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Early Childhood Program

Program Highlights


Degree Options

Early Childhood, Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

Early Childhood Studies: Birth - Age 5, Bachelor of Science (BS)


Students in SUNY Cobleskill’s Early Childhood programs have multiple opportunities to interact with infants through 5-year-olds while observing how early childhood professionals work with, guide, and present lessons to the children.

Current research from the fields of developmental psychology, early education, infant mental health, cultural anthropology/family studies, and pediatric science is woven throughout the curriculum to ensure students understand the complex nature of early development and learning.

In addition to our conventional classrooms, the College operates two excellent early childhood laboratory schools, the Cobleskill Campus Child Care Center and a half-day preschool program at the Child Development Center. It bears noting that, while many colleges have either just one lab school or none at all, the fact that SUNY Cobleskill has two helps set our programs apart.

The mission of the Early Childhood program is to provide guidance and learning opportunities, including authentic experiences, to students who choose to work with children and families as they become early childhood professionals.

Students are engaged in course work, research, child observation, and field-based experiences working directly with very young children and families in community agencies and educational settings. Graduates are preparing for employment and/or advanced study that requires deep knowledge of early development, best practices in early care and education, and effective methods of family engagement. E-portfolios are developed during practicum and internship. Sample courses include:

  • Child Growth & Development
  • Infants & Toddlers
  • Intro to Community Agencies
  • Applications in Child & Family
  • Adolescent Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Sociology of the Family
  • Foundations of Modern Education
  • Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health
  • Child & Family Wellness
  • Positive Child Guidance
  • Exceptional Children
  • Curriculum and Methods
  • Literary Development in Young Children
  • Math/Science for Young Children
  • Anti-Bias Strategies: A Human Relations Approach
  • Conflict Resolution: Creating a Peaceful Environment

A degree in Early Childhood Studies from SUNY Cobleskill can open up career opportunities in many different professional settings. An employment survey of our 2017 BS alumni showed a wide variety of placements, such as:

  • Early Intervention case worker and technical consultant
  • Early Head Start and Head Start Lead teachers
  • Lead teacher in an infant-thru-school-age child care center
  • Proprietor of an in-home child care business
  • Teacher of*:
    • Public kindergarten
    • UPK
    • 2nd grade
    • Special education
    • High school Consumer & Family Science
  • Family Court Child Advocate
  • Infant/Toddler Technical Assistant in NYC and the capital district
  • Teachers at private schools, such as Waldorf, Springbrook and Montessori
  • Domestic violence program worker at Catholic Charities
  • Caseworker, Department of Social Services

*NYS Certification requires completion of Board of Education requirements via a Master’s program or “Alternative” pathway.

Students have two ways to study abroad in the Early Childhood program. They may choose from several international study-abroad classes, each for 3 credits. These are held in such diverse locations as Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Poland, Ireland, Spain, Canada, Peru, Mexico, Turkey, China, Australia and Anguilla.

Additionally, students may elect to do their internship work at an international site. Past venues have included Australia, Anguilla and Turkey.

Two types of internships are required. At the associate degree level, a practicum must be conducted, for a total of 225 hours. At the baccalaureate level, a standard internship must be undertaken, for 450 hours.

As mentioned above, because we maintain a number of MOUs with several New York State graduate schools, SUNY Cobleskill can guarantee that students who complete their BS degree will be admitted to a graduate program. Some of the participating schools are:

  • College of Saint Rose
  • Long Island University
  • Mercy College
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (education for the deaf) 
  • SUNY Cortland
  • SUNY Plattsburgh
  • Utica College

Students in the Early Childhood programs at SUNY Cobleskill can take advantage of a unique array of facilities for use in the course of their studies. Most notable among these are our two On-Campus EC Laboratory Schools: the Effie Bennett-Powe Child Development Center (for preschool), and the Cobleskill Campus Child Care Center (for infants through school age children).

Students and faculty at the annual early childhood conference

Early Childhood students and faculty at the New York Association for the Education of Young Children's Annual Conference at Turning Stone Resort, in Verona, New York. This powerful day of learning emphasized excellence in early care and education services through advocacy and the support of the profession.

Our Early Childhood Association is open to any student interested in the education and welfare of young children. The association’s purpose is to raise money for community programs serving children, to provide special programs for community children, and to provide information to the public regarding children’s needs and rights.


Elise N. WeissDepartment Chair: Assistant Professor Elise N. Weiss has taught at SUNY Cobleskill since 2005. She was an elementary school teacher for ten years in Delhi, NY before moving her career to higher education. She has worked to incorporate SMART Board technology, STEM learning, and Project Wild into the early childhood curriculum. She takes pride in supervising students in the practicum phase of the program in which they work directly with teachers and young children. In addition to teaching, Mrs. Weiss is the Early Childhood Association Faculty Advisor. She promotes leadership and community engagement through the club, and provides volunteer opportunities for her students to fully immerse themselves in the field. She has a M.S. in Reading and a B.S. in Elementary Education, both from SUNY Oneonta. She has also taken coursework towards an advanced degree in Educational Theory and Practice at SUNY Albany. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Mrs. Weiss now resides in Cobleskill with her husband and children.
weissen@cobleskill.edu | 518-255-5459


Associate Professor Suzanne Fine teaches a variety of early childhood courses such as Expressive Arts, Curriculum and Methods, Anti-Bias Strategies and Conflict Resolution. She taught elementary school in rural Virginia and preschool in the Boston, Massachusetts area before earning her Master’s degree in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she was also a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Early Childhood Education. She has presented with colleagues at the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s annual state and national conference. Her interests include child centered teaching, the arts, and diversity and social justice issues in education. Associate Professor Fine is a licensed Kindermusik educator and Zumba instructor who loves to row on the Mohawk River during the summer and fall.
finesm@cobleskill.edu | 518-255-6237


Dr. Carol A. S. Morris joined the team at SUNY Cobleskill in August 2017. Her PhD was earned at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, in Applied Developmental Psychology. Her areas of interest and expertise are the social-emotional well-being of young children and those who care for them. She has worked in the Early Childhood field for more than thirty years in a variety of capacities, from nanny and infant-toddler teacher to Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant. More recently, she has been on the faculty at the University of Oklahoma at Tulsa where she was the “infant-toddler person,” and at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, teaching courses in infant and child development, observational assessment, early childhood environments, infant curriculum, and child and family wellness, among others. At SUNY Cobleskill, she is developing a course in Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health and a research project that involves support for Head Start teachers. She hails from northern New Jersey originally and is happy to be back in the Northeast! Hobbies include singing and doing needlework, and she is hoping to take up weaving in the near future.
morrisca@cobleskill.edu | 518-255-5513


Kelly YacobucciKelly Yacobucci is a new addition to the Early Childhood department as of fall 2021, but she has been a part of SUNY Cobleskill for decades. She is a proud SUNY alumna with the following degrees from Cobleskill; AAS: Business Administration, AAS: Early Childhood, and BS: Child Care and Development. She earned her Masters of Liberal Studies through SUNY Empire State College, which taught her so much about quality online degree instruction. Kelly taught at the Cobleskill Campus Child Care Center for five years before being hired at the college. Within the fourteen years teaching at the college, Kelly has taught courses in English, Communication, and Student Success. In addition to teaching, she is currently serving as the Honors Program Director and the Teaching Innovation Learning and Technology Collaborative Coordinator. 
Kelly and her husband, along with three school-aged sons, have an ever-growing farm. Her family is involved with 4-H and her boys enjoy showing cattle, goats, and rabbit. 

Keeping up with latest research and trends in the professional field, the college’s 2 Early Childhood programs incorporate the study of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and ‘trauma-informed’ practices.

Graduates, therefore, are prepared to promote healthy social and emotional development, self-regulation, and resiliency among young children and families. In spring 2018, a new upper level course in Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health was offered to delve deeper into issues of mental health for children birth to age 5 and families.

Students will explore aspects of child rearing/parenting, child care, education, and communities that help or hinder the development of emotional well-being and positive social relationships. Course content will be aligned with the New York State Association of Infant Mental Health (NYS AIMH) and its endorsement levels.

Learn More About Our Learning Facilities

Effie Bennett-Powe
Child Development Center
Cobleskill Campus
Child Care Center

Early Childhood Education Best Schools 2018 Badge from Schools.com
Schools.com has ranked SUNY Cobleskill in the top 10 for best Early Childhood Education in 2018. Congratulations to our exceptional faculty and staff!


Related News

Early Childhood Studies Grant Funds Paid Internships for Future Educators 

Prepping for the Future: Teaching Students to be Teachers