Department of Teaching and Learning

Special Education

Special Education (Early Childhood and Childhood), M.A.

Program DirectorsJoan Rosenberg
Contact Info: East Building, 2nd floor
Phone: 212 998 5460

NYU graduates understand that special education is neither a place nor is it a group of students. Rather, special education refers to specialized services or environments modifications, differentiated instruction, adapted curricula or other supports, provided to students with disabilities. NYU students are encouraged to view all children and their families as individuals with varying degrees of skills and untapped potential for quality lives in schools, work, recreation in their communities.

Classroom, home and community interventions are designed to meet the characteristics, needs, and visions for a valued future of each child, not limited by traditional categories of disability. Respecting the critical role that families play in the lives of children, and the multidimensional nature of providing quality services for complex students, our graduates are prepared to work collaboratively with families, other professionals and the community organizations that represent the wide cultural vartiations characteristic of urban settings.

Integration of theory and practice is interwoven throughout each program, thus allowing graduate students to reflect, question and refine their knowledge and skills. Observation and fieldwork, plus student teaching placements, enable participants to practice application of their skills with children representing the full range of abilities and disabilities, in a range of settings, and withing the full age range of the teaching certificate.

Diversity of Programs

The programs in special education prepare teachers for positions working with students with and without disabilities from birth through grade 6. As described below, at NYU we offer M.A. programs designed to meet New York State requirements for the various teacher certificates:

Early Childhood Education (Birth through Grade 2)
Childhood Education (Grades 1-6)

Our Students

The participants in the M.A. Programs in Special Education very widely in age and background. Some were education majors, but many were liberal arts, business or fine arts majors as undergraduates. Some are making a career change. The diversity of the student population contributes to the richness of the programs. Consequently, program requirements and curricula offerings are designed to be responsive to the diverse backgrounds of our participants. Although graduate students have the option of beginning the program part time, they must be available during the school day throughout the program part time, they must be available during the school day throughout the program to participate in observations and fieldwork. Once the participants begin student teaching, however, full time commitment is required.

Financial Aid Opportunities

The Special Education Program is a participant in the New York City Board of Education incentive program, which provides tuition scholarships to candidates who are fluent in Spanish, Chinese, or French-Creole and who are interested in pursuing teaching careers in bilingual special education. In addition, the program frequently secures federal tuition grants earmarked for particular specializations within the program. Funds for all special grant programs are contingent on annual funding from the granting agencies.

Career Opportunities

Graduates work in public and private schools, hospital and community learning units, hospital day treatment programs, group homes, and agencies such as United Cerebral Palsy, Association for the Help of Retarded Citizens, and the Young Adult Institute. Graduates have opened their own schools or established private practices providing academic and behavioral support to students with disabilities.