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In the Spotlight
August 18, 2021

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Childhood Education Now Fully Online

St. Francis College will now offer its post-baccalaureate certificate in childhood education program both online and through traditional classroom instruction, providing flexible learning options to college graduates who want to pursue teaching careers.

The one-year post-bacc certificate program equips students who have already earned bachelor's degrees with the skills and knowledge necessary to become New York State certified teachers in grades one through six.

Students can opt to take some or all of the program's required courses online, making it convenient for those with jobs or other commitments to complete the coursework. All courses are also available in-person, at SFC's Remsen Street campus in Brooklyn.

Students in the post-bacc program will also gain practical, hands-on knowledge and skills through a supervised teaching experience inside one of New York City's richly diverse primary school classrooms.

The online post-bacc certificate program, offered for the first time in the 2021-22 academic year, is part of the SFC's ongoing effort to provide more distance learning opportunities throughout its curriculum.

This summer, SFC announced that five of its degree programs – including a newly-introduced M.S. in Exercise and Sport Science – can be completed completely or partially online beginning this academic year.

Last year, the College unveiled its first fully online degree program, a B.S. in Exercise and Movement Science, that educates students for a range of careers in the growing fields of fitness and health.

"We know that many prepared, motivated students cannot make in-person college classroom learning work in their lives, often because of job and family commitments," said Jennifer Lancaster, Ph.D., Vice President of Academic Affairs. "SFC is deeply committed to removing obstacles to education, and that means providing as much flexibility as possible for students to learn when and where it makes sense for them. Deepening our online offerings is just one way we fulfill that commitment."

For years, St. Francis College's Education Department has been preparing new generations of educators, offering undergraduate degrees in childhood and adolescent education and physical education that ready students for graduate school, professional certification, and teaching positions in primary and secondary school settings.

"The Education Department at St. Francis College has celebrated a long and honored tradition of preparing educators," said Marina Gair, Ph.D., Chair of the Education Department. "Its longstanding mission has been to ensure that they are compassionate, competent, and qualified, with a deep commitment to Franciscan values and ideals of service to the communities in which they will teach. Our desire has always been to send forth educators who affirm the gifts and encourage the imagination of generations of children as they embark on their journeys as citizens of the world."

"With the addition of our new post-bacc program, we are inspired to continue to prepare educators to take their Franciscan heart into every classroom and use it as a compass in guiding their decisions," added Dr. Gair. "I can't imagine any child failing under that philosophy of teaching."

In October 2020, New York State approved SFC's application to offer a post-bacc certificate program. In July 2021, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, SFC's accreditation body, approved SFC's application to deliver that program online.

This spring, SFC unveiled SFC Forward, its vision for the College for the coming years. At the center of SFC Forward is a new campus SFC is building in Downtown Brooklyn that will open doors to students in September 2022. SFC Forward also includes plans to provide more online learning opportunities and to introduce new degree programs that meet 21st century job market demands.

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