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M.S.T. Adolescence Education: Social Studies

The Loading... program is designed to meet the New York State Education Department’s regulations on Teacher Education, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards, and the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), along with Advisory Board recommendations and alumni feedback. This program is nationally recognized by the NCSS and leads to Initial Certification in Adolescence Education: Social Studies (Grade 7-12), with a possible extension for Middle Childhood Education: Social Studies (Grade 5-6).

What You Will Learn

  • Research-based, innovative and inclusive teaching techniques to make social studies exciting and accessible in the classroom. 
  • Core content knowledge and strategies to create engaging lesson plans in alignment with the current New York State Social Studies Framework and Tool Kit.
  • Effective approaches for teaching students to read, write, and think critically about the social sciences.
  • Multiple opportunities to grow, take risks, and develop your own teaching philosophy.
  • The perspectives and skills necessary to meaningfully connect the social sciences to the lives of your students, ensuring that learners from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds have equitable access to high quality social studies education.
  • Communication skills to enhance your ability to teach in a collaborative environment.

The Fieldwork Experience:

  • Completion of 100 hours of fieldwork in a local school prior to student teaching, gaining hands-on understanding of educational environments and innovative teaching strategies used in today's classrooms.
  • One semester of student teaching, including two distinct placements in the middle and high school level.
  • A close relationship with your field supervisor, who is committed to offering the support and insight you need to reach your highest potential as an educator.

Unique Program Features:

  • Student teaching placements frequently result in full-time employment upon graduation.Our faculty has a large network of contacts in the field that lead to information about job opportunities, and our graduates regularly call for recommendations to fill positions.
  • Small class sizes promote close relationships with professors and fellow secondary social studies teacher candidates. Students graduate with a cohort who provides support throughout the length of their future careers.
  • An advisor guides you through the entire program, providing support that greatly enhances your education experience. 
  • Opportunities are offered to attend professional development workshops and/or conferences to help further your understanding of social studies content and pedagogy.

"Potsdam’s graduate program provided a great mix of theory and practice; the 100-hour practicum, as well as theory and research courses, allow you to mix the things you’ve learned into your work in classrooms. A highlight was the degree of interest the faculty took in making sure students got the most out of their education.”

~ Colin French

Program Contacts

Admissions / General Information
Center for Graduate Studies
(800) 458-1142 / (315) 267-2165
Raymond Hall 206

Program-Related Information
Jennifer Merriman
Program Coordinator
Satterlee 100B
(315) 267-2866