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

Education Specialties


The Department of Education Specialties in The School of Education at St. John’s University offers a 33-credit online program that qualifies students for New York State initial certification as a teacher of students with disabilities at the childhood level (Grades 1-6). The program places an emphasis on educational practices with documented effectiveness for teaching diverse learners and allows students the flexibility of attending class, accessing materials, and interacting with professors when most convenient for their schedule.

Our Special Education online program is unique in that it allows students to develop skills to teach exceptional students in schools, clinics, and early intervention settings. Students in the program are exposed to instructors, current researchers, and leaders in the field of special education, as well as instructors with many years of experience and expertise working directly with children in diverse, multi-cultural, and high-needs urban and suburban school settings.

Online Program

This online program requires a completion of 150 hours of practicum in various settings, including self-contained, inclusive, and mainstreamed classrooms. Graduate students must have successfully completed all state mandated external exams, training modules, and teaching experiences.

Department Faculty

Please see a list of our Education Specialties faculty.

Department Contact

Lina Gilic-Amadio
Assistant Professor
Sullivan Hall, Room 410

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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.

Graduate Admissions Information

Graduate Admissions
[email protected]



Download the program planning sheet (Word).

General Education, Childhood Core Courses (27 Credits)

  • EDU 3200: Language Acquisition and Literacy Development for General Education and English Language Learners (ELL) K-12 ( 20 Hrs. Fieldwork)
  • 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 (15 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 (10 Hrs. Fieldwork)
  • EDU 9718: Curriculum and Instructional Design for Individuals with Exceptionalities: Math, Science, Social Studies –Childhood (15 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.) – Childhood
    Must be taken in your final Semester. Must have completed all Special Education Coursework and CST- Students with Disabilities

Choose Two Electives  (6 credits)

  • EDU 3220: Approaches, Strategies and Materials for Literacy Development
  • EDU 7026: Web Technology- Enhance Literacy-Basic Reading
  • EDU 9003: Literacy Development for the First and Second Language Leaders

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

Online Learning

Earn Your Degree Online
Pursue your St. John’s degree entirely on your computer. Our fully accredited Online Learning programs allow you to take courses electronically. Log in at your convenience to enter our virtual classrooms, learn from our accomplished faculty, and engage with classmates.

Our online courses offer the same high academic quality that students experience on campus. Professors deliver lectures and post assignments via Blackboard, our electronic course management system. Students use it to attend virtual classes, share documents, take exams, and exchange ideas with faculty and classmates.

A Fully Academic Experience
You also enjoy the outstanding services available to all St. John’s students, for example:

  • Eligibility for scholarships and financial aid
  • Tuition and fees identical to those for on-campus courses
  • Access to library collections, career services, mentoring, and other academic resources.

Contact us for more information about online learning at St. John’s.