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Early Childhood Program

Program Highlights

 

Degree Options

Child and Familiy Services, Associate of Science (AS)

Early Childhood, Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

Early Childhood Studies: Birth - Age 5, Bachelor of Science (BS)

 

Students in SUNY Cobleskill's Early Childhood Studies programs begin their careers on day one. They have the opportunity from the outset to interact with infants through 5-year-olds while observing how professional teachers work with, guide, and present lessons to the children.

Current research from the fields of developmental psychology, early education, infant mental health, cultural anthropology/family studies, and pediatric science is threaded throughout the curriculum to ensure students understand the complex nature of early development and learning.

In addition to our conventional classrooms, the College operates two excellent early childhood laboratory schools, the Cobleskill Campus Child Care Center and a half-day preschool program at the Child Development Center. It bears noting that, while many colleges have either just one lab school or none at all, the fact that SUNY Cobleskill has two helps set our programs apart.

The mission of the Early Childhood program is 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.

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 prepares students for employment as infant, toddler, and preschool lead teachers in childcare, private preschool programs, and agencies such as Head Start. The Child and Family option prepares students for social service work such as case management in early intervention, mental health, and domestic issues to improve family and community life.

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. Sample courses include:

  • Child Growth & Development
  • Infants & Toddlers
  • Intro to Community Agencies
  • Applications in Child & Family
  • Adolescent Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Sociology of the Family
  • Foundations of Modern Education
  • Child & Family Wellness
  • Positive Child Guidance
  • Exceptional Children
  • Curriculum and Methods
  • Literary Development in Young Children
  • Math/Science for Young Children
  • Anti-Bias Strategies: A Human Relations Approach
  • Conflict Resolution: Creating a Peaceful Environment

A degree in Early Childhood Studies from SUNY Cobleskill can open up career opportunities in many different professional settings. An employment survey of our 2017 BS alumni showed a wide variety of placements, such as:

  • Early Intervention case worker and technical consultant
  • Early Head Start and Head Start Lead teachers
  • Lead teacher in an infant-thru-school-age child care center
  • Proprietor of an in-home child care business
  • Teacher of*:
    • Public kindergarten
    • UPK
    • 2nd grade
    • Special education
    • High school Consumer & Family Science
  • Family Court Child Advocate
  • Infant/Toddler Technical Assistant in NYC and the capital district
  • Teachers at private schools, such as Waldorf, Springbrook and Montessori
  • Domestic violence program worker at Catholic Charities
  • Caseworker, Department of Social Services

*NYS Certification requires completion of Board of Education requirements via a Master’s program or “Alternative” pathway.

Students have two ways to study abroad in the Early Childhood program. They may choose from several international study-abroad classes, each for 3 credits. These are held in such diverse locations as Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Poland, Ireland, Spain, Canada, Peru, Mexico, Turkey, China, Australia and Anguilla.

Additionally, students may elect to do their internship work at an international site. Past venues have included Australia, Anguilla and Turkey.

Two types of internships are required. At the associate degree level, a practicum must be conducted, for a total of 225 hours. At the baccalaureate level, a standard internship must be undertaken, for 450 hours.

As mentioned above, because we maintain a number of MOUs with several New York State graduate schools, SUNY Cobleskill can guarantee that students who complete their BS degree will be admitted to a graduate program. Some of the participating schools are:

  • College of Saint Rose
  • Long Island University
  • Mercy College
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (education for the deaf) 
  • SUNY Cortland
  • SUNY Plattsburgh
  • Utica College

Students in the Early Childhood programs at SUNY Cobleskill can take advantage of a unique array of facilities for use in the course of their studies. Most notable among these are our two On-Campus EC Laboratory Schools: the Effie Bennett-Powe Child Development Center (for preschool), and the Cobleskill Campus Child Care Center (for infants through school age children).

Our Early Childhood Association is open to any student interested in the education and welfare of young children. The association’s purpose is to raise money for community programs serving children, to provide special programs for community children, and to provide information to the public regarding children’s needs and rights.

Dr. Gail WentworthDr. 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. WeissAssistant Professor Elise N. Weiss has taught 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

 

Dr. Carol A. S. Morris joined the team at SUNY Cobleskill in August 2017. Her PhD was earned at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, in Applied Developmental Psychology. Her areas of interest and expertise are the social-emotional well-being of young children and those who care for them. She has worked in the Early Childhood field for more than thirty years in a variety of capacities, from nanny and infant-toddler teacher to Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant. More recently, she has been on the faculty at the University of Oklahoma at Tulsa where she was the “infant-toddler person,” and at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, teaching courses in infant and child development, observational assessment, early childhood environments, infant curriculum, and child and family wellness, among others. At SUNY Cobleskill, she is developing a course in Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health and a research project that involves support for Head Start teachers. She hails from northern New Jersey originally and is happy to be back in the great white North! Hobbies include singing and doing needlework, and she is hoping to take up weaving in the near future. 
morrisca@cobleskill.edu | 518-255-5513

Keeping up with latest research and trends in the professional field, the college’s 3 Early Childhood programs incorporate the study of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and ‘trauma-informed’ practices.

Graduates, therefore, are prepared to promote healthy social and emotional development, self-regulation, and resiliency among young children and families. In spring 2018, a new upper level course in Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health will be offered to delve deeper into issues of mental health for children birth to age 5 and families.

Students will explore aspects of child rearing/parenting, child care, education, and communities that help or hinder the development of emotional well-being and positive social relationships. Course content will be aligned with the New York State Association of Infant Mental Health (NYS AIMH) and its endorsement levels.

Learn More About Our Learning Facilities

Effie Bennett-Powe
Child Development Center
Cobleskill Campus
Child Care Center


Early Childhood Education Best Schools 2018 Badge from Schools.com
Schools.com has ranked SUNY Cobleskill in the top 10 for best Early Childhood Education in 2018. Congratulations to our exceptional faculty and staff!