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Adolescent Program: Teaching Students with
Disabilities 7-12 Generalist

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  • Master of Science in Education, 42-45 credits

Grounded in real world application

Strong focus on social justice, and advocacy for a diverse range of adolescents and families.

Become certified in teaching students with disabilities 7-12

Preparation to teach students with disabilities across a broad range of general and special education contexts.

Mimi RosenbergMimi Rosenberg
  Program Director for Teaching Students with Disabilities 7-12 Generalist

The Teaching Students with Disabilities 7-12 Generalist program is designed for applicants seeking to teach adolescents with disabilities in grades 7-12. This program prepares candidates to become resource room teachers, consultant teachers, integrated coteachers and to teach students who receive alternate assessments. Grounded in a progressive orientation, our candidates learn how to use assessment and content knowledge to develop curriculum and adapt instruction for all learners, including those students with high and low incidence disabilities in a variety of general and special education middle school and high school settings. Candidates will develop skill in working collaboratively across teams to support adolescents throughout their transitions across school, family and community.

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are expected to have breadth across the liberal arts curriculum, as well as an undergraduate concentration (ten courses or thirty credits) in one of the liberal arts or sciences.
  • Applicants must also have completed six semester hours of study in science, social studies, English language arts and mathematics.
  • See the Admissions Criteria.


Graduates of this program will be eligible for New York State initial certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities 7-12 Generalist. No prior teaching certification is necessary for this program.


The coursework is grounded in developmental interaction theory. There is a heavy emphasis on the realities of the lives of today's adolescents in their schools, familiies, and communities. Social justice, inquiry, and advocacy are emphasized throughout the program. Our courses feature practical application with students, schools, colleagues, families and/or community organizations so that you can make connections between theory and practice. An understanding of adult development informs the important development of collaboration skills so that you will be well prepared to support the various transitions that adolescents with disabilities navigate within school and beyond.

The courses that you will take include the following areas:

  • Human Development
  • Diverse Learners in Specialized and Inclusive Settings
  • Social Emotional Variations in Adolescence: Creating Supportive School and Classroom Environments
  • Advocacy, Collaboration and Transition: Negotiating Adolescents' Identities across School, Family and Community
  • Formal and Informal Assessment of Adolescents with Disabilities
  • Supporting Language and Literacy Development across the Curriculum: 7-12
  • Teaching English: Curriculum, Assessment and Methods for Adolescents with Disabilities
  • Teaching Math, Sciences and Technology: Curriculum, Assessment and Methods for Adolescents with Disabilities
  • Teaching Social Studies and Study Skills: Curriculum, Assessment and Methods for Adolescents with Disabilities

Coursework >>

Supervised Fieldwork/Advisement

During the second year of this program, graduate students complete a year of in-classroom fieldwork in public, private or charter school settings, and participate in twice monthly one-on-one and weekly small group advisement sessions with an experienced faculty mentor, ensuring that your teaching connects meaningfully to coursework and that you are challenged and supported throughout the program. The advisor also visits each candidate monthly for half a day in the fieldwork setting to provide individualized support toward each candidate’s growth.

Students can complete the year-long fieldwork either as student teachers or, as teachers/assistant teachers in an appropriate setting. All students will have two fieldwork experiences, one in grades 7-9, and the other in grades 10-12. For those students who complete their yearlong fieldwork as working teachers or assistant teachers, you will be placed in an additional summer school fieldwork placement in July in the public schools so that you meet the second age band requirement. This summer fieldwork is supported by related coursework where candidates have an opportunity to process their experiences and deepen their learning through relevant readings and assignments.