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Special Education All Grades Online

Initial - 43 Credit Hours | Advanced - 37 Credit Hours

Overview of Special Education Online Program

Special Education Online program emphasizes 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.

The overall goal of the program is to provide teachers with the knowledge of instructional principles and practices for teaching students with disabilities and to offer the opportunity to pursue a master of science in education degree. Special educators in today’s world are dedicated professionals who want to make a difference in the lives of children with disabilities. They are committed to the field of special education. They appreciate and embrace the diverse range of students’ needs. They remain lifelong learners as they seek out and implement validated practices supported by research in the field. They are able to work effectively within a variety of settings, situations and personalities.

Special education teachers are able to assess and evaluate student progress, make appropriate accommodations and deliver individualized instruction that is based upon each student’s individual educational program. Finally, special educators are constant agents of positive change in a demanding yet exciting field.

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 CAEP, and has maintained this national accreditation continuously since 1984.

Our special education master’s program is now offered in a 100% 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 

  • Prepares teachers for the policies and practices of teaching students with disabilities.
  • Provides teachers with a professional core of courses emphasizing special education services and enhancing performance of students with disabilities.
  • Familiarizes teachers with various cultural, ethnic, racial and social backgrounds so that they may create a classroom environment which provides an atmosphere in which students can learn according to their abilities.
  • Provides teachers with classroom methods, effective instructional strategies, and curriculum/ assessment modifications necessary for instructing students with disabilities within the general education framework of inclusive practices.
  • Prepares teachers with identification instruments and strategies through testing and observation of students with physical, emotional, social and learning disabilities.
  • Assists teachers in creating a classroom environment for the inclusion of all children, regardless of ability, in which they can enhance performance in all areas of the curricular standards.


Core courses are offered that range from special education foundations, policies and practices to student assessment, classroom strategies and modifications necessary to enhance student learning.

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Why Special Education Online at NU?


Our program is offered completely online, allowing flexibility for the working professional. Course offerings are scheduled to help you complete the program in a convenient time-frame, and practicum hours may be fulfilled within the work place.


Our highly credentialed faculty have extensive field experience. With our small class size, you will receive the individual attention you deserve.


NU develops special education teachers to make a difference in the lives of young children, and to be constant agents of positive change in an exciting field.

Frequently Asked Questions

Niagara University’s special education program highlighted the value of student empowerment, fostering meaningful partnerships with families, and a collaborative approach with all professional stakeholders. Formerly as a special education teacher and now as a building principal, these remain core values of mine to improve student outcomes.
Joshua R. Janese
Principal at North Tonawanda Middle School


Special Education Teacher
Directors of Early Childhood Program
Development Specialist
Childcare Services
Family Services


Faculty & Staff


Michelle Ciminelli

Dr. Michelle Ciminelli
Program Coordinator

Dr. Naima

Bhana, BCBA-D

Assistant Professor

Phone: 716.286.8102



Dr. Dennis


Associate Professor

Phone: 716.286.8330



Dr. Haoua M.


Associate Professor

Phone: 716.286.7388



Dr. Kathleen F.


Associate Professor

Phone: 716.286.8401



Dr. Donna C.


Associate Professor

Phone: 716.286.8452





Faculty Fellow, Early Childhood Special Education

Phone: 716.286.8507



Dr. Norline


Assistant Professor

Phone: 716.286.8275