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Special Education: Childhood Program, M.S.Ed.

This program prepares teachers for delivery of educational services in inclusive classrooms, resource rooms, self-contained classrooms, special schools, residential facilities, or consultant teachers in general education settings to help infuse special education practices into the general education class. The program focus is on the education of students who have a variety of regular and special instructional needs. Included are students in disability groups traditionally associated with intellectual and developmental disabilities, physical/neurological disabilities, and learning and behavioral difficulties.

The coursework is designed to prepare teachers with the knowledge and skills to make appropriate modifications to the curriculum for students with mild/moderate disabilities in general and special education settings. The goal of this program is to prepare special educators, working closely with general educators, to provide the best teaching strategies to promote student learning, as well as to design positive environments that foster learning for students both with and without disabilities.

Admissions Requirements

1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (4.0 scale). Admission is competitive; not all qualified applicants are admitted.

2. Certification in early childhood special education, childhood special education, or adolescence special education. Applicants with certification in early childhood education, childhood education, or adolescence education must meet additional special education certification requirements once enrolled.

3. Employment or other experience relevant to the graduate course of study.

4. A written statement describing the applicant’s philosophy of education and relevant experiences in the field. This statement must adhere to standard written English.

5. Faculty review.

6. Completion of a special application (available from the department or download from http://www.buffalostate.edu/graduateschool/supplementalforms.xml).

7. The ability to speak English and Spanish, and an oral interview (for bilingual exceptional individuals certificate program applicants only).

In addition, all applicants should review the admission to a Graduate Program section in this catalog.

Successful completion of the undergraduate program in exceptional education at Buffalo State is not a guarantee of admission to a graduate program. A point system based on the above criteria is used to evaluate applicants. Applicants with the highest point totals are admitted to the program each admission period. Only students admitted to the major (as majors or premajors) may take courses other than EXE 500.

Premajor Status: Students may not apply for premajor status. They apply to the graduate program, and the department decides if they are accepted to the program as majors or premajors. Premajors may enroll, by advisement, in two EXE courses at the 500 level (e.g., EXE 500, EXE 501) only. Premajors may not register for courses identified as “majors only” during the preregistration period. Student teaching and other fieldwork experiences are closed to premajors. There is no waiting list for admission to the Exceptional Education Department. Premajors apply for admission as majors by submitting a change of major form to the Graduate School during or after the completion of two EXE courses. Premajors are not guaranteed admission to the program.

This program prepares teachers for delivery of educational services in classrooms with typical students. It prepares special education teachers to work closely with general educators in a consultative or collaborative role to help infuse special education practices into the general education class. The coursework is designed to familiarize teachers with curricular expectations and content in general education. It also prepares teachers to make appropriate modifications to the curriculum for students with mild disabilities in general and special education settings.

The goal of this program is to prepare special educators, working closely with general educators, to provide the best teaching strategies to promote student learning, as well as to design positive environments that foster learning for students both with and without disabilities.

Preliminary Courses 18 credits
Required for students without provisional/initial certification in special education
EXE 500 Individuals with Special Needs
EXE 501 Educational Assessment Techniques for Special Education
EXE 502 Contingency Management
EXE 503 Instructional Strategies (Foundations)
EXE 504 Graduate Practicum in Special Education (6)

Required Courses 27 credits
EXE 520 Curriculum for Individuals with Moderate and Severe Disabilities
EXE 620 Advanced Curriculum for Individuals with Moderate and Severe Disabilities
EXE 631 Adapting Language Arts and Reading for Students with Mild Disabilities
EXE 632 Direct Instruction Intervention Models for Students with Special Needs
EXE 633 Adapting Content Area Instruction
EXE 634 Applied Behavior Analysis
EXE 636 Promoting Effective Social Interaction in the Schools
EXE 682 Instructional Field Experience in Special Education*
EXE 684 Graduate Seminar in Exceptional Education
*EXE 682 is for students in the Childhood Program who do not complete EXE 504

Elective Course* 3 credits
Select one course from the following:
EXE 518 Individuals with Physical Disabilities
EXE 530 Parent and Family Involvement in Special Education Programs
EXE 534 Understanding Students with Behavior Problems in the Classroom
EXE 544 Models of Classroom Discipline for Students with Disabilities
EXE 627 Transition from School to Adult Community Life
EXE 644 Advanced Behavior Analysis for Challenging Behaviors
EXE 650 Assessment of Young Children with Disabilities
EXE 652 Intervention in Early Childhood Special Education

Master’s Project or Master’s Thesis 3-6 credits
Select one option:
EXE 690 Master’s Project
EXE 695 Master’s Thesis (6)

Total Required Credit Hours 30-54 credits

* Selected under advisement

All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise indicated.

Exceptional Education

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Buffalo, NY 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-5317 •  Fax: (716) 878-5410
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