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  • B.S./M.S. in Psychology and Childhood Education, Grades 1-6

    An accelerated and interdisciplinary path to earning your teacher certification
    Combine your undergraduate and graduate degree programs in our streamlined teacher preparation program.
    School of Education
    Dobbs Ferry, Bronx, Manhattan, Yorktown Heights & Online

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Psychology and Childhood Education, Grades 1-6 B.S./M.S. Curriculum

Bachelor of Science in Psychology
General Liberal Arts and Science
General Education Requirements 60 Credits
Psychology and Childhood Education
Undergraduate Courses 45 Credits
Childhood Education Graduate Courses
Completed for B.S. degree 15 Credits
Master of Science in Childhood Education, Grades 1-6
Course work completed during B.S. degree 15 Credits
Course work completed during M.S. degree 21 Credits
Total 141 Credits

New York State requires completion of the following undergraduate prerequisites for students seeking the Childhood Education, Grades 1-6 Certification, which will fulfill part of the General Education requirements:

  • Mathematical Processes
  • Scientific Processes*
  • Historical and Social Sciences
  • Language other than English
  • Information Retrieval
  • Communications/Humanities/Written Analysis and Expression
  • Artistic Expression

A course in Child Development is required. PSYN 254 is acceptable.
* Coursework in Environmental Science, Evolution, Nutrition or Plants and People is not acceptable for teacher certification requirements.

For specific major requirements please refer to the Psychology section of this catalog listed within the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

The Childhood Graduate Courses that must be completed for the B.S. degree are the following:

  • EDUC 500 Edu Fnd Diverse Perspectives
  • EDUC 502 Fndtns Educ Sdnts w/Dsblts
  • EDUC 505 Tchng English as 2nd Lang
  • EDUC 507 Aprchs Lit: EChldhd-Adolescenc
  • EDUC 514 Wrk w/Prnts/Famls Erl Chld-Chl

The above 15 credits are taken as an undergraduate as part of the B.S. degree program. The remaining 21 credits are taken as a graduate student after receiving the B.S. degree and after and meeting the admission requirements for acceptance into the master’s degree program. Please see the Graduate Catalog for course descriptions of the above courses and for specific requirements for the M.S. degree.

The total credits for B.S. and M.S. degrees in Psychology and Childhood Education, Grades 1–6, is 141 credits.

Student Classification and Prerequisites

Candidates who meet all prerequisites and admission requirements will be accepted and classified as matriculants.

Candidates without a sufficient undergraduate background in the liberal arts and sciences will be required to take recommended prerequisite courses in accordance with New York State certification requirements. Sufficient college-level background includes: English, mathematics, science, social studies, information retrieval, artistic expression, a language other than English, and a 30-credit concentration in a liberal arts and science academic subject. Candidates will be able to take the necessary prerequisite courses at Mercy College.

Undergraduate prerequisites for students seeking the initial certificate in Childhood, Early Childhood, Literacy, TESOL*, the Dual Certifications programs or the Tri-Certification program are:

  • Mathematical Processes - 6 credits
  • Scientific Processes - 6 credits
  • Historical and Social Sciences - 6 credits
  • Language other than English - 3 credits*
  • Information Retrieval - 3 credits
  • Communications/Humanities/Written Analysis and Expression - 3 credits
  • Artistic Expression - 3 credits

*TESOL majors require 12 credits of the same language.

A course in Child Development or Developmental Psychology is required.

Candidates should consult with the program chair or designee regarding acceptable
academic concentrations or majors.

Undergraduate prerequisites for candidates seeking the initial certification in Secondary
Education and the Dual Certification program are:

  • Communications - 3 credits
  • Humanities - 3 credits
  • Written Analysis and Expression - 6 credits
  • Historical and Social Sciences - 3 credits
  • Scientific Processes - 3 credits
  • Mathematical Processes - 3 credits
  • Artistic Expression - 3 credits
  • Information Retrieval - 3 credits
  • Language other than English - 3 credits

A 30-credit major or equivalent in a liberal arts and science academic subject taught in secondary schools:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Social Studies (at least 21 credits must be in the history and geography of the U.S. and the world)

Candidates must present at least 18 of the 30 required prerequisite credits in the specific secondary content area or 18 of the required 30 prerequisite credits in the liberal arts and sciences area for matriculation into a program of study. Transcripts are subject to review regarding the appropriateness of courses for specific programs of study.

Language Proficiency

Since the ability to communicate effectively in English with pupils in the classroom is considered paramount, all candidates seeking teacher certification are expected to demonstrate competencies in oral and written English.


Upon matriculation, the candidate is assigned an advisor from the Office of Student Services. Each candidate must consult with the advisor, program chair or his/her designee regarding required courses and electives for the program of study selected, and to develop a plan of study for degree completion.

Course Load

Full-time candidates may take nine to twelve credits per semester. No candidate may exceed twelve credits per semester. Part-time candidates may take three to six credits per semester. Courses are offered during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Online Component

The courses in the programs have a mandatory online component that enables candidates to interact with the instructor and with one another between class meetings. The purpose of the online component is to encourage interaction among candidates and enrich the learning experience using technology as a learning and communication tool.

Transfer Credits

Graduate courses taken at other institutions prior to admission at Mercy College may, if pertinent to the plan of study, be credited to the graduate degree. Permission to transfer credits must be requested at the time of admission and official transcripts and course descriptions must be submitted to the program chair or associate dean for evaluation. Transfer credit is limited to six semester hours of credit for courses taken within the last five years in which the student has received a grade of B or better. Transfer credits are not recorded as part of the GPA. Courses with a grade of B- or below are not transferable.

After matriculation, candidates may not register for courses at another institution with the intention of transferring credit to Mercy College unless written permission from the Associate Dean is obtained prior to registering for courses. If prior approval is not received, transfer credit will not be accepted.

Maintenance of Matriculation

It is expected that candidates will fulfill the requirements for their graduate degree by registering during successive sessions. For cohort programs, registration is required during summer session(s). Registration is accomplished by either enrolling in classes or maintaining matriculation. A Maintenance of Matriculation fee is charged each semester.

Candidates who have not maintained matriculation and wish to return to their program within one year after their last course will be charged the Maintenance of Matriculation fee for each missed term. Maintenance of matriculation without attending classes is limited to one year. Activated U.S. Military Reservists are not required to pay the Maintenance of Matriculation fee.

Maintenance of Good Academic Standing

The cumulative GPA for both good academic standing and degree conferral is 3.0. A student admitted with specific academic conditions is required to achieve a 3.0 GPA or better after completing a certain number of credits as stipulated by the student’s respective program. Grades are subject to review by the associate dean and program chair at the end of each term. If the academic GPA falls below 3.0, the student may be dismissed or placed on academic probation.

Academic Probation and Dismissal Review

Please refer to the college policies in the Academic Regulations and Procedures section of the course catalog.

Incomplete Grades

If, due to an unforeseeable and extenuating circumstance, a teacher candidate has been unable to complete all course assignments, and has been in attendance for the full term, and has completed the majority of the course assignments, she/he may request an incomplete grade. The issuance of an incomplete grade is at the discretion of the course professor and is not automatic. If granted, the “AGREEMENT FORM FOR INCOMPLETE GRADE” must be completed by both the professor and the teacher candidate.

After receiving the assignment(s) by the specified due date, the professor will grade the assignment(s), and will contact the registrar and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs to have the final grade changed based upon the accomplishment of the course objectives according to a specified evaluation plan as presented in the course syllabus.

If the assignment(s) are not completed by the specified due date, the professor reserves the right to change the grade to that which the candidate had earned before requesting the incomplete, or to let it remain a permanent incomplete as outlined in the Mercy College Graduate Catalog.

Time Limit

The School of Education Degree must be completed within five years from the date of the candidate’s admission (exclusive of time spent in the Armed Forces). Exceptions will only be made if a candidate requests an extension in writing and receives the approval of the school dean.

TaskStream Requirement

All School of Education degree, advanced certificate and non-degree candidates must register for and establish an electronic portfolio account through TaskStream. TaskStream accounts are free for candidates and faculty. Course instructors have the information needed to set up an account, if you do not already have one, or to renew a previous account. Candidates will contribute assignments to the portfolio throughout their program of study and will include the course key assessments and specific assignments as required by the candidate’s degree or advanced certificate program. The key assessments are critical to our program improvement efforts and to continuing accreditation. A student’s final course grade for courses with a key assessment cannot be submitted until all necessary assessments have been uploaded to TaskStream.

The completed e-Portfolio is the capstone requirement in all School of Education degrees and certificate programs and successful evaluation of the e-Portfolio is required for the degree or certificate.

Organization of the Program

Candidates in both the Initial and Advanced Teacher certification programs follow a three-transition point progression through the program leading to the completion of degree and certification requirements.

Transition Point One: Admission to Program

Admission is determined by transcript analysis and GPA review. 

Transition Point Two: Admission to Clinical Practice

Candidates seeking initial certification in Early Childhood, Childhood, Secondary or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, must complete a clinical practice to meet degree and certification requirements. Depending on your current classroom employment and teaching experience candidates will register for either:

  • EDUC 709 Student Teaching Experience - Open to candidates who do not currently possess New York State certification (Initial Candidates).
  • EDUC 713 Seminar in Teaching — Open to candidates who are employed as teaching assistants or paraprofessionals.
  • EDUC 537 Current Critical Issues in American Education - Open to candidates who are the teacher of record in a private, charter or parochial school.
  • EDUC 707 Mentoring Seminar in TESOL — Open to candidates in the Professional M.S. or the Advanced Certificate in TESOL program.

The “Student Teaching Experience” or “Seminar in Teaching” course provides the candidate with an on-site college supervised classroom experience in a school. Appropriate course registration is determined by current or prior classroom experience. Candidates are expected to demonstrate all competencies during the clinical practice experience.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate competencies related to content knowledge, pedagogical and professional knowledge, technology, professional dispositions and the ability to work with diverse populations during the student teaching/clinical practice experience.

Students will not be admitted into these courses without first passing all necessary state certification tests and obtaining Program Director approval.

Students in the Advanced Teacher programs in Childhood, Early Childhood and Adolescence Education will register for course EDUC 537, "Current Critical Issues in American Education" and will complete an action research comprehensive project and may be required to complete additional student teaching and fieldwork hours to meet certification requirements.

Admission to clinical practice requires candidates to apply for placement the semester prior to the anticipated course registration. Applications should be submitted in TaskStream to the Office of Clinical Practice and Certification in the School of Education at the Dobbs Ferry Campus.

Clinical Practice Application Deadlines:
Fall.................................February 15
Spring........................... October 15

Transition Point Three: Completion of Program

Upon completion of the capstone project and all other degree requirements, the School of Education will process the candidate’s application for certification. All prerequisite course requirements must be satisfied prior to seeking certification. Program completion requires a 3.0 GPA. Initial New York State certification also requires achieving qualifying scores on the Academic Literacy Test, ALST, the Educating All Students Test, EAS, and the Content Specialty Test (CST), in the area of each certificate being requested and receiving a passing score on the edTPA assessment.

Certification Tests

Initial certification candidates must pass all required certification tests prior to their student teaching semester. Additionally, a candidate in a clinical practice course - EDUC 537, EDUC 709 and EDUC 713 - must submit an edTPA examination to Pearson as one of the course requirements. A candidate will not pass the clinical practice course without submitting proof of his or her edTPA submission in the form of a receipt from Pearson by the end of the semester's grading period.

Mercy College provides support for candidates to prepare for these tests. Workshops are provided for the ALST, the EAS and some CSTs. Also, candidates or graduates who need to retake the edTPA may opt to take a workshop or edTPA course (EDUC 612) for more support. Interested candidates should contact the School of Education for more information.

Other certification requirements include:

  • Completion of a Child Abuse Awareness seminar
  • Completion of a Violence Identification and Prevention seminar
  • Completion of the Dignity for All Students Workshop (DASA); and
  • Fingerprint clearance.

Only United States citizens, or those who declare their intention to become United States citizens, are eligible for New York State certification. 

Recent student performance on the previous certification tests implemented by the state until 2014, the Liberal Arts and Science Test (LAST), the Written Assessment of Teaching Skills (ATS-W) and the Content Specialty Test (CST), is presented in the chart below:

2014–2015 Student Performance on the LAST, ATS-W and CST

LAST Pass Rate ATS-W Pass Rate CST Pass Rate

Can I get certified in Teaching Students with Disabilities?
Yes, in the following programs: Childhood Education, Grades 1-6; Early Childhood Education, Birth-Grade 2; Secondary Education, 7-12. You can also get certified in special education as an extension to your already existing certification.
What are the graduation requirements?
Successful completion of coursework and practicums, passing grades on state examinations.
What education programs do you offer?
The School of Education offers a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in one of the following areas: Early Childhood Education, Birth-Grade 2; Childhood Education, Grades 1-6; Secondary Education, 7-12; Teaching Literacy, Birth-Grade 12; Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL); Bilingual Extension to a Teaching Certificate; School Building Leadership; Advanced Certificate in School Building Leadership.
Is Mercy College a nonsectarian institution?
Yes. Qualified applicants are admitted without regard to race, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age or physical disability.

Psychology and Childhood Education, Grades 1-6 Overview

The Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degree Program is an academic program that allows students interested in the teaching profession as a career choice to earn both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in an accelerated venue. Through this special program, qualified students who major in psychology or behavioral science can receive teacher certification in Early Childhood or Childhood Education.

A key feature of this program allows students to take up to 15 graduate education credits during their junior and senior years. These credits can be used toward satisfying their bachelor's as well as master's degree requirements. Combining undergraduate and graduate degree programs streamlines the teacher preparation program and enables students to achieve teacher certification on an accelerated basis reducing the time and cost needed to earn a master's degree.

Psychology and Childhood Education, Grades 1-6 FAQS

What are the graduation requirements?
Successful completion of coursework and practicums, passing grades on state examinations.
Can I get certified in Teaching Students with Disabilities?
Yes, in the following programs: Childhood Education, Grades 1-6; Early Childhood Education, Birth-Grade 2; Secondary Education, 7-12. You can also get certified in special education as an extension to your already existing certification.

Mercy is the first institution in the United States to be awarded initial national accreditation by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Professionals (CAEP).

Other Education Programs


The programs of study in the School of Education are designed to provide professional preparation for candidates planning to teach and serve as educational leaders.

Mission Statement of the School of Education

The Mercy College educational unit is dedicated to preparing effective educators, including teachers and other school professionals, who are reflective practitioners, equipped with the knowledge base, technological skills, research tools, and professional strategies and insights to empower them to help diverse populations of students succeed in their learning and community environments. The values of competency, diversity, and ethical practice support the proficient development of candidates enabling them to become skilled professionals and lifelong learners. The unit is committed to creating innovative, flexible, and accessible programs of study for its candidates, and to developing partnerships and opportunities for collaboration and clinical experiences within Mercy College and with external communities.

Admission Requirements

Please refer to the general requirements for admission and matriculation in the Graduate Admissions section of the course catalog. Please review the prerequisite preparation for each program and consult with the program chair or associate dean.

To be accepted into the B.S. and M.S. Education program, a student must:

  • Be a high school graduate who has earned a New York State Regents Diploma with an 85 average or better


  • Be a high school graduate with a score of 500 or better on the verbal portion of the SAT and 500 or better on the math portion of the SAT or corresponding ACT


  • Place at ENGL 111 and MATH 115 on the Mercy College Placement exam

Student must have earned an associate degree in Liberal Arts with an overall GPA of 3.0 Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 each semester at Mercy College to remain in the Five-Year Program and must adhere to the above requirements. An interview is also required. 

Students who do not meet the above admission criteria may apply to the dual program upon completion of the 60-credit General Education requirement and completion of at least 15 credits in their major field of study with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Thirty credits must be taken in residency at Mercy College.


All initial certification programs are nationally recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Degree Requirements

 To remain in the Five-Year Program, a student must:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 each semester at Mercy College
  • Register for an introductory 3-credit graduate education course in the upper junior year, or upon completion of 70-75 undergraduate credits with a B or better average
  • Register for 12 credits in graduate education courses in the senior year
  • Pass the ALST within 12 credits of graduate course registration

Please note that all graduate course descriptions as well as specific teacher certification parameters can be found in the Mercy College Graduate Catalog.

Additionally, all matriculated Mercy College students are required to demonstrate an appropriate level of achievement in each of the six college competencies to ascertain that they can communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing.  They must also demonstrate their ability to use critical thinking and established methods of computation and use of contemporary technology.  

Psychology and Childhood Education, Grades 1-6 Objectives

Childhood Education Program Goals

  • Candidates will understand, explain, analyze, and apply major theories and philosophies that address physical, affective, and cognitive development during the childhood years.
  • Candidates will create high-quality, meaningful learning opportunities that are based on competencies and content knowledge, utilize developmental knowledge, employ formal and informal assessment strategies, and incorporate collaboration with all aspects of the broad school community to facilitate academic achievement to a child’s maximum potential.
  • Candidates will become reflective practitioners who continually reflect on their practice and actively pursue opportunities for professional growth.

Goals of the School of Education

The unit goals establish the shared vision, mission, philosophy, and guiding principles agreed to by members of the faculty and other stakeholders in the learning community. The unit’s proficiencies, strategies, and assessments are designed to ensure that candidates acquire the academic, pedagogical, professional, and interpersonal skills required of teachers and other school professionals who prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing global environment. The six goals reflect the integrated knowledge, skills, and dispositions that together ensure that candidates develop as effective educators and reflective practitioners. These goals are as follows:

Content Knowledge: Candidates demonstrate a solid content knowledge base that enables them to deliver effective educational and professional services based on current research, theory and practice.

Pedagogical and Professional Knowledge: Candidates employ multiple pedagogical and professional strategies and tools to enable them to be effective practitioners in educational settings and deliver services that promote students’ intellectual, social, and emotional development.

Diversity: Candidates understand the diverse cultural, linguistic, learning, and social strengths and needs of all populations, and incorporate and demonstrate sensitivity to the richness of diverse cultures when providing educational and other school-services.

Technology: Candidates employ technology to deliver information, instruction, and professional services to all members of the school community.

Reflection: Candidates reflect on professional practice to make educational decisions and enhance student learning.

Dispositions: Candidates demonstrate positive dispositions that enable them to work as effective educators, citizens, and practitioners within the school and broader community.

The six unit goals are supported by the professional literature including theories, research, wisdom of practice, and education policies.