Department of Teaching and Learning

Special Education

Special Education (Early Childhood and Childhood), MA

Program DirectorJoan 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 environment 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, and 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 variations 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 applying their skills with children representing the full range of abilities and disabilities, in a range of settings, and within 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 MA 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)

We also offer dual-certification MA degrees in Teaching Social Studies and Teaching Students with Disabilities, Grades 7-12 and Teaching English and Teaching Students with Disabilities, Grades 7-12.

Our Students

The participants in the MA 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 curriculum 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.