This Master of Arts degree leads to Initial Certification in Childhood Education (1-6), the Bilingual Extension Certification, and the Teaching Students with Disabilities Certification. If you do not have teacher certification, have an interest in working with bilingual special education children, and have some prior experience with elementary school children in formal or informal contexts, this degree is for you.
It has become clear that the New York DOE is faced with the urgent need to have teachers who can attend to the range of needs of the learners they serve. Students who speak a language other than English now add up to 42% of the total NYC student population. In addition, 22.4% of students classified as English Language Learners (ELLs) have been identified as having a disability in the 2012-2013 academic year alone. Principals of bilingual schools with students with disabilities are struggling to find highly qualified teachers who are certified in both Bilingual Education and Teaching Students with Disabilities. The lack of qualified teacher to address the diverse needs of bilingual learners is pushing children with disabilities out of high quality dual language programs.
The Program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education and the Program in Intellectual Disability/Autism have created this program, Bilingual Special Education Studies (BiSPED) for teacher candidates who wish to work with bilingual students with disabilities. Teacher candidates in the BiSPED program will be asked to participate in a research study for learning about how to improve teacher education teaching and learning in BiSPED. This will include pre- and post-yearly interviews, collection and analysis of data in relation to teaching and learning, and participation in coaching sessions with mentor teachers and supervisors in the Program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education to analyze student work using the Principles for Dual Language Education and the NYS Bilingual Common Core initiative.
Major Codes - Be sure to put the correct one on your application. If you are applying for Dual Certification, make sure to indicate in your statement of purpose if you wish to be considered for Stream A, B, or BiSPED.
The major code for Master of Arts - Childhood Special Education Studies (BiSPED) is MA-BILS-DU.
Fluency in English and a Language Other than English (LOTE) are required for the Program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education, as well as for the courses of study leading to NY State certification in Bilingual Education.
Students whose first language is English must provide proof of proficiency in a LOTE. During the admissions process, some students may be selected for further language testing by the Program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education. This testing is free to applicants, and is meant to verify written and oral language skills. Students must also submit a supplemental essay in their LOTE.
International students must submit TOEFL scores UNLESS they have received an Undergraduate degree (not Masters or Doctoral) from a school at which English is the primary language of instruction. The minimum TOEFL exam score required by Teachers College is 100 on the internet-based exam (IBT). Applicants may obtain further information on TOEFL at www.toefl.org or from their local overseas educational advising center. IELTS scores may be accepted in lieu of the TOEFL. The minimum IELTS overall band score is 7.0. Score reports must be officially submitted by the testing center. Current and former TC students do not need to submit new scores unless requested by the program to do so.
Students seeking New York State Teacher Certification must also satisfy the Liberal Arts & Sciences Certification Requirements - this consists of undergraduate coursework in four basic content areas. Your undergraduate transcript will be evaluated during the admissions process, and you will be notified if you are deficient in one or more areas. For more information, see the Liberal Arts & Sciences Requirement page under Resources on the BBE website.
All courses of study require three core foundational courses and a bilingual inquiry course. M.A. programs require an integrative project. The teaching strands with Bilingual/Bicultural Studies and the courses of study programs leading to NY State certification require a practicum or student teaching experience. Students are strongly urged to consult with an academic advisor on all degree requirements.
Foundation and Inquiry Courses:
Each student will choose courses with advisor assistance. The following shows a sample of recommended courses for potential concentrations.
MA in Bilingual/Bicultural Education (Academic track, not leading to certification)
Concentration on Research - Choose among the following courses:
Concentration on Policy - Choose among the following courses:
MA in Bilingual/Bicultural Education (leading to NYS Teacher Certification)
Concentration on Teaching - Choose among courses that are required for programs leading to certification.
Courses of study leading to certification require the following:
The Master of Arts - Dual program leading to Initial Certification in Childhood Education and the Bilingual Extension Certification has two options:
Stream A (for students with less than 1 year of full-time teaching experience as a head teacher) requires one full year of student teaching with the accompanying courses (a total of 17 additional credits), for a minimum of 40 credits for the degree.
Stream B (for students with at least 1 year of full-time teaching experience as a head teacher) requires a half-year of student teaching (7 credits) for a minimum of 33 credits for the degree.
The Master of Arts - Transitional B program requires a practicum course in conjunction with full-time teaching, or a student teaching experience if the student does not have his/her own classroom, for a minimum of 33 credits for the degree.
The Master of Arts - Bilingual Extension leads to the Bilingual Extension Certification, requires a half-year of student teaching or a practicum (depending on whether the student has his/her own classroom), for a minimum of 33 credits for the degree.
Students who are not pursuing an M.A. in Bilingual/Bicultural Education and who either hold teacher certification in another area or are simultaneously pursuing teacher certification in another area can choose the 15-16 credit Advanced Certificate. The course of study includes the foundation courses and at least 3 points from any of the following courses:
New York State Education Department (NYSED) has teacher certification requirements that are needed for program completion and graduation which are listed in the Office of Teacher Education section of the catalog.
Additional Requirement for optional Middle School Extension
Additional Requirement for NY State Certification
* = meets the requirement for the Autism workshop needed for Teaching Students with Disabilities Certification
** = offered in the Summer
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