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Academic Programs

Early Childhood Special Education (On Campus or Online)


  • Program Overview

    You will discover creative ways to help young children learn and grow in the Early Childhood Special Education Certification Program.

    In this certification program you become well grounded in child development and its variation. This program will support your understanding that learning develops through play, social interaction, and sensory experiences. You will learn to implement strategies based in current research of inclusive and special education practices.

    • Learn to carefully observe children and use that knowledge to guide and inform your teaching.
    • Engage all young children in play, learning and interaction.
    • Develop skill in engaging with young children of varying development and need in meaningful ways.

    This program is for you if:

    • You are seeking your permanent teaching certification.
    • You want to work with children birth through grade two in general, inclusion, and/or special education settings.

    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 30 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 school class

  • 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 Childhood level, there may be additional Early Childhood tests you need to take to become certified in working with Students with Disabilities (birth-2nd 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

    Central to a Bank Street education is the integration of coursework and field experiences as you engage and educate children based on a solid grounding in what makes children tick. You will:

    • Participate in a weekly collaborative conference group with your advisor and 5-7 other graduate students. You will have an opportunity to engage in ongoing in-depth conversations about teaching and learning.
    • Benefit from individual meetings with your advisor twice each month.
    • Attend periodic three-way meetings with your Bank Street advisor and with the cooperating teacher.

    There are three ways students work in classroom settings: as a student teacher (3 days each week), as a full-time assistant, or as a head teacher.

    • Student teachers complete one semester in an inclusive or special education setting.
    • Working teachers and assistants (in approved settings) may use their own classrooms for their fieldwork setting. These students may need additional experience through placement in a summer supervised fieldwork/ advisement during a July (summer 2) term.
  • Career Opportunities

    Your degree will provide you with a range of career opportunities:

    • Teach in early childhood general education, special education, or inclusion classrooms in public, charter or independent schools.
    • Work as an early-interventionist in social service or education-based agencies, as well as in hospitals or daycare settings.
    • Work one-on-one as a Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) in home and classroom and daycare settings.
  • Faculty

  • Certification

    Upon graduation, you will be eligible for New York State certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities, birth to grade 2, provided you complete all other State certification requirements.

Meet our alumni
The connections and community that Bank Street provides have made a difference.
Shavon Frazier - Early Childhood Special Education/Early Childhood Leadership '17
Meet Shavon Meet Our Alumni

Alumni Voices

Carolina Soto Bonds, ’18, describes bringing the developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive practices she learned at Bank Street to her work with preschoolers in the Bronx.