Master's program in Special Education and Literacy II

quoteTeaching is the one profession that creates all other professions.quote1
-- Unknown

This intensive program is designed to allow highly qualified individuals to change careers and become teachers. In a carefully designed sequence of courses and field experiences, individuals acquire the knowledge, skills, and certifications required to successfully teach in childhood education (1-6), special education (1-6), and literacy (B-6) settings. Graduates of this program could work as an elementary school teacher (grades 1-6), a reading teacher (birth-grade 6), or as a special education teacher (grades 1-6).

Students in this program begin in the summer, and continue with coursework and practicum experiences for an additional 6 semesters (including summers). During this time they are taking courses in special education, literacy, and educational psychology to meet certification requirements. Practicum and clinical internship experiences are integrated throughout the program.

Due to the competitive nature of this program, it is possible that some admitted students will have to extend beyond the typical program schedule.

Program Requirements
Full Time Study (67 credits)
Evening course work and field experiences during the school day (possible assignment to on-line courses)

Appropriate Applicants are Individuals…
without teaching certification
with teaching certification in areas other than childhood education
with an undergraduate average of 3.0 or better
with a major or minor/concentration in the liberal arts or sciences - (more information)
having an appropriate distribution of undergraduate liberal arts courses - (more information)

Certifications Earned: Initial and Professional Certifications in
Childhood Education (1-6)
Teaching Students with Disabilities at the Childhood Level (1-6)
Literacy (Birth-Grade 6)

Application Deadline: See graduate admissions

How to Apply

  • Complete the application at
  • Submit transcript and 3 letters of recommendation, including at least one that speaks to your interaction skills with children and/or adults
  • Submit your GRE scores

Effective Summer 2013: Graduates of the MS in Literacy and the MS in Special Education & Literacy (I and II) degree programs are certified to work with students who encounter the most difficulty with literacy, and to coach and mentor other teachers.  In order to ensure that these specialists are appropriately qualified to receive literacy specialist certification (B-6, B-12, or 5-12), students in these degree programs must receive a B or better in practicum courses before being allowed to take the capstone class.  These practicum courses include: ERDG 505, ERDG 506, ERDG 601, ERDG 605, ERDG 619, and ERDG 655.  In addition, students must also receive a B or better in the final practicum experiences ERDG 620 and/or ERDG 623.  Students receiving a B- or lower in such courses have the following options: a) retake the course for a better grade; b) request admission to a professional certification degree in the department.  This latter option might require taking additional courses.

ALERT: New York State Education Department ("NYSED") recently amended its teacher certification requirements to include the passage of its Academic Literacy Skills Test ("Test").  This Test covers academic skills that should have been acquired in high school and/or during undergraduate college studies.  The University at Albany curriculum for a Master's Degree in special education, or special education and literacy is therefore not designed to prepare teachers for the test, nor does the University at Albany offer preparation for this Test as part of its curriculum.  The University at Albany strongly recommends that students without NYS teacher certification take and pass this Test before applying for admission to any of the graduate special education programs; students will be required to pass this test before enrolling in program classes.

This applies to students applying to the MS in Special Education and Literacy II program without NYS certification, or students applying to one of the other MS in Special Education or Special Education and Literacy I programs with out-of-state teaching certifications.

Additional Program/NYSED Requirements:
School Violence Prevention and Intervention (SAVE) Training
Child Abuse Identification and Reporting Training
Needs of Students with Autism Training
Substance Abuse Prevention Training
DASA Training

As an approved teacher preparation program with the New York State Education Department, there may be additional certification requirements applicable.  these requirements may include, but are not limited to additional workshops.  Certification procedures and requirements are outlined on the School of Education's Teacher certification website (

Teaching is a profession.  Master's students have professional responsibilities to their students, their peers, their classmates and instructors, and to society at large.  Students in the master's program will be working with children and other professionals in educational contexts, including following through on commitments made to children and schools, being appropriately prepared and on time for all interactions/lessons, maintaining confidentiality and respect, and interacting with all stakeholders/participants in a professional manner.  professional interactions include everything from dressing appropriately for the situation to maintaining appropriate language both in talking with and talking about others.  Failure to meet professional responsibilities can result in a student's academic dismissal from the program.

MS in Special Education and Literacy II
 Required Courses 

Special Education


ESPE 560

Introduction to Human Exceptionality

ESPE 580

Practicum: Teaching Students with Diverse Learning Needs

ESPE 650

Instructional Environments and Practices for Students with Disabilities

ESPE 651

Developing Reading Comprehension and Content Knowledge for Students with Disabilities

ESPE 652

Math and Inquiry Instruction for Students with Disabilities

ESPE 653

Managing School and Classroom-wide Student Behavior

ESPE 654

Teaching Students with Severe and Multiple Disabilities

ESPE 655

Assessment of Students with Disabilities

ESPE 656

Teaching Written Expression to Students with Disabilities                  

ESPE 657

Practicum: Effective Teaching and Curricula for Diverse Learners                 

ESPE 669

Educating Students with Emotional Disorders and Challenging Behavior: Advanced Tiers of Support


Clinical Internship: Teaching Students with Disabilities

ESPE 681

Clinical Internship Seminar: Teaching Students with Disabilities





ELTL 500

Classroom Literacy Instruction

ELTL 601

Practicum: Instruction to Prevent Literacy Difficulties

ELTL 610

Literacy and Society

ELTL 619   

Practicum: Writing in the Classroom

ELTL 620

Practicum: Differentiated Instruction and Coaching

ELTL 655

Early Literacy Development, B-2



Educational Psychology


EPSY 521

Child Development

EPSY 615 

Application of Cognitive Theories to Content Area Instruction


 (67 credits)