Early Childhood Special Education Programs

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  • Master of Science in Education
  • Master of Education*

Learn to engage all young children in play, learning and interaction

Develop skill in engaging with young children of varying development and need in meaningful ways.

Become certified in teaching students with disabilities

Gain valuable practical experience in collaboration with families.



Sue CarbarySue Carbary
Program Director

The Early Childhood Special Education programs will provide you with the understanding and skill to work with young children in the full range of development in general, inclusive or special education settings (PreK, Kindergarten, 1st or 2nd grade). In this curriculum rich program you will engage diverse learners in active, experiential learning, meeting their needs by building on children's strengths and interests while addressing their challenges. Through studying the ongoing cycle of observation, assessment and instructional planning you will be able to help young children with varying ability realize their full educational potential.

You will learn to understand the relationships among culture, language and learning in families. Bank Street's interdisciplinary approach and developmental - interaction philosophy will enable you to support growth and learning of the whole child in the context of famly and community.

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants to the Early Childhood Special and General Education Dual Certification program need to have an academic background in the liberal arts and sciences.
  • Applicants to the Early Childhood Special Education program need to have, or be working toward, New York State initial certification in general education at the early childhood level (birth through grade 2) or childhood level (grades 1-6).
  • Applicants to the Early Childhood Special and General Education Dual Degree program apply to Bank Street College and to Columbia School of Social Work separately and need to have an academic background in the liberal arts and sciences.
  • Applicants to the Early Childhood Special Education Advanced Certificate (Non-Degree) must have a master's degree in education and already hold New York State initial/professional teaching certification in general education at the early childhood level (birth through grade 2) or childhood level (grades 1-6). Applicants to this certificate program will need to fill out the "Application to a Certificate Sequence" listed under "Other Applications and Forms" on the Apply Now page.
  • Applicants to the Early Childhood Special and General Education program with Purchase College, SUNY must have a GPA of 3.0 overall and in the early childhood courses taken at Purchase College, SUNY.
  • See the Admissions Criteria.

Early Childhood Special Education Program Options

Ages: birth through grade 2

  • Dual Certification: Early Childhood Special and General Education, 54 credits
    • Master of Science in Education
    • For applicants seeking their first teaching certification.
    • When you graduate, you will be eligible for New York State initial certification in Early Childhood General Education and in Teaching Students with Disabilities, birth through grade 2. After teaching for three years you will be eligible for professional certification.
    • Coursework >>
  • Single Certification: Early Childhood Special Education, 36 credits
    • Master of Science in Education or *Master of Education (for those students with a prior master's degree in education)
    • Applicants need to have, or be working toward, New York State initial certification in general education at the early childhood level (birth through grade 2) or childhood level (grades 1-6).
    • Individuals with initial certification in Early Childhood Education will be eligible for New York State teaching certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities, birth to grade 2.
    • Those who hold certification from a state having reciprocity with New York need to apply for New York State certification when applying to this program. If you hold a certificate from another state, you can apply for New York certification through interstate reciprocity. Click here for an outline of the process.
    • Coursework >>
  • Dual degree program: Early Childhood Special and General Education/Dual degree with Columbia School of Social Work, 48 credits
    • A comprehensive program allowing you to earn master's degrees both in education (48 credits) from Bank Street College, and in social work (48 – 54 credits) from Columbia School of Social Work for fewer total credits than if you were to earn the degrees separately.
      • Master of Science in Education
      • Master of Social Work - this program has additional course requirements for the social work degree from Columbia
    • When you graduate from both Bank Street College and from Columbia University School of Social Work, you will be eligible for New York State initial certification in Early Childhood General Education and in Teaching Students with Disabilities, birth through grade 2. After teaching for three years you will be eligible for professional certification. You will also be eligible for certification as a School Social Worker after completing both degrees. See Columbia School of Social Work.
    • Coursework >>

    For more information on the program at Columbia School of Social Work, contact Karma Lowe at knl3@columbia.edu.

  • Advanced Certificate: Early Childhood Special Education (Non-Degree), 15-21 credits
    • This is a certificate program that does not lead to a master's degree.
    • Applicants must have a master's degree in education with a 3.0 GPA or higher from an accredited institution of higher education and already hold New York State initial/professional certification in general education at the early childhood level (birth through grade 2) or childhood level (grades 1-6).
    • Supervised Fieldwork/Student Teaching/Advisement is not required for those students who have previous experience teaching in a licensed inclusive setting.
    • This sequence leads to New York State teaching certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities, birth to grade 2.
    • Applicants may be given transfer credit for a foundations course in special education.
    • Coursework >>
  • Dual Certification: Early Childhood Special and General Education with The State University of New York at Purchase, 44 credits

    This program is designed for students enrolled at The State University of New York at Purchase (Purchase College, SUNY). Eligible students are those who have taken specified courses as undergraduates (see below). The 20 credits earned for the courses taken at Purchase College, SUNY count towards the completion of 10 Master’s degree credits in Early Childhood Special and General Education Dual Certification.

    • Master of Science in Education
    • For applicants seeking their first teaching certification.
    • When you graduate, you will be eligible for New York State initial certification in Early Childhood General Education and in Teaching Students with Disabilities, birth through grade 2. After teaching for three years you will be eligible for professional certification.
    • Coursework >>

    _____________________________________

    SUNY Purchase Course Titles and Credits

    PSY 2650.20 Child Development - 4
    and one of the following:
        PSY 3330.20 Social Development - 4, OR
        PSY 3845.20 Gender Development - 4, OR
        PSY 3725.20 Development Psychopathology - 4, OR
        PSY 3345.20 Cognitive Development - 4
    (Note: The above requirement stands in for EDUC 500 Child Development 3 credits)
    PSY 3490.20 Development of Language - 4
    SOC 3500.20 Sociology of Education  - 4
    PSY 3850.20 Practicum/Internship in Early Childhood Development - 4
    TOTAL CREDITS - 20

     

Supervised Fieldwork/Advisement

Taken concurrently with coursework, supervised fieldwork is designed to foster the integration of theory and practice. You will:

  • Work in classroom settings as a full-time assistant, head teacher or as a student teacher (3 days each week):
    • Student teachers will be placed at three age levels within the early childhood range (pre-k, kindergarten, and grade 1 or 2), and in general education, inclusive, and special education settings.
    • Working teachers and assistants (in approved settings) who stay with a particular grade in the age range may use their own classrooms for their fieldwork setting. These students will gain additional experience through summer supervised fieldwork/ advisement during a July (summer 2) term.
  • Be supervised by your advisor, a core graduate faculty mentor, as you work with children in your fieldwork setting.
  • Participate in a weekly conference group of 5-7 students and your advisor.
  • Meet individually with your advisor twice each month.

Career Opportunities

  • Teach in early childhood general education, special education, or inclusion classrooms in public, charter or independent schools.
  • Work as an early-interventionist in social service or education-based agencies, as well as in hospitals or daycare settings.
  • Work one-on-one as a Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) in home and classroom and daycare settings.
  • For the Dual Degree Program with Columbia:
    • Work as a school social worker.
    • Work as a psycho-therapist in private practice.