Nov 13, 2018  
2007-2008 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2007-2008 Graduate Studies Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Special Education, M.S.Ed. in Early Childhood

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Associate Professor Schwartz, Graduate Program Director, (516) 463-5778,

For students with New York State Certification in Early Childhood Education (birth-grade 2), or Childhood Education (grades 1-6) to become teachers of young children (birth-grade 2) with disabilities: 33-36 s.h. program.

This program consists of core courses in early childhood special education including a student teaching experience, with related courses in early childhood curriculum and instruction. The Early Childhood Special Education program at Hofstra provides students with the knowledge, skills and values needed to work effectively as early interventionists with children, birth through age three and their families, and to serve as early childhood special educators with children at the preschool through second grade level. Early childhood special education programs build upon general education and all students must have prerequisite preparation in early childhood and/or childhood education.

This program reflects a field-integrated approach which consists of a minimum of 100 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 the early childhood developmental level (birth through second grade) across a variety of school settings including high-needs school districts. Students attend parent and professional meetings, as well as work individually with students with disabilities.

Upon completion of this program candidates will qualify for initial certification for teaching students with disabilities in early childhood as well as the annotation for teaching students with severe or multiple disabilities in early childhood. This program leads to New York State Initial/Professional Certification in Special Education at the Early Childhood level.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Science in Education in Early Childhood Special Education Program is based on a comprehensive review of multiple criteria including the following:

  1. Initial or professional New York State Teacher Certification in: Early Childhood or Childhood Education.
  2. A completed application form.
  3. A minimum GPA of 3.0.
  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.

The department understands that any single criterion may not reliably predict a candidate’s potential for success in a graduate program. Consequently, candidates are welcome to apply if they do not meet one of the criteria but feel that other aspects of their experience may compensate.

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.
   1.     Artistic Expression/Humanities, 3 s.h.
   2.     Communication, 3 s.h.
   3.     Information Retrieval, (0-3 s.h.; can be satisfied with passing score on exam)
   4.    Historical and Social Science Concepts, 3 s.h.
   5.     Language other than English, (0-3 s.h.; depending on placement)
   6.     Scientific Processes, 3 s.h.
   7.     Mathematical Processes, 3 s.h.
   8.     Written Analysis and Expression, 6 s.h.

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.

Program Requirements - Semester Hours: 33 to 36

Matriculated students must complete a minimum of 27 s.h. of the M.S. in Education program in residence at Hofstra. No more than 6 s.h. may be transferred into the program. Student Teaching may be used to meet the 27 s.h. residency.

A maximum of 12 s.h. of graduate course work leading to the M.S. 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.

Early Childhood Curriculum - Semester Hours: 6

Knowledge Core - Semester Hours: 9

Reflective Practice - Semester Hours: 3-6


*Fulfills requirements for the annotation for Teaching Students With Severe or Multiple Disabilities.

Field Experience Prior to Student Teaching

Field experiences are integrated extensively into course curricula. A minimum of 100 clock hours of observation is required prior to student teaching. At least one placement (SPED 207) will be spent in a site recognized by the New York State Education Department as high-needs. Placements are arranged by the Office of Field Placement and the Special Education Program Director.

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 237, when they have satisfied the following requirements:
  1. Successful completion of 27 s.h. of core course work
  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 Counseling, Research, Special Education, and Rehabilitation are due on October 1 for the spring semester and March 1 for the fall semester. Application forms are available in room 118 Hagedorn Hall.

Students registered for SPED 237 will complete two student teaching experiences at the early childhood developmental level across the full-range of disabilities. Students registered for SPED 237A will complete a student teaching placement at two early childhood developmental levels.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of  a minimum 33-36 semester hours in prescribed courses with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in all special education core courses.            
  2. A minimum of 27-30 s.h. in residence.
  3. All course work taken within a five-year period.

Teacher Certification

Upon successful completion of a school-based program, students will be eligible to apply for the University’s recommendation for New York state certification. The state requires applicants to have passing scores on each of the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE): the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST), the Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written (ATS-W), and the appropriate Content Specialty Tests (CSTs). The state will not issue certification to individuals not receiving passing scores on all New York examinations. In addition to pedagogical studies, the Commissioner’s Regulations require that all school-based programs provide students with instruction for the purpose of  identification of child abuse and maltreatment; fire and arson prevention; prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse; School Violence Prevention and Intervention (SAVE); and highway and school safety/prevention of child abduction. No degrees will be conferred without the completion of all of these requirements. Please contact the Office of Certification and Educational Support Services for information regarding fingerprinting, examinations and seminars. 

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