Why Choose Nazareth for Early Childhood and Elementary Education?

How do you give attention to one child while managing a class of 25? What are creative ways to engage a community of learners? How do you capture young hearts and minds and inspire them to reach their potential? The rewards and challenges of teaching in today’s classrooms are many.

Nazareth’s unique multiple certification program prepares you to apply for teacher certification in four different areas of general and special education, which leads to better preparation for the classroom and more employment options. Graduate with two full academic majors, one in inclusive early childhood/childhood education and one in the liberal arts and sciences. The childhood education degree program provides superb career services support and boasts a high job placement rate. 

Get Hired

We often receive requests from districts for Nazareth alumni. Information collected from the Class of 2021 found that none were seeking employment, 70% had gone on to grad programs, 20% were employed and 10% were both employed and in graduate school.

Program Highlights

  • Classes concentrate on child development, learner characteristics, differentiated instruction, culturally responsive teaching, and special education. Become prepared to teach all students (not simply a “dual” certification program).
  • Unique to Nazareth, most courses are taught on-site in local primary and elementary schools, which enables immediate connections between theory and practice and provides hands-on experience in the classroom throughout the program.
  • You'll be placed in a variety of settings, including urban, rural, and suburban schools.
  • Extracurricular opportunities to work with children through Nazareth include Saturday Art for Children classes, Partners for Serving, Partners for Learning, Mary's Place, and Saint's Place.
  • Program requires one course and fieldwork/practicum during the summer after junior year, enabling you to be recommended for four certifications upon graduation.
  • Nazareth also offers an extensive graduate program with additional teacher certifications.
  • With the “four + one year” program option (completing bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years), receive your initial certification in four years, then choose one of 13 different paths for graduate studies or teaching.
  • Nazareth is nationally recognized for its Fulbright student scholars, and more than half of Nazareth's awardees in recent years have been education students.

Grants for Urban Education

New York state residents from groups historically underrepresented in the teaching field who enroll full-time in this degree program and are committed to teaching in high-need urban schools can apply to Nazareth for a Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC) scholarship.

Become a Changemaker

Develop the skills, knowledge, and disposition necessary to contribute to the ever-changing field of education. Your site-based coursework and clinical experiences will support you in becoming an educator who connects theory to practice and makes a lasting impact on the lives of your students.

Possible Majors and Certifications


Unlike schools with more limited options, Nazareth offers an inclusive early childhood/childhood education double major in many areas of the liberal arts and sciences.


Nazareth is one of only two schools in New York State offering an undergraduate inclusive education program for initial teacher certification in which candidates earn four certifications in four years:

  • Early Childhood Education (birth-grade 2), and
  • Teaching Students with Disabilities at the Early Childhood Level (birth-grade 2), and
  • Childhood Education (grades 1-6), and
  • Teaching Students with Disabilities at the Childhood Level (grades 1-6).
Marissa Evans, alum of elementary & early childhood education degree with NYS teacher certification

Alumni Spotlight: Marissa Evans '13, '14G

Special education teacher, Northside Elementary School, Fairport, N.Y.

"Nazareth’s site-based classes allowed me to take what I was learning within the classroom and immediately apply it in my day-to-day life. The professors at Nazareth were honest and sincere in their teaching as they carefully guided their students to become teachers themselves. The inclusive early childhood/childhood education major pushed me to step outside my comfort zone and reach my highest potential as an educator."

College of Distinction: Education badge

Meant to Teach

    Nazareth College educates the best teachers you know.

    Example Careers

    • Elementary teacher
    • Special education teacher
    • Early childhood intervention specialist
    • Kindergarten teacher
    • Museum educator
    • Preschool educator
    • UPK teacher

    Internships/Field Experiences

    • Ivan Green Primary School (East Irondequoit)
    • Bernabi Elementary School (Spencerport)
    • Leary Elementary School (Rush-Henrietta)
    • Lakeshore Elementary School (Greece)
    • Greece Community Early Learning Center
    • Rochester City School District School #25


    • Schools throughout Monroe County, including in the Rochester, Fairport, Greece, West Irondequoit, Victor, and Brighton school districts
    • Schools across New York state, including in the Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, and downstate areas
    • Schools in other states, including Maryland and Virginia
    • Early-childhood and childhood agencies throughout New York state, such as Hillside Foundation of Agencies