Childhood Special Education, Master of Arts in Teaching


Admission to this program is selective. This program enrolls new students in the fall term only. A candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

An ideal candidate will:

  • possess 24 credits in the liberal arts and sciences distribution (6 credits in Math, Science, Social Studies and English);
  • 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.

Program Curriculum

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 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 Special Education coursework
  • 50 hours of field experience in New York State schools
  • Appropriate New York State Certification Exams
  • Child Abuse, School Violence, Autism, & DASA training
  • any 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 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 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 program, students must pass the Students with Disabilities CST Exam in order to qualify for Initial certification.

Suggested Enrollment Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
SPED 6005 Introduction to History of Special Education Law 1 3
SPED 6010 Child and Adolescent 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
Second Year
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
Third Year
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
 Total Credits45

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.