Students working on laptop in library

Teaching Children with Disabilities in Childhood Education (1-6), Master of Science in Education

Education Specialties



Overview: Faculty has extensive teaching and supervision experience in school and community-based programs for students with disabilities and thise at risk and are actively engaged in school-based research and service activitiesFaculty regularly present at local, national, and international special education conferencesFaculty have published in highly regarded peer-reviewed education and special education journals including Review of Educational Research, Learning Disability Quarterly, Learning Disability Research & Practice, Behavior Modification, Preventing School Failure, Beyond Behavior, Intervention in School and Clinic, International Review of Research in MR, American Journal of Mental Retardation, Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, International Journal of Inclusive Education, and International Interdisciplinary Journal of Education 

Dr. Ishita KhemkaAssoc.

Professor & Coordinator of Special the Department of Education Specialties at St. John's University

[email protected]      Sullivan Hall, Room 410(718) 990-2631  

Dr. Rebecca Louick

Asst. Professor in the Department of Education Specialties at St. John's University

[email protected]     Sullivan Hall, Room 414     (718) 990-8035​  

Dr. Maria P. Mello 

Asst. Professor in the Department of Education Specialties at St. John's University

[email protected]      Sullivan Hall, Room 412     718-990-7686​​ 

Dr. SeungEun McDevitt

Asst. Professor in the Department of Education Specialties at St. John's University

[email protected] Hall, Room 413718-990-1560  


The Childhood Education Master’s Degree Program at St. John’s University qualifies students for a full-time salaried teaching position for Grades 1-6. 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. 

Apply Request Info Plan your Visit


Admissions Criteria

  • Application
  • Nonrefundable application fee of $70
  • Statement of Goals
  • Satisfactory Grade Point Average (3.0-3.5 depending on program)
  • Official transcripts showing conferral of bachelor’s degree in education
  • Must possess NYS initial/professional certification

*If you are an international student you must submit TOEFL or IELTS.


Graduate Admission Contacts

Graduate Admissions
[email protected]



Program Prerequisites: This Master’s degree can only be taken by students with initial NYS certification.

General Education 

Core Courses (9 Credits) 
EDU 3210: Research & Practice of Teaching Writing/English Language Arts in General & Inclusive Education, B-6
EDU 9003: Literacy Development for the First and Second Language Learners (10 Hrs. Fieldwork)
EDU 7266: Technology for Literacy-Based Application in Content Area Learning in regular and Special Education Settings

Special Education Core Courses (24 Credits)
EDU 9700: Research in Collaborative Partnerships, Strategic Instruction for General, Special, and Inclusive Educational Settings: Childhood (10 Hrs. Fieldwork)
EDU 9707: Curriculum Adaptation and Modification Planning for Exceptional Students: Childhood (10 Hrs. Fieldwork)
EDU 9711: Education and Accommodating Needs for Individuals with Exceptionalities, K-12 (15 Hrs. Fieldwork)
EDU 9712: Educational Assessment of Individuals with Exceptionalities (prerequisite EDU 9711) (20 Hrs. Fieldwork)
EDU 9716: Curriculum and Instructional Design for Teaching Literacy to Individuals with Exceptionalities: Childhood (20 Hrs. Fieldwork)
EDU 9718: Curriculum and Instructional Design for Individuals with Exceptionalities: Math, Science, Social Studies –Childhood (20 Hrs. Fieldwork)
EDU 9719: Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and Positive Behavior Supports, K-12 (15 Hrs. Fieldwork)
EDU 9702: Practicum in Special Education-(150 Hrs.) – ChildhoodMust 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

Students satisfying the 30 credits in a content area with a minimum grade of C, passing the CST content subject area will be eligible for certification, grades 7-9, in their content area 

*SJU Comprehensive Exam must be passed during the final semester of classes. 



Career and Education 


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.


Top Outcomes for this particular program

The program is designed to foster the ability of teachers to develop the 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:

Understand a wide range of disabilities, including those identified in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Collaborate effectively with parents, educators, and related service providers
Identify students’ strengths and needs so as to individualize and modify instruction
Create safe, nurturing and individualized learning environments for students with disabilities, mindful of how life experiences, culture, and ethnicity shape and strengthen students as learners
Create and implement educational programs for children with disabilities, using the most current evidence-based practices and technological resources  
Use the basic principles and strategies of the science of applied behavior analysis with students who have disabilities
Use, interpret and analyze various forms of assessment (formal, informal, formative, summative) to gather detailed information, from multiple sources, about student learning
Understand research in the broader context of special and inclusive education
Apply standards set by the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Interstate New Teachers Assessment and Support Consortium (inTASC)

Top three features/qualities of our program:


Our full-time faculty is highly qualified with many years of experience working with individuals with disabilities, and their families, in diverse school and clinical settings, and is also actively engaged in research and professional service. Further, we have a strong supporting Adjunct faculty that brings unique practitioner inputs to our programs. To access information about our Faculty, please visit:


Our courses are offered across multiple campus sites (Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Long Island) with ample online course offerings.  Online courses allow students to learn at their own pace and participate in interactive and creative online learning opportunities

Programs that offer multiple opportunities for engagement in professional activities, academic service learning, and global education consistent with the University’s Catholic and Vincentian mission. Our school’s mission of “Preparing teachers, counselors, and administrators as transformational leaders who honor the dignity of all people” guides our programs and informs our practice each day.


Why is the experience unique at St. John’s ?


Our students complete 150 hours of supervised special education practicum in various settings including self-contained, inclusive, and mainstreamed classrooms. St. John’s program is unique in that it allows students to develop skills to teach exceptional students in schools, clinics, and early intervention settings. Students are exposed to instructors, current researchers, and leaders in the field of special education who have many years of experience and expertise working directly with children in diverse, multicultural, and high-needs urban and suburban school settings.

Our graduates are successful and highly proficient teachers trained to meet the highest professional standards in special education set by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), through rigorous course work based on evidence-based practices, applied observation and practicum experiences, and engagement in student activities, including academic service learning. We are excited to welcome you to join this cadre of effective teachers and global citizens effecting change in the lives of children and youth through education and service.

Our students participate in many online learning opportunities that allow for current and effective use of online resources for research and practice in special education and preparation for careers in an increasingly global and digital world

Our students engage in several professional and networking events throughout their program developing their competencies to effectively communicate and interact with stakeholders in collaborative and inclusive ways.  Please visit our CEC Student Chapter page at to learn more about the exciting opportunities for professional preparation and student engagement that we offer to our students as part of their overall experience in our Special Education program.

Success Stories


We succeed in graduating excellent teachers, who are caring and sensitive individuals. Our graduates are always sought after by both public and private schools, including a host of Catholic programs. 


Our graduates attest to their academic preparation and growth as professionals in the field of special education and inclusive collaborative services


“St. John’s really prepared me to grow as an educator and it prepared me to go out to schools and maintain a close connection with the teachers”

-Childhood Special Education Teacher