Special Education

The graduate programs in the Division of Special Education offers distinct degree programs/certification in special education/literacy, special education, elementary education and inclusion. Each program has a clear and distinctive purpose, so that you can choose the program that best meets your needs. We offer programs suitable for individuals with no teaching background, and for those who hold initial certification in general childhood education or special education.

Visit the Division of Special Education website.

ALERT: New York State Education Department (“NYSED”) recently amended its teacher certification requirements to include the passage of its Academic Literacy Skills Test (“Test”).   This Test covers academic skills that should have been acquired in high school and/or during undergraduate college studies.  The University at Albany curriculum for a Master’s Degree in special education, or special education and literacy is therefore not designed to prepare teachers for the Test, nor does the University at Albany offer preparation for this Test as part of its curriculum.  The University at Albany strongly recommends that students without NYS teacher certification take and pass this test before applying for admission to any of the graduate special education programs; students will be required to pass this test before enrolling in program classes.

This applies to students applying to the MS in Special Education and Literacy II program without NYS certification, or students applying to one of the other MS in Special Education or Special Education and Literacy I programs with Out-of-State teaching certifications.

Special Education (Internship Certificate) MS

Individuals in the Special Education Internship Certificate program specialize in working with students identified with disabilities. A strong emphasis is placed on integrating university course work content and applied experiences in the classroom in order to support individuals’ acquisition of the specific skills and competencies they will need to work successfully with students with disabilities. The year-long program begins with a summer of introductory courses and five to six weeks of supervised field placement. Specialized courses in Special Education begin in the fall and complement a field-based placement in the schools. Individuals continue to work in schools during the spring semester while also completing special education coursework at the university. The program certifies graduates as special education teachers grades 1-6.

Special Education Inclusion MS

The Master of Science in Special Education Inclusion program is designed for part-time students. The program provides those with certification in childhood education (1-6) the opportunity to gain knowledge about working with students with disabilities, and to complete an approved program that will allow them to make initial certifications professional. This program allows teachers who will work in general education settings to become better prepared to work with the students with disabilities who will be included in their classrooms. Students in the Inclusion program complete required special education courses and a series of electives in reading and educational psychology. They plan and execute a small research project in education as their capstone experience.

Special Education and Inclusion MS

The Master of Science in Special Education andInclusion program may be completed full-time or part-time and is designed to provide those with certification in Childhood Education (1-6) and Teaching Students with Disabilities the opportunity to complete an approved program that will allow them to make their initial certifications professional. Students in the Inclusion and Special Education program complete advanced special education courses and a series of electives in reading and educational psychology. Students plan and execute a small research project in education as their capstone experience.

MS in Special Education/Literacy I (43 Credits)

This intensive program is designed to provide those with certification in childhood education the opportunity to acquire two additional teaching certifications: Teaching Students with Disabilities at the Childhood Level (1-6), and Literacy (Birth-Grade 6). In a carefully designed sequence of courses and field experiences, individuals acquire the knowledge, skills, and certifications required to successfully teach in special education and literacy settings

MS in Special Education/Literacy II (67 Credits)

This intensive program is designed to allow highly qualified individuals to change careers and become teachers. In a carefully designed sequence of courses and field experiences, individuals acquire the knowledge, skills, and certifications required to successfully teach in childhood education (1-6), special education, and literacy settings. After a summer of introductory courses, students devote their first academic year to coursework in special education, educational psychology and reading. At the same time, they participate in a year-long practicum , working with one or two students in an after-school setting. In their second summer, students in the Special Education and Literacy (II) program complete a student teaching experience in childhood education (1-6), as well as several courses. This prepares them for their special education Internship, taken in the fall of the second year in the program.

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