Inclusive Childhood Education Major

The inclusive childhood education major will prepare you to serve all learners at the elementary level (grades 1 to 6).

We believe that effective teachers must be well-equipped to serve children with diverse needs in a variety of educational settings. That’s why inclusive childhood education majors are exposed to theories, philosophies, strategies and methods designed to meet the wide range of learner needs in a variety of inclusive, elementary-level contexts. Upon completion of the program, you will be recommended for teacher certification in both childhood education (grades 1-6) and special education (grades 1-6).

Each component of this program is designed for your ongoing development for leadership and service, and, beginning with your first year in our program, you’ll be immersed in a variety of field and coursework that requires the intentional critical thinking and action needed for today’s classrooms. Diverse experiences within rural schools of Western New York and urban schools of Buffalo paired with coursework expectations provide a carefully scaffolded and challenging environment for you to develop as an emerging educator.

Why Major in Inclusive Childhood Education?

  • Be equipped for transformative learning and service.
  • Collect 150 hours of contact time in general and/or inclusive classroom settings PRIOR to student teaching.
  • Practice what you’ve learned in the college classroom through abundant opportunities to be in area classrooms observing, doing service-learning, and so on in the first and second years.
  • Experience teaching in an inner-city setting during a two-week site experience in Buffalo, NY, called Teaching in Urban America.
  • Receive intentional, personalized academic advising and mentoring by education faculty across your entire Houghton experience
  • Dedicate one full semester to student teaching during your senior year.
  • Do collaborative research with teacher education program faculty members, and present your findings at international, national and regional conferences.

Inclusive childhood education students must choose either of the following:

  • A concentration in art*, communication, English, humanities, intercultural studies, mathematics, mathematics/science, science, music*, social studies, or writing.
  • A second major selected from the following: art, biology (BA), chemistry (BA), communication, English, history, humanities, intercultural studies, math, music (BA), physics (BA), political science, or writing.

*NOTE: Completion of a concentration or major in art (BA) or music (BA) in conjunction with the ICE major does not lead to certification to teach art or music.

Major Requirements

Experiential Learning

  • Math, Division, Literacy Days: Groups of students come to campus, and Houghton students are in charge of setting this up.
  • Many current students participate in summer AmeriCorps opportunities in Buffalo where they work with English Language Learners in summer programs such as JumpStart.
  • Local placements and Buffalo-area placements are available, or you can apply to do a portion of your student teaching overseas.
  • During the Junior Practicum, students get connected to a teacher or group of teachers for the entire year.
  • Choose from a wide variety of service learning opportunities—from working with small groups in after-school programs or collaborating with local teachers for various learning opportunities to volunteering at Journey’s End Tutoring in Buffalo or Reading Club at King Center Charter School (Buffalo), tutoring in local schools, or participating in Allegany County Outreach.

Intentional Mentoring by Houghton Faculty

At Houghton, your education professors serve as mentors throughout your coursework and fieldwork. This mentoring relationship begins through classroom discussions; develops further through advising sessions, feedback on assignments and lesson observations; and remains strong and available even after graduation. We don’t adjunct field experiences (i.e., practicum, student teaching); each student receives careful placement and personal oversight by full-time education faculty who know them very well.

New York State Teacher Certification

Students completing adolescence education, inclusive adolescence education, inclusive childhood education or music education majors may apply for an Initial Teaching Certificate from New York State. In addition to completing the requirements for the major, applicants for New York State teacher certification must complete the required New York State Teacher Certification Examinations appropriate to the desired teaching certificate(s).

Inner City Immersion Experience for All Students

Education students can experience teaching in an inner-city setting during a two-week site experience in Buffalo, NY, called Teaching in Urban America. The students have the opportunity to observe and engage in a more diverse classroom setting; discuss culture, poverty, privilege and race and their relationships with education; engage in a service-learning project in the community; and explore the city of Buffalo.

Application Requirements


Start Your Application

Complete the application here
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Documents and Supporting Materials

You’ll be asked to provide your official high school transcript and your test scores (can be waived)
Testing Policy

Personal Statement

The personal statement portion of our application for admission is perhaps the best place to truly tell your story, to tell who you are and what is important to you.
Personal Statement

Have Questions?

Discover if earning your degree in Inclusive Childhood Education from Houghton College is right for you.