This program links evidence-based practices and clinically rich experiences in the schools. It leads to certification in both special education and general education in New York State for teaching grades 7-12.
This program is informally known around campus as “ASPIRE”, which refers to Adolescence Special Education for Inclusive and Reflective Educators. The coursework equally integrates the field of special education and general education in order to prepare pre-service teachers (often called “candidates”) with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are needed to help all students learn, especially those with unique learning needs.
With each education course, a pre-service candidate can usually expect to spend at least 10 hours in the schools completing embedded field hour assignments. Over the course of the program, candidates spend over 150 hours conducting school-based field hours. Candidates must also complete courses in one major concentration area (Math, Science, Social Studies, English or Spanish) plus liberal education classes, which are requirements for teaching in New York State.
At the conclusion of the 5-year program, candidates complete two 7-week student teaching experiences, one at the grades 7-9 level and another at the grades 10-12 level. One placement is in special education, and the other in general education. At the end of each student teaching placement, candidates take over the role of the teacher. Also during the final semester, candidates present their professional portfolio to the faculty and members of the professional community. The portfolio is a compilation of work completed throughout the undergraduate and graduate program. The portfolio process is an exciting time when candidates are given the opportunity to reflect on all they have learned while presenting those accomplishments to other professionals.
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