2019-2020 University Catalog 
    Jul 14, 2024  
2019-2020 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Educational Studies


Professor Palmer
Associate Professors Ríos-Rojas, Stern (Chair), Woolley
Assistant Professors Bonet, Sanya, Taylor
Visiting Assistant Professor Stiegler
Senior Lecturer Gardner
Visiting Lecturer Jaffee

The Department of Educational Studies offers two distinct undergraduate programs: (1) a major or minor in educational studies and (2) a preparation program for students intending to teach at either the elementary or secondary level. The department also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program for students preparing to teach at the secondary level.

Given these programs, the department offers a comprehensive study of formal and informal educational institutions and practices, and the ways they are affected by social forces. Interdisciplinary by design, classes draw on diverse methods of inquiry to analyze critically the historical and contemporary ways that people educate and are educated in the United States and societies across the globe. Theory, research, and practice work together to help students become more informed as consumers and producers of knowledge in a variety of educational contexts. Students learn to ask questions about the relationships between knowledge, power, and identity in educational contexts, and to reimagine education and its contribution to a democratic society.

Study Groups

The South Korea Study Group is a joint program between Educational Studies and Asian Studies. The program offers a dynamic experience for any Colgate University student due in part to its efforts to become a leader in the newly forming globalized world in which we live. South Korea is highly regarded for its rapid modernization, yet the people still hold to its traditional ways in mind and spirit. While the focus is on students’ development of educational studies theory and practice from a global perspective, they also gain a fascinating sociocultural experience.

Students enroll in four courses. The Director provides two courses for the students, one of which provides an opportunity to design a research project with a fieldwork component. Students then take two courses from the host university, Yonsei University. Yonsei offers a variety of courses in English. One course must be on the topic of Korea or East Asia. Prerequisites normally include EDUC 101  and at least one course in Asian Studies.

The Philadelphia Study Group offers students who are interested in a wide range of questions in and around education, urban studies, public policy, and social justice a full semester of coursework and experience in one of the most historically iconic and dynamic cities in the world. Lauded as “the birthplace of American democracy,” Philadelphia will be the backdrop through which the program will critically engage in an exploration of contemporary education policy and its relationship to material questions about the changing spatial and demographic topographies of American cities and theoretical questions about changing relationship between the public and the state. In close conversations with students, teachers, families, and community members, this program will provide an experimental platform to gain a more robust understanding about the issues surrounding contemporary education and urban policy and the community-based struggles that have emerged in response.


The Award for Excellence in Childhood Education — awarded by the department for excellence in elementary student teaching.

The Award for Excellence in Adolescence Education — awarded by the department for excellence in secondary student teaching.

The Charles H. Thurber Award — named after the first professor of pedagogy at Colgate (1893) and awarded by the department to an outstanding senior major.

Honors and High Honors

Students majoring in educational studies will have the option to apply for the EDUC 460 Honors Seminar , which will be offered during the spring term of their senior year. GPA is only one factor in the application, but generally students with an overall GPA of 3.30 and a departmental GPA of 3.50 will be considered for graduation with honors in educational studies. A departmental GPA of 3.70 and overall GPA of 3.30 will be considered for graduation with high honors.

All majors will be notified at the beginning of the fall semester of their senior year of the honors application procedures. The application deadline will normally be in late November and includes current transcripts, letter of recommendation, and a full proposal of the honors project to be conducted in the Honors Seminar.

Students will need to work closely with a department faculty member, ideally the faculty member leading EDUC 450 Senior Seminar Capstone  in the fall semester, prior to submitting the proposal. Seniors will normally develop their honors project proposal during the fall term while enrolled in EDUC 450 .

Department faculty will review all proposals and will notify students of their standing prior to the end of the fall semester. Once admitted, students will typically enroll in the Honors Seminar during the spring term of their senior year. The student will work with the Honors Seminar professor and one additional faculty adviser assigned by the department to complete and defend the honors project.

Students are required to defend their thesis. The defense will normally take place during the last week of classes in the spring semester. This involves a formal presentation of the thesis. The entire department of educational studies faculty will attend the defense and provide input to the Honors Seminar professor and the faculty adviser.  

The designation of ‘honors,” “high honors,” or “neither” will be determined by the Honors Seminar professor and the faculty adviser.

An honors project must bring something new into the world—it must teach us something or consider a particular question in a new light. In order to do this well, students will need to clearly articulate what the field of Educational Studies is and how their project is situated within our modes of inquiry/knowledge production. In order to take on an honors project, students will need to be interested in the topic in a way that they experience passionately, as well as intellectually.  

The Teacher Preparation Program

Director Gardner

The preparation of teachers is an all-university responsibility, generally directed by the Department of Educational Studies. The program encompasses liberal studies in education as well as studies and experiences designed to develop teaching effectiveness and professional leadership. The emphasis is on developing the student’s ability to relate knowledge and theory to skillful teaching in the interest of promoting greater social justice and environmental sustainability. Colgate’s undergraduate adolescence and childhood certification programs and the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) adolescence programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) for a period of seven years from May 7, 2014 until May 7, 2021.

There are three ways to become a certified public school teacher through the Teacher Preparation Program at Colgate. The first is the undergraduate teacher education program, which can be completed in the four-year undergraduate period and certifies successful candidates in childhood education (grades 1–6). The second is the undergraduate teacher education program, which can be completed in the four-year undergraduate period and certifies successful candidates in secondary education (grades 7–12 in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, English, Mathematics, Physics, or Social Studies). And the third is through Colgate’s MAT program. The MAT program certifies only at the secondary education level.

Successful completion of all requirements in all certification programs leads to recommendation for New York State initial teacher certification.

Students interested in pursuing teacher certification in New York State are strongly encouraged to have taken EDUC 101 , one of the Social and Cultural Diversity in Schooling, Teaching, and Learning  classes and one of The Nature of Childhood Education and Development   courses prior to the end of their sophomore year.

Students who wish to enter the program should submit an application to the director of teacher preparation as soon as possible. Application materials include a personal teaching statement, transcripts, an academic writing piece, and a letter of recommendation. Acceptance into a teacher certification program does not guarantee acceptance into the student-teaching semester.

Students are tentatively approved for student teaching in the spring of their junior year for undergraduates. Final approval depends on successful completion of all prerequisite courses in their program by the end of the spring term. A decision is made by the department to approve a candidate for student teaching based on previous academic performance at Colgate as well as the apparent suitability of the candidate for the teaching profession. The student must also submit to the program a letter of recommendation written by an individual who has observed the student in some teaching/learning capacity in a school setting. In general, the following GPA requirements will apply: for the secondary teaching programs, students should maintain a 3.00 GPA in education courses, 3.00 in the teaching field, and 3.00 overall; for the elementary teaching program, students will be expected to have a 3.00 GPA in education courses and a 3.00 overall.

Candidates for teacher certification in New York must pass competency examinations prepared by the State Education Department. (For comparative data from Colgate and other teacher education programs within New York State see www.highered.nysed.gov) Initial certification is available to U.S. citizens and to non-citizens who have completed a letter of intent to become a U.S. citizen. Teacher certification students are required to spend a minimum of 100 hours in a variety of field experiences related to coursework prior to student teaching. Please note that completing certification requirements is not the same as majoring in educational studies.

Students who wish to gain New York State teacher certification have the option of completing their professional semester in the fall term following graduation as part of the ninth semester program. To be eligible for this special program, students must have received their Colgate degree in the academic year prior to the professional semester and completed all other certification prerequisites prior to enrolling in the ninth semester. In the ninth semester, students are allowed to enroll only in the professional semester courses, which consist of two or three seminars (depending upon adolescence or childhood certification) and student teaching. Students admitted into the ninth semester program will be charged a small administrative fee (currently waived), must meet the usual requirements for enrollment at Colgate (such as proof of health insurance), and are responsible for locating their own off-campus housing. Students interested in the ninth semester program should meet with an educational studies faculty member to determine if they are eligible and apply to the program in the spring of their senior year.


Majors and Minors