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Students with Disabilities 7-12 Generalist and Students with Disabilities 7-12 Subject Extensions, M.S.Ed.

About the Program

This program prepares teachers to work with students with mild disabilities at the secondary level. It is intended to develop multifaceted teachers who possess a number of key competencies. Secondary special educators are prepared to work collaboratively with general education subject matter specialists, as well as with career education personnel.

Graduates of this program become knowledgeable in subject matter content, as well as best practices for transition planning. They also acquire a solid base in the technology of teaching, with knowledge related to direct and interactive instruction (cooperative learning, peer tutoring, differentiated instruction, and responsive instructional strategies).

The adolescence program recognizes the unique needs of adolescents with learning problems. Many students who continue to experience learning difficulties at the secondary level (due to the lack of appropriate instruction or services) may become frustrated and drop out of school. Others who continue in the educational system until they reach age 21 and are no longer eligible to receive services are unprepared to enter the community as independent, participating members of the workforce or community.

A major goal of this program is to prepare teachers to address students’ skill deficits, social adaptation problems, and vocational competence.

The students with disabilities 7-12 generalist program leads to a master of science in education degree and eligibility for New York State certification in special education. Students with disabilities 7-12 subject extensions lead to subject area certification.

Download a list of subject area extensions (PDF).

Successful completion of this program leads to recommendation for New York State certification extension in the subject area being sought. Students are able to complete the subject area extension program concurrently with the generalist program in the master of science in education program.

Advisement: Because of the variety of program requirements, it is imperative that students seek advisement as early as possible. Students should contact their assigned academic advisers. The student designs programs of study with his or her adviser according to the student’s goals and background.

Transcript analysis will include a review of previous courses in accordance with part 80 of the Regulations and Requirements from the Office of Teaching Initiatives will be used to determine if this requirement was met. Recommendation will include a review of the teacher candidate’s transcripts to ensure that 24 credit hours in the content core requirement have been met. In addition, students pursuing a subject area extension must complete a minimum of 18 semester hours in the chosen subject area. Recommendation will be contingent on upon completion of this requirement. The Student with Disabilities Checklist will be used to document completion of this requirement.

Practicum: Practicum assignments link theoretical coursework with the applied demands of a wide variety of internship settings. Practicum sites are available to meet the needs and interests of nearly all students and are selected by the program coordinator.

Admission 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. Students applying to the Students with Disabilities (SWD) 7-12 Generalist Program do not need initial teaching certification, but must meet all other program requirements.

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

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. Premajor students must apply for admission to the matriculated major after the completion of two EXE courses. Premajors are not guaranteed admission to the program.

Program Requirements

Download program requirements checklist (PDF).

Exceptional Education

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