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  Jul 10, 2020
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Special Education (Childhood) (M.S.)

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

National Accreditation Advantage

Sage’s School of Education first received accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in October 2001. NCATE 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 accreditation on their resumes and be prepared to talk about its significance.

  • Sage is one of only 45 colleges and universities in New York State to receive prestigious NCATE accreditation. Across the nation, relatively few private colleges can claim this level of excellence in teacher education programs.
  • The NCATE accreditation process helped articulate what qualities a Sage educator, counselor, or leader possesses: belief in full inclusion, valuing diversity, reflection, and knowledge about best practices. NCATE accreditation is a mark of assurance that teachers, counselors, and leaders educated at Sage are competent, caring, and highly qualified.
  • NCATE accreditation means that Sage graduates are better prepared to help their students reach high standards.
  • Graduates of NCATE accredited programs can more easily receive certification and teaching jobs in other states; NCATE is recognized throughout the nation. 

Conceptual Framework

The mission of the 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 of The Sage Colleges, 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 School of Education, this motto is extended to form the basis for our programs.  We expect Sage candidates:

  I.  To be well-grounded in knowledge about schools/communities, learners and learning, the Sage candidates will:

  • Understand self in relation to learners, their families, and the local and global community -  particularly in terms of power, privilege and knowledge with regard to culture, class, language, ability and gender;
  • Use interpersonal skills and demonstrate collaborative attitudes which result in successful partnerships with colleagues, families, and other community members;
  • Improve society by modeling and using democratic practices in their settings;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to substantive self reflection, consideration of quantifiable and qualitative data, on-going learning and professional development;

II. To know curricular content and models of instruction, including technology and its application,  the Sage candidates will:

  • Demonstrate an ability to respond to the strengths and needs of all learners, using assessment data to inform instructional decisions;
  • Use knowledge in their designated fields to inspire learners to grow and to meet high standards;
  • Employ/promote pedagogical/counseling/leadership practices that engage learners in active ways;
  • Demonstrate knowledge in their content areas ensuring maximum achievement for all learners.

 III. To do what is necessary to ensure the success of all learners–and to collaborate with families/community members in respectful, culturally responsive ways, the Sage candidate will:

  • Engage in reflective practices;
  • Demonstrate a positive, respectful view of learners, their families, communities, and colleagues; listen deeply to the experiences and perspectives of all those within the community to ensure a healthy and safe learning environment;
  • Model ethical behavior and active citizenship; promote the success of all learners through advocacy, action, and the development of leadership throughout the community;
  • Build trust and garner support for a vision of inclusive schools that value diversity.

© School of Education, The Sage Colleges, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006a, 2006b, 2006c, 2009


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

Candidates must meet Sage Graduate School admission requirements. In addition, applicants to the Special Education program complete an:

  • Interview with an advisor after all materials have been submitted
  • Assessment of writing skills

Program Summary


Total Credits: 3 Credits

Student Teaching

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


  • CPR Certificate : 0 Credits

Total Credits: 34

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

School of Education Attendance Policy

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

Field Experience Stipend Program (May temporarily be unavailable in 2011-12)

The Field Experience Stipend Program is a collaborative program between The Sage Colleges and the local public schools. This collaboration allows Sage to provide graduate students with coursework concurrent with opportunities to build competencies in implementing teaching approaches with children and young adults. The program is a 10 month (September-June) full-time placement in an elementary school setting. Local school districts provide a stipend to interns for the public school year. Placements are open to Sage graduate students who are matriculated in Special Education, Literacy, and Childhood Education programs, and are taking at least one course per semester of the Field Experience Program. For more detailed information, contact Ms. Mary Grace Luibrand at 518-244-4578.