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Academic Programs

Childhood Special and General Education Dual Certification/Dual degree with Columbia School of Social Work


  • Program Overview

    The Childhood Special and General Education Dual Certification/Dual Degree with Columbia School of Social Work program prepares model teachers and social workers to work in diverse settings.

    This comprehensive program allows you to earn two master’s degrees for fewer total credits than if you earned the degrees separately.

    For more information on the program at Columbia School of Social Work, contact Cheiku Camara at

    This program is for teachers and prospective teachers who wish to work with children in grades 1 through 6. As a student in this program you will have the flexibility to work in a range of settings and engage all children. This includes children from diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and linguistic backgrounds. This also includes children with a variety of social, emotional, behavioral, physical, and cognitive variations. You will:

    • Construct developmentally responsive learning experiences that encourage all learners to follow their curiosities.
    • Create accessible curricula so all learners can explore literacy, literature, mathematics, science, arts, and social studies content.
    • Develop a strong social justice focus in order to advocate for and with children and families.
    • Plan for dynamic and collaborative partnerships with families and school professionals.
    • Engage in critical explorations of yourself, others, and the wider world.

    This program culminates in a Master of Science in Education, requiring 43 credits, and a Master of Social Work (with additional course requirements for the social work degree from Columbia), requiring 48-54 credits.

    Two graduate students at a computer

  • Admissions Requirements

    In addition to the main admissions criteria, there are additional requirements needed to apply for this program:

  • Coursework

    View the coursework for this program.

    The range of credits is due to the need for head or assistant teachers to complete EDUC 994 (1 credit) rather than EDUC 990 (0 credits). Students who need to take EDUC 994 can select the EDUC 535 (2 credits) science option in order to keep their credit total at 46 credits. Students who do not need to take EDUC 994 can graduate with 45 credits.

  • Supervised Fieldwork/Advisement

    Supervised fieldwork/advisement lies at the heart of a Bank Street education. Through sustained experiences in the field, supervision from core faculty, and close collaboration with peers, our graduate students develop the ability to connect theory to practice and to reflect deeply on their own growth as educators. In this program, you will:

    • Be supervised by your advisor, a core graduate faculty mentor and experienced teacher.
    • Participate in a weekly conference group of 5-7 students and your advisor.
    • Reflect on a lesson with your advisor once each month.
    • Meet individually with your advisor once each month.
    • Complete projects to help you take a deeper look at the setting and students you work with.

    You will work in classroom settings as a full-time head teacher or assistant, or as a student teacher (3 days each week):

    • As a student teacher you will be placed in two settings throughout the year. You will experience 2 age bands (grade 1-3 and grade 4-6), general and special education, and a public, high-needs environment.
    • As a working head or assistant teacher you will use your own classroom as your fieldwork. We will place you in a different setting during the spring or summer semester to give you additional experience in a second setting.
  • Career Opportunities

    Childhood Special/General Education and Social Work graduates go on to:

    • Teach in general education, special education, or inclusion classrooms in public, charter, and independent schools.
    • Tutor or work as learning specialists in schools or in private practice.
    • Work in special education teacher support services (SETSS) roles.
    • Work as a school social worker.
    • Work as a psycho-therapist in private practice.
  • Faculty

  • Certification

    When you complete the Childhood Special and General Education program you will be eligible for your:

    • Initial certification in Childhood General Education: for those who meet experience requirements and pass state assessments.
    • Initial certification Teaching Students with Disabilities, grades 1-6: for those who meet experience requirements and pass state assessments.

    After teaching for three years you will be eligible for professional certification.

Bank Street has served as both the foundation and springboard of my career. Its values of progressivism, diversity, and community ground the work I do with individuals with disabilities every day [and] in the fall, I will be conducting research at the Waisman Center, one of the only research centers in the country focused on developmental disabilities.
Kiley McLean, GSE ’18