Aug 14, 2022  
2018-2019 SUNY Potsdam Academic Catalog 
2018-2019 SUNY Potsdam Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Education Program Policies

Admission and Advising for Education Programs

Students are accepted into Childhood/Early Childhood Education or Adolescence/Secondary Education programs with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (83 high school GPA). All students who wish to pursue Childhood/Early Childhood or Adolescence Education are required to complete the declaration process by following these steps:

  • Long on to BearPAWS
  • Click “Student Services & Financial Aid”
  • Click “Education Major Forms”
  • Click “Undergraduate Declaration Form”

Students in the Childhood/Early Childhood Education program complete an arts and science concentration and a specialization in one of the following areas: English, mathematics, biology, chemistry, geology, physics or social sciences/history. Students in this program also learn to address the special developmental and educational needs of elementary students. The emphasis on academic preparation in the liberal arts and the specialization area strengthens student knowledge base in preparation for teaching.

Students in the Adolescence/Secondary Education programs complete an arts and sciences major appropriate to the area of certification and learn to address the special developmental and educational needs of middle level and high school students. The emphasis on academic preparation in a content area strengthens student qualifications both for careers in teaching and graduate study in their liberal arts major.

Additional Criteria

  • Students must meet with their education adviser at least once each semester. Students cannot register for education courses without permission from their education adviser. Advisers work with students to help them successfully progress through their education program. It is the student’s responsibility to seek accurate information from College advisers and identify a timeframe for completion of all program requirements.
  • Students must fulfill the program’s Gates/Benchmarks and Dispositional Framework criteria in order to remain in an Education program.

Specific Childhood/Early Childhood Education policies, Education Gates/Benchmarks and Dispositional Framework can be found at:

Specific Secondary Education Gates/Benchmarks and Dispositional Framework can be found at:

Pre-Student Teaching Field Experiences

Students planning to become teachers in the State of New York are required to have 100 hours of continuous pre-student teaching field experiences in public schools and other educational settings. To meet this requirement, the education programs have developed a variety of opportunities for candidates to complete field experience requirements. Every attempt is made to locate appropriate pre-student teaching field experience placements in the local area. All pre-student teaching field experience placements must be made by the Center for School Partnerships and Teacher Certification and not by the candidates themselves.

While the New York State Education Department regulations for teacher education programs require successful completion of all field experiences, admittance to a teacher education program does not guarantee access to any public school. School districts reserve the right to screen and select all pre-service candidates before allowing them into classrooms for field experiences.

All candidates must complete the finger printing process prior to beginning any field experiences.

Conduct unbecoming of a professional teacher, or reasonable belief that the student is unfit to be a teacher, may be grounds for dismissal from a field experience or an education program.

Guidelines and Regulations

Candidates apply online for student teaching two-three semesters before the intended student teaching semester. Candidates must read and be familiar with the contents of the Guide to Student Teaching, available online at:

Grade Point Requirements for Student Teaching

Students must complete all program-designated required courses before the student teaching semester. Candidates should also note that additional college courses may not be taken during student teaching. In order to enroll in student teaching or be recommended for a teaching certificate, teacher candidates need to meet specific program gate requirements. It is the responsibility of the teacher candidate to be familiar with these gates. If unsure, teacher candidates need to contact their education adviser.

Please Note: These criteria are subject to change; candidates are responsible for being aware of the current requirements for program completion.

Student Teaching Placements

Candidates must complete a semester-long, College-supervised student teaching experience in order to be recommended for certification. The placement of candidates in all School of Education and Professional Studies-supervised field experiences is at the discretion of the Center for School Partnerships and Teacher Certification. Placements are made according to students’ subject areas, availability of College supervisors, the willingness of public schools to accept teacher candidates, and the College’s commitment to serve public schools equally. The school designee will assign classroom placements in cooperation with the Center for School Partnerships and Teacher Certification.

The screening process for student teaching may require employment history, personal and employment references, an interview, and testing. Every applicant for student teaching will be asked if he or she has a criminal record. A photograph will also be required from any individual who works with children. Authorization by the applicant must be given to the College to release information that is critical to teaching performance to the public school prior to or during the placement process. The School of Education and Professional Studies reserves the right to dismiss any candidate determined to be unfit for the teaching profession at any time.

Prospective SUNY Potsdam students are advised that the student teaching experience is offered in certain counties within the state. Due to limited placement possibilities, it is impossible to place every student in the community he or she desires. The College cannot guarantee a field experience placement at any location or in any semester. No assurances are given in regard to students’ preferences for teaching placements. No self-placements are considered and no out-of-state placements are possible. Student teaching may be arranged in New York City and abroad through the programs described below.

SUNY Urban Teacher Education Center (SUTEC)

The Center for School Partnerships and Teacher Certification at SUNY Potsdam works closely with the SUNY Urban Teacher Education Center (, under the direction of the New York City Department of Education. SUTEC’s primary mission is to assist the 17 SUNY campuses that offer teacher preparation programs in the placement of teacher candidates in New York City public schools. These experiences prepare prospective teachers to become competent and confident professionals in urban, multicultural education environments. SUTEC also facilitates the recruitment of SUNY teacher education graduates for New York City schools and provides an academic center for scholarship and research on urban education.

Prospective and current candidates are welcome to contact or visit the SUTEC office in New York City to talk with the Director about the opportunities for student teaching in New York City and other issues relating to their student teaching, the housing application process, or future employment in the city schools.