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Academic Programs

Early Childhood General Education


  • Program Overview

    If you are interested in working with children from birth through second grade then, the General Education Early Childhood Program is for you!

    You will become well grounded in child development by closely observing children and engaging them in active learning. The program will help you develop the understanding that learning comes in the form of play, social interaction, and sensory experiences, as well as through engagement in the world of literacy, literature, mathematics, science, arts, and social studies.

    This program culminates in a Master of Science in Education and requires 45 credits.

    Two graduate students building with blocks

  • Admissions Requirements

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

  • Coursework

  • 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.

    For those completing fieldwork as student teachers, you will:

    • Complete one academic year of supervised fieldwork experiences (Fall & Spring semester).
    • Have three placements across grades in public, independent and/or childcare settings in NYC.
    • Be assigned a faculty advisor once you enter fieldwork.
    • Have monthly advisor visits to your fieldwork placements.
    • Have at least two meetings per month with your advisor (one at your placement and one at the College; more if needed).
    • Participate in weekly Conference Group meetings with your advisor and a cohort of 5-7 graduate students.


    For those completing fieldwork as working teachers (assistants and head teachers), you will:

    • Be supervised by a Bank Street faculty member who is an experienced teacher and advisor.
    • You’ll complete one academic year of supervised fieldwork experiences, always starting fall.
    • You’ll be supervised at the school where you will be or already a full time faculty member, in the birth through second grade range.
    • You’ll keep the same job at your school for the entire fieldwork year.
    • You’ll participate in a 5-7 member weekly conference group, be observed working with children once a month, and have twice monthly individual meetings with your advisor.
    • Your advisor will guide you through course work.

    New York State requires all graduate students in this program to have field experiences in a birth-pre-K and kindergarten setting and in grades 1-2, as well as in an under-resourced public or charter school/program. Student teachers fulfill these experiences through their placements in the fall and spring. Working teachers and assistants must enroll in an additional fieldwork placement, where they will be placed by Bank Street in the appropriate setting to fulfill their degree requirements.

  • Career Opportunities

    The majority of students who have completed a full year of supervised fieldwork secure positions as assistant teachers during the last year of their graduate studies. Many of these positions are secured at schools that the program uses as student teaching sites. After graduation, students secure head or assistant teaching positions in public, charter, independent and childcare settings in NYC and beyond.

    Experienced assistants can move to head teacher positions. Head teachers who continue in their positions often develop teacher/leadership roles in public, charter, or independent schools.

  • Faculty

  • Certification

    Upon graduation, you will be eligible for New York State certification in Early Childhood General Education, birth through grade 2, provided you complete all other State certification requirements.

Bank Street met my requirements for a teacher education program and prepared me for full time teaching. I wanted a working teacher program that embodied a progressive philosophy in the approach to learning for both graduate students and young children. New York City is a fabulous place to learn and grow as a teacher. I am so grateful for the time I spent living and learning in New York City and at Bank Street.
Sarah Freund, GSE ’11

Alumni Spotlight: Steven Mercado

Early Childhood General Education alum Steven Mercado, former Bank Street School for Children teacher, shares more about Bank Street’s culture of constant learning.