In the Early Childhood Special Education M.A. Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, we prepare early interventionists and early childhood special education professionals committed to the well-being of young children with disabilities and their families, and knowledgeable about early intervention and early childhood special education (Birth-Grade 2). This degree program focuses on urban settings and centers issues pertaining to the education of children with disabilities and those receiving early intervention services, espousing a social justice perspective. Our students are prepared to engage with real world issues pertaining to early intervention and to the education of young children with disabilities via pedagogical, political, psychological, and sociological perspectives.
Through a curriculum that integrates early childhood education, special education, and bilingual education content, we aim to enable our initial certification students to become outstanding early interventionists, early childhood special education teachers, decision makers, and leaders. Honoring the importance of understanding children’s development and learning in contextualized and situated ways, the Master of Arts program emphasizes collaboration with families and other professionals and considers policies that affect families’ access to services. Our students participate in several field experiences, which serve as the foundation from which theories about development, learning, and curriculum come to life and through which teachers begin to construct their professional practice.
Course requirements for M.A. students seeking initial certification as teachers of students with disabilities in early childhood (birth–8 years):
Students complete an integrative portfolio over the course of the program reflecting their growth as an early childhood teacher.
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.