SUNY Empire State College's Master of Arts in Teaching in Childhood Special Education program is a 45-credit, innovative, clinically rich, approved teacher education program designed to meet the diverse needs and experiences of our students. The fully accredited program is designed for both career changers and recent college graduates seeking 1-6 New York State Initial certification. This Transitional B pathway is designed to be completed in two to three years of part-time study.
The program’s philosophy and subsequent courses are based on an inclusive model that prepares teacher candidates for collaboration and co-teaching in the inclusion classroom. The MAT in Special Education program’s goal is twofold:
- to produce caring and highly specialized teachers who have the ability to meet the challenges in today’s inclusion classrooms; and
- to produce teacher candidates who facilitate the growth of their students by empowering students to actively participate in their learning and reach their highest potential.
Program Delivery and Tuition Rate
Using blended approaches of online, face-to-face and video conferencing, the MAT in Childhood Special Education program is able to serve students in Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs and Syracuse. Completion of the program (and passing the appropriate certification exams) leads to Students with Disabilities 1-6 Generalist Initial and Professional certification. The MAT in Childhood Special Education program features extensive mentoring by program faculty, attention to the Common Core Learning Standards and other contemporary issues in New York state education, and a clinical orientation including extensive immersion in New York state schools. This program is billed at the non-MBA rate.
- A candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
- All graduate-level initial teacher certification programs in New York state require submission of entrance exams as part of the admissions application process. SUNY Empire State College will accept either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Millers Analogy Test (MAT). Applicants with an advanced degree (e.g., M.A., MSW, Ph.D., Ed.D., JD) from a regionally accredited college or university may request a waiver from the graduate admissions exam along with an official transcript documenting their degree. Waiver requests should be sent to the School for Graduate Studies (Grad@esc.edu).
An ideal candidate will:
- possess 24 credits in the liberal arts and sciences distribution (6 credits in Math, Science, Social Studies and English);
- meet general education coursework requirements; and
- have a cumulative GPA of 3.0, or the equivalent.
Please see the Graduate Admissions pages of this catalog for a complete listing of materials required to complete a graduate application.
Particular attention will be given to instructional design for the inclusive and co-teaching classrooms; special education identification and assessment practices; classroom management and behavioral interventions; foundations of research with an emphasis on action research; and applied behavioral analysis for severe stereotypical behavior.
Transitional B certification is a full New York state teaching certification that allows qualified MAT students to seek employment as teachers of record after just one year in the program. First-year requirements include successful completion of:
- 18 credits of introductory MAT in Special Education coursework
- 50 hours of field experience in New York state schools
- New York State Certification Exams (Multi-subject CST & EAS)
- Child Abuse, School Violence, Autism, & DASA training
- any general-education or liberal arts and sciences course deficiencies identified at admission
During the second and third years of the Transitional B certification pathway, students may continue their MAT coursework while working as a full or part-time 1-6 special education teacher in a New York state school2. In this setting, students will be mentored by MAT faculty members and networked with other Transitional B certification teachers across the state. The program culminates in the Mentored Teaching Capstone course. In addition to completing the 45-credit MAT program, students must pass the final New York State Certification Exam (Students with Disabilities CST) and the edTPA portfolio assessment in order to qualify for Initial certification.
Suggested Enrollment Sequence
|SPED 6005||Introduction to History of Special Education Law 1||3|
|SPED 6010||Child Development 1||3|
|EDUC 6015||Exceptionalities: Individualizing Learning 1||3|
|SPED 6025||Teaching & Learning Across the Contents: Methods I 1||3|
|SPED 6040||Children with Disabilities: Moderate and Severe 1||3|
|SPED 6045||Behavioral Management & Intervention 1||3|
|SPED 6055||Teaching Exceptional Children in Inclusive Settings||3|
|SPED 6065||Special Education Mentored Teaching I||3|
|SPED 6060||Psychoeducational Assessment Practices & IEP Development||3|
|SPED 6080||Special Education Mentored Teaching II||3|
|SPED 6085||Collaboration in Special Education||3|
|SPED 7030||Special Education Mentored Teaching III||3|
|CURI 6050||Literacy Assessment||3|
|EDUC 6130||Literacy Across the Curriculum||3|
|SPED 7035||Special Education Mentored Teaching Capstone||3|
Each course integrates structured field experiences in New York state schools.
Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs (e.g. teacher certification programs) and/or to meet licensure/certification requirements for certain professions (e.g. K-12 teaching). Students who have concerns about such matters are advised to contact the dean's office of their intended academic program.
Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:
- Collaborate with families, related service providers, and other school personnel to design and implement individualized curricula for students with disabilities;
- Develop transition services in consultation with relevant stakeholders;
- Critically evaluate research in special education;
- Articulate the philosophy and classroom application of inclusive education;
- Make instructional and environmental modifications based on students’ learning needs;
- Assess behavior to develop and implement a behavior intervention plan;
- Demonstrate effective classroom management practices involving students with disabilities;
- Assess and interpret data to design and implement individualized instruction;
- Implement evidence-based practices to instruct students with disabilities;
- Conduct formative and summative assessments to inform instruction; and
- Demonstrate reflective professional growth practices.