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Master of Arts
Early Childhood Education and Special Education
Birth–Grade 2, Initial Certification

Application Extended: Still Accepting Applications

Develop your teaching practice and become a social advocate for educational equity at all ages. Through course work, student teaching, and field experiences, you will gain skills and strategies to support young children's learning in developmental stages and contexts, leading to eligibility for New York State initial teaching certification in both general and special education at the early childhood level (birth–grade 2).

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Degree Details

Official Degree Title

Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education, Birth–Grade 2, Initial Certification

Licensure or Certification
Start Date
Application Deadline

Open to participants who have a bachelor's degree but who are not yet certified to teach, this program will help you study:

  • Core content and pedagogical skills essential to educating young children
  • Skills for providing children with rich, child-centered educational and community environments
  • Approaches to adapting curricula, assessments, and learning environments for students with diverse needs and abilities
  • Strategies for supporting learning at all stages of development 
  • Techniques for collaborating with families and other professionals
  • Knowledge and skills to advocate for children with disabilities

Hands-On Student Teaching

You'll have the opportunity to participate in field experiences and student teaching in early childhood general and special education settings, such as preschools, Head Start centers, and elementary schools. You'll develop expertise in human development and disability, learn to create and adapt environments that help all children reach their maximum potential, and gain a deep understanding of how children grow intellectually, physically, and socially/emotionally.  

Develop as a Reflective Practitioner

As a prospective teacher, you’ll be immersed in thoughtful discussions and interactions around critical educational issues, especially issues of developmental, linguistic, cultural, and racial diversity and educational equity. Each course in the program is tied to either fieldwork or student teaching, generating rich and authentic reflections upon theory and practice.

Upon graduation, you will be eligible for New York State initial teaching certification in both general and special education at the early childhood level (birth–grade 2) and prepared for career opportunities such as:

  • Lead or team teacher in public or private childcare centers, preschools, early childhood centers, and elementary schools
  • Curriculum specialist, staff developer, or program director in early childhood education and special education programs

Learn more about teacher certification and our degree's accreditation.


If you have any additional questions about our degree, please feel free to contact program directors Katie Newhouse at for Special Education and Erin O'Connor at for Early Childhood Education.

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