Teaching Students with Disabilities - Childhood

Graduate: Master's

School of Education & Human Services

The educational needs of children with disabilities require the commitment of teachers who understand the developmental challenges involved and the specific needs of the age group. If you are a childhood teacher looking to gain further knowledge in the learning and/or behavioral challenges of students and add 1-6 certification in Special Education, this is the program for you.

Program Description

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This program prepares candidates already holding a Childhood Certificate (Grades 1-6) to gain Initial and Professional Certification in Students with Disabilities 1-6.

You will study psychological and social factors, along with proven techniques for teaching children who have diverse learning requirements. Coursework includes developmentally appropriate curriculum in early childhood classrooms, reading and writing process for students with learning and behavioral disorders, plus teaching for autism spectrum and intellectual disabilities.  

Candidates wishing to extend their certification to teach birth to grade 2 can do so by consulting their adviser. 

Candidates wishing to obtain an extension to teach grades 7-9 in their content area must add a Middle Childhood Extension


Student Success Stories

Lauren Semo '19, '20Lauren Semo

"I chose to continue my education at Canisius for my Master’s because of the stellar education program, supportive professors, and variety of opportunities. I completed my Master’s Degree during my first year of teaching, which was definitely a lot of work but also very rewarding at the same time. Going to classes at night after teaching was not a burden; they were something I looked forward to greatly because of the awesome community of educators that I was around and all of the new strategies and information that I was learning.

I was able to finish my Master’s in only a year and a half, and I don’t think I would have been able to do so without the support of my professors and advisors. Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, fitting all of my requirements for graduation in was quite the task. However, my advisors were able to find a way for me to student teach during the summer and finish my degree. 

I am currently in my second year of teaching third grade at Westminster Community Charter School. This is the school that I had my first ever field placement in and the first school I student taught in. I had such a great experience that I accepted a subbing position after finishing my student teaching placements in undergrad, and I then began teaching third grade the school year after graduating from undergrad. I truly believe that my classes, teachers and education community at Canisius College prepared me for the teacher I am today and I am proud that I have received both of my degrees from Canisius. Go Griffs!"


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