Intellectual Disability/Autism | Health & Behavior Studies

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Intellectual Disability/Autism

Department of Health & Behavior Studies

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Program Description

The Programs in Intellectual Disability/Autism at Teachers College prepare students to work with individuals with disabilities across a range of contexts. Our teacher certification programs lead to Students with Disabilities (special education) Certification at the early childhood, childhood, and adolescence level. These certification programs prepare graduates to teach students with and without disabilities in a variety of public and private classroom settings—inclusive classrooms, integrated co-teaching (ICT) classrooms, self-contained classrooms, and special schools. The Severe or Multiple Disabilities Annotation program is designed for students who already have initial certification for teaching students with disabilities, and our Developmental Disabilities programs are designed for students who do not seek teacher certification and who are interested in pursuing interdisciplinary graduate preparation that bridges the field of special education with other disciplines.

Degrees

  • Master of Arts

    • Points/Credits: 32

      Entry Terms: Fall Only

      Degree Requirements

      The M.A. in Developmental Disabilities on campus program does not lead to New York State teacher certification and is available to interested students with a broad range of career goals. This program is designed to provide multidisciplinary training in the study of individuals with developmental disabilities. Students will engage in multidisciplinary coursework in special education and across other disciplines (e.g., psychology, health, and/or leadership), gain specialized preparation for working with individuals with developmental disabilities (such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Intellectual Disabilities), and gain expertise in designing effective programming for individuals with the full range of learning and behavior characteristics.

      Required Department Courses:

      • HBSE 4000 Introduction to special education

      • HBSE 4002 Instruction and curriculum for students with and without disabilities

      • HBSE 4006 Working with families of children with disabilities

      • HBSE 4010 Nature and needs of persons with intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4011 Education of persons with intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4082 Assessment and evaluation of infants, children, and youth with exceptionalities

      • HBSE 4300 Practicum in assessment and evaluation of exceptional learners

      • HBSE 4880 Opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities

      Breadth Requirements:

      In addition to required courses, students will select a sub-specialization area in which they will take interdisciplinary coursework outside of special education (e.g., psychology, health, policy, and/or leadership). The sub-specialization area will be selected from a rich array of offerings at Teachers College in light of the student's background and career goals.

    • Points/Credits: 32

      Entry Terms: Summer/Fall

      Degree Requirements

      The M.A. in Developmental Disabilities online program does not lead to New York State teacher certification and is available to interested students with a broad range of career goals. This program is designed to provide multidisciplinary training in the study of individuals with developmental disabilities. Students will engage in multidisciplinary coursework in special education and across other disciplines (e.g., psychology, health, and/or leadership), gain specialized preparation for working with individuals with developmental disabilities (such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Intellectual Disabilities), and gain expertise in designing effective programming for individuals with the full range of learning and behavior characteristics.

      Required Department Courses:

      • HBSE 4000 Introduction to special education

      • HBSE 4002 Instruction and curriculum for students with and without disabilities

      • HBSE 4006 Working with families of children with disabilities

      • HBSE 4010 Nature and needs of persons with intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4011 Education of persons with intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4082 Assessment and evaluation of infants, children, and youth with exceptionalities

      • HBSE 4300 Practicum in assessment and evaluation of exceptional learners

      • HBSE 4880 Opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities

      Breadth Requirements:

      In addition to required courses, students will select a sub-specialization area in which they will take interdisciplinary coursework outside of special education (e.g., psychology, health, policy, and/or leadership). The sub-specialization area will be selected from a rich array of offerings at Teachers College in light of the student's background and career goals.

    • Points/Credits: 43

      Entry Terms: Fall Only

      Certification:

      • Dual Certification: NY State Initial: Students with Disabilities 1-6
      • NY State Initial: Childhood 1-6

      Degree Requirements

      These programs are designed for individuals who do not already hold New York State (NYS) initial or professional certification as a teacher of students with disabilities. All programs prepare pre-service teachers to work with students with disabilities in inclusive and specialized settings. Through coursework and practicum experiences, the programs foster the acquisition of the broad-based knowledge and skills needed to provide effective educational programs for students with the full range of learning and behavior characteristics. In addition, the programs provide specialized preparation in working with children with Intellectual Disability and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder at specific age levels. This is accomplished through required coursework in general education content areas and psychology as well as a special education core including coursework and a variety of fieldwork experiences. In addition, specialized coursework and practicum experiences are provided that focus on students with Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The programs are fully aligned with the NYS Learning Standards.

      • Master of Arts (MA) Degree Program in Intellectual Disability/Autism: Childhood (grades 1-6) (ITDS-DUAL): For individuals who seek NYS dual certification in Childhood and Students with Disabilities (grades 1-6). This 43-point full-time program typically requires one and a half years to complete.

      Specialization Requirements, Intellectual Disability/Autism:

      • HBSE 4000 Introduction to special education

      • HBSE 4002 Instruction and curriculum for students with and without disabilities

      • HBSE 4006 Working with families of children with disabilities

      • HBSE 4010 Nature and needs of persons with intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4011 Education of persons with intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4015 Applied behavior analysis I

      • HBSE 4079 Language development and habilitation (or A&HL 4001 or HBSE 4071)

      • HBSE 4082 Assessment and evaluation of infants, children, and youth with exceptionalities

      • HBSE 4300 Practicum in assessment and evaluation of individuals with exceptionalities

      • HBSE 4700 Field observation in special education: Pre-student teaching

      • HBSE 4701 Observation and student teaching in special education: Intellectual disability/autism (two terms)

      • HBSE 4880 Opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities

    • Points/Credits: 38

      Entry Terms: Fall Only

      Certification:

      • NY State Initial: Students with Disabilities 7-12

      Degree Requirements

      These programs are designed for individuals who do not already hold New York State (NYS) initial or professional certification as a teacher of students with disabilities. All programs prepare pre-service teachers to work with students with disabilities in inclusive and specialized settings. Through coursework and practicum experiences, the programs foster the acquisition of the broad-based knowledge and skills needed to provide effective educational programs for students with the full range of learning and behavior characteristics. In addition, the programs provide specialized preparation in working with children with Intellectual Disability and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder at specific age levels. This is accomplished through required coursework in general education content areas and psychology as well as a special education core including coursework and a variety of fieldwork experiences. In addition, specialized coursework and practicum experiences are provided that focus on students with Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The programs are fully aligned with the NYS Learning Standards.

      • Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Teaching Students with Intellectual Disability/Autism: Adolescent Generalist (grades 7-12) (ITDA-INIT): For individuals who seek NYS initial certification in Students with Disabilities - generalist (grades 7-12). This 38-point full-time program typically requires one and a half years to complete.

      Specialization Requirements, Intellectual Disability/Autism:

      • HBSE 4000 Introduction to special education

      • HBSE 4002 Instruction and curriculum for students with and without disabilities

      • HBSE 4006 Working with families of children with disabilities

      • HBSE 4010 Nature and needs of persons with intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4011 Education of persons with intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4015 Applied behavior analysis I

      • HBSE 4082 Assessment and evaluation of infants, children, and youth with exceptionalities

      • HBSE 4300 Practicum in assessment and evaluation of individuals with exceptionalities

      • HBSE 4700 Field observation in special education: Pre-student teaching

      • HBSE 4701 Observation and student teaching in special education: Intellectual disability/autism (two terms)

      • HBSE 4880 Opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities

    • Points/Credits: 36

      Entry Terms: Spring/Summer

      Certification:

      • Peace Corps Fellows Cohort: NY State Transitional B: Students with Disabilities 1-6 NY State Transitional B: Childhood 1-6

      Degree Requirements

      These programs are designed for individuals who do not already hold New York State (NYS) initial or professional certification as a teacher of students with disabilities. All programs prepare pre-service teachers to work with students with disabilities in inclusive and specialized settings. Through coursework and practicum experiences, the programs foster the acquisition of the broad-based knowledge and skills needed to provide effective educational programs for students with the full range of learning and behavior characteristics. In addition, the programs provide specialized preparation in working with children with Intellectual Disability and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder at specific age levels. This is accomplished through required coursework in general education content areas and psychology as well as a special education core including coursework and a variety of fieldwork experiences. In addition, specialized coursework and practicum experiences are provided that focus on students with Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The programs are fully aligned with the NYS Learning Standards.

      • Master of Arts (MA) in Intellectual Disability/Autism (grades 1-6) (ITDC- TRAN - Peace Corps Fellow Program): This MA program is restricted to students who have been admitted to the Peace Corps Fellows Program and requires participation in the pre-service summer component and other activities associated with that program. The program leads to NYS transitional-B certification at the childhood (grades 1-6) level. This 36-point program typically requires two years to complete.

      Specialization Requirements, Intellectual Disability/Autism:

      • HBSE 4000 Introduction to special education

      • HBSE 4002 Instruction and curriculum for students with and without disabilities

      • HBSE 4006 Working with families of children with disabilities

      • HBSE 4010 Nature and needs of persons with intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4011 Education of persons with intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4015 Applied behavior analysis I

      • HBSE 4079 Language development and habilitation (or A&HL 4001)

      • HBSE 4082 Assessment and evaluation of infants, children, and youth with exceptionalities

      • HBSE 4300 Practicum in assessment and evaluation of individuals with exceptionalities

      • HBSE 4700 Field observation in special education: Pre-student teaching

      • HBSE 4701 Observation and student teaching in special education: Intellectual disability/autism (two terms)

      • HBSE 4880 Opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities

    • Points/Credits: 38

      Entry Terms: Spring/Summer

      Certification:

      • NY State Initial: Students with Disabilities 7-12

      Degree Requirements

      These programs are designed for individuals who do not already hold New York State (NYS) initial or professional certification as a teacher of students with disabilities. All programs prepare pre-service teachers to work with students with disabilities in inclusive and specialized settings. Through coursework and practicum experiences, the programs foster the acquisition of the broad-based knowledge and skills needed to provide effective educational programs for students with the full range of learning and behavior characteristics. In addition, the programs provide specialized preparation in working with children with Intellectual Disability and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder at specific age levels. This is accomplished through required coursework in general education content areas and psychology as well as a special education core including coursework and a variety of fieldwork experiences. In addition, specialized coursework and practicum experiences are provided that focus on students with Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The programs are fully aligned with the NYS Learning Standards.

      • Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Teaching Students with Intellectual Disability/Autism: Adolescent Generalist (grades 7-12) (ITDA-INIT): For individuals who seek NYS initial certification in Students with Disabilities - generalist (grades 7-12). This 38-point full-time program typically requires one and a half years to complete.

      The TR@TC Program combines specialization in Intellectual Disabilities/Autism with several subject areas in secondary teaching. The specialization requirements in Intellectual Disability/Autism include: 

      • HBSE 4000 Introduction to special education

      • HBSE 4002 Instruction and curriculum for students with and without disabilities

      • HBSE 4011 Education of persons with intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4082 Assessment and evaluation of infants, children, and youth with exceptionalities

      • HBSE 4701 Observation and student teaching in special education: Intellectual disability/autism (two terms)

    • Points/Credits: 32

      Entry Terms: Fall Only

      Certification:

      • NY State Annotation: Severe and Multiple Disabilities

      Degree Requirements

      The MA Degree Program in Teaching Students with Multiple or Severe Disabilities approved teacher preparation program is designed for individuals who already hold (or are eligible to acquire through reciprocity) a valid New York State (NYS) base certificate in any of the following titles: Students with Disabilities, Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Speech and Language Disabilities, and Blind and Visually Impaired. Graduates who meet all requirements of the program and complete all state requirements will be recommended to NYS for an Annotation in the Teaching of Students with Multiple/Severe Disabilities in recognition of additional pedagogical knowledge, skills, and experiences in the teaching of students with severe/multiple disabilities. The Severe or Multiple Annotation certificate type will depend on the aforementioned valid NYS-base certificate title and certificate type that the candidate holds at the time of the institutional recommendation for certification, as the Annotation is an extension to the existing certificate.

      This program prepares teachers to work with students with severe or multiple disabilities in inclusive and specialized settings. Through coursework and practicum experiences, the program fosters the acquisition of the specialized knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to provide effective educational programs for students with severe and multiple disabilities. This 32-point program typically takes one year to complete (Fall through Summer).

      Required Department Courses:

      • HBSE 4006 Working with families of children with disabilities

      • HBSE 4010 Nature and needs of persons with intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4011 Education of persons with intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4015 Applied behavior analysis I

      • HBSE 4071 Language and Literacy for Deaf/Hard of Hearing

      • HBSE 4082 Assessment and evaluation of infants, children, and youth with exceptionalities

      • HBSE 4701 Observation and student teaching in special education: Intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4880 Opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities

  • Master of Education

    • Points/Credits: 60

      Entry Terms: Fall Only

      Certification:

      • Dual Certification w/ Early Childhood: NY State Initial: Students with Disabilities Birth-2
      • NY State Initial: Early Childhood Birth-2

      Degree Requirements

      These programs are designed for individuals who do not already hold New York State (NYS) initial or professional certification as a teacher of students with disabilities. All programs prepare pre-service teachers to work with students with disabilities in inclusive and specialized settings. Through coursework and practicum experiences, the programs foster the acquisition of the broad-based knowledge and skills needed to provide effective educational programs for students with the full range of learning and behavior characteristics. In addition, the programs provide specialized preparation in working with children with Intellectual Disability and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder at specific age levels. This is accomplished through required coursework in general education content areas and psychology as well as a special education core including coursework and a variety of fieldwork experiences. In addition, specialized coursework and practicum experiences are provided that focus on students with Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The programs are fully aligned with the NYS Learning Standards.

      • Master of Education (M.Ed.) Degree Program in Intellectual Disability/ Autism: Early Childhood (ITDE-DUAL): For individuals who seek NYS dual certification in Early Childhood and Students with Disabilities (birth through grade 2). This 60-point full-time program typically requires two years to complete.

      Specialization Requirements, Intellectual Disability/Autism:

      • HBSE 4000 Introduction to special education

      • HBSE 4002 Instruction and curriculum for students with and without disabilities

      • HBSE 4005 Computer applications in special education

      • HBSE 4006 Working with families of children with disabilities

      • HBSE 4010 Nature and needs of persons with intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4011 Education of persons with intellectual disability/autism

      • HBSE 4015 Applied behavior analysis I

      • HBSE 4079 Language development and habilitation

      • HBSE 4082 Assessment and evaluation of infants, children, and youth with exceptionalities

      • HBSE 4300 Practicum in assessment and evaluation of individuals with exceptionalities

      • HBSE 4700 Field observation in special education: Pre-student teaching

      • HBSE 4701 Observation and student teaching in special education: Intellectual disability/autism (two terms)

      • HBSE 4880 Opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities

  • Doctor of Education

    • Points/Credits: 90

      Entry Terms: Fall Only

      Degree Requirements

      Students who submit for the Ed.D. will be considered for the Ph.D. program. Please review Ph.D. program requirements for more information.

  • Doctor of Philosophy

    • Points/Credits: 84

      Entry Terms: Fall Only

      Degree Requirements

      Research and Evaluation Emphasis:

      Students with excellent potential as researchers and theoreticians who are interested in scholarly careers in special education, education, and related social sciences may apply for the Ph.D. degree program, which represents the highest level of achievement in the Arts and Sciences. This degree program is administered jointly by Teachers College and the graduate faculty of Columbia University. Prospective students may obtain information on program offerings by contacting the program office.

      Ph.D. Program in Intellectual Disability/Autism

      Intellectual Disability/Autism is one of the exceptionality focus areas that may be selected by applicants to the Ph.D. Programs in Special Education. Individuals who are interested in careers as researchers and scholars in the field of developmental disabilities or special education, inclusive education, and related social sciences may apply for the Ph.D. degree program (84 credits), which represents the highest level of achievement in the Arts and Sciences.

      The doctoral program in Intellectual Disability/Autism is a research-intensive program designed to prepare graduates for a variety of academic and professional roles in the field of developmental disabilities. Given our program’s strong research emphasis, all doctoral students will take rigorous statistics and research methods coursework. In addition, we practice a research-apprenticeship model of student mentorship and training, thus all students will engage in research activities with faculty members. Doctoral students may orient their preparation towards careers as college and university professors, researchers, program directors, or curriculum and instructional evaluators.

      Successful doctoral candidates will pass a doctoral certification examination in general special education and will complete a doctoral certification project in their area of specialization. Upon achieving official status as a doctoral candidate, students will be eligible to select a faculty committee and begin work on their doctoral dissertation research.

      Procedures for admission to the Ph.D. program in Special Education in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies at Teachers College are administered jointly by the Office of Admission and the Department. Applicants are evaluated according to the following criteria:

      1. Strong academic record and potential,
      2. GRE scores,
      3. Two to three years of successful teaching experience in special education and/or evidence of strong applied or basic research experience in a related field (e.g., empirical Master’s thesis, conference presentations, and/or peer- reviewed publications),
      4. Scholarly and professional promise,
      5. Appropriate fit with faculty research,
      6. Appropriate career objectives,
      7. English proficiency (TOEFL score of at least 600), if applicable,
      8. Non-academic attributes that demonstrate ability to meet the challenges of working with people with developmental disabilities and conducting research with this population,
      9. Academic or professional writing sample.

      Course requirements in each of the following categories must be satisfied in order to complete the 84-credit Ph.D. program:

      Master’s-level courses in Intellectual Disability/Autism (30 credits total):

      Core Coursework in the Applied Sciences of Learning and Special Education (24)

      • HBSE 5010 Study of the philosophic foundations of special education (3)
      • HBSE 6010 Advanced study of problems and issues in special education (3)
      • HBSE 5901 Problems in special education – Intellectual Disability/Autism (3)
      • HBSE 6501-I Advanced seminar in Intellectual Disability/Autism (3)
      • HBSE 6501-II Advanced seminar in Intellectual Disability/Autism or seminar in Deaf/Hard of Hearing or Seminar in School Psychology (3)
      • HBSE 6001 Research in special education: Group Design (3)
      • HBSE 6005 Research in special education: Single Case Design (3)
      • HBSE 7500 Dissertation seminar (3)

      Coursework in Statistics and Research Methodology (15)

      • HUDM 4122 Probability & statistical inference (3)
      • HUDM 5122 Applied regression analysis (3)
      • HUDM 5123 Linear models and experimental design (3)
      • Advanced statistics, research methods, evaluation, or measurement course (3)
      • Advanced statistics, research methods, evaluation, or measurement course (3)

      Specialization Electives (15)

      • Elective coursework (15)

      Areas of specialization include:

      Health, Neuroscience, Movement, or Communication Sciences Developmental, Counseling, or School Psychology, Educational Policy or Organization & Leadership, Diversity & Multicultural Studies Research Methodology

Faculty

  • Faculty

    • Laudan B. Jahromi Professor of Psychology and Education
    • Matthew Carl Zajic Assistant Professor of Intellectual Disability/Autism
  • Lecturers

    • Amanda Levin Mazin Lecturer
  • Adjunct Faculty

    • Lauren Elizabeth Andersen Adjunct Assistant Professor
    • Jocelyn Ann Hinman Adjunct Assistant Professor
    • MaryEllen Rooney Adjunct Associate Professor
    • Christine Ann Sullivan Adjunct Assistant Professor
    • Helene Laurie Yankowitz Adjunct Assistant Professor

Courses

  • HBSE 4000 - Intro to Special Education
    Emphasis is placed on the identification of characteristics of individuals with disabilities and the impact of the characteristics on the learner and family members of the learner. The course is a study of the nature, psychosocial, and educational needs of individuals across the lifespan with physical, mental, emotional, or sensory impairments. Particular attention is placed on the way these special education programs fit, or should fit, into ongoing work in schools.
  • HBSE 4005 - Computer Applications in Special Education
    This course is intended to provide preservice and in-service special education teachers with basic information on assistive and instructional technology appropriate for use with infants, children, and youths who require special education and related services.
  • HBSE 4006 - Working with families of children with disabilities
    Current and historical perspectives on parent involvement in the special education and empowerment of infants, children, and youth with exceptionalities and their families. Emphasis on strategies and materials to facilitate a continuum of parent and family participation to strengthen the relationships between home, school, and the community.
  • HBSE 4010 - Nature and needs of persons with intellectual disability/autism
    Characteristics of persons manifesting different degrees of intellectual disability, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and other developmental disabilities from early childhood through adolescence. The course emphasizes human developmental processes and variations including the impact of socio-contextual factors in the home, school, and community on students’ readiness to learn.
  • HBSE 4011 - Education of persons with intellectual disability/autism
    Curriculum development and research-validated methods of instructing students with intellectual disability/autism and other developmental disabilities from early childhood through adolescence across ability levels.
  • HBSE 4015 - ABA I: Concepts and Principles in Pedagogy, Curriculum, and Management
    Basic applications for learners without reading or writing repertoires. Strategic applications of the science of behavior to instruction, management, curriculum-based assessment, isolation of locus of learning/behavior problems, and measurably effective instructional practices.
  • HBSE 4079 - Language Development and Habilitation: Auditory Verbal Practice
    This course covers listening and spoken language intervention for children with hearing loss with an emphasis on family-centered, culturally-responsive auditory verbal intervention. Domains include history and professional issues, hearing technology, auditory, speech, and language development, inclusive education, caregiver coaching, and literacy for children with hearing loss.
  • HBSE 4082 - Assessment and evaluation of infants, children, and youth with exceptionalities
    An in-depth study of theoretical principles of measurement, assessment, and evaluation necessary for appropriate identification of needs as related to implementation of educational plans for infants, children, and youth with disabilities. Applications of assessment data in instructional programs for children with disabilities.
  • HBSE 4300 - Prc Assmt Eval Excptnl Learner
    Deaf and Hard of Hearing: This class provides a comprehensive overview of assessment and evaluation of children with hearing loss, including those who have additional learning needs and those who are linguistically and culturally diverse. Developmental, academic, social-emotional, and language assessments will be covered, with opportunities for hands-on, applied learning. ID/Autism: Students will gain practical knowledge of interdisciplinary, psychoeducational assessments of students with disabilities. Analysis of observational and test data; formulation of educational programs for students with disabilities.
  • HBSE 4700 - Observation and student teaching in special education: Pre-student teaching
    Permission required. Course requires 3-5 days a week for participation in community, school, and agency programs and a weekly seminar on campus.
  • HBSE 4701 - Obs & Stu Tchng-ID/Autism
    Permission required. Course requires 3-5 days a week for participation in community, school, and agency programs and a weekly seminar on campus.
  • HBSE 4880 - Opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities
    Transition planning and opportunities after K-12 school. The course covers the planning, instruction, and organization of community-based opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism. The full range of opportunities including college, employment, and increased independence to provide the supports for best outcomes for individuals with disabilities are covered in the course.
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