Program Philosophy, Goals and Objectives
The Secondary Special Education Generalist is a 31 s.h. program designed for individuals who wish to teach students with disabilities on the secondary level in a variety of settings including self-contained classrooms, resource rooms, or in inclusive programs as a consultant teacher or integrated co-teacher. On successful completion of the program, individuals will be recommended for New York state certification as a Teacher of Students with Disabilities, 7-12, Generalist. The program goal is to develop ethical scholar-practitioners who are committed to social justice and dedicated to reflective, participatory and collaborative teaching processes. Literacy, culturally responsive instruction, universal design for learning, technology and research-based practices are integrated throughout all aspects of the program with a focus on teaching students with special needs at the adolescent level.
The program reflects a clinically rich teacher-preparation approach and requires a variety of field-based experiences including 100 clock hours of field experience and a student teaching experience.
Applications for admission to this Master of Science in Education program in the Department of Specialized Programs in Education are made to the Office of Graduate Admission. Admissions decisions are based on a comprehensive review of multiple criteria. The department understands that any single criterion may not reliably predict a student’s potential for success in the program. Students may consider applying even if they fail to meet one of the criteria listed below but feel that other aspects of their experience might compensate. All individual cases will be reviewed by an Admissions Counselor before being referred to the graduate program for further review.
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a liberal arts and sciences concentration.
- A completed application form to the master’s program.
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on undergraduate course work, or it’s equivalent (e.g., a 3.0 in a completed graduate program). We encourage you to submit all transcripts from your undergraduate work and any graduate work for consideration.
- Two letters of recommendation addressing the applicant’s potential to succeed in the teaching of students with disabilities at the adolescent developmental level.
- Completion of General Education Core prerequisites for teacher education programs (see below).
- A written personal statement of professional intent.
- Interview with a faculty member in special education.
General Education Core Requirements
In order to ensure that prospective teachers have a broad education in the liberal arts and sciences, all students must have completed undergraduate course work from each of the content areas below.
- Artistic Expression/Humanities (3 s.h.)
- Communication (3 s.h.)
- Information Retrieval or placement exam (0-3 s.h.)
- Concepts in History/Social Science (6 s.h.)
- Language other than English (3 s.h.)
- Scientific Processes (6 s.h.)
- Mathematical Processes (6 s.h.)
- Literature, Analysis and Written Expression (6 s.h.)
Course work for the general education core in the liberal arts and sciences must have a GPA of 2.75 or above with no grades below a C-.
Please note that programs may have general education requirements that exceed the minimum registered with the state. Degrees will not be conferred unless all general education core deficiencies have been met.
Content Area Requirements
Students admitted to the Master of Science in Education in Secondary Special Education Generalist are expected to have completed undergraduate course work from each of the content areas below, and attained a minimum grade point average of 2.75. All deficiencies must be completed as co-requisites prior to the conferral of the degree.
- Math, 6 s.h.
- Science, 6 s.h.
- English language arts, 6 s.h.
- Social studies, 6 s.h.
Special Education Prerequisite
Program Requirements - Total Semester Hours: 31
Select one course from the following:
Reflective Practice: 6 s.h.
A maximum of 12 s.h. of graduate course work leading to the master of science in education degree may be completed prior to matriculation in the program. Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in order to remain in the program. Courses in which students receive grades below C- confer no credit toward the graduate degree but are included in determining grade point average.
Field Experiences Prior to Student Teaching
Prospective teachers in all programs must complete a New York state-mandated minimum of 100 clock hours of fieldwork in designated schools prior to student practicum. Students in certain programs may exceed those minimum hours.
- LYST 209 - Language, Culture and Identity: Literacy Issues for Adolescents and Young Adults, 3 s.h.
10-hour field placement in varied settings, grades 7-12
- LYST 215A - Language and Literacy in Middle Childhood and Adolescence, 3 s.h.
10-hour field placement in varied settings, grades 7-12
- LYST 217A - Reading and Writing With Adolescents: Pedagogical Practices, 3 s.h.
10-hour field placement in varied settings, grades 7-12
- SPED 242 - Psychoeducational Assessment in Special Education, 3 s.h.
15 hours of individualized assessment with a student with special learning needs
- SPED 245 - Curriculum and Methods for Students With Diverse Learning Needs, 4 s.h.
20 hours of individualized instruction with a student with special learning needs, grades 7-12
- SPED 265 - Instructional Learning Strategies for Students with Disabilities, Grades 7-12, 3 s.h.
20 hours of individualized strategy instruction with a student with special needs
- SPED 277 - Technology and Assistive Technology in Special Education, 3 s.h.
15 hours of individualized instruction with a student with special learning needs, grades 7-12
- SPED 293 - Understanding Students With Learning, Cognitive, and/or Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities, 3 s.h.
20-hour field placement in varied settings, grades 7-12
- SPED 294 - Strategies for Teaching Children with Autism and Moderate Intellectual Disabilities, Grades 7-12, 3 s.h.
20-hour field placement in varied settings, grade 7-12
Students will qualify for admission to Student Teaching SPED 237 , when they have satisfied the following requirements:
- Successful completion of 25 s.h. 5 semester hours of core.
- A grade point average of 3.0 or higher in overall graduate course work.
Admission by permission of the graduate program director and application to the Office of Field Placement and the Department of Specialized Programs in Education , due on May 1 for the succeeding spring semester and February 15 for the succeeding fall semester. Application forms are available in Hagedorn Hall, Room 230.
Students registered for SPED 237 will complete two student teaching experiences at the Middle School and High School level.
- Completion of the liberal arts and sciences requirements with a minimum 2.75 GPA.
- Completion of the content areas requirement with a minimum 2.75 GPA.
- Completion of the special education prerequisite requirement (minimum C grade).
- Completion of 31 s.h. with no fewer than 21 in-residence.
- A minimum grade point average 3.0 in overall graduate course work and all special education core courses.
- Passing grade on the comprehensive examination.
- Completion of all required Educational Law Seminars.
- All course work taken in satisfaction of the degree requirements must have been completed within a five-year period.
Teacher Certification Requirements
Upon the successful completion of a Hofstra state-approved teacher education program, students are eligible for the University’s recommendation for New York state certification. A request for recommendation must be submitted to the Office of Educational Support Services the semester in which the student is graduating. There will be opportunities to attend a certification workshop during the student’s final semester, to receive all the necessary information regarding applying for certification. Individuals who apply directly to New York state for certification are responsible for learning about and satisfying the certification requirements set by the state. It should be noted that such requirements may differ from those in Hofstra’s registered programs.
All prospective early childhood (birth-grade 2), childhood (grades 1-6), adolescent (grades 7-12) and special subject, students with disabilities, gifted, TESOL, bilingual, literacy, speech and language disabilities teachers, as well as school leadership candidates, are required to pass the New York State Certification Examinations (NYSTCE) administered by National Evaluation Systems, Inc., including the Educating All Students Test (EAS), Content Specialty Test(s) (CST) and the edTPA. Prospective School Leaders will be required to take the appropriate leadership exams. For more information regarding state testing, please contact the Office of Educational Support Services at 516-463-5747 or visit www.nystce.nesinc.com.
In addition to fulfilling the required courses of study, the Commissioner’s Regulations mandate that all prospective teachers, pupil personnel and education leaders receive instructions regarding:
- Identification of Child Abuse and Maltreatment
- Fire and Arson Prevention
- School Violence Prevention and Intervention
- Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Abuse
- Highway and School Safety/Prevention of Child Abduction
- Training in Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination Prevention and Intervention required under the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
New York state legislation also requires all persons seeking certification in special education, speech and language disabilities or school administrators working in special education, to have training in the area of children with autism.
Hofstra University offers the above listed educational law seminars through the Office of Educational Support Services. All of these seminars must be completed before the conferral of the degree and recommendation for certification.
Forms for applying for certification can be found at the Office of Educational Support Services Web page under the certification tab.
Chapter 180 of the Laws of 2000, the Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE), requires that applicants for teaching and administrative and pupil services personnel certification and prospective employees of covered schools (school districts, charter schools and BOCES) must undergo fingerprint supported criminal history background check. However, many school districts and institutions across the metropolitan New York area are now requiring that all student teachers, observers, interns or externs receive fingerprint clearance before they are placed in educational settings that are required for this degree program. Therefore, we recommend that you apply for fingerprint clearance upon acceptance to the program. Fingerprint clearance is also required for New York state certification. For information on how to register to be fingerprinted, visit http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/colleges/soeahs/CESS/cess_requirements_fingerprints.html.