About the Program
The special education programs at Teachers College build upon a more than 80-year tradition of leading the field of special education in policy, practice, and research for individuals with disabilities across the age span.
Students who earn M.A., Ed.M., Ed.D., and Ph.D. degrees in special education from Teachers College assume leadership and scholarly positions at all levels of professional activity including public and private schools, community and national service agencies, hospital and rehabilitation programs, colleges and universities, research centers, and local, state, and federal education agencies.The graduate coursework, independent studies, research projects, and dissertations draw from the following five areas:
In addition to lectures and seminars in the preceding five areas of study, students participate in special projects and complete practicum assignments in a variety of settings, which include the following:
- Special education foundations. Includes coursework on theories of process and models of practice, cognitive structure and process, behavioral selectionism and complex behavior, disability constructs, equity and excellence in public policy, psycholinguistics and verbal behavior, and family studies and child development.
- Service delivery systems. Includes administration and supervision, pedagogy, enrichment and acceleration, interdisciplinary programming, community based systems change, infancy/early childhood intervention, elementary education, transition and rehabilitation, urban education, and technology.
- Exceptionality areas. Provides coursework in behavioral disorders (e.g., autism, emotional disturbance), blindness and visual impairment, deafness and hearing impairment, intellectual disability/autism, physical disabilities, and multiple handicapping conditions including intellectual disability/autism coupled with sensory and/or physical disabilities.
- Assessment and intervention strategies. Includes management of social and unsocial behavior, communication and language, mobility, mathematics, reading, problem solving, visual skills and visual perceptual processing, and self-regulation.
- Research and evaluation. Includes applied behavior analysis, experimental research with individuals, group experimental design, program evaluation, ethnography, and post-positivistic inquiry.
The Dean Hope Center provides learner-centered demonstrations of assessments and evaluations, instructional practices, and follow-up evaluations that promote student-directed learning and performance across settings and time. Special education students work in collaboration with students from school psychology, speech pathology, health, and nutrition, as well as clinical and counseling psychology programs. The Center provides opportunities for practicum experience and research-based demonstrations of effective practice. The Center has an extensive remediation and testing library, testing rooms, observation rooms, and audio and video recording capabilities available for graduate student use.
The Center for Opportunities and Outcomes for People with Disabilities provides support for research, evaluation, and demonstration efforts aimed at increasing opportunities for individuals with special needs to become fully included members of society. The Center provides opportunities for students to participate in research and evaluation projects in such areas as ethnic and cultural differences; language and communication; motivation and verbal behavior; systems of schooling and models of service delivery; inclusion and its social impact; families and siblings; cognition, personality, problem solving, and self-regulated thinking; reading, literacy, and the arts; decision-making and abuse prevention; personnel preparation; social justice and social policy; and self-determination and independence.
Students enrolled in the Program in Applied Behavior Analysis complete their M.A. and Ph.D. internships in schools that meet the research-based and professional accreditation standards for the designation of CABAS® Professional Teaching Schools (e.g., Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy Schools and Gems Early Intervention, The Fred S. Keller School, for typically developing children and children with autism spectrum
disorders 16 months to age 5, Hillcrest School K-2, Alexander Hamilton School grades 3-5 Rockland County district-based classes summer placements in The Jigsaw CABAS® in Guildford, England. See www.CABAS.com.
Applied Behavior Analysis students do internships simultaneously with their coursework at the university. They spend their days in our professional teaching schools and the evenings in classes at the university. The internships are coordinated closely with the university coursework in behavior analysis.
Students in the M.A. program also complete requirements for and are eligible to apply for CABAS® Board Certification for Teacher I, Teacher II, and Master Teacher Ranks. The latter is an advanced certification recognizing criterion-referenced expertise in applied be-havior analysis and applications with children and youth. Doctoral students who hold the CABAS® Master Teacher Rank complete requirements for and are eligible to submit for CABAS® Board Certification as Assistant, Associate, and Senior Behavior Analyst Ranks.
Doctoral and post-doctoral students with Behavior Analyst Ranks are eligible for CABAS® Board Certification based on their research publication record (i.e., Assistant, Associate, and Senior Research Scientist).
Financial assistance is available to students admitted to the Applied Behavior Analysis program in the form of paid internships at the CABAS® Professional Teaching Schools. Some international internships and training opportunities are available at our CABAS® sites in Europe. Faculty members, students, and CABAS® school professionals associated with the Program in Applied Behavior Analysis are published in numerous journals.
The Department maintains close working relationships with a wide network of public and private schools, agencies, and clinical facilities. Students may participate in field-based activities ranging from the Very Special Arts Festival hosted by the New York City Department of Education and Teachers College to school-based practica in a variety of settings.