Special Education and Adolescence

Students who choose the special education and 7-12 generalist program will be qualified to teach adolescents with disabilities in grades 7-12. This program is recommended for those who are interested in working as a special education teacher for students with disabilities.

Successful completion of the program leads to New York state initial certification in special education (grades 7-12).

Job Projections

Special education is considered a high-demand, teacher shortage area of certification. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13), the job projection for special education teachers is expected to rise by 17 percent (77,400 new jobs) by 2020.

Program Curriculum and Requirements

All programs include a general education requirement, professional education requirement, and comprehensive field experiences. The distinctive liberal arts concentration allows students to take courses across three subjects of their choice, ensuring that students gain extensive knowledge across core content areas. The Common Core standards and New York state learning standards are integrated into required coursework throughout the program and serve as the basis of performance assessment requirements.

A focus on literacy and teaching students with diverse learning needs is embedded in coursework that is required of all education majors. Comprehensive field experiences begin in the first semester of study and continue each semester of the program, leading to a teaching assistantship and comprehensive student teaching experience. 

All programs include experience with English language learners and students receiving special education services, as well as a range of placements across various types of school districts.