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Field and Clinical Experiences

Students in the Master of Science in Childhood Special Education: Severe and Multiple Disabilities (including Deafblindness)  program complete a total of 110 hours in field experience within specific courses and 12 weeks of student teaching for two semesters (two full days and two half days) with two different age groups.  Candidates do student teaching in a specialized setting for one semester and in an inclusion program during the second semester of student teaching. Students who are employed in an approved field site with learners with severe disabilities may use their jobs as practicum; however, they have to fulfill outside experiences in order to observe “promising practices” in the field. 

We are fortunate to be located in New York City where we have access to some of the best educational programs with highly qualified teachers.  Candidates receive intensive supervision by experienced college practicum supervisors and cooperating teachers.  A practicum seminar integrates the field experiences with additional theory and practical application.

 

Coursework with Field Experience Requirements

Fieldwork serves three main purposes:

  • It provides teacher candidates with an opportunity to observe learners with severe disabilities including deafblindness immediately upon entering the Master’s Degree program.
  • It allows candidates to determine whether they are really comfortable with this low incidence population and helps them to reflect on the appropriateness of their choice of entering this teaching specialization. 
  • It also provides a way for teacher candidates to link theory and practice in individual courses and test their own developing ideas, with guidance from the professors teaching the courses.

The required fieldwork courses are:

course title field work
SPED 700 Issues and Practices in the Education of Students with Disabilities 5 hrs
SPED 702.50 Classroom Management in Special Education and Inclusive Settings 20 hrs
SPED 706.50 Strategies and Curriculum Adaptations for Learners with Severe/Multiple Disabilities 
10 hrs
SPED 790 Foundations and Educational Implications of  Severe/Multiple Disabilities
10 hrs
SPED 791 Alternative Assessment for Learners with Low Incidence Disabilities: Visual Impairment, Deafblindness, and Severe Disabilities
15 hrs
SPED 792 Language Development and Alternative Communication
15 hrs




Systems for Learners with Low Incidence Disabilities:
SPED 793 Total Communication for Learners with Severe/Multiple Disabilities 10 hrs
SPED 794 Functional Language and Culture of Learners with Low Incidence Disabilities 5 hrs
SPED 746 Educational Implications of Learners who are Deafblind 10 hrs
SPED 781.50  Reading and Writing for Students with Learning Disabilities (for those not in LD specialization) 
10 hrs


Course instructors provide details on the specific activities to be undertaken at each of the fieldwork sites.  Students may select the sites to visit where they can observe learners with severe disabilities.  Instructors can help students find specific sites.

 

Student Teaching and Practicum

Teacher candidates in the MS in Childhood Education programs must complete college-supervised student teaching for two semesters with two different age groups (Grades 1-3) and Grades 4-6); one in a specialized setting and one in an inclusive setting.  If someone is teaching in an approved field site with learners with severe disabilities, they may use their job as their placement and enroll in Practicum. However, they are required to observe selected “best practices” sites in order to acquire knowledge and skills related to the breadth of this low incidence population.

Both candidates taking student teaching and practicum are required to enroll in a seminar along with student teaching/practicum. These courses are offered during the academic year. The College faculty-field supervisor places all students. The courses are listed below: 

  • SPED 795 Student Severe/Multiple Disabilities, Including Deafblindness, Grades 1–6
    This is supervised student teaching in a disability-specific school setting with learners with severe disabilities including deafblindness in grades 1–3 and 4–6. Focus is on writing lesson plans, developing IEPs, behavioral observa¬tion, creating portfolios, forming partner¬ships with families.

    Pre- or coreq: SPED 790, 791
    30 hrs seminar, plus 12 weeks (2 full days and 2 half days) of student teaching at two grade levels, 4 cr.
  • SPED 795.50 Student Severe/ Multiple Disabilities Including Deafblindness, Grades 1–3
    This is supervised student teaching in a disability-specific school setting with learners with severe disabilities including deafblindness, grades 1–3. Focus on writing lesson plans, developing IEPs, behavioral observation, cre¬ating portfolios, forming partnerships with families.

    Pre- or coreq: SPED 790, 791
    30 hrs seminar, plus conferences, plus 12 weeks (2 full and 2 half days) of student teaching, 2 cr
  • SPED 795.51 Student Severe/ Multiple Disabilities Including Deafblindness, Grades 4–6
    This is Supervised student teaching in a disability-specific school setting with learners with severe disabilities including deafblindness, grades 4–6. Focus on writing lesson plans, developing IEPs, behavioral observation, cre¬ating portfolios, forming partnerships with families.

    Pre- or coreq: SPED 790, 791
    30 hrs seminar, plus 12 weeks (2 full days and 2 half days) of student teaching, 2 cr
  • SPED 795.52 Supervised Practicum: Severe/Multiple Disabilities, Including Deafblindness, Grades 1–3
    This is an on-the-job experience and is taken by teacher candidates who are lead teachers or assistant teachers.   It is a college-supervised practicum in an approved specialized or inclusive school setting with learners who have severe disabilities, grades 1–3. Focus is on writing lesson plans for cooperative groups, curriculum strategies and adaptations, peer-tutoring programs, barrier-free classroom design, and behavioral support plans, form¬ing partnerships with families.

    Pre- or coreq: SPED 790, 791
    30 hrs seminar, outside field observation visits, plus conferences, 2 cr
  • SPED 795.53 Supervised Practicum: Severe/Multiple Disabilities, Including Deafblindness, Grades 4–6
    This is an on-the-job experience and is take by teacher candidates who are lead teachers or assistant teachers. It is a college-supervised practicum in an approved specialized or inclusive school setting with learners who have mild/moderate and severe disabilities, grades 4–6.  Focus is on writing lesson plans for cooperative groups, curriculum strategies and adaptations, peer-tutoring programs, barrier-free classroom design, and behavioral support plans, forming partnerships with families.

    Pre- or coreq: SPED 790, 791
    30 hours seminar, outside field observation visits, plus conferences, 2 cr
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