2019-20 Graduate Catalog 
    Sep 23, 2023  
2019-20 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Teaching Students with Disabilities 7-12 [TDA] M.S.Ed.

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Special Education Program

Foundations and Social Advocacy Department
Brian Barrett, chair
Cynthia Moriarity, graduate coordinator
Cornish Hall, Room 1213
Fax: 607-758-5007


Expand on your strong commitment to inclusive special education for children in grades 7-12 by studying for the M.S.Ed. in teaching students with disabilities at SUNY Cortland.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and apply knowledge of individual differences to provide meaningful, challenging, and developmentally appropriate learning experiences for students in grades 7-12.                   
  2. Conceptualize and create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments in order to support student learning in grades 7-12.                                                                                
  3. Understand and use content knowledge to provide all learners access to and support progress within the general education curriculum in grades 7-12.       
  4. Understand and use multiple methods of assessment and data sources in making educational decisions for students in grades 7-12.
  5. Research and evaluate current issues, interventions, and practices in order to support inclusive teaching and learning, as well as implement a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies for all students in grades 7-12.                                                                                     
  6. Interrogate the social and cultural context of education to articulate the ethical principles that guide their practice and advance the profession for students in grades 7-12.                                                                               
  7. Collaborate with a variety of stakeholders in culturally responsive ways to address the needs of learners across a range of educational experiences for students in grades 7-12.      

Program Highlights

If you have certification in adolescence education, this program allows you to pursue a master's degree and certification in teaching students with disabilities in grades 7-12. Your course work includes disability studies, discipline and social skill development for students with disabilities, teaching the special education learner in the general education classroom, adaptive technology, working with students with disabilities in a variety of contexts and foundations of education.

A 150-hour internship working with students with disabilities is required.

The degree requires 35 credit hours of prescribed graduate study. It can be completed full time over approximately 15 months or part time over two years.

We offer a variety of course formats, including online courses, hybrid courses that combine online education with face-to-face instruction, and traditional on-campus courses.

Culminating Experience

In addition to an internship in teaching students with disabilities that takes place in schools in grade 7-12 classrooms, you will complete a culminating master's project involving research on an educational issue related to students with disabilities.

Career Potential

The M.S.Ed. in Teaching Students with Disabilities 7-12 from SUNY Cortland leads to New York state certification in Students with Disabilities, grades 7-12. This program enhances your professional credentials and prepares you for potential positions such as:

  • Special education teacher, grades 7-12
  • Resource room teacher, grades 7-12
  • Committee on Special Education (CSE) chair
  • Developmental disabilities specialist
  • Curriculum specialist
  • Transition Services Coordinator
  • Supported Employment Job Coach Specialist

Graduate Admission

Evaluation Policy

At the State University of New York College at Cortland, we seek a diverse and academically strong student body. Our admission policy and practice will not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, national origin or marital status.

Required Materials

  1. Completed online Graduate School Application - Apply Now
  2. Official transcripts from all regionally accredited colleges or universities attended to be forwarded directly to the SUNY Cortland Graduate Admissions Office.
    Note: Candidates for admission must present evidence of bachelor's degree conferral prior to the start of their academic program.
  3. Three letters of reference detailing the ability to meet the rigors of graduate study and the commitment to, and competence in, working with students with disabilities.
  4. A personal statement indicating:

a. reasons for wanting to work with students with disabilities, including personal experiences that have influenced this decision,
b. reasons for selecting SUNY Cortland for graduate studies and this program specifically,
c. discussion of long-term professional goals and your view of how this program will support achieving them, and
d. any other information deemed relevant.

5. Documentation of initial certification in adolescence education — evidence of pending or awarded certification. Documentation or transcript review showing eligibility for SWD 7-12 Generalist certification. If not yet completed, SWD 7-12 requirements can be fulfilled as part of the program.

6. Documentation of successful completion of six credit hours of course work at the undergraduate or graduate level in literacy development and language acquisition that may have been completed as part of your adolescence education program.

7. New York state mandates that all SUNY teacher preparation programs adopt college entrance assessments for admissions consideration.  Anyone submitting an application for admission is required to submit scores for ONE of the following:

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) 
  • Miller Analogies Test (MAT) 
  • edTPA with a passing score as set by New York State, or the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators

Admissions Criteria

Preference will be given to candidates with the following:

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with a minimum score of 280
  • Miller Analogies Test (MAT) with a minimum score of 380
  • edTPA with a passing score as set by New York State, or the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators, with a minimum score of 450
  • An undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale)

If you graduated more than 10 years prior to application, you may be required to provide additional evidence of more recent academic competence, such as continuing education courses, CEUs or other appropriate documentation.


  • Fall semester applications: July 1
  • Spring semester applications: Dec. 1
  • Summer Session applications: April 1
    Candidates who apply by June 1 may be eligible to begin classes during Summer Session II.

Applications submitted after a deadline may be considered on a space availability basis.
Please contact the Graduate Admissions Office at 607-753-4800 to check availability.

Requirements for Teaching Students with Disabilities (Grades 7-12)

Note: Students may choose a one-year accelerated program, a two-year program or may complete the program in a time frame that best meets their needs. Students begin the program with online coursework during the summer, and then complete the program in June of the following year.

Candidates for the degree must meet any additional undergraduate or graduate requirements for the award of the degree established by the Foundations and Social Advocacy Department. Such additional requirements must be ascertained by the candidate in consultation with the department. Specific information regarding requirements such as state examinations, identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment, alcohol and drug abuse education, school violence prevention training and foreign language requirements for New York state teaching certification can be found in the Teacher Certification  section of this catalog.

Total credit hours: 35-36

Required Workshops


Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting (CARR)

Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE)

Example of the TDA Accelerated One-Year Program

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