Jun 23, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2022-2023 Graduate Studies Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Special Education (Birth-Grade 2), MSEd in Inclusive Early Childhood

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Assistant Professor Hernandez, Graduate Program Director, 516-463-5968

For students with no formal course work or teaching experience in early childhood, or early childhood special education; 48 s.h. program. This inclusive early childhood special education program builds upon general education and all students must have the co-requisite preparation in early childhood education so as to gain the necessary knowledge, skills, and values to implement effective inclusive practice guided by developmentally and individually appropriate curriculum. Child development, both typical and atypical, formal and informal assessment,  research-based methodologies and instruction and collaboration among stakeholders are the major foci of the program. The program reflects a field-integrated approach that consists of a minimum of 120 clock hours of field work prior to student teaching. Field experiences are linked to each of the courses that comprise the professional core and include participant observation and field-related projects at a variety of early childhood settings including high-needs school districts. Students attend parent and professional meetings, as well as work individually with students with disabilities. Implementation of effective inclusive practice which provides young children and their families full and successful access to educational and other support services will be emphasized.

This dual graduate pre-service program leads toward the New York state initial certification to teach early childhood (Birth-Grade 2), and the New York state initial/professional certificate to teach special education at the early childhood developmental level (Birth-Grade 2). Hofstra’s MSEd program in inclusive early childhood special education conforms to the standards and guidelines of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Admission Requirements

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.

  1. A completed application form for the master’s program.
  2. *A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a major, concentration, or the equivalent, in one or more of the liberal arts and sciences. Coursework must include at least 3 credits in the following: Math, Science, History/Social Science, English and Language other than English with a grade of C or above.
  3. We encourage you to submit all transcripts from your undergraduate work and any graduate work for consideration.
  4. Three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant’s potential to succeed in the teaching of students with disabilities.
  5. A written personal statement of professional intent.
  6. Interview with a faculty member in Special Education.
  7. Completion of General Education Core prerequisites with a 2.75 GPA and no grade lower than a C (see below).

* Candidates with a Bachelor of Science degree or international degree will need sequential study in a liberal arts subject or interdisciplinary field of at least 30 semester hours that provides knowledge of breadth and depth in that subject or interdisciplinary field as well as the following:

  • Concepts in History/Social Science (3 s.h.)
  • Language other than English (3 sh)
  • Scientific Processes (3 s.h.)
  • Mathematical Processes (3 s.h.)
  • Literature, Analysis, and Written Expression (6 s.h.)

Acceptable courses much have a grade of C or above.

Program Requirements - Total Semester Hours: 48

A maximum of 12 s.h. of graduate course work leading to the MSEd in Inclusive Early Childhood Special Education degree may be completed prior to matriculation in the program.

Student 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.

Reflective Practice - Semester Hours: 6

Field Experience Before Student Teaching

Participation/observation field experiences, which correspond to the developmental level of the certificate holder, are required in each of the following courses:

Student Teaching

Students will qualify for admission to Student Teaching, SPED 219G-219S, when they have satisfied the following requirements:

  1. Successful completion of 39 s.h. of core course work, including all courses in phases I and II.
  2. 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. 

Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of 48 semester hours with no fewer than 36 s.h. in-residence.
  2. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in overall graduate course work and all special education core courses. 
  3. Passing grade on the comprehensive examination. 
  4. Completion of liberal art and science prerequisites.
  5. Completion of all required Educational Law Seminars.
  6. All course work taken in satisfaction of the degree requirements must have been completed within a five-year period.

Teacher Certification Requirements

Upon successfully completing 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 School of Education Dean’s Office during 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) and, Content Specialty Test(s) (CST). Prospective School Leaders will be required to take the appropriate leadership exams. For more information regarding state testing, please contact the School of Education Dean’s Office 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:

  1. Identification of Child Abuse and Maltreatment
  2. Fire and Arson Prevention
  3. School Violence Prevention and Intervention
  4. Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Abuse
  5. Highway and School Safety/Prevention of Child Abduction
  6. Training in Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination Prevention and Intervention is 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 School of Education Dean’s Office. All of these seminars must be completed before the conferral of the degree and recommendation for certification.

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 now require that all student teachers, observers, interns, or externs receive fingerprint clearance before being placed in educational settings that are required for this degree program. Therefore, we recommend 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.

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