Contact Us

Academic Programs

Childhood Special Education (On Campus or Online)


  • Program Overview

    The Childhood Special Education program prepares students to be model teachers in specialized settings.

    This program is for teachers and prospective teachers like yourself, wishing to work with children with variations in grades 1 through 6. As a student in your program you have the opportunity to work in a range of special education settings. This includes children from diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and linguistic backgrounds. You will think specifically about designing accessible curricula and differentiated experiences for children with a variety of social, emotional, behavioral, physical, and cognitive variations. You will:

    • Construct developmentally responsive learning experiences that encourage all learners to follow their curiosities.
    • Create accessible curricula so all learners can explore literacy, literature, mathematics, science, arts, and social studies content.
    • Develop a strong social justice focus in order to advocate for and with children and families.
    • Plan for dynamic and collaborative partnerships with families and school professionals.
    • Engage in critical explorations of yourself, others, and the wider world.

    This program culminates in a Master of Science in Education or a Master of Education (for those students with a prior master’s degree in education), and requires 36 credits. This program is offered either on campus or fully online.

    Due to the cohort nature of this program, students are not permitted to transfer into the online program once they have begun coursework in an on campus program.

    Learn more about the online program

    Graduate students in a class listening

  • Admissions Requirements

    In addition to the main admissions criteria, there are additional requirements needed to apply for this program:

    • Applicants must already hold a valid New York State certification in General Education at the Early Childhood or Childhood level. If you are certified at the Early Childhood level, there may be additional Childhood tests you need to take to become certified in working with Students with Disabilities (1st-6th grade).

    This program has an on-campus and a fully online option. For both tracks, you will engage in the use of technology. Particularly for the fully online program, you will be asked to use a range of technological tools. You must have a dedicated computer or tablet and stable Internet access. You will be expected to become familiar with the online tools, reach out to ask for support as you navigate the technology, and strengthen your presence and skill set in the online environment.

  • Coursework

  • Supervised Fieldwork/Advisement

    Our unique supervised fieldwork program is designed to support your integration of theory and practice. You will:

    • Be supervised by your advisor, a core graduate faculty mentor and experienced teacher.
    • Participate in a weekly conference group of 5-7 students and your advisor.
    • Reflect on a lesson with your advisor once each month.
    • Meet individually with your advisor once each month.
    • Complete projects to help you take a deeper look at the setting and students you work with.

    You will work in a classroom setting as a full-time head teacher or assistant, or as a student teacher (3 days each week):

    • As a student teacher you will be placed in one special education setting within grades 1-6.
    • As a working head or assistant teacher you will use your own classroom as your fieldwork.

    New York State requires all graduate students in this program to have a supervised fieldwork experience in a special education or inclusion setting. Student teachers fulfill this experience through their placement in the fall or spring. Working teachers and assistants may need to enroll in an additional fieldwork placement, where they will be placed by Bank Street in the appropriate setting to fulfill their degree requirements.

  • Career Opportunities

    Childhood Special Education graduates go on to:

    • Teach in special education or inclusion classrooms in public, charter or independent schools.
    • Tutor or work as a learning specialist in schools or in private practice.
    • Work in special education teacher support services (SETSS) roles.
  • Faculty

  • Certification

    When you complete the Childhood Special Education program you will be eligible for your:

    • Initial certification Teaching Students with Disabilities, grades 1-6: for those who meet experience requirements and pass state assessments.

    After teaching for three years you will be eligible for professional certification.

Bank Street has helped shape my philosophy and approach to education in such a positive way. [Through collaboration with teachers and students], I have been guided with individual attention and feedback, giving me the support and encouragement I need to be successful and modeling the way we, as developing teachers, could approach our own students.
Charlotte Harary, GSE ’19

The Bank Street Experience

GSE alum, Jared Slater ’16, talks about the Bank Street experience.