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Teaching Children with Disabilities in Childhood Education, Advanced Certificate

Students in this program further develop the attitudes and abilities needed to identify and remediate major learning and behavior disorders, ranging from mild to profound, regardless of etiology.

The Advanced Certificate in Special Education- Childhood program prepares holders of initial New York State certification, and a masters degree, to support children with special needs from Grades 1-6. In order to earn the certificate, students must complete the 24 credits of special education courses within the program, and pass the New York State Content Specialty Tests (CST) in Special Education.

This advanced coursework is designed to foster greater special education knowledge and understanding among masters-level educators. Students in this program further develop the 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.

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Degree Type
Adv Cert
Area of Interest
Associated Colleges or Schools
Program Location
  • Queens Campus
Required Credit Hours


  • A masters degree from an accredited college or university, as well as New York State certification. Undergraduate and graduate scholastic achievement must be such as to give reasonable assurance of success in work for an advanced degree. Normally this will be a “B,” both in the general average and in the major field.

Please view the School of Education Graduate Admission Application Requirements for detailed admission information.


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.

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.) – Childhood
    Must be taken in your final Semester. Must have completed EDU 7115, all Special Education Coursework and CST- Students with Disabilities

Student Resources

Gainful Employment Disclosures

This certificate program is approved as a Gainful Employment Program through the US Department of Education and is, therefore, eligible for Federal Student Aid. View Disclosure to learn about this program outcomes.

Career Options

  • Coordinator
  • Advocate
  • Consultant
  • Professional Development

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)

Career and Education Opportunities

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. This can be seen in the multiple opportunities we offer for engagement in professional activities, academic service learning, and global education consistent with the University’s Catholic and Vincentian mission.

In addition to 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 complete 150 hours of supervised special education practicum in various settings including self-contained, inclusive, and mainstreamed classrooms. 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 students engage in several professional and networking events throughout their program, developing competencies to effectively communicate and interact with stakeholders in collaborative and inclusive ways. 

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). 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.

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

“I felt very confident going into my first year of teaching and practicum this year after completing many of my courses”

Early Childhood Special Education Teacher


“The special education courses provided me with a different lens and particularly allowed the facilitation and continuity of being mindful of each student’s particular needs and style of learning.”

Early Childhood Special Education Teacher


“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


Program News

Programs in Special Education host a College Immersion Program for Youth and Young Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to increase inclusive opportunities in Higher Education:  Funded Grant Project with the Cooke Center for Learning and Development, New York City (2016- Present).

Our Faculty

-Faculty with extensive experience as school and community-based professionals are actively engaged in school-based research and service activities.

-Faculty regularly present at local, national, and international special education conferences.

-Faculty 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.

St. John's University Crest
  • Assistant Professor


Education Specialties

Program Contact

Ishita Khemka

Associate Professor

Sullivan Hall Queens Room 412


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