May 28, 2024  
2011-2012 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2011-2012 Graduate Studies Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

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

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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.

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.
  3. All course work taken within a five-year period.

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, 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 118.

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. Passing grade on the comprehensive examination.
  4. All course work taken 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 Certification and Educational Support Services the semester in which the student is graduating. Students 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), elementary (Grades 1-6) and secondary (Grades 7-12), special subject teachers and educational leaders are required to pass the New York State Teachers Certification Examinations (NYSTCE) administered by Pearson Education, for state certification requirements. Students should consult with the Office of Certification and Educational Support Services regarding the appropriate examinations for their area of study. Beginning in May 2013 graduating students will be required to pass new Performance Assessments and revised Content Specialty Tests.

It is strongly recommended that students complete the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST) prior to student teaching, and the Assessment of Teaching Skills Written (ATS-W) and the Content Specialty Test (CST) during student teaching. Students not receiving passing scores on these examinations will not be eligible for certification.

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.

New York state legislation also requires all persons seeking certification as special education teachers or school administrators working in special education to have training in the area of children with autism. All of these requirements must be completed before the conferral of the degree and recommendation for certification.

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