student teacher and elementary students in classroom

Program Distinctions

Russell Sage College offers two student teaching options for Childhood and Special Education master’s degree candidates.

  • The Classroom Academy: A paid, full-time, two-year residency with an experienced teacher.
  • Traditional Student Teaching: Two seven-week experiences, 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.
  • You’ll learn 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 with 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.
  • Our faculty have extensive experience teaching general and special education students. You’ll also benefit from the knowledge of local teachers, counselors, and administrators who serve as guest speakers.
  • If you have initial certification in Childhood Education and wish to add Special Education, please see Sage’s Master of Education in Special Education program or dual master’s degree in Literacy and Special Education.

Learning Experience and Course Objectives

This master’s degree in education is very interactive, with many connections to local public schools. You’ll participate in practical experiences while also studying theory.

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

Easily Apply

Rolling admission, so apply anytime, and begin in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

Application Requirements:

  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • One letter of recommendation
  • A one- to two-page career goals essay
  • Candidates who are interested in the Classroom Academy should apply to the residency program at the same time that they apply to the M.S. program. Learn more and apply at
  • GRE scores are not required.
Personal Advising, Experienced Faculty

Our master’s program comes with a deep, Russell Sage-level of support from an assigned faculty advisor who works with you to ensure your success.

“Russell Sage College and the Esteves School of Education act as leaders in education not just in the Capital District, but in New York State.”

Peter Stapleton, Ph.D.,
Assistant Professor of Education

Careers with an Elementary and Special Education Degree

Once you complete your master’s degree, the edTPA and Content Specialty Tests, you’ll meet the requirements for dual certification in elementary and special education.

Dual certification in elementary and special education means you will be able to teach all learners, which increases employment options. Graduates become special education teachers as well as classroom teachers. They also pursue other education-related opportunities, such as working for the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

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