Dual-certificate program.

Get your certificate in both Childhood Education and Special Education for grades 1-6 in this dual-certificate program.

Introduction

With this program, you’ll be able to teach all learners in the elementary setting, grades 1-6. You’ll build your skills to teach in a general-education classroom, planning units of study and lesson plans for all students in the class. You’ll also be ready to work closely with other colleagues, including literacy specialists, speech/language teachers, occupational therapists and physical therapists. And as a special educator, you’ll be able to help students with disabilities thrive in their class.

Faculty

Faculty cultivate a positive and engaging learning opportunity through this program. They have extensive experience teaching general- and special-education students and are employed as special educators and/or administrators.

Program Distinctions

This program will allow you to benefit from the knowledge of local teachers, counselors and administrators. Network and learn from active guest speakers about current trends and initiatives within the field.

There are two options for the M.S. in Childhood/Special Education degree — one with a traditional student-teaching experience and another where candidates take part in the Classroom Academy residency program starting in the summer. You’ll apply for the Classroom Academy residency at the time you submit your application for the M.S. program, if you choose to pursue this option.

Our partnership with Classroom Academy will allow you to get direct, hands-on experience through a two-year, full-time residency program for master’s-level students. You’ll assume increasing responsibility for classroom- and special-education teaching under the direction of a mentor teacher.

Spotlights Pattern

Your Future

You’ll leave this program with a wealth of content and application knowledge. Once you complete the edTPA and Content Specialty Tests (CST), you’ll meet the requirements for certification.

Student Teaching

You’ll complete two 7-week student-teaching experiences in the traditional format, one in grades 1-3 and another in grades 4-6. One placement will be in a general-education classroom, and the other will be a special-education-based experience. Get a wide range of experiences within urban, suburban and rural school districts.

Careers

Being able to teach all learners increases employability in the field. Graduates go on to work in schools as special educators as well as general-education teachers. They also pursue other educational pathways of employment, such as working for the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

Classroom Academy

Through Russell Sage College, you can also apply (at the time you apply for your M.S. degree) to take the Classroom Academy option. This allows you to be part of a residency program where you’ll teach in a public school for two years, gaining all necessary experience for content areas (including childhood and special education) and grade levels for certification (1-6). You’ll have increasing responsibility as you’re mentored by highly qualified educators. This program allows you to fully immerse yourself in life at your school, with benefits such as a stipend and course schedules that align with the needs of working professionals. Candidates complete their student-teaching throughout the duration of the two-year residency program.

Learning Experience

This program is very interactive, with many connections to local public schools. You’ll have the chance to participate in practical experiences while studying theoretical research background in this program. The program also includes many guest speakers from the Capital District — teachers, directors, principals and related service providers — so you can learn from the best in the field.

Course Objectives

You’ll learn best practices for working with students of varying needs, including working with gifted students. Learn through foundational knowledge, advanced theories and supervised practical experiences.

Application Requirements

  • official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • one letter of recommendation
  • 1-2 page career goals essay
  • scores from one of the following, or equivalent:
    • GRE (Graduate Record Exam)
    • edTPA
    • MAT (Miller Analogies Test)
    • Content Specialty Tests

Deadline: Rolling Admission
Start Date: Fall, Spring, Summer semester


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Assistant Professor
Coordinator, Professional Educational Programs