Teaching Students with Disabilities - Adolescence (MSEd)

Department Co-Chairs:  Barbara A. Burns, PhD and Margaret Cain McCarthy, 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 an Adolescence Certificate (Grades 7-12) to gain Initial and Professional Certification in Students with Disabilities Adolescent Generalist and may also add a SWD content extension in their Adolescence subject area.  Candidates with no prior certification and no content major may also take this program but will be required to have or complete 5 prerequisite courses and complete a second student teaching placement.  These candidates will also gain Initial and Professional Certification in Students with Disabilities Adolescent Generalist but they will only qualify for a SWD subject area extension if they have 18 credits in an academic subject area.

Initial SWD Adolescence Generalist 7-12 Prerequisites for Those Without Prior Certification

Adolescence Human Growth & Development, Inclusive Strategies, Foundations of Adolescent Literacy, Evaluation & Teaching Strategies, and Foundations of Education.  These prerequisites may be taken at the graduate or undergraduate level, at Canisius or another college offering teacher certification programs, and may be taken concurrent with the graduate program.

Middle Childhood

Candidates wishing to obtain an extension to teach grades 5-6 in their content area must add a middle childhood extension.

SWD Generalist Content-Area Extensions

The Adolescence Students with Disabilities Generalist certification is not attached to typical adolescence content areas.  If a candidate has earned 18 credits in an academic subject area, they will be qualified to add a certificate extension in their content area to their Students with Disabilities Generalist certificate for grades 7-12.

Licensure Disclosure

Canisius College cannot determine whether completion of this program would be sufficient to meet licensure requirements outside of New York State for the intended occupation. We advise you to contact your state licensing board or appropriate licensing entity to determine whether the program meets requirements for Professional Licensure in the state where you are located or the state in which you intend to pursue licensure. Please contact the associate dean of your school if you have further questions.

Curriculum

Program Requirements for Candidates with Prior Adolescence Certification

SPE 580Classroom Management3
SPE 644Collaborative Practices on a Transdisciplinary Team3
EDU 556Assessment for Diverse Learners3
SPE 631Reading and Writing Process for Students with Learning and Behavioral Disorders3
SPE 640Learning and Behavioral Disabilities (LBD); Etiology and Research Based Interventions3
SPE 649Transition Issues for Adolescents with Disabilities3
SPE 650Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Etiology & Educational Needs3
SPE 652Functional Curriculum for Students with Severe Disabilities and ASD3
EDU 615Research Methods3
Choose one of the following options (in consultation with the program director)3
Seminar in Teaching and Assessment
Special Education Elective
Student Teaching4.5
Student Teaching
Student Teaching Seminar
Total Credits34.5

Program Requirements for Candidates Pursuing Initial Certification

Adolescence Human Growth & Development, Inclusive Strategies, Foundations of Adolescent Literacy, Evaluation & Teaching Strategies, and Foundations of Education.  These prerequisites may be taken at the graduate or undergraduate level, at Canisius or another college offering teacher certification programs, and may be taken concurrent with the graduate program.  Canisius courses that meet these prerequisites include EDAD 535, SPE 541, EDAD 536, EDAD 504, EDR 504, EDAD 572, and EDU 505 (or their undergraduate equivalents).

Middle Childhood

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

SWD Generalist Content-Area Extensions

The Adolescence Students with Disabilities Generalist certification is not attached to typical adolescence content areas.  If a candidate has earned 18 credits in an academic subject area, they will be qualified to add a certificate extension in their content area to their Students with Disabilities Generalist certificate for grades 7-12.

Prerequisites for Students with Disabilities (SWD) for ALL candidates.

  1. Six credit hours in English
  2. Six credit hours in math
  3. Six credit hours in social studies
  4. Six credit hours in science
  5. Three credit hours in a language other than English

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.
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