Students who major in Inclusive Childhood Education will be able to teach in both general and special education classrooms, grades 1-6, after successfully completing the required courses and student teaching and passing the required New York State certification exams. This major provides a strong base in current, effective pedagogy rooted in field-based methods courses that develop Wells students into reflective, knowledgeable educators.
Students may begin taking education courses in the first semester of their first year at Wells. Our introductory course, "Teaching in a Diverse Society," offers students the opportunity to spend a day in a classroom shadowing and interviewing a teacher to get a sense of what life is like "in the trenches." Students go on to take courses in areas such as inclusive education, special education, literacy, classroom management, and multicultural education. As students move through the program, their field experiences grow more intensive, and they are given multiple opportunities to work directly with students in both general and special education classrooms. Wells education students work closely with our highly qualified education faculty throughout their time on campus in order to make sure that each student gets the most out of the major.
Student teaching, which typically takes place during the second semester of a student's senior year, is the capstone experience of the education program. Students who meet program requirements complete two student teaching placements. During each 6-7 week placement, students are mentored by cooperating teachers as they take over all aspects of classroom life: planning and delivering lessons; managing parent communication; and developing a safe, productive classroom community. One placement occurs in a general education classroom (grades 1-6) while the other takes place in a special or inclusive education classroom (grades 1-6). Candidates create a professional teaching portfolio documenting their learning, which serves as tangible evidence of their growth and acquired expertise over their four years in the Wells education program.
New York State requires students to take and pass the following tests in order to complete their certification: Educating All Students (EAS), Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), two Content Specialty Tests (CST)—Multi-subject AND Students with Disabilities, and the edTPA.