Phone: (845) 257-2860
Location: OM 115
Web address:

The Early Childhood Studies non-certification program blends theoretical and pedagogical content with practical experience, providing students with multiple opportunities to apply foundational knowledge within a variety of educational contexts where young children (infant through age 8) play and learn outside the public school classroom.

Classes explore early childhood pedagogy and practice, curriculum development and design, research and policy to prepare students to work in such alternative learning environments as daycare settings, after-school and tutoring programs, and programs for young children, parents and caregivers in museums, hospitals and community organizations. Multiple fieldwork experiences and an 80-hour internship provide opportunities for students to apply course content in settings that align with students' interests and career goals.

As with all School of Education programs, Early Childhood Studies offers:

  • high-quality instruction from dedicated, passionate faculty;
  • courses that reflect current research in such areas as play, early childhood development, social and emotional learning, curriculum development, and language and literacy development;
  • clinically rich preparation that emphasizes a balanced and interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning;
  • a commitment to preparing caring, critical, and reflective professionals.

Successful completion of the Early Childhood Studies program leads to a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree without recommendation for the issuance of a New York State teacher certificate.

Notice to Persons Who Have Prior Felony Convictions

State University of New York (SUNY) policy prohibits SUNY New Paltz admission applications from inquiring into an applicant’s prior criminal history. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet the licensure requirements for certain professions, including the program in Early Childhood Studies.

Individuals with prior criminal histories are advised to seek advice and guidance from the chair of the academic department regarding the impact of a criminal record on meeting the requirements of the major/professional licensure or certification prior to declaring the major.

Admission Requirements

  • Students may declare a major in Early Childhood Studies during their first year. Those who enter the program at a later point may need more than eight semesters to graduate.
  • Students must choose an academic concentration, some of which have their own entrance criteria.
  • Students must meet the following requirements to continue in the program:
    • 3.0 GPA overall; 2.5 GPA in academic concentration
    • 4-7 credits in Writing and Rhetoric (1-2 composition courses) with a grade of “B” or better; minimum “B-” for required EED and SPE courses; minimum “C” for required foundation courses (EDS340 Sociological and Philosophical Foundations of Education, EDS371 Child Psychology and Development , MAT140 Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers I, MAT240 Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers II, GEO202 Physical Geography, world language); and minimum "C-" for required concentration courses.
    • 30 hours of independent fieldwork (classroom observations; paid or volunteer work with children in schools, camps, daycare centers; coaching, tutoring, etc.)
    • Passing score on writing sample (to be evaluated by Early Childhood Studies faculty for organization and appropriate English grammar and usage).

Early Childhood Studies (BS, non-certification) Program Learning Outcomes

Candidates who successfully complete all required components of the Early Childhood Studies (non-certification) program will know and be able to demonstrate:

  • Critical Thinking and Intellectual Development: Identify, analyze, and evaluate different methods of planning, assessing, and teaching in order to develop well-reasoned arguments that support pedagogical decisions. Also demonstratean appropriate level of proficiency in written and oral communication, critical thinking and analytical mathematical and scientific reasoning.

  • Content Knowledge: Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of early childhood education in its multiple forms and settings, including the teaching profession, articulate a developing philosophy of education that incorporates an understanding of relevant theories and models of education and mastery of knowledge and skills in a chosen content area of academic concentration. 

  • Planning: Plan lessons and activities in early childhood education that are standards-based, clear and organized, rely upon a variety of developmentally appropriate instructional strategies and appropriate technologies, differentiate instruction in ways that provide opportunities to promote appreciation of diversity, tolerance, and inclusion in safe, democratic, and equitable learning environments.

  • Assessment and B-2 Learning: Select, design, and implement authentic and appropriate formative and summative assessments to evaluate student learning, consider assessment data when making instructional decisions, and identify effective or problematic teaching and educational moments as they are occurring in order tofacilitate student growth in specified content, cognitive skills, and/or social-emotional skills.

  • Fieldwork: Successfully complete three fieldwork placements, a minimum of 80hours and aligned with appropriate courses, in preparation for a fieldwork internship in an appropriate early childhood setting for a minimum of 8 weeks (the program’s capstone practicum experience).

  • Pedagogical Practice: Demonstrate the ability to maximize student learning by incorporating content and pedagogical content knowledge, appropriate and effective technology, and a variety of developmentally and contextually appropriate evidence-based instructional strategies to make learning meaningful for students.

  • Information Literacy: Use technology and basic research techniques in order to locate, evaluate, and synthesize best-practices concepts in content knowledge, planning, assessment, and pedagogical practice.

  • Professional Skills and Dispositions:Exhibit the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to practice an ethically informed and self-reflective philosophy, participate effectively in institutional change, and develop respectful relationships with students, families, communities and colleagues.

  • Culturally Responsive Practice and Social Justice: Understand and apply practices that promote respect, inclusion and equity in teaching, learning, and student development based on social identity markers including, but not limited to, race, gender, class, sexual orientation, disability, language, religion, culture, national origin, epistemology, and family life.

  • Democratic Citizenship and Student Advocacy: Respect education as a human right and a foundation to active inclusion and participation in public life and aspire to be agents of change in response to persistent barriers to equal educational opportunity.

Early Childhood Studies Coursework

Like the Early Childhood/Childhood Education (B-2, 1-6) program, the non-certification Early Childhood Studies program requires successful completion of coursework in three categories:

A. Education Course Requirements

The sequence described below is for a full-time student; however, the program may be completed on a part-time basis.
Years One and Two (57-60 Credits)
EDS340Sociological and Philosophical Foundations of Education3
EDS371Child Psychology and Development 3
EDS376Expressive Arts in Education 3
EDS494Fieldwork in Educational Studes3
EED301Fieldwork I (Pre-K-2)1
EED322Play: The Roots of Learning for Young Children3
EED345Seminar in Early Childhood Studies3
EED370Race, Class, Gender, and Social Justice in Teaching3
EED375Teaching Reading in the Elementary School I 3
EED391Field Experience Infants and Toddlers1
EED411Infant and Toddler Curriculum3
EED412Preschool and Kindergarten Curriculum3
EED413Curriculum III: First and Second Grades3
EED414Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Children Birth-Second Grade 3
EED415The Development of Symbolic Representation, Language, and Literacy 3
EED485Field Experience Preschool and Kindergarten1
EED492Research in Early Childhood Studies3
SPE350Creating Inclusive Elementary School Classrooms 3
MAT140Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers I3
MAT240Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers II3
LANxxxWorld Language Requirement3-6
Total Credits57-60

B. Liberal Arts Content

The liberal arts concentrations (majors) available to Early Childhood Studies students are the same as those available to students in the Early Childhood & Childhood Education (B-6) program:

  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Black Studies
  • Earth Science (Geology)
  • English
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science
  • Spanish

Please refer to Early Childhood & Childhood Education for the required coursework in each concentration.

C. General Education Requirement

Early Childhood Studies students take selected course work by advisement to meet General Education requirements while also satisfying Early Childhood Studies or concentration (major) requirements. See the Education Advisor (OM 115) to ensure that all curricular requirements are met.