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Teaching Children with Disabilities in Adolescent Education (7-12), Master of Science in Education

Education Specialties


The Adolescent Education Master’s Degree Program at St. John’s University qualifies students for a full-time salaried teaching position in Grades 7-12. The program prepares teachers to develop a strong command of content and pedagogical knowledge, multicultural perspectives, and instructional skills appropriate in addressing the social, cultural and educational needs of their students. The courses are designed to foster the development of skills, attitudes, and abilities needed to identify and remediate learning and behavior disorders of students while incorporating the New York State Learning Standards, Common Core Standards and the Council of Exceptional Children Standards.

Individuals are provided with a range of teaching and learning experiences with an emphasis on relevant pedagogical methods and a broad knowledge of strategies for devising, implementing, and assessing learning experiences for exceptional learners.

The completion of the program qualifies students for New York State initial or professional certification as a teacher of students with disabilities provided students have successfully completed all New York State mandated external tests, training modules, workshops, and teaching experiences. Students are required to complete 33 credits in total.

Upon completion of the first half of the program (seven courses), meeting the liberal arts requirements as set by the Department of Education and successfully passing the New York State Teacher’s Certification Examinations, students may be eligible for internship certification by the State Education Department and fulltime employment in public and private schools within New York as a salaried employee.

Please note that the full degree cannot be taken at the Long Island Graduate Center and at least one course must be taken at our Queens campus.

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Department Faculty

Please see a list of our Education Specialties faculty.


Please view the School of Education Graduate Admission Application Requirements for detailed admission information. For Master’s Program in Teaching Children with Disabilities in Childhood Education

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. Undergraduate scholastic achievement must be such as to give reasonable assurance of success in work for an advanced degree. Normally, this would be at least a “B,” both in the general average and in the major field.

Financial assistance may be available to those that qualify.


Download the program planning sheet (PDF).

General Education Core Courses (9 Credits)

  • EDU 3241: Multi-sensory Approach to Language Learning and Phonics Instruction Part I (Field component)
  • EDU 3242: Multi-Sensory Approach to Language Learning and Phonics Instruction – Part II (Field component)
  • EDU 7267:    Technology for Literacy Based Applications in Content Area Learning in Regular and Special Education Settings 
    EDU 7666:    Developing Curriculum Material for the Web

Special Education Core Courses (24 Credits)

  • EDU 9704:  Research in Collaborative Partnerships and Strategic Instruction for General, Special and Inclusive Educational Settings: Adolescent (10Hrs. Fieldwork)
  • EDU 9706:   Curriculum Adaptation and Modification Planning for Exceptional Students: Adolescent (15 Hrs. Fieldwork)
  • EDU 9711:    Education and Accommodating Needs for Individuals with Exceptionalities, K-12 (15 Hrs. Fieldwork)
  • EDU 9719: Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and Positive Behavior Supports, K-12 (15 Hrs. Fieldwork)
  • EDU 9726:    Curriculum and Instruction Design for Individuals with Exceptionalities:    Math, Science, and Social Studies- Adolescent (15 Hrs. Fieldwork)
  • EDU 9742:    Formal and Informal Educational Assessment of Individuals with Exceptionalities- Adolescent (prerequisite: EDU 9711) (20 Hrs. Fieldwork)
  • EDU 9744:    Curriculum and Instructional design for teaching Literacy to Individuals with Exceptionalities- Adolescent (10 Hrs. Field work)
  • EDU 9705: Practicum in Special Education-(150 Hrs.) – Adolescent
    Must be taken in your final Semester. Must have completed all Special Education Coursework and CST- Students with Disabilities

Optional Courses To Obtain A Middle School Extension  (6 Credits)

  • EDU 7106: Understanding socio-emotional, cultural and cognitive aspects of middle school/adolescent learners in general and Inclusive settings
  • EDU 7107: Methods and strategies of teaching middle school/adolescent learners in general and Inclusive settings

To Obtain Certification From Orton Gillingham 

  • EDU 3241 / EDU 3242:  Plus 100-hours of applied instruction which incorporates the strategies of the Orton Academy. 
    The 100-hours of instruction can be included in the 150-hours required for practicum (EDU 9705)  

Career Outcomes

The program is designed to foster the ability of teachers to development of skills, attitudes, and abilities needed to identify and remediate major learning and behavior disorders, ranging from mild to profound, regardless of etiology.  Attention is also paid to diagnosis, intervention, program planning and program evaluation. 

The program prepares graduates to:

Demonstrate knowledge of human developmental processes and variations

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of culture, heritage, socioeconomic level, personal health, and safety, past or present abusive or dangerous environments, and factors in the home, school, and community on readiness to learn of students who have mild to profound disabilities.
  • Identify the skills needed in each of these circumstances to create a safe and nurturing learning environment for students with mild to profound disabilities.
  • Describe the nature of students in the full range of disabilities and special needs and the effect of those disabilities and needs on learning and behavior.
  • Describe the skills needed to identify strengths, individualize instruction, and collaborate with others to prepare student with disabilities and special needs for their highest levels of academic achievement and independence.

Develop skills that facilitate the use of research in the broader context of special and inclusive education

  • Demonstrate knowledge of qualitative and quantitative educational methodologies
  • Research the literature in the field of education related to inclusion and propose scholarly research questions based on a review of the literature.
  • Summarize the findings of research articles from different methodological perspectives
  • Write, concise, informed reviews of the literature about topics related to inclusion, citing relevant research using the style of the American Psychiatric Association, and formulate thesis questions

Recognize and interpret the significance of developmental deviations manifested by individuals with disabilities through formal and informal methods of assessment:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of legal, ethical, technical, and practical areas in diagnosis and evaluation of students with disabilities
  • Demonstrate measurement and test construction as related to students with disabilities
  • Interpret standardized diagnostic instruments and procedures for the evaluation ofcognitive, psychomotor, and affective functioning of students with disabilities
  • Use the various forms of informal assessment in the diagnosis and evaluation of students with disabilities
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the variety of ways in which the results of formal and informal assessment can be used to improve instruction and the instructional environment of exceptional students.
  • Interpret the work and value of the various professionals forming the multidisciplinary teams who are involved in the variety of decision-making necessary to assist students with disabilities.
  • Analyze, evaluate, and construct case studies which provide appraisals of students with disabilities and interpret and use collected data in the formulation of their educational needs and plans.

Use the basic principles and strategies of the science of applied behavior  analysis with students who have disabilities

  • Describe the foundations, philosophy, and methodology of the science of applied behavior analysis
  • Present and write using the terminology of the science of applied behavior analysis
  • Define, measure, analyze, and implement valid behavioral strategies in classroom settings
  • Summarize pertinent research from the literature of the science

Create and implement educational programs for children with disabilities  

  • Demonstrate a foundation of language arts, math, and sciences, breadth and depth of knowledge of each subject taught, knowledge of subject matter pedagogy, curriculum development and educational technology.
  • Demonstrate competence in adapting curricula in Reading and the Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science for exceptional learners. 
  • Demonstrate the use of technology as it applies to instruction and curricula areas for children with disabilities
  • Implement instructional change by using curriculum adaptation, targeting instructional aims as they relate to standard curricula, preparing effective long-term and short term objectives (benchmarks), and planning of individualized education programming (I.E.P.s) for students with exceptionalities.
  • Use various types of alternative assessment procedures to analyze student performance and to plan curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of individual students.

Assess and evaluate the development and implementation of effective strategies for children with learning and behavior challenges in the  classroom setting

  • Identify strengths and needs of students, individualize and modify instruction, evaluate performance outcomes and collaborate effectively with other teachers, paraprofessionals, supervisors, parents, and related service professionals to prepare students with disabilities to meet all academic and life goals.
  • Use technology as a learning resource to address the needs of all learners when developing and implementing instructional strategies

Interpret and apply standards of professional and state organizations:

  • Apply the principles of the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) and Teacher Education Division of CEC (TED)
  • Demonstrate how to incorporate the goals of New York State Learning Standards for Special Education across all special education instruction.
  • Demonstrate how research findings of professional organizations can be used to strengthen and update professional practice

Program Contact

Dr. Ishita Khemka

Program Coordinator and Associate Professor

Sullivan Hall Room 412
[email protected]