Directors: Nancy Blanning / Leslie Burchell-Fox, MSEd
Sunbridge’s Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Education Completion Track is an opportunity for early childhood educators with substantial experience in a Waldorf early childhood setting as well as relevant prior coursework or training to apply their background to become fully WECAN-credentialed.
This is an every-other-year offering and will next enroll June 18-July 7, 2023. See admissions information and application below.
The Program Experience
The Completion Track involves 8 weeks of coursework—a three-week intensive in the first summer followed by a one-week November intensive, a one-week March intensive, and a three-week intensive in the second summer—plus mentored teaching practice. It is designed to be completed over the course of 13 months.
Note: Unless physical safety restrictions necessitate long-distance instruction via Zoom classrooms, all intensives are held on campus.
The Completion Track utilizes our regular Early Childhood core and adjunct faculty. As a Sunbridge student, you’ll benefit from the wide array of resources available to us as part of the Threefold Educational Center community.
- Inner Development of the Educator: working with one’s inner life and biography as a process of becoming
- Esoteric Science: Rudolf Steiner’s in-depth study of the spiritual nature of human and cosmic evolution
- Professional and Social Aspects of Education: Threefold Social Order and the Social Question, the art of working together
Child Development and Waldorf Education
- Early Childhood Development II/III/IV: including working with the lower senses, child study and observation, and first grade readiness
- Therapeutic Aspects of Waldorf Early Childhood Education
- Early Childhood Seminar and Independent Project Presentations
Art for the Educator
- Watercolor Painting
- Sculpture and Woodcarving
- Instrumental Music, Movement, and Singing
Practical Activities of Waldorf Early Childhood Education
- Rhythmic Games and Music in the Mood of the Fifth
- Hand Gesture Games of Wilma Ellersiek
- Handwork: working with wool, plant dyes, etc.
- Puppetry and Marionettes
- Gardening and Experiences in Nature
Mentored Early Childhood Teaching Practice
Each program student is assigned a faculty mentor—a master early childhood educator who will visit you in your work with young children each fall and spring during the length of the program to offer support and guidance in practical aspects of your work and in your development as an educator.
In addition to on-campus classes, students complete study assignments and independent projects, as well as attend some remote evening classes, between intensives. The Completion Track includes 373.75 hours of classes.
Directors / Faculty
Please visit our Faculty page to read bios of our Early Childhood program directors and faculty.
2023-2024 Academic Calendar
Summer 2023 Intensive
Monday, June 18 – Friday, July 7
Fall 2023 Intensive
Monday, November 12 – Friday, November 17
Spring 2024 Intensive
Monday, March 17 – Friday, March 22
Successful completion of their Sunbridge studies enables our Early Childhood students and graduates who hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution to receive 12 credits toward a fully-accredited SUNY master of education or master of arts in liberal studies degree with self-designed concentration in Waldorf Education, through our partnership with Empire State College of the State University of New York.
The Completion Track is intended to serve Waldorf early childhood educators with both significant experience and relevant prior coursework. Candidates must have a minimum of 5 years of lead-teaching experience in a WECAN-affiliated Waldorf setting. They must also have already successfully completed 200 hours of relevant coursework through a variety of workshops, conferences, courses, guided studies, and/or programs delivered by AWSNA- or WECAN-affiliated institutions either in person or in real-time virtual classrooms.
This coursework should include studies in these categories:
- Anthroposophical studies and human development
- Child development and Waldorf Education
- Arts for the educator
- Practical activities of Waldorf early childhood education
NOTE: Graduates of Waldorf-related but non-WECAN- or AWSNA-affiliated courses or programs should contact our admissions office to see whether their prior coursework qualifies them for consideration of admission. Acceptance and allocation of previous coursework as satisfying the 200-hour requirement will be at the discretion of the program directors.
You must be actively working in a Waldorf early childhood setting both at the time of your application and during your enrollment in our program (with exceptions for sabbaticals). A high school diploma is required for admission.
We are currently accepting applications for our cohort entering this June. The regular application deadline is May 1. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible, especially those individuals seeking financial aid.
A completed application consists of:
- Completed application form
- Non-refundable $50 application fee. Applications submitted after May 1 must include a $50 late fee.
- Current résumé
- Personal statement
- Two letters of recommendation, each accompanied by your signed letter of recommendation form and sent by your recommender directly to the Sunbridge Institute Admissions Office
- Letter/s from the school/s at which you have worked, verifying your 5 years of lead-teaching experience
- Copies of prior coursework completion certificate/s
- If applicable, a transcript indicating the highest level of college credits/degree earned; otherwise, your high school diploma/transcript
If mailing any materials, please send to:
Sunbridge Institute Office of Admissions
285 Hungry Hollow Road
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977
Once your application is received, it is reviewed for completeness and forwarded to an Early Childhood program director who will contact you for an interview. Admissions decisions are sent out soon thereafter, on a rolling basis.
Tuition / Financial Aid
Sunbridge is approved by the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to invite the transfer of foreign students into the United States to study at our Institute. We welcome students from all over the world to join our student body and engage in the pursuit of becoming a Waldorf teacher.
Applying for a visa with the support of Sunbridge Institute.
NOTE: All applicants whose first language is not English or who have taken their prior education in a non-English-speaking college or university must demonstrate oral and written proficiency in English during the admissions process (through a hand written personal statement and phone conversation). Taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) may be required.
Please contact our admissions office at [email protected] / 845-425-0055 x20
Please Note: Sunbridge Institute Waldorf Teacher Education programs and intensives are recognized by AWSNA, the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, and are licensed by BPSS, the Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision of the New York State Education Department. These offerings do not lead to New York State teaching certification.
Sunbridge Institute reserves the right to cancel or change any offering at any time and to make faculty or course substitutions when necessary.
In all of its dealings, including its admissions, educational, and employment practices, it is the policy of Sunbridge Institute, its Trustees, officers, employees and other duly authorized agents not to discriminate against any individual or group for reasons of race, color, creed, gender, age, culture, ethnicity, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation or identification, or mental or physical disability.