This B.S. degree program is a dual program between the School of Education and the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics – with the School of Education as the home school. This program provides you with the professional background and a solid core of liberal arts distribution and concentration coursework. A cornerstone of the program is the extensive and varied series of field experiences it offers, coordinating coursework with fieldwork in the schools as early as the first year of study. Many schools and childcare centers in the Syracuse area are at the forefront of inclusive education. Through our close partnerships with local schools and early childhood centers that welcome all students, and with our wide network of urban, suburban, and rural school affiliations, we provide a broad range of opportunities for getting the most out of field experiences. For a comprehensive degree description, please visit the course catalog.
Why this degree makes a difference in society today…tomorrow…
Early childhood educators make a difference in the lives of children through the development of a strong inclusive education philosophy and socially just and culturally relevant pedagogy. They facilitate access for all children in the community particularly the most vulnerable. This includes those with disabilities and special educational needs, immigrants, newcomers and other at-risk children and families.
Core coursework covers cultural foundations of education, educational leadership, and instructional design. Sample courses include:
- Play, Childhood Development and Early Education
- Teaching Strategies for Inclusive Education
- Safe and Healthy Learning Environments
- Perspectives on Disabilities
- Student Teaching
The Bernice M. Wright Laboratory School is an on-campus, early childhood education center accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children that serves as a practicum setting for students in Human Development and Family Science and for those enrolled in other disciplines. At the school, students and faculty conduct observation and research in child development and family interactions. In addition, students are trained to teach and work with young children from diverse backgrounds in inclusive classroom settings.
A cornerstone of the program is the extensive and varied series of field experiences it offers, coordinating coursework with fieldwork in the schools as early as the first year of study. Many schools and childcare centers in the Syracuse area are at the forefront of inclusive education. Through our close partnerships with local schools and early childhood centers that welcome all students, and with our wide network of urban, suburban, and rural school affiliations, we provide a broad range of opportunities for getting the most out of field experiences. Field placements include a rich variety of experiences, including: urban, suburban, pre-school, kindergarten, primary grades, and experience with infants and toddlers.
Ranked among the top 25 international education providers in the U.S., Syracuse Abroad has more than 100 programs in 60 countries, with nearly half of all students going abroad during their four years. Inclusive early childhood special education majors most often go abroad to Syracuse University centers in Florence, London, and Madrid, and to our World Partner program at the University of New South Wales. To learn more about the current opportunities for students in Human Development and Family Studies view a listing of study abroad programs. Due to the professional education sequence, the study abroad semester for students completing in four years must be spring of the junior year. For more information about study abroad at SU, visit suabroad.syr.edu.
What's next after this degree
This program meets the academic requirements for New York State teacher certification in both Early Childhood (birth – grade 2) and Students with Disabilities (birth – grade 2). SU graduate degree options to complement the bachelor’s degree lead to additional New York State certifications or annotations to your already earned teaching certification:
- M.S. in Early Childhood Special Education, grades 1-6 New York State certification
- M.S. in Literacy Education, birth through 6th grade, New York State certification
- M.S in Inclusive Special Education: Severe/Multiple Disabilities, New York State certification
- M.S. in Teaching English Language Learners (TELL). New York State certification
The Falk College’s Department of Human Development & Family Science at Syracuse University prepares students to work in specific settings, providing a solid foundation of children and families across the life span through a bachelor or master of science degree. Students will learn about the social, emotional, and physical development of children while studying relationships within families and in other social contexts, such as schools, workplaces and faith communities. When considering a career path in Human Development and Family Science-related fields, the following information is helpful:
- A bachelor’s degree is sufficient for entry-level positions.
- Advanced degrees are essential for clinical and therapeutic counseling positions, education/special education.
- A master’s degree or Ph.D. is often needed for administrative and supervisory positions.
- A Ph.D. is required for college teaching and advanced research positions, as well as education-focused careers (i.e., teacher, speech pathologist).
- Additional or specialized training may qualify you for higher paying, more responsible positions.
Upon completing the Inclusive Early Childhood Special Education, B.S. program, you will have a minimum of eight field experiences and will be familiar with a variety of ages, schools, and models of inclusive early childhood classrooms. You are prepared to assume such professional positions as:
- Early childhood special educator
- Preschool teacher
- Teacher consultant
- Public school teacher in kindergarten or the early primary grades
What can you do now to prepare?
Students interested in Human Development & Family Science find it helpful to supplement their courses with hands-on experiences. Opportunities can span many topical areas, including alcoholism, drug abuse or family violence or varied populations including the aging, children at risk, or children and adults with special needs. Some suggestions to consider might include:
- Obtaining part-time, summer, internship, or volunteer experience in childcare, schools, hospitals, camps, or overseas programs.
- Obtaining certification in C.P.R., safety and first aid for adults, children, and infants.
- Obtaining certification information for specialized areas, such as child life specialist or child advocacy.
Both this program and the teaching profession are demanding, requiring not only appropriate attitudes about children and skills in working with them, but also knowledge of the content to be taught, excellent writing skills, critical thinking skills, and much more. If you are interested in a career in Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) and would like to join our program at Syracuse University, we are excited to speak with you. Apply Today! Are you a current Syracuse University student interested in transferring into our program? Learn more about the requirements for joining our program. Read common questions prospective students ask.