Teaching Students with Disabilities - Childhood (MS)

Chair:  Barbara Burns, PhD

The Special Education Master of Science Degree Program at Canisius is designed for those dedicated to meet the needs of students with disabilities, placing a strong emphasis on theory, research and practicum experience.  The curriculum enables candidates to develop an understanding of etiology, related psychological and social factors and techniques proven effective for teaching students with diverse learning needs.  

This program prepares candidates already holding a Childhood Certificate (Grades 1-6) to gain Initial and Professional Certification in Students with Disabilities 1-6.

Curriculum

SPE 580Classroom Management3
EDU 556Assessment for Diverse Learners3
SPE 644Collaborative Practices on a Transdisciplinary Team3
SPE 640Learning and Behavioral Disabilities (LBD); Etiology and Research Based Interventions3
SPE 631Reading and Writing Process for Students with Learning and Behavioral Disorders3
SPE 650Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Etiology & Educational Needs3
SPE 652Functional Curriculum for Students with Severe Disabilities and ASD3
EDY 509Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum in Early Childhood Classrooms3
EDU 615Research Methods3
Take one of the following (in consultation with program director)3
Pre-Student Teaching
or Special Education Elective
SPE 592Student Teaching4.5
Total Credits34.5

Early Childhood

Candidates wishing to extend their certification to teach birth to grade 2 should consult their adviser.

Middle Childhood

Candidates wishing to obtain an extension to teach grades 7-9 in their content area must add a middle childhood extension.

Learning Goals & Objectives

Learning Goal 1 (KNOWLEDGE – Observed in Writing)

Candidates in the Teacher Education programs will demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical, and professional knowledge necessary for successful performance in their field.

Teacher candidates will: 
  • Acquire knowledge of each student, and demonstrate knowledge of student development and learning to promote achievement for all students. 
  • Know the content they are responsible for teaching, and the pedagogical content knowledge to plan instruction that ensures growth and achievement for all students. 

Learning Goal 2 (KNOWLEDGE – Observed Skills and Dispositions)

Candidates in the Teacher Education programs will demonstrate professional skills and dispositions necessary for successful performance in their field. 

Teacher candidates will: 
  • Demonstrate professional dispositions and implement instruction that engages and challenges all students to meet or exceed the learning standards.

Learning Goal 3 (SERVICE)

Candidates in the Teacher Education programs will demonstrate willingness to use their skills to benefit and serve society. Within the contexts of their work, candidates promote authentic learning, social and emotional development, and a commitment to social justice in environments that foster respect for diversity and the dignity of all.

Teacher candidates will:
  • Work with all students to create a dynamic learning environment that supports achievement and growth.
  • Use multiple measures to assess and document student growth, evaluate instructional effectiveness, and modify instruction for diverse learners.

Learning Goal 4 (PROFESSIONALISM)

Candidates will demonstrate self-reflection as a habit of mind, continuously assessing and refining their professional practice as they construct a rich repertoire of research-based knowledge, skills, and attitudes for effective performance ensuring that all students and/or clients have optimal opportunities to learn and grow.

Teacher candidates will:
  • Set informed goals and strive for continuous professional growth.

Learning Goal 5 (LEADERSHIP)

Candidates will become adept at applying their acquired knowledge in the process of evaluating their own professional performance and decision-making with respect to its impact on students and/or clients, organizations, and the wider community. 

Teacher candidates will: 
  • Demonstrate professional responsibility and engage relevant stakeholders to maximize impact on student growth, development, and learning.