Master of Science in Education - Special Education (now available online), Grades 1-6 or Grades 7-12
Niagara University’s College of Education offers a 40-credit hour program (available online) that leads to initial/professional certification in teaching students with disabilities in grades 1-6 or 7-12. A core of courses are offered that range from special education foundations, policies and practices to student assessment, classroom strategies and modifications necessary to enhance student learning.
Candidates gain an understanding and appreciation of the diverse nature of students in schools today so that they can, with intensive coursework and fieldwork, create a learning environment where the needs of all students are met.
Special Education Graduate Programs
Niagara University’s master of science and certificate programs in special education have been approved by the New York State Education Department for individuals who possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and hold initial teaching certification in an approved area.
What Makes Niagara University's Special Education Program Different From Other Programs?
Niagara University’s programs in special education emphasize knowledge of the foundations of special education, characteristics of learners, assessment, as well as instructional methods, accommodations and modifications for students within various special education programs.
Additionally, Niagara’s special education programs are housed in a College of Education that was one of the first in New York State to obtain national accreditation through NCATE, and has maintained this national accreditation continuously since 1984.
Our special education master’s program is now offered in a 100 percent online format for busy teachers who find it difficult to commute to campus, but who would like to have the opportunity to engage in professional development in a graduate program.
Special Education Practicum
Candidates complete a practicum, as part of all of our special education programs, in a classroom that includes students with disabilities (e.g., consultant teaching classrooms, resource rooms, self-contained classrooms). The practicum can also be completed in the candidate’s own classroom as long as there are students with individualized education programs (IEPs) enrolled in the class. Every candidate works under the guidance of a mentor who holds a master’s degree and certification in special education.
Who Are the Programs Designed For?
The programs are registered with the New York State Department of Education and are designed for initially or professionally certified teachers. Course offerings will be cycled so that a candidate may complete all work at an expedited pace or pursue the degree over a longer period of time while holding a full-time teaching position.
Master's Degree in Special Education
The 40-credit hour master’s programs lead to initial/professional certification in:
- Teaching students with disabilities, grades 7-12 (100 percent online)
- Teaching students with disabilities, grades 1-6 (100 percent online)
Candidates must hold a teaching certificate in an approved area to be admitted and therefore may also use this degree to satisfy requirements for professional certification in New York State.
Certificate of Advanced Studies in Teaching Students with Disabilities (also available online)
The graduate division of education offers a program leading to a certificate of advanced studies in special education. The CAS may qualify candidates for special education certification in grades 1-6 or 7-12 provided all other New York State certification requirements are met. The CAS in special education is open to students who hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and have completed an M.S. in education from an accredited institution. The certificate consists of 24 hours of course work.
Fieldwork in various formats is also a requirement. If judged to be relevant courses, up to six graduate hours of transfer credit may be accepted toward program fulfillment by the degree and certificate programs.
Annotation in Severe & Multiple Disabilities
The College of Education also offers a program leading to an annotation in severe and multiple disabilities. The 12-hour program leading to certification in Teaching Students with Severe/Multiple Disabilities is designed for individuals who already hold New York State initial certification as a teacher of students with disabilities. The program prepares teachers with additional pedagogical knowledge, skills, and experiences required to teach students with severe/multiple disabilities. Graduates who meet all requirements of the program and other state requirements, will be recommended to New York State for an Annotation in the Teaching of Students with Severe/Multiple Disabilities.