that allow them to explore the broad field of early childhood and consider a career path.

Opportunities for international internships and study abroad are offered.

A supervised, full semester practicum in the third or fourth semester allows students to put theory into practice in either the AAS Early Childhood degree or the AS Child and Family Services degree.

The Bachelor of Science degree offers two advisement options to prepare students for employment or advanced study in the broad field of Early Childhood. The curriculum option is for students interested in teaching and/or child care, the Child and Family option is for students interested in social services.

On-site child development center lab school with observation booths for students to conduct observations and assessments.

Students gain experience through courses that are hands-on, interactive, and allow them to practice skills and develop dispositions required for the field.

The Early Childhood Club provides special projects such as fundraising, book fairs, travel to conferences, community engagement, and most recently early childhood students are traveling to the “Innovation Challenge New York” event held at SUNY IT on October 24th and 25th. This event is modeled after a similar one hosted annually in Philadelphia, PA that has become wildly successful.

     What Will I Learn?

The curriculum offers a solid base of theory and practice through early childhood course work and field experiences, including a 230-hour practicum offered in a range of settings such as public schools, community agencies, child care centers, and private preschools on and off-campus. The program includes a foundation in the liberal arts and career/college transfer preparation.

Students are engaged in course work, research, child observation, and field-based experiences working directly with very young children and families in community agencies and educational settings. Graduates are preparing for employment and/or advanced study that requires deep knowledge of early development, best practices in early care and education, and effective methods of family engagement. E-portfolios are developed during practicum and internship.

     Meet the Faculty

Dr. Gail Wentworth is a professor of Early Childhood studies, and chair of the Early Childhood & Psychology Department. She teaches several courses in early childhood from 100 to 400 levels. Her professional interests are the value of animals in young children’s lives, infant-early childhood mental health, and multiculturalism through international education. She has published articles and presented on a variety of early childhood topics, domestically and internationally. A professional accomplishment was developing an Early Years curriculum and assessment tool for the International School of Geneva, Rigot campus in Switzerland. Originally from the Boston area, Professor Wentworth earned her BA, MEd, and EdD degrees from the University of MA, Amherst. She now resides on a 100-acre farm with her family, including several pets (her ‘kids’).

wentwoge@cobleskill.edu | 518-255-5474

Associate Professor Suzanne Fine teaches a variety of early childhood courses such as Expressive Arts, Curriculum and Methods, Anti-Bias Strategies and Conflict Resolution. She taught elementary school in rural Virginia and preschool in the Boston, Massachusetts area before earning her Master’s degree in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she was also a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Early Childhood Education. She has presented with colleagues at the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s annual state and national conference. Her interests include child centered teaching, the arts, and diversity and social justice issues in education. Associate Professor Fine is a licensed Kindermusik educator and Zumba instructor who loves to row on the Mohawk River during the summer and fall. 

finesm@cobleskill.edu | 518-255-6237

Elise N. Weiss has been a lecturer at SUNY Cobleskill since 2005. She was an elementary school teacher for ten years in Delhi, NY before moving her career to higher education. She has worked to incorporate SMART Board technology, STEM learning, and Project Wild into the early childhood curriculum. She takes pride in supervising students in the practicum phase of the program in which they work directly with teachers and young children. In addition to teaching, Mrs. Weiss is the Early Childhood Association Faculty Advisor. She promotes leadership and community engagement through the club, and provides volunteer opportunities for her students to fully immerse themselves in the field. She has a M.S. in Reading and a B.S. in Elementary Education, both from SUNY Oneonta. She has also taken coursework towards an advanced degree in Educational Theory and Practice at SUNY Albany. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Mrs. Weiss now resides in Cobleskill with her husband and children.

weissen@cobleskill.edu | 518-255-5459

Carol Lennon is an adjunct lecturer teaching both early childhood and psychology courses. Her education consists of BA – Human Services form UMASS, Boston, Mass. additionally a MS – Education – Special Education Concentration and C.A.G.S. – Education – Leadership Concentration both from Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts. She co-edited a Substance Abuse Handbook for Patients and Families. Ms. Lennon received the “Stay in School” Award presented by the Boston Celtics Association at the Fleet Center Award game. She has been a Teacher, Tutor, Clinician, Dean of Students and School Director. She is originally from the Boston area and, sorry to say, a loyal Patriots Football fan. She spends her free time with family and friends with a tremendous love of the beach and dance.

lennoncm@cobleskill.edu | 518-255-5138

     Career Outlook

Case managers in early intervention

Infant, toddler, and preschool lead teachers in child care, private preschool programs, and agencies such as Early Head Start/Head Start

Infant/toddler mental health specialist

Child life specialist

Child care resource-and-referral agency

Program director

Early childhood advocate


Government policy analyst



































To provide guidance and learning opportunities, including authentic experiences, to students who choose to work with children and families as they become early childhood professionals.



Zero to Three Read Aloud 15 minutes Brazelton Touchpoints Center
Week of the Young Child NAEYC NYSAIMH







Community Service Learning

“For the Love of Riley”
A community service project


Gail and Riley


Dr. Gail Wentworth, Early Childhood Professor, will be sharing her passion for the humane treatment of animals, in particular dogs, with young children in our community. Her goal is to help children understand how best to care for their family pets. Together with SUNY Cobleskill student volunteers, she is developing curriculum involving literacy, science and social studies and taking her dog Riley on the road and into early childhood classrooms this fall.

Riley is a 1-year old “Cavachon” (½ King Charles Cavalier Spaniel and ½ Bichon Frise).