Area Of Study Guidelines: Educational Studies for Students Matriculated After Sept. 1, 2018

Area Of Study Guidelines: Educational Studies for Students Matriculated After Sept. 1, 2018


Academic Affairs


Assistant Vice President for Programs and Partnerships





Effective Date:


Implementation History:


Area of Study Guidelines, Educational Studies.

Background Information:


There is an increasing need for individuals who can help others both learn new things and apply what they know in various settings.  Students who choose to design a degree program in educational studies have careers in diverse settings, including training, teaching in certain settings or contexts, researching, and policymaking. Potential concentrations include, but are not limited to, early childhood studies, educational studies, educational technology, community and family education, and adult learning.

Students in Educational Studies will examine the processes involved in teaching and learning through coursework in topics such as theories of development and learning. Students will also be exposed to practical applications such as curriculum design and technology in the classroom. Through the examination of current issues, innovations, and research, students will build a foundation of historical, philosophical, sociological, multicultural, and gender perspectives in relation to education.

Note: A degree in Educational Studies from Empire State College does not directly lead to NYS teacher certification. Students will be asked to sign a teacher certification disclaimer in acknowledgement that they understand we do not offer certification. Students interested in obtaining teacher certification should consult the New York State Education Department for specific requirements and share these requirements with their primary mentor. Students planning to pursue certification after completing their Empire State College undergraduate degree should consult with the college through which they plan to pursue certification.



Learning Outcomes

Students with a degree in Educational Studies should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following competency areas, as appropriate to the concentration. In the rationale essay, students should describe how their degree program addresses these competencies, but they are not required to demonstrate that they have a separate study or course in each area. Competencies may be included in one or more studies or advanced standing components and while some courses are listed as examples, students are encouraged to think broadly and may address competencies in various ways.

Learners in Educational Studies will address the following competencies in their degree plans:

  • Professional standards. Understand the professional standards related to their chosen concentration. Examples include Exploring the Professions: Children and Child Care and Introduction to Teaching.
  • Foundational knowledge. Understand the foundational knowledge of the field from either a historical or philosophical perspective, grounding them in their chosen concentration.  Examples include Schooling in America and Historical Foundations of American Education.
  • Learners and learning. Understand learners and the theoretical approaches that support the learning process. Examples include Learning Theories and Human Learning: A Developmental Approach.
  • Social contexts of learning. Understand the sociological perspective of learning including the relationships between home, school, and community. Examples include Sociology of Education and Family and Society.
  • Curricular design, instructional strategies, and assessment. Understand knowledge of comprehensive curriculum design appropriate to their concentration. Examples include Curriculum and Environments for Preschoolers for those that plan to work with young children, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for students that plan to work in schools, or Models of Instructional Design for students interested in educational technology.
  • Language and literacy development. Understand language and literacy development appropriate to their concentration. Courses might include Emergent Literacy and Teaching Methods: Reading in Elementary Schools. Please note: Children’s Literature typically does not address language or literacy development.
  • Human development. Understand stages of human development appropriate to the chosen concentration. Please note: a lifespan course in human development is recommended. Students planning to work with a specific age group are strongly encouraged to undertake further study in that specific developmental stage to demonstrate breadth and depth. For example, students could take Human Development at the introductory level followed by Infant and Toddler Development, Child Development, or Adolescent Development at the advanced level depending on their focus.
  • Uses of technology. Understand the appropriate use of technology in teaching and learning and evaluate its success and/or failure in applied situations. Examples include Young Children and Technology and Utilizing Technology in the Classroom.
  • Cultural competency. Understand the range of human diversity, and potential implications for educational settings. To accomplish this, students might include courses such as The Culture of Caregiving: Infants, Toddlers and Families, Diversity in Educational Settings, and Race, Class, and Gender.
  • Methods of inquiry. Understand how to locate, evaluate and effectively use information related to their field. Examples include Observation & Assessment of Children, Statistics for the Social Sciences, and Qualitative Social Science Research: Design & Methods.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

Introduction to the Areas of Study Guidelines

Area of Study Guidelines: Educational Studies for Students Matriculated After September 1, 2015

Area of Study Guidelines: Educational Studies for Students Matriculated After January 1, 2008

Area of Study Guidelines: Educational Studies for Students Matriculated Before January 1, 2008

College Learning Goals Policy