Information for Special Education Certification in New York
Special education teachers instruct a population of students who have certain mental, physical, emotional, or learning disabilities. These teachers work with different populations of students, depending on their chosen teaching area. For example, some might work with high school students on the autism spectrum, while others might work with elementary students who have physical disabilities.
Aspiring special education teachers in New York have several educational pathways available that help them achieve special education teacher certification. First, you can earn a bachelor's degree in special education from an approved state teacher education program. From there, you must pass the Educating All Students (EAS) test, the edTPA, the content specialty test in special education, and the content specialty test in your chosen teaching content level and area. Special education teachers in New York can teach at the following levels: birth-grade 2, grades 1-6, grades 5-9, or grades 7-12. They can also be generalists or teach a specific subject, such as English or science.
The second pathway is for current New York teachers who want to become special education teachers. This pathway includes earning an additional certificate that helps them meet the content and pedagogical core requirements for certification in special education.
List of Online Special Education Certification Programs in New York
Current New York teachers who wish to pursue special education certification have several options for attending an online certificate program. These types of programs generally cannot be completed 100% online but do offer some online coursework.
Niagara University offers a partially online Special Education Advanced Certificate program that has a concentration in grades 1-6 or grades 7-12 and qualifies students for New York state special education certification. This is a 24-credit-hour program that features online coursework that centers on such subjects as applied behavior analysis, managing a culturally diverse classroom, and exceptional needs students. Students must also complete in-person field experiences in the form of a special education practicum and fieldwork that takes place in a special education setting.
Relay Graduate School of Education
Relay Graduate School of Education's Advanced Certificate in Special Education program is especially for current, experienced New York teachers who want to become eligible for special education certification. This 21-credit program can be completed in 1 year with a combination of online coursework, a 2-week summer session, weeknight sessions, and some Saturday sessions. Students must also complete fieldwork within their own schools. Additionally, this program offers a grades 1-6 track and a grades 7-12 track.
State University of New York at Plattsburgh
State University of New York at Plattsburgh has an online Special Education Grades 7-12 Graduate Certificate program that is for currently certified New York teachers. This is an 18-credit program that includes coursework in the subjects of instructional practices, assessment, and the autism spectrum disorder. Along with online coursework, students are required to complete supervised teaching experiences and teaching practicums, which can be done face-to-face or virtually.
The City College of New York
At the City College of New York, certified teachers can earn either an Advanced Certificate in Teaching Students with Disabilities, Grades 1-6 or an Advanced Certificate in Teaching Students with Disabilities, Grades 7-12 in an online format. These two programs feature online coursework in reading/writing instruction and instructional methods of students with disabilities as well as in-person fieldwork intensives and practicums. These programs can be completed in only 1 year.
Requirements for Special Education Certification in New York
Online special education certificate programs usually require around 18 to 24 credits of coursework along with in-person field experiences. After completing your certificate, you can then take the special education content exam for certification in your chosen grade level area.
Special education programs focus on preparing teachers for working with and assessing students who have disabilities. Along with courses that give you a foundation for understanding exceptional students, you also take courses that center on teaching methods and strategies.
Teaching Students with Disabilities
This is a course that covers teaching methods and practices within the context of instructing students with disabilities and special needs. Teachers study how to create and implement teaching plans, how to use assistive and adaptive technology, and how to collaborate with other educational professionals and the parents of exceptional students. Some courses also cover how to manage a classroom, including implementing safety measures.
Assessment and Evaluation of Exceptional Students
In this course, teachers learn about the different types of assessment strategies, tools, and processes related to special education students. Teachers learn how to assess behavior, intelligence, emotional well-being, and achievement. There is also a focus on assessment methods related to teaching methods and curriculums.
Autism Spectrum Disorders
As special education teachers will likely work with students on the autism spectrum, these programs usually include a course that provides them with the skills for identifying and assessing autistic students. Coursework might also explore specialized teaching techniques and methods for these students as well as how teachers can work with other educators, parents, and specialists.
Aspiring special education teachers in New York have several options for attending an online special education certificate program. After the completion of their program, they can then take the special education content certification in their chosen teaching area.