Special Education

Master of Science Degree in Education

  • Early Childhood Special Education (Birth-Grade 2) Leading to Professional Certification – 30 Credits
  • Childhood Special Education (Grades 1-6) Leading to Professional Certification – 30 Credits
  • Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education (Birth-Grade 2) Leading to Dual Program Initial/Professional Certification – 39-42 Credits
  • Childhood Education and Childhood Special Education (Grades 1-6) Leading to Dual Program Initial/Professional Certification–42-45 Credits

Philosophy Statement
We believe that every child is entitled to an educational program that enables him/her to achieve at the highest possible level. We believe that students with disabilities who are assigned to special education should attend a program designed to meet their individual needs, and that special education be provided in the least restrictive environment, including general education classrooms. Special education involves specially designed instruction that may require unique materials, teaching methods, equipment or facilities designed for the needs of students. We welcome increasing educational opportunities for students with disabilities to be educated with their non-disabled peers, while recognizing that individual instruction must be implemented regardless of student placement. We believe that teachers of students with disabilities need to be well prepared with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide appropriate curriculum and specialized instruction in diverse settings, as well as to collaborate with general educators in providing a high quality educational program for all students.

Program Objectives
To provide teachers with the necessary knowledge and skills requires significant preparation. In addition to the knowledge and skills required of all students (including broad general knowledge in the arts and sciences, content expertise including a thorough knowledge of the general education curriculum and the New York State Student Learning Standards, and content pedagogy), special educators will develop knowledge and skills in the following areas:
a. Historical, social, and legal foundations of special education, employment, and independence for individuals with disabilities including the continuum of special education services, the rights and responsibilities of parents, students, teachers and schools in relation to students with disabilities, individual education planning, and the nature of post-secondary outcomes for students with disabilities.
b. Characteristics of learners with disabilities including knowledge of typical and atypical language development of native English speakers and students with limited English proficiency, general knowledge of students within each of the disabilities defined in IDEA, and in-depth knowledge of students in early childhood and students with learning and behavioral disorders in childhood.
c. Managing behavior of students with disabilities and promoting positive social interaction skills including knowledge of classroom and student management theories, methods and techniques, methods of functional analysis of student behavior, and methods of promoting positive affective and social outcomes among diverse groups of students.
d. Participation in collaborative professional partnerships for the benefit of students with disabilities and strengthening partnerships with families of student with disabilities including effective collaboration with general education teachers, related service professionals, teacher assistants, administrators, other staff, parents and community members.
e. Assessment, diagnosis, and evaluation of students with disabilities including knowledge and skills in using a variety of assessment strategies including norm-referenced, criterion-referenced, and authentic assessment techniques to analyze student performance and plan appropriate interventions for students with disabilities.
f. Curriculum development and research-validated methods of instructing student with disabilities including knowledge of specialized instructional strategies, technologies and materials to develop and increase student proficiency in instructional areas that are chronologically age appropriate. These areas may include but are not limited to motor, cognitive, social, communication and vocational skills, academic areas of oral and written language (including reading, composition, spelling, handwriting), mathematics, content areas. Knowledge in planning, implementing, and managing individual educational plans.
g. Assistive and instructional technology in the teaching and learning for students with disabilities including knowledge of legal aspects for assistive technology in special education, assessment strategies, uses of low and high-tech devices and methods, software application and supporting hardware, including the use of personal computers in educational programs.
h. Planning and managing teaching and learning environments for individuals with disabilities, including planning for and supporting students with disabilities in general education settings including knowledge and skills in teacher consultation, co-teaching, planning accommodations and modifications, scheduling uses of cooperative learning peer mediated/peer-supported learning, strategies for training and supervision of staff (e.g. teacher aides).

The Graduate Special Education programs require field experience. The programs are affiliated with the following:
Boys and Girls Club of Mt. Kisco
Center for Divine Compassion - Preston High School
College of New Rochelle Early Childhood Summer Program
Easter Seals of Valhalla
Hallen School
Holistic Learning Center
Kennedy Child Study Center
Leake and Watts-Carol and Frank Biondi Educational Center
Mamaroneck Union Free School District
New Rochelle City School District
New York City School District
Pelham School District
Pleasantville Cottage School
Port Chester Public Schools
Southern Westchester BOCES
Stepping Stones Special Education Preschool Program
Therapeutic Nursery/Guidance Center of New Rochelle
Even Start Family Literacy Program of Tarrytown
Towards Tomorrow YM and YWHA of Mid-Westchester
Westchester Institute for Human Development - Westchester County Medical Center
White Plains School District
Yonkers Public Schools

Division Office: Chidwick 103, 914-654-5331, gradeducation@cnr.edu
Director of Education Programs: Erin Churchill, Chidwick 103