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  Nov 30, 2020
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Special Education (Childhood) (M.S.)

The Esteves School of Education is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (
National Accreditation Advantage

The Esteves School of Education has held continuous accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE/CAEP) since October 2001. NCATE/CAEP accreditation means that graduates are recognized as having completed an Education program that meets the highest standards in the field. Sage graduates should note the NCATE/CAEP accreditation on their resumes and be prepared to talk about its significance.

Conceptual Framework

The mission of the Esteves School of Education is to prepare highly effective educators, school counselors, and school leaders who believe in full inclusion, who value diversity, who are reflective, and who are knowledgeable about best practices. Therefore, we ask Sage educators, counselors, and leaders to consider two essential questions throughout their studies and field experiences: Who am I in the lives of those with whom I work? Who am I in the life of my educational community?  We expect all Sage candidates to demonstrate leadership and create optimal educational outcomes for all learners.

The motto of Russell Sage College, “To Be, To Know, To Do,” informs the educational purpose where the common effort is to translate learning into action and application, within a framework that recognizes the obligation of educated persons to lead and serve their communities.  In the Esteves School of Education, this motto is extended to form the basis for our programs.

Conceptual Framework: the underlying structure in a professional education unit that gives conceptual meanings through an articulated rationale to the unit’s operation, and provides direction for programs, courses, teaching, candidate performance, faculty scholarship and service, and unit accountability.

T-BIRDS - the key concepts of the conceptual framework:

  • Technology: a vehicle for learners to acquire information, practice skills, use higher order thinking skills, and participate in collaborative projects.
  • Best Practices: the pedagogical knowledge, skills, and practices that have been shown through research and evaluation to be effective and/or efficient and that candidates use to teach all learners.
  • Inclusion and Diversity: the ability to collaborate and team with other professionals in developing and implementing strategies to accommodate diverse learners; the ability to develop solutions that will enhance the learning experiences of all children; and, the ability of candidates to be aware of and sensitive to diversity issues and to use culturally and socially responsible pedagogy.
  • Reflection: the ability to reflect and assess one’s own effectiveness, and to systematically make adjustments to improve and strengthen areas needing attention.
  • Dispositions: the demonstration of respect for learner differences, commitment to own personal growth, and engagement in short and long-term planning.
  • Service Learning: the strategies that integrate meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich children’s learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. 

These elements are interrelated and integrated to prepare teacher candidates to assume roles as reflective facilitators of learning, combining knowledge and skills to exemplify those qualities and dispositions that characterize effective teachers.

M.S. in Special Education (Childhood)

The graduate Special Education - Childhood program prepares teachers of students with disabilities in grades 1 - 6. It combines advanced study with supervised student teaching. It is our belief that a sound theoretical background with practical experience creates quality special education teachers.  The program builds on education courses taken at the undergraduate level, and focuses on mild as well as significant disabilities. The program at Sage is relatively small, allowing faculty and students to work closely together. This close working relationship begins when a faculty advisor and student meet to develop a program tailored to meet the student’s educational needs. This relationship, which continues throughout the student’s coursework, culminates in a portfolio. The Special Education program is designed for candidates who possess or meet the requirements for New York State provisional or initial certification in Childhood Education or another area and who seek professional certification in special education (grades 1–6) and the master’s degree.All matriculated students complete a signed program schedule. Any change in stated coursework must receive written approval of the assigned faculty advisor.

Admission Requirements

  1. Undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  2. Assessment
    1. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Minimum Scores: Verbal - 145; Quantitative - 145; Analytical Writing - 3.5 OR
    2. Miller Analogy Test (MAT) Minimum Score - 350
  3. For students admitted with provisions, an interview may be required.
  4. Pursuant to the law, each program is entitled to exempt a student from these admission requirements based on the exempted student’s demonstrated potential to positively contribute to the teaching field.

Candidates must meet Sage Graduate Schools admission requirements. In addition, applicants to the Special Education program complete an assessment of writing skills.

Program Summary

Phase II - Student Teaching

Application for Student Teaching (Note: All coursework, with the exception of EDU 594, must be complete before student teaching.)


  • CPR Certificate : 0 Credits

Total Credits: 33

Additional Information

Applicants for New York State certification must be fingerprinted and undergo a criminal history review, per New York State Law.

Candidates for NYS teaching certificates must pass the New York State Teacher Certification examinations, including the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST), the Assessment of Teaching Skills - Written, (ATS-W), at the appropriate level, and the Content Specialty Test(s) (CST) in each certificate area.

United States citizenship or Declaration of Intent to become a U.S. citizen is a requirement for certification in New York State.

LiveText e-Portfolio

The Esteves School of Education requires all students to subscribe to LiveText, an electronic portfolio system.

Esteves School of Education Attendance Policy

While individual instructors may approach attendance and participation in varied ways in their grading policies, students in the Esteves School of Education should be aware that missing 1/4 or more of class sessions MAY result in AUTOMATIC class failure. Class content and participation are vital to meeting the objectives of Esteves School of Education courses.