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Special Education (MS)

D'Youville students

Become a teacher by earning your dual certification in special and general education in as few as 16 months.

Overview and Distinctions

Overview

Special education teachers work with children with a wide range of exceptional learning needs (ELNs), developing individualized programs appropriate for each child’s learning abilities and styles. As a special education teacher you’ll have the opportunity to work in a wide variety of learning environments in elementary, middle, or secondary schools both on your own, or in collaboration with general education teachers. Upon graduation, you’ll have the career flexibility you’ll need to find a position that meets your personal and professional goals and interests.

As a candidate in our RATE-accredited program, you’ll benefit from the real-world experience of our engaging faculty, most of whom have had not only extensive experience teaching in but who have also established themselves as noted scholars in the field of education.

Why Choose D'Youville?

  • You’ll benefit directly from our faculty’s knowledge, experience, and support throughout the entire program as you learn collaboratively in small classroom settings, as well as participate in field experiences that are built into most course work -  all in preparation for when you embark on your student teaching field experience.  When you graduate you’ll be prepared with the knowledge, skills, and professionalism you’ll need to make a positive impact in just about any educational setting.
  • When you graduate with your MS in Education, you’ll be prepared for both general and special education positions in New York State.

  • You’ll receive a personalized education in small classroom settings from faculty who are committed to both rigorous scholarship and the practical application of knowledge in real-world settings.

  • You’ll be supported every step of the way by faculty who are committed to your success and by a close-knit, supportive community of fellow graduate candidates.

  • If you’re preparing to enter college for the first time, we offer a combined BA/MS degree that allows you to start taking graduate classes in your third year as an undergraduate.

Affordability

We offer numerous scholarship and financial aid opportunities for graduate students, including a 20% discount for Canadian citizens and opportunities for tuition waivers and discounts for military veterans.

We work closely with our students to make your graduate degree affordable and offer a wide array of financial aid programs including the TEACH grant, a program that provides substantial financial support to graduate students.

Curriculum

Curriculum

SPecial Education: Childhood Curriculum

Course Number Course Name Credits
EDU 624 Foundations of Teaching Reading and Literacy 3
EDU 627 Diagnostic and Corrective Reading 3
EDU 651 Multiculturalism and Cultural Diversity 3
EDU 652 Curriculum Planning in Education 3
EDU 653 Critical Issues in Education 3
EDU 656 Philosophical and Social Foundations of Education 3
EDU 659 Language Acquisition & ELL Instruction 3
EDU 677 Field Experience Observations in Childhood Special Education 3
EDU 684 Portfolio Capstone Course 3
SED 641 Options/Alternatives in Special Education Classroom Management 3
SED 642 Diagnostic Assessment and Prescriptive Teaching of Individuals with Disabilities 3
SED 643 Theoretical Perspectives in the Education of Individuals with Mild Disabilities 3
SED 644 Theoretical Perspectives in the Education of Individuals with Severe/Profound Disabilities 3
SED 649 Curriculum Planning in Special Education 3
SED 661 Student Teaching Seminar 0
SED 662 Practicum in Student Teaching 6
SED 699 Comprehensive Examination 0
Total 48

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Adolescence CURRICULUM

Course Number Course Name Credits
EDU 613 Methods of Content Area Literacy 3
EDU 630 Secondary School Teaching Strategies 3
EDU 637 Technology Literacy for Adolescence Education 3
EDU 651 Multiculturalism and Cultural Diversity 3
EDU 652 Curriculum Planning in Education 3
EDU 653 Critical Issues in Education 3
EDU 656 Philosophical and Social Foundations of Education 3
EDU 659 Language Acquisition & ELL Instruction 3
EDU 678 Field Experience Observations in Adolescence Special Education 3
EDU 684 Portfolio Capstone Course 3
SED 641 Options/Alternatives in Special Education Classroom Management 3
SED 642 Diagnostic Assessment and Prescriptive Teaching of Individuals with Disabilities 3
SED 643 Theoretical Perspectives in the Education of Individuals with Mild Disabilities 3
SED 644 Theoretical Perspectives in the Education of Individuals with Severe/Profound Disabilities 3
SED 649 Curriculum Planning in Special Education 3
SED 671 Student Teaching Seminar 0
SED 672 Practicum in Student Teaching 6
SED 699 Comprehensive Examination 0
Total 51

Student Teaching

STUDENT TEACHING

Student teaching is one of the most important components of your education. As a student teacher you have the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom in a supportive environment with the support of both your mentor teachers and the D’Youville faculty.

About Field Experience

Field experience is an integral part of your preparation to become a teacher. During this experience, you'll have the opportunity to put what you’ve learned during your coursework into practice in the classroom while working closely with an experienced teacher.

Because we believe that our field experience is so important, we've developed a system that emphasizes ongoing support, rigorous assessment, and intensive collaboration with the schools where our students are placed. If you’d like to learn more about how what you’ll experience during your fieldwork, our Field Experience Manual (PDF) is a good place to start. We've developed the Manual to guide associate teachers, college supervisors, and teacher candidates through their practicum experiences, providing essential information about the experience including:

  • Standards of performance and conduct
  • Roles of field experience supervisors
  • Required assignments
  • Field experience rubrics
  • Performance report
  • Evaluation forms
  • Self-assessment form
  • Video evaluation form
  • Assignment tracking form

During your field experience, you'll be supervised by both the Associate Teacher you work with on a daily basis as well as your College Supervisor at D’Youville who's responsible for making sure that you get the most out of your experience by maintaining integrity with the program as described in the Field Experience Manual while supporting a professional, nurturing relationship between the teacher candidate, themselves, and the Associate Teacher working with the candidate.

If you'd like to learn more about the role of the College Supervisor during the field experience, please review the College Supervisor's Handbook (PDF).

Field Experience Assessment

If you want to find out more about what will be expected of you as a teacher candidate during your field experience, one of the best ways is to learn how you’ll be evaluated. The documents below represent the instruments that will be used by your Associate Teacher and your College Supervisor to evaluate your performance during your student teaching experience.

Application for Education Field Placement

If you're ready to begin preparing for your field experience, please download and complete the appropriate forms.

U.S. Students

Canadian Students

This application packet file includes instructions, field placement application form, student profile form and field placement preference request form.

Click the link to view the file in your browser window, or right-click (ctrl-click) to save the document to your computer.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Admission to master's level programs in D'Youville's Department of Education is based on the qualifications of each individual student. A GPA of 3.0 (equivalent to a B) or better is the minimum requirement for acceptance into our programs.* Students with a lower GPA may be considered for provisional acceptance based upon personal and professional qualifications.

  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree consisting of 120 credits including 3 credits in a language other than English;
  • GRE or MAT score;*
  • At least one letter of recommendation written by someone who has observed you working with children or young adults;
  • A current resume; and
  • Letter of intent

Applicants must have completed 30 credit hours of prerequisites (with a grade of "C" or higher), with at least 3 credit hours in each of the following areas:

  • English
  • Social Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Natural Sciences
Applicants must also have three credits of foreign language.

*In accordance with New York State Board of Regents requirements, applicants to any college or university in New York State for the fall 2016 semester and beyond will be required to have a minimum 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA and submit scores from either the GRE or MAT for review as part of your application for admission. 

Special Education (Adolescence) Additional Requirements

Special education (adolescence) applicants must have a content core with a minimum of six credit-hours from each of the following subject areas:

Subject Areas*
English
Social Studies
Mathematics
Natural Sciences

*This content core must include two 300- level courses in one subject area or one 300-level course in two subject areas.

careers

Careers

Special education teachers are educational professionals with advanced knowledge and experience focused around the educational, social, and psychological needs of individuals with exceptional learning needs (ELNs).

They collaborate with other professionals in education, mental health, and social services along with each student's family members to develop individualized educational plans customized for their unique learning styles and abilities. They put these educational plans into effect through supportive classroom experiences. Because exceptionalities can affect children of any age, special education teachers work in settings that span the entire educational spectrum from preschool through high school and beyond in both public and private schools.

Today, advances in medical and educational knowledge are increasing the demand for special education teachers. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook,

"Better screening and identification of various disabilities in children are expected to increase the demand for special education services. In addition, children with disabilities are being identified earlier and enrolled into special education programs, increasing the need for special education teachers in preschool and kindergarten grades."

As a candidate in D'Youville College's MS in Special Education program, you'll learn from faculty who are able to bring both their extensive academic experience and scholarship as well as their experience a K-12 teachers to the classroom to provide you with an education that emphasizes both rigorous scholarship and practical, real-world application of what you'll learn.

When you graduate you'll have the skills, knowledge, and experience you'll need to thrive as either a special education or general education teacher giving you a distinct advantage when applying for your first teaching position.

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