Area of Study Guidelines: Educational Studies for Students Matriculated Before Jan. 1, 2008 Policy

Area of Study Guidelines: Educational Studies for Students Matriculated Before Jan. 1, 2008 Policy


Academic Affairs


Vice Provost





Effective Date:


Implementation History:



Area of study guidelines, Educational Studies

Background Information:


To provide context for the area of study guidelines for area of study Educational Studies.


Area of Study Guidelines: This set of guidelines helps students plan their degree plans by spelling out what the academic world and many employers understand a particular concentration to mean. The guidelines are found in many academic publications.

Disciplinary — A program of study guided by the existing framework of a discipline.

Interdisciplinary — The simultaneous and interrelated study of two or more disciplines.

Problem Oriented — A program of study organized around a problem.

Professional/Vocational — A study which focuses on acquiring knowledge and skills needed for specific career performance and applications. It also entails
inquiry into the conceptual foundations of the profession, the role of the professional in that career, and the relations between the profession and society at large.

Registered Teacher Certification Program: SUNY Empire State College does not have a registered teacher certification program at the undergraduate level.

Thematic — A program of study focusing on a particular theme or set of ideas.


Teaching and learning begin with the family and gradually build to include, although they are not limited to, the community, schools, the workplace, farms, hospitals, prisons, colleges and universities.

Therefore, to understand educational institutions and the teaching and learning process, students developing concentrations in educational studies should:

  • inquire into who, when, where and why people participate in educational and learning activities by including the history, philosophy, sociology and psychology of education as basic foundation studies
  • gain knowledge and skills in the uses and applications of technology in education
  • build a broad foundation in the liberal arts and sciences, including multicultural perspectives by designing a range of learning activities including independent study, technology-mediated learning, field experiences and group studies.

Students who are not planning to engage in teaching, but are interested in educational processes and institutions, can design concentrations that examine these institutions and processes through the framework of the social and behavioral sciences and other disciplines, including anthropology, economics, history, philosophy, political science, psychology and sociology. For example, a concentration may be developed in the history of education, the economics of education, the sociology of education, educational psychology, etc. Degree programs also can be organized according to thematic or problem-oriented frameworks, with concentrations such as education and society, education and social change, education and public policy, learning communities and lifelong learning.

Students who are not planning to become certified teachers in New York state may design concentrations that include both the studies referred to and studies that focus on the relationship between theory and practice, and on educational practice itself. These students may be planning to work, or may be working, in teaching/training programs for adults, workforce development, community education, international training and development or other nonpublic institutions or educational settings.

Note: Empire State College does not have a registered teacher certification program at the undergraduate level. Students interested in preparing themselves for teaching certification in New York state must consider their options carefully and should consult with an educational studies mentor. Educational studies may not be the best option; they may be better served with a concentration in a school subject area such as English, history, science, math, foreign language, etc., or they may want to consider an interdisciplinary program that combines educational studies with a specific discipline. Students must contact the State Education Department (S.E.D.) for specific certification requirements or speak with an S.E.D. advisor. They also should be aware that new and radically changed certification requirements were implemented in 2004.

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 January 1, 2008

College Learning Goals Policy