2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
    Nov 29, 2021  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Childhood or Adolescence Special Education with an Annotation in Severe and Multiple Disabilities, M.A.

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Master of Arts in Childhood or Adolescence Special Education with an Annotation in Severe and Multiple Disabilities

S. Mary Ann Cashin, M.S., Chairperson, Child Study
Susan Straut Collard, Ph.D. Associate Chairperson, Director,  SJC Brooklyn
Joan E. Silver, Ed.D., Director, SJC Long Island


Program Description:

Offered at SJC Long Island and SJC Brooklyn, the Master of Arts Program in Childhood or Adolescence Special Education with an Annotation in Severe Multiple Disabilities provides the student with core courses (12 credits) and courses that link Special Education to the New York State Core Curriculum in the area of Special Education as well as Severe and Multiple Disabilities. The 36 credit program imparts a strong research component, which is characteristic of the integration of theory and practice. Expertise in the content area is acquired in courses relating to Special Education, which include: Assessment, Differentiated Instruction for Students with Diverse Needs, the Inclusion of Family, School and Community in a Collaborative Model, Legal Issues as they apply to Family and Schools, as well as Fieldwork and Practicum Experiences. Courses that relate to severe disabilities include: Issues in Severe Disabilities that include psychological, social and physical characteristics, Adaptive, Alternative and Technological procedures for students with Health or Physical Impairments, Strategies for Applied Behavior Analysis, and the required Fieldwork and Practicum experiences. Students will be eligible for the following certifications dependent upon their initial certification: Childhood Special Education, Students with Disabilities 7-12 Generalist with content specialist extensions available in Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Social Studies, Mathematics, English and Spanish. Each certificate will have an Annotation for Severe and Multiple Disabilities.

Offered at SJC Long Island only, the Dual Degree Program Secondary Education in the following subject areas:  BA Chemistry, BA English, BA/BS Math, BA History, or BA Spanish with a Master’s Degree in Special Education with an Annotation in Severe and Multiple Disabilities.

Offered at SJC Long Island only, the Dual Degree in Secondary Education and Special Education is a 152-credit degree that can be earned in five years. The graduate curriculum builds on the undergraduate education and provides the students with NYS Secondary teaching certificates in their major, and NYS teaching certificates as a Students with Disabilities Generalist (7-12), Students with Disabilities in their major (7-12), and an Annotation in Severe and Multiple Disabilities (Prek-12, all grades).  Students in the dual degree program must take 6 credits in English, math, science, and social science during their undergraduate program.

Applications for the dual degree are accepted in the second semester of the sophomore year.  The students will take one graduate course in each of the fall and spring semesters of their junior and senior years.

Mission and Goals

The courses in the Special Education Program are specifically directed to the No Child Left Behind legislation, Race to the Top, and Common Core Standards. This legislation proposes the necessity of elevating teacher quality by developing competencies in subject areas, teaching skills and assessment strategies, as well as using basic research to cultivate the ability to adapt instruction to student learning needs. These expectations are fulfilled in the design of the current program. It includes courses in research, assessment, adaptive and alternative methods, strategies for understanding, using researched based instruction and designing behavioral plans. By cultivating an inclusion component as a reality and available for all persons, this program emphasizes autonomy in all aspects. Course objectives and outcomes will be related to the outcomes of the program by a portfolio, which will be completed by each student during their practicum experience.

The specific objectives of the Master of Arts Program in Childhood or Adolescent Special Education with an Annotation for Severe and Multiple Disabilities are as follows:

  1. Students will assume their role as specialists and change agents, by providing support and consultation with general education teachers, administrators, parents, and community about specific issues.
  2. Students will apply the principles and theories of Special Education as they relate to the diagnosis, instruction, and assessment of children with mild, moderate, and severe disabilities. The aspect of independence for each child will be emphasized.
  3. Students will develop differentiated instructional strategies, modify curriculum and diversified assessment options as they apply to mild, moderate, and severe disabilities.
  4. Students will apply assistive technology, alternative, and augmentative communication principles and strategies to enhance child learning.
  5. Students will develop research-based pedagogy for increasing the autonomy and learning of children with severe disabilities.
  6. Students will demonstrate knowledge and expertise in the application of behavioral and social interventions.
  7. Students will develop assessment plans based on psychometrics, alternative designs, functional assessment, and observation as they apply to children with severe disabilities.
  8. Students will uphold and advance the principles set forth by the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) Code of Ethics and Standards for Professional Practice for Special Education.

Admissions Requirements

An applicant to the Master of Arts in Childhood or Adolescent Special Education with Annotation in Severe and Multiple Disabilities must possess a baccalaureate degree with an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a scale of 0-4.0) from an accredited college. The applicant must have an undergraduate or graduate major in education, or one of the liberal arts with at least one course in child or adolescent development. In addition, for applicants who plan to request certification, the applicant must possess provisional/initial/permanent certification from New York State in Early Childhood, Childhood, Early Childhood Special Education, Childhood Special Education, and/or Adolescent Education. The applicant must have three credits in Child Development and/or Adolescence Development. Those who do not have Special Education certification must take six credits in Special Education as a pre-requisite for entry into the program. Applicants who plan to request Childhood Special Education must have at least three credits in literacy. Applicants who plan to request 7-12 Generalist must have at least 6 credits in each of the following: English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and an Adolescent Development Course. Candidates who plan to request secondary certification must pass the Multi-subject CST.

Admission to the Dual Degree Program at SJC Long Island only:

  1. Students with a 3.2 cumulative GPA may apply for the Dual Degree Program by filling out a graduate application (fee is waived)
  2. Submit two recommendations from professors
  3. Interview with the director of the program

*All applications are available from the Graduate Admissions Office in O’Connor Hall at SJC Long Island or Burns Hall at SJC Brooklyn.

Admission Procedures

Application Procedures

Candidates must submit:

  1. A graduate application accompanied by a non-refundable fee of $25.
  2. A current resume, which includes chronological dates of employment, and descriptions of responsibilities.
  3.  SJC Long Island - Two completed Letter of Reference forms. These two letters should include one from an academic source and one from a professional source. If the applicant has been out of school for several years, recommendations can be made from an employer or supervisor only.  SJC Brooklyn -  Two completed Letter of Reference forms. These two letters should include one from an academic sources and one from a professional source. If the applicant has been out of school for several years, recommendations can be made from an employer or supervisor only.
  4. Copies of certificates granted by the New York State Education Department.
  5. Official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate work sent directly to the Office of Admissions.
  6. GRE, Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: Combined or the MAT (Miller Analogies Test). New York State now requires applicants applying to teacher education programs to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or an equivalent exam. St. Joseph’s College will accept the Praxis Core for Educators: Combined or the MAT as acceptable equivalents to the GRE. Fall 2016 applicants will be eligible for review without official test scores, but scores will be required before a student can be eligible for registration in any of our graduate education programs. To send your official score report to St. Joseph’s College, please use our institutional code:  SJC Brooklyn -  GRE: 2802; Praxis Core: A2802; MAT: 3208   SJC Long Island - GRE: 7487; Praxis Core: 2802 or Miller’s Analogy (MAT) code: 3207.
  7. A completed medical form. New York State Public Health Law requires all students who were born on or after January 1, 1957 to be immunized against measles, mumps and rubella. Proof of immunity must be submitted to the Office of Admissions prior to enrollment. In addition, candidates will be required to submit proof of a recent physical examination (within one year of admission) including a Diptheria-Tetanus booster and a Tuberculin test.
  8. A completed Meningococcal Meningitis Vaccination Response Form as required by New York State Public Health Law.

Admission Process

  1. Applicants will be contacted by the Admissions Office to arrange for an interview with the program director after all relevant documents have been submitted.

Transfer of Prior Coursework

A maximum of six credits from another accredited graduate program will be considered for acceptance by St. Joseph’s College provided the following conditions are met:

The course(s) is substantially equivalent to a course in the St. Joseph’s College Master of Arts in Special Education with Annotation in Severe and Multiple Disabilities program. The Director will decide. An official transcript must be provided before a final decision is rendered. A grade of B or better must have been earned within the last five years for the course(s) under consideration. Grades of “P” for Pass are not accepted.

St. Joseph’s College reserves the right to accept credit in a way best calculated to preserve the integrity of its own degree.


Students will not be permitted to register for a class after the first class session. If students have registered in advance, but have missed the first two class sessions, they will be encouraged to withdraw from the class. The reason for this is the compressed nature of the Master of Arts in Special Education with Annotations in Severe Disabilities scheduling configuration and the difficulty encountered by students attempting to make up missed work.

Students should understand that if they insist on staying in the class under these circumstances, they accept the responsibility of their decision. They should also understand that it will be difficult for them to make up the missed work, the instructor is under no obligation to help them make up the missed material, and that their final grades may be affected both from the standpoint of material missed and class participation opportunities forfeited.


Pedagogical Core Requirements - 24 Credits

Total: 36 Credits

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