Sudha Ramaswamy, Ph.D., Chair
Department of Special Education and Educational Leadership
Rose Rudnitski, Ed.D., Program Director
Department of Special Education and Educational Leadership
Department of Special Education
The Department of Special Education offers two degree programs as well as add-on Teaching Students with Disabilities certification options for candidates pursuing degrees in other areas.
The 42-credit Master of Science in Students with Disabilities Birth-2 and Grades 1-6 offered at Mercy College, leads to initial / professional certification in students with disabilities. Pre-practice candidates will pursue a course of study leading to degree conferral and initial New York State certification. Candidates who do not yet have appropriate experience at both the lower and upper grade levels covered by their prospective certification areas (s) will be required to fulfill this requirement during the program. This requirement will be fulfilled by completing 20 days of supervised student teaching in each area of certification(s) they are seeking, and do not already have appropriate experience. Professional candidates must also have completed three years of teaching in the area of the certificate to qualify for the professional certificate.
Qualified applicants earn certifications in Students with Disabilities, Birth-2 and Students with Disabilities 1-6 while pursuing the degree. Degree-seeking candidates in all Students with Disabilities programs must successfully complete the required capstone (clinical practice), including submission of the edTPA exam prior to degree conferral.
The 48-credit Master of Science Teaching Students with Disabilities, Birth to Grade 6 and Early Childhood, Birth to Grade 2, leads to either initial / professional certification. Pre-practice candidates will pursue a course of study leading to degree conferral and initial New York State certification. Candidates who do not yet have appropriate experience at both the lower and upper grade levels covered by their prospective certification areas(s) will be required to fulfill this requirement during this program. This requirement will be fulfilled by completing 20 days of supervised student teaching in each area of certification(s) they are seeking, and do not already have appropriate experience. Professional candidates must also have completed three years of teaching in the area of the certificate to qualify for the professional certificate.
Qualified applicants earn three certifications: Students with Disabilities, Birth-2, and Students with Disabilities 1-6, and Early Childhood while pursuing the degree. Degree-seeking candidates must successfully complete the capstone requirement (clinical practice) specific to the Students with Disabilities degree, and submit the edTPA exam prior to degree conferral.
Special Education Goals
(Based on the Council for Exceptional Children’s initial preparation Standards)
Candidates in the Bilingual Extension to a Teaching Certificate Program are expected to acquire the knowledge, skills, and professionalism necessary to use both the native languages of English language learners and English the English language for instruction. The candidates will develop expertise in the following areas:
- Beginning special education professionals understand how exceptionalities may interact with development and learning and use this knowledge to provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences for individuals with exceptionalities.
- Beginning special education professionals create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments so that individuals with exceptionalities become active and effective learners and develop emotional well-being, positive social interactions, and self-determination.
- Beginning special education professionals use knowledge of general and specialized curricula to individualize learning for individuals with exceptionalities.
- Beginning special education professionals use multiple methods of assessment and data-sources in making educational decisions.
- Beginning special education professionals select, adapt, and use a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies to advance learning of individuals with exceptionalities.
- Beginning special education professionals use foundational knowledge of the field and their professional Ethical Principles and Practice Standards to inform special education practice, to engage in lifelong learning, and to advance the profession.
- Beginning special education professionals collaborate with families, other educators, related service providers, individuals with exceptionalities, and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways to address the needs of individuals with exceptionalities.
The Department of Special Education also offers coursework which may lead to dual certification for candidates registered in the Early Childhood, Childhood and Adolescence Education Programs. Candidates will learn about the diverse needs of students with disabilities and how to provide effective, evidence-based instruction incorporating inclusionary practices, differentiation and individualization. The coursework provides candidates with the knowledge and skills necessary to work with a wide range of students in a variety of settings.
Candidates who are admitted into the Departments of Childhood Education or Adolescence Education have the option of pursuing additional coursework to obtain certification in Students with Disabilities (see sections above in the relevant departments).
Department of Educational Leadership
The Department of Educational Leadership offers two degrees: an M. S. in Educational Supervision leading to a certification in School Building Leadership and an M. S. in Educational Administration leading to certifications in School Building Leadership and School District Leadership. An Advanced Certificate in School District Leadership is also offered.
- For the M.S. in Educational Supervision, an undergraduate degree in a related field from an accredited institution, with a GPA of at least 3.0. is required. For the M.S. in Educational Administration, a Master’s degree in a related field is also required.
- Initial or professional teacher or pupil personnel certification.
- Two years of paid teaching or specialty area experience.
- A resume.
- Submission of scores on the Verbal Reasoning, Mathematical Reasoning, and Analytic Writing subtests of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
*The GRE/Praxis exam admission requirement is waived for certified in-service teachers and school administrators who have already completed a graduate program and who are returning to pursue additional graduate-level work for additional certifications, per state legislation [(A.3676 (Glick)/S.2487 (LaValle)].
- Successful completion of the all required course work plus six credits of internship/clinical practice experience.
- A 3.0 GPA is required for degree conferral.
- Successful completion of a Taskstream e-portfolio project.
- Candidates in the degree programs must also meet with the chair or advisor to plan his/her courses prior to course registration and to establish a plan of study for degree completion.