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Division of Special Education


Research Universities graduate more effective teachers.

On average, teachers who have graduated from research universities have students who make greater gains in reading and math achievement than do teachers who graduate from schools that offer only master's degrees (Levine, 2006). If you want to be a highly effective teacher, consider UAlbany.

Indicators of a Quality Teacher Education program.
Arthur Levine and the Education Schools Project (2006) recently developed nine criteria for judging teacher education programs. Using their criteria, here is what we offer:

We offer distinct programs/certification in special education/literacy, special education, elementary education and inclusion. Each program has a clear and distinctive purpose, so that you can choose the program that best meets your needs. We offer programs suitable for individuals with no teaching background, and for those who hold initial certification in general childhood education or special education.

Curricular Coherence and Quality
We carefully plan the content and sequence of courses and field experiences within each program. We regularly revise our courses and field experiences based on feedback from students and student performance in field settings. We carefully monitor the quality of the field sites we use.

Our initial certification programs in special education literacy and special education engage students in at least 3 different practicum/internship placements. Each experience is unique. Across these settings, you will work in high needs settings as well as suburban schools.

Curricular Balance
All of our courses integrate theory and practice. This comes as second nature to our faculty, because as researchers, we develop theory and insight about best practices.

Faculty Composition (Link to Faculty Information)
Practitioners. Each member of our faculty has been a special education, reading, and/or general education teacher. Almost all of our faculty members are directly involved in supervision in our field sites. All of our research faculty do research in schools, and regularly work in local public schools. Our faculty includes several clinical faculty members whose focus is working in local schools.

Academics. Our faculty members are knowledgeable about current and best practices. We have to be, because our faculty members discover and publish new findings about effective special education practices every year.

We carefully monitor what it takes to be successful in our program. We select students based on these criteria; we continually update our admissions procedures so that we select individuals likely to become highly effective teachers. Admission is competitive in all of the programs.

When students graduate from our program, they have more than special education certification. Our graduates have specialized knowledge in inclusion, literacy instruction or working with students with emotional and behavior disorders. This specialized knowledge distinguishes our graduates.

We do research on effective instruction in reading, writing, and mathematics. We do research on best practices for students with learning, emotional and multiple disabilities. Our research is funded by nationally competitive grants, and published in the leading special education journals. We share this new knowledge in our methods courses.

Financial Support for the Program
We regularly offer stipends during your internship semester (depending on availability). Our students regularly win School of Education scholarships. The University has shown its commitment to our programs by regularly adding clinical and research faculty in special education as the program expands.

We regularly monitor what is working, and what needs to be improved. Our programs are constantly changing—so that it can be the best it can be for our students. Our programs are accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) for a period of 5 years, from April 30, 2006 to April 30, 2011. Last year, nearly 100% of our graduates passed the New York State exams ( LAST, ATS-W elementary, ATS-W secondary, and Content Specialty exams – Students with Disabilities, Literacy Specialist).

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