What tips do you have for working with my advisor during registration?

Be prepared! Look at DegreeWorks and put a list together of classes you are interested in taking the next semester. You should also be thinking long-term, you can think about what the next Block will look like, how many concentration courses you still need, and what general education (GLOBE) requirements are left. Plan your timeline to student teaching so you know what’s in front of you. You should also put questions together, like what kind of career you’re thinking about, concerns about time to graduation, or if you’re thinking education might not be for you (that’s totally ok!).

Are there any resources specific to the School of Education that can help me with registration?

DegreeWorks is your best tool to check what courses you still need, and the Registration portal is how you’ll search for courses. Each semester our Graduate Assistants offer registration sessions to help students navigate all of the tools available to students as well as to talk about the actual registration process. Check for your registration time ticket and make a note on your calendar of when your registration period opens. The main resource is you! Prepare, prepare, prepare.

What's a "Pre-Grad Check" hold?

All students who have earned 69 or more credits will be assigned a grad check hold once, this usually occurs during the junior year. This hold is lifted only after students meet with their advisor to talk about registration and program completion plans. If you have a pre-grad check hold, you should be thinking about student teaching, completing your program, and participating in commencement!

Practicum & Field Placements

What is practicum?

Practicum offers teacher candidates the opportunity for an extended, deep level of engagement during a field experience. It’s more than an observation as teacher candidates engage in the planning and implementation of an instructional lesson and assessment of student learning.

What are field placements?

Field placements are school-based experiences associated with your education coursework that provide you with opportunities to explore and reflect on your content, professional, and pedagogical knowledge and skills in a variety of classroom settings. The School of Education plans for scaffolded field experiences that start off with early field experiences that are primarily focused on active observation then practicum experiences, which, as stated above, are deeper levels of engagement field experiences, and end with the capstone student teaching semester.

How can I prepare for my field placement?

Make sure you review specific course requirements for each field experience. Review all materials and guidance provided by the Office of Field Experiences prior to attending a field placement, whether that is an early field experience or a practicum experience.

What do I do if I don't have a car for student teaching?

We place student teachers at schools and districts within a 50 mile radius of Geneseo. Each student will have two placements. Students are responsible for their own transportation, which may include walking, using public transportation, driving their own vehicle, or carpooling with other students headed to the same school. More information about student responsibilities can be found on our Student Teaching webpage.

Certification & Exams

How will the School of Education prepare me for my certification exams?

Each class will build on previous knowledge working towards the requirements of your certification area. While we do not specifically offer courses focused on your certification exams, you will have the knowledge and experiences to do well on the exams.

Are there courses or workshops offered to better prepare me for my certification exams?

We recommend taking advantage of the free study guides provided by NYSTCE.

What will the certification process look like? How do we go about it?

You’ll start by creating a TEACH account and getting fingerprinted. As you move towards completing your program, you’ll want to schedule your certification exams and request your certification recommendations. Once your degree is conferred and your certification recommendations are entered, you’ll apply for your certification in TEACH. The full process is outlined on our Teacher Certification webpage.

How long does preparing for the teacher certification exams usually take?

This depends on each individual. Using your coursework, personal notes, experiences in the field, and the free study guides provided by NYSTCE, study until you feel confident about the materials included in each exam. We recommend taking the exams as close to finishing your coursework as possible.

When should we take our certification exams?

We recommend taking the exams as close to finishing your coursework as possible, but we also know that scheduling the exams around student teaching and other student activities can be tough! You’ll want to find exam times and locations that work for you based on your schedule and your needs.

Graduation, commencement, completing your degree, and degree conferral - what are they?

As you near the end of your program, you’ll hear these words tossed around so it’s important to know what each one is.

  • Commencement / Graduation = the ceremony to celebrate the completion of your degree program
  • Graduate, as in, “when you graduate” = completing your degree program
  • Degree conferral = your program completion has been certified by the Registrar’s Office and you have a final transcript and diploma
  • Certification recommendation = what Geneseo submits to confirm we recommend you for certification within your program area(s)

Graduate Assistants

What are Graduate Assistants?

Graduate Assistants in the School of Education are typically full-time Geneseo students in an education Master’s program. They go through an application process and serve in the role for one year. Graduate Assistants receive a stipend and a tuition waiver as part of their compensation. They help with field placements, attend observation sessions during field placements, and they assist with assignments within the Dean’s Office.

How can I become a Graduate Assistant?

Incoming or continuing graduate students can go through the application process in the spring semester for the following academic year. Typically graduate assistant positions are posted in early January and can be found on Geneseo’s employment website.

Master's Degrees

What type of Master’s degree do you recommend for someone who wants to be an elementary school teacher?

You’ll want to choose a Master’s program related to your initial certification area(s). According to NYS, there are two requirements to move towards a professional certification. The first is that you attend an accredited institution of higher education. The second is that you earn 12 semester hours (credits) in the Graduate Coursework Content Core. The Graduate Coursework Content Core is met through one of the following qualifications (more information can be found on TEACH’s website): 

  1. You have already been issued a Permanent or Professional certificate.
  2. You earn a Master’s degree after earning an early childhood education, childhood education, or students with disabilities initial certificate.
  3. If the Master’s degree results in a college recommendation.
  4. If the Master’s degree is in a related area to the initial certificate.
  5. The Master’s degree is in a specific pedagogical area.
If you can get a Master’s degree that covers some grades that your undergraduate degree did not, can you teach in those grades? For example, if I get certified B-6, but then get a master’s degree that includes middle or high school grades, can I teach those grades as well?

Generally, yes. The Master’s degree needs to be related to your initial certification to count towards your professional certification. You’ll be responsible for justifying how your chosen Master’s program is related to your initial certification if it isn’t directly related to it.

Many Master’s programs for education are online. How respected are online degrees? Will jobs I apply to even know that the program was an online format?

Obtaining a Master’s degree from an accredited institution is important for certification in NYS, most regional schools and all SUNY institutions are fully accredited. When you attend courses at these institutions, there is no indication on transcripts how those courses were offered, whether it was in-person, hybrid, or online.

Some online programs are offered nationally, or internationally, and you’ll want to check to see what accreditation they hold. Accreditation should include regional accreditation (such as Middle States Commission on Higher Education or New England Commission on Higher Education) as well as a recognized education program accreditation (such as CAEP or AAQEP).