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Master's Degree in Childhood Special Education: Severe and Multiple Disabilities Including Deafblindness

Program Coordinator
Prof. Rosanne K. Silberman
916 West Building
(212) 772-4740


The Hunter College Master’s Degree Program in Childhood Special Education: Severe/Multiple Disabilities including Deafblindness focuses on preparing teachers to provide instruction to learners with severe disabilities, including those with deafblindness, in specialized and inclusive settings in New York City and in other school districts within the metropolitan area.  

Teacher candidates are prepared to teach children in childhood programs in Grades 1-6. Program 1 (36-42 credits) is designed for candidates who have no initial certification in childhood education, while Program 2 is for teacher candidates who have initial certification in childhood education. 

Upon completion of either program sequence, candidates will meet the academic requirements for NYS Certification as Teacher of Special Education with an Annotation in Severe Disabilities. 

The program is designed to enable full-time or part-time students to participate. Classes are held in the late afternoon and evenings, as well as on weekends. Some of the courses are offered partly on-line to enable non-traditional students to participate off campus for some classes.  Student teaching, however, takes place during the school day.
Emphasis is on collaboration between special education and general education to prepare teacher candidates to improve the quality of learning and increase educational opportunities and standards for all learners. The focus is on development of competencies in the following areas:

  • Foundations of Special Education
  • Alternate Assessment of Learners with Severe Disabilities including Deafblindness and Other Low Incidence Disabilities
  • Language Development and Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems for Learners with Severe Disabilities
  • Total Communication for Learners with Severe/Multiple Disabilities including Deafblindness
  • Access to the General Education Curriculum including Curriculum Adaptations
  • Communication and Educational Strategies for Learners who are Deafblind.
  • Collaborative Teaming in Inclusive Environments
  • Social Interaction and Forming Friendships with Non-disabled Peers
  • Classroom Management for Learners with Challenging Behaviors
  • Functional Language and Culture of Learners with Low Incidence Disabilities
  • Effective Partnerships with Parents/Families
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