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Field and Clinical Experiences

Teacher candidates in the Master of Science in Early Childhood Special Education with an annotation in Severe/ Multiple Disabilities program complete a total of 87.5 hours in field experience within specific courses.  All candidates are required to do have field placements with three different age/grade levels: Infants/toddlers/preschoolers; kindergarten, and grade 1 or 2. 

Candidates may do one semester of pre-student teaching field experiences with one age level, and two semesters of student teaching with the other two age levels.  Students who are employed in an approved field site may use their job as practicum for one semester and student teach for one semester with another age level, or they may use their job for two semesters while teaching on an Internship Certificate. 

We are fortunate to be located in New York City where we have access to some of the best early childhood special education programs for learners with severe disabilities.  Candidates receive intensive supervision by experienced college practicum supervisors and cooperating teachers. Field experiences are integrated with additional theory and practical application.

Coursework with Field Experience Requirements

Fieldwork hours

Fieldwork serves three main purposes:

  • It provides teacher candidates with an opportunity to observe early childhood programs.
  • It allows candidates to determine whether they are really comfortable with this early childhood low incidence population and helps them to reflect on the appropriateness of their choice of entering this specialization. 
  • It 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 No. Title Field Exp.
SPED 700 Issues and Practices in the Education of Students with Disabilities  
5 hrs
SPED 706.50
Strategies and Curriculum Adaptations for Learners with Severe/Multiple Disabilities 10hrs
SPED 791 Alternative Assessment for Learners with Low Incidence Disabilities:
Visual Impairment, Deafblindness, and Severe Disabilities
15hrs
SPED 792 Language Development and Alternative Communication Systems for Learners with Low
Incidence Disabilities: Severe Disabilities Including Deafblindness
15hrs
SPED 793 Total Communication for Learners with Severe/Multiple Disabilities 10hrs
SPED 746 Educational Implications of Learners who are Deafblind 10hrs
SPEDE 770 Curriculum Models and Methods in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education
5hrs
SPEDE 771 Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Characteristics Implications for  Intervention and Educational Strategies 5hrs
SPEDE 772 Behavioral Theory and Its Applications to Young Children with Special Needs 5hrs
SPEDE 773 Developing Partnerships with Families for Their Child’s Development and Learning
2.5hrs
SPEDE 774 Reading and Writing for Students with Special Education Needs 5hr

 

Pre- Student Teaching

Teacher candidates spend one semester in pre-student teaching experiences with early childhood learners with severe disabilities on one age or grade level.  Placement is arranged by the college and it is a college-supervised experience.  This experience is a prerequisite for student teaching and practicum.

SPEDE 767 -Field Experience in Early Childhood Special Education with an Annotation in Severe Disabilities (includes 15hr seminar). This course requires 30 hours in one of the following ages/grade levels: 0-3; 3-5 or Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2 in a program for children with severe disabilities.

Student Teaching and Practicum

Most teacher candidates in the Early Childhood Special Education Program with an Annotation in Severe Disabilities student teach in 2 different grade levels either during the summer or academic year.   Some who are employed in an early childhood program may use their job for one semester and then do student teaching with another age group during the summer, or fulfill this requirement by teaching on the job for one year with an Internship Certificate.  The required courses are listed below:

  • SPEDE 777.50 – Student Teaching: Early Childhood Special Education with an Annotation in Severe Disabilities (4 credits, 30 seminar hours plus 40 days)
    Supervised student teaching in two settings with 20 days in each placement; placements must be at different age/grade levels; Pre-K (Birth-5); Kindergarten; grades 1-2; practice in the implementation of skills developed through course-work and field experiences
    Prereq: SPEDE 767
    30 hrs seminar plus 40 days, 4cr

OR

  • SPEDE 778.50 - Student Teaching: Early Childhood Special Education with an Annotation in Severe Disabilities (2 credits, 30 seminar hours plus 20 days)
    Supervised student teaching in two settings with 20 days in each placement; placements must be at different age/grade levels; Pre-K (Birth-5); Kindergarten; grades 1-2; practice in the implementation of skills developed through course-work and field experiences. Students must be in an early childhood program with learners with severe disabilities.
    Prereg: SPEDE 776
    30 hrs seminar plus 20 days, 2cr

PLUS

  • SPEDE 779.50 – Practicum in Early Childhood Special Education with an Annotation in Severe Disabilities (30 hr. seminar plus conferences)
    Supervised practicum in an age/grade level other them that used in SPEDE 778.50 practice in the implementation of skills developed through coursework and field experiences. Students must be in an early childhood program with learners with severe disabilities for the entire semester.
    Prereq: SPEDE 767
    30 hrs  seminar plus conferences, 2cr
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