Can I get a major or minor in Education?

Siena College offers a program that leads to certification in teaching at the secondary level. However, it does not offer a major or minor exclusively in education. Instead, students in this program must select a major and meet all of the course requirements for that major to receive a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Business Administration degree to accompany their teaching certificiate. In addition, students must complete all requirements for the Teacher Preparation Program.

When should I start to take Education courses?

Students may start taking Education courses as early as their first semester of Freshman year. Generally, work in the education core is completed in the sophomore and junior years. Although you will be advised through the appropriate department concerning requirements in your major, students in education programs should consult with the Education Department faculty early concerning program and certification policies. Students who are not formally enrolled in the Teacher Preparation Program, but who are interested in using education for related career opportunities, may seek advisement from the Education Department staff as well.

What subjects can I get certified to teach?

Siena College’s Education department offers programs leading to New York State initial teacher certification at the secondary level (grades 7-12) in the following areas: English, French, Spanish, Social Studies (for American Studies, History, Political Science, and Sociology majors), Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Business and Marketing (all grades)(for majors in Accounting, Economics [B.S.], Finance, Marketing, and Management).

Can I teach subjects below grade 7?

Students who successfully complete EDUC-360 (Adolescence and Schooling) and EDUC-385 (Teaching and Learning in the Middle School), and who have completed all other requirements of Siena College's program for secondary certification, are eligible for an extension of their teaching certificate into grades 5-6. This, is a secondary extension, that only allows you to teach the subject area in which you hold certification—not all subjects in 5th and 6th grades in an elementary school setting.

What other educational programs and opportunities are available?

The Education Department offers elective courses that will allow students in the Teacher Preparation Program the opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of the field of education. For students who are not enrolled in the certification program, but whose career goals include teaching at the elementary grades level or are education-related, the department provides the opportunity to develop a sequence of courses that will serve as a foundation for graduate work in fields such as elementary education, school psychology, guidance and counseling, school social work, reading, ENL, or special education.

What about elementary education certification? 

Siena College currently offers a program that leads to secondary certification only (grades 7-12). However, participating in the Educational Studies Minor can give you a substantial foundation for your graduate level work for an elementary certification.  

What graduate level programs do you offer? 

Siena College is an undergraduate college and does not offer any graduate level programs with the exception of accounting. We do, however,  have several agreements with area graduate schools that will help you get to the next level.  Click here for more information on Graduate Studies.

What do your Saints do after graduation?

Where do they work?

Do I have to study a language other than English to become certified to teach?

New York State requires that all prospective teachers study a language other than English at the college level or its equivalent. The Education Department has guidelines for "equivalence." This means that to become certified to teach you must have at least one college level credit in a second language (including American Sign Language). However, some departments (English, History, and American Studies) require students to have a minimum of 6 college level credits in a second language to be eligible to receive the bachelors degree. You must check the second language requirement for your academic department and also check with the academic department to see if they allow American Sign Language to satisfy this requirement.

What are the requirements for acceptance into the Teacher Preparation program?

Students must apply to the Education Professions Committee (EPC) for acceptance into the Teacher Preparation program. This committee consists of a representative from the Writing Center and each of the following departments: Business, Biology, History, Mathematics, Chemistry, Education, Modern Languages/Classics, English, and Physics. The EPC will evaluate each applicant's portfolio which will contain the academic history of the student and the items listed below:


minimum overall GPA of at least 2.75 (This varies by department)

  • Submit completed application to the Director of Field Experience
  • Successful completion of EDUC 210, 260, 261 and 365 [minimum GPA of 3.0 in education]
  • Endorsement by the subject matter department (Required GPA varies)
  • Submission of an acceptable portfolio which includes a letter of recommendation from a professor in your content area, reflection of field experience, and reflection of work from content area, and a resume 
  • Endorsement by the Education Department
  • Review and acceptance by the Education Professions Committee

minimum overall GPA of at least 2.75 (This varies by department)

  • Endorsement by the subject matter department after a review of transcripts
  • Application for Student Teaching submitted to the Director of Field Experience
  • Application for Admission as a Special Student submitted to the Director of Field Experience
  • Successful completion of EDU 210, 260, 261, and 365 [minimum GPA of 3.0 in education]
  • Submission of an acceptable writing portfolio
  • Endorsement by the Department of Education
  • Interview with and acceptance by the Education Professions Committee


Do I have to take any state exams for certification?

For Initial Certification in 7-12 Academic Subjects (English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, French, Spanish and Social Studies) and Business and Marketing (all grades) in New York State you must receive passing scores on the following New York State Teacher Certification Examinations:

  1. Content Specialty Test (CST)
  2. Educating All Students Exam (EAS)
  3. edTPA

What are the course requirements for the program?

Students seeking certification, in addition to meeting College and major requirements, are required by the Department to complete the Education Core (EDUC—210, EDUC—260, EDUC-261 and EDUC-365) and the Professional Sequence (EDUC—461, EDUC-462, EDUC—481, EDUC 482, EDUC—487, EDUC—488, EDUC—495, and EDUC—496).

Generally, work in the Education core is completed during the sophomore and junior years. The Professional Sequence begins first semester of Senior year with EDUC 481 & EDUC 482.  Second semester of Senior year is committed to student teaching (EDUC 487 & EDUC 488) and EDUC 461 & EDUC 462.  No other classes may be taken during the student teaching semester.  You must complete your major prior to beginning student teaching.  


Are field experiences required in any of the courses?

As part of their course work for EDUC-210, students will complete 10-15 hours of field experience. Students will complete at least a 20 hour field experience in all other education courses prior to the professional sequence. Each class has a particular set of placements and guidelines, please refer to these guidelines when selecting the placement.  Keep in mind that if you are interested in getting an Initial Secondary Education Certification, your placements must be in a 7-12 classroom or experience.  Students are responsible for their own transportation. 

In the professional sequence, as part of EDUC-481, students complete 40 hours of field experience, at least 20 hours in each of their future student teaching sites that spans the entire semester.

What if I plan to study abroad?

Students planning to study abroad are urged to consult early with faculty in the Education Department about their schedules. Students need to plan their programs so that they meet and follow the requirements of the Professional Sequence and Professional Semester (which is a full semester devoted to Clinical Experiences). The international experience may not interrupt the professional sequence.

What if I already have a bachelor's degree from Siena or another college or university?

The Department offers the opportunity to complete the academic requirements for an Initial Teaching Certificate in Adolescence Education (grades 7-12) or an Initial Teaching Certificate in Business and Marketing (all grades) to individuals who already possess a bachelor’s degree. The program consists of a minimum of 30 credit hours, not including the State foreign language requirement. To be admitted the individual must follow the procedures for Returning Students.  A minimum overall GPA of 2.75 is required. Individual programs will vary according to the prior educational experiences of the student. However, any program devised will always contain the requirement for completion of the entire Professional Sequence through Siena’s Education Department. For further information, please contact the Director of Field Experience.

Who can take Education electives?

In addition to meeting the minimum requirements for certification, the Department encourages its students to elect other Education courses that will broaden the base of the student’s professional knowledge and increase his/her ability to deal with the complex problems being met by classroom teachers today. These electives are also open to non-Education students who desire to consider educational questions in a formal manner.