Adolescence Education/Students with Disabilities Generalist 7-12 MsEd Catalog

School of Education & Human Services
Adolescence Ed/SWD Gen 7-12 (MSEd)

Department Co-Chairs:  Kelly Harper, PhD and Marya Grande, PhD

The Special Education Master of Science Degree Program at Canisius is designed for those dedicated to meet the needs of students with disabilities, placing a strong emphasis on theory, research and practicum experience.  The curriculum enables candidates to develop an understanding of etiology, related psychological and social factors and techniques proven effective for teaching students with diverse learning needs.  

This program prepares candidates for Initial and Professional Certification in Adolescence SWD Generalist 7-12, and provides and option for candidates to earn a second Initial and Professional Certification in Adolescence Education in a specific content area.

SWD Generalist Content-Area Extensions

The Adolescence Students with Disabilities Generalist certification is not attached to typical adolescence content areas.  However, with 18 credits in an academic content area a candidate will be qualified to add a certificate extension in the content area in addition to the Students with Disabilities Generalist certificate for grades 7-12.

Grade Requirements

Graduate students enrolled in initial certification programs must achieve a C or above in all prerequisite coursework and a B- or above in all graduate program coursework. Failure to meet these requirements will require repeating the course &/or completing additional coursework.

Licensure Disclosure

Canisius College cannot determine whether completion of this program would be sufficient to meet licensure requirements outside of New York State for the intended occupation. We advise you to contact your state licensing board or appropriate licensing entity to determine whether the program meets requirements for Professional Licensure in the state where you are located or the state in which you intend to pursue licensure. Please contact the associate dean of your school if you have further questions.


SPE 580Classroom Management3
SPE 644Collaborative Practices on a Transdisciplinary Team3
EDU 556Assessment for Diverse Learners3
SPE 631Reading and Writing Process for Students with Learning and Behavioral Disorders3
SPE 640Learning and Behavioral Disabilities (LBD); Etiology and Research Based Interventions3
SPE 649Transition Issues for Adolescents with Disabilities3
SPE 650Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Etiology & Educational Needs3
SPE 652Functional Curriculum for Students with Severe Disabilities and ASD3
EDU 615Research Methods3
EDU 595Child Abuse Workshop0
EDU 596Prevention of School Violence Workshop 0
EDU 597Dignity for All Students Workshop0
SPE 698Seminar in Teaching and Assessment3
Student Teaching:
SPE 692Student Teaching4.5
SPE 694Student Teaching - Placement 24.5
SPE 697Student Teaching Seminar0
Total Credits39

Adolescence Ed/SWD Gen 7-12 (MSEd)

Adolescence Human Growth & Development, Inclusive Strategies, Foundations of Adolescent Literacy, Evaluation & Teaching Strategies, Methods of Teaching in the Subject Area, and Foundations of Education.  These prerequisites may be taken at the graduate or undergraduate level, at Canisius or another college offering teacher certification programs, and may be taken concurrent with the graduate program. Canisius courses that meet these prerequisites include EDAD 535, SPE 541, EDAD 536, EDAD 502, EDR 504, EDR 509, EDAD 572, and EDU 505 (or their undergraduate equivalents).

Middle Childhood 

Candidates wishing to obtain an extension to teach grades 7-9 in their content area must add a middle childhood extension.

Prerequisites for Students with Disabilities (SWD) for ALL candidates.

  1. Six credit hours in English
  2. Six credit hours in math
  3. Six credit hours in social studies
  4. Six credit hours in science

Prerequisites for Adolescence 7-12 Certification in the Content Area:

  1. English:  30 credit hours are required in English. Topics that need to be covered include linguistics/grammar, American Literature, World Literature, Young Adult Literature, British Literature, and writing/composition (plus electives needed to meet the credit hour requirement)
  2. Math:  30 credit hours are required in Math.  Topics that need to be covered include Calculus I, II, and III, differential equations, abstract math, linear algebra, abstract algebra, geometry, and statistics. (plus electives needed to meet the credit hour requirement)
  3. Biology:  30 credit hours are required in Biology.  Topics that need to be covered include botany, evolution, microbiology, biochemistry, organismal biology, ecology, physiology, cell biology, zoology, genetics, and anatomy. (plus electives needed to meet the credit hour requirement)
  4. Chemistry:  30 credit hours are required in Chemistry.  Topics that need to be covered include inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and physical chemistry. (plus electives needed to meet the credit hour requirement)
  5. Physics:  30 credit hours are required in Physics.  Topics that need to be covered include general physics, classical mechanics, nuclear physics, optics, electricity/magnetism, quantum mechanics, electronics, and statistics & thermal dynamics. (plus electives needed to meet the credit hour requirement)
  6. Social Studies:  30 credit hours are required in Social Studies.  Eighteen (18) credits in history are required.  Three credits are also required in each of the following areas:  geography, political science/government, cultural studies, and economics.  The remaining credits can come from other social sciences including psychology or philosophy.
  7. Spanish:  30 credit hours of study in that language are required *French concentration available to graduate students with 30-credits.

Learning Goals & Objectives

Learning Goal 1 (KNOWLEDGE – Observed in Writing)

Candidates in the Teacher Education programs will demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical, and professional knowledge necessary for successful performance in their field.

Teacher candidates will: 
  • Acquire knowledge of each student, and demonstrate knowledge of student development and learning to promote achievement for all students. 
  • Know the content they are responsible for teaching, and the pedagogical content knowledge to plan instruction that ensures growth and achievement for all students. 

Learning Goal 2 (KNOWLEDGE – Observed Skills and Dispositions)

Candidates in the Teacher Education programs will demonstrate professional skills and dispositions necessary for successful performance in their field. 

Teacher candidates will: 
  • Demonstrate professional dispositions and implement instruction that engages and challenges all students to meet or exceed the learning standards.

Learning Goal 3 (SERVICE)

Candidates in the Teacher Education programs will demonstrate willingness to use their skills to benefit and serve society. Within the contexts of their work, candidates promote authentic learning, social and emotional development, and a commitment to social justice in environments that foster respect for diversity and the dignity of all.

Teacher candidates will:
  • Work with all students to create a dynamic learning environment that supports achievement and growth.
  • Use multiple measures to assess and document student growth, evaluate instructional effectiveness, and modify instruction for diverse learners.


Candidates will demonstrate self-reflection as a habit of mind, continuously assessing and refining their professional practice as they construct a rich repertoire of research-based knowledge, skills, and attitudes for effective performance ensuring that all students and/or clients have optimal opportunities to learn and grow.

Teacher candidates will:
  • Set informed goals and strive for continuous professional growth.

Learning Goal 5 (LEADERSHIP)

Candidates will become adept at applying their acquired knowledge in the process of evaluating their own professional performance and decision-making with respect to its impact on students and/or clients, organizations, and the wider community. 

Teacher candidates will: 
  • Demonstrate professional responsibility and engage relevant stakeholders to maximize impact on student growth, development, and learning.