2021-22 Graduate Catalog 
    Sep 24, 2023  
2021-22 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Teaching Students with Disabilities 1-6 [TSD] M.S.Ed.

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Special Education Program

Foundations and Social Advocacy Department
Maria Timberlake, 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 1-6 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 1-6.                                                                  
  2. Conceptualize and create safe, inclusive, culturally learning environments in order to support student learning in grades 1-6.                                                                                         
  3. Understand and use content knowledge to provide all learners access to and support progress within the general education curriculum in grades 1-6.                                                                                    
  4. Understand and use multiple methods of assessment and data sources in making educational decisions for students in grades 1-6.                                               
  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 1-6.                                                                                 
  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 1-6.                                                                                     
  7. Collaborate with a variety of stakeholders in culturally responsive ways to address the needs of learners across a range of educational experiences.     

Program Highlights

With your bachelor's degree in childhood/elementary education or a bachelor's degree in education that includes childhood education content areas such as health, physical education, art, music, early childhood, speech and language disabilities, or special education, you can extend your capacities in assessment, curriculum and instruction, educational research and administration.

As you collaborate with our dedicated professional faculty, you'll explore topics such as discipline and social skill development for students with disabilities, teaching the special education learner in the general education classroom, students with disabilities in context and foundations of education. To receive an annotation in teaching students with severe and/or multiple disabilities, you also may choose courses in teaching students with severe/multiple disabilities and autism spectrum disorders.

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 Experiences

In addition to an internship in teaching students with disabilities that takes place in schools in grade 1-6 classrooms, you will complete a culminating master's project, in which you'll examine a research question or topic focused on issues relating to students with disabilities in educational settings.

Career Potential

The M.S.Ed. in Teaching Students with Disabilities from SUNY Cortland leads to New York certification in Students with Disabilities, grades 1-6. This program enhances your professional credentials and prepares you for potential positions such as special or inclusive education teacher, chair of a committee on special education (CSE), developmental disabilities specialist, or community or college instructor.

This program is intended for students who have a bachelor's degree in childhood/elementary education or students who have a bachelor's degree in education that incorporates childhood education content including health, physical education, art, music, early childhood, speech and language disabilities, or special education. It requires a minimum of 35 credit hours of approved graduate course work including student internship and culminating experiences. Students may elect to take an additional eight credit hours in approved course work to receive an annotation in Teaching Students with Severe and/or Multiple Disabilities.

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 childhood education or in field that incorporates childhood education content — evidence of pending or awarded certification.

 6. 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 are 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

Note: Students may choose a one-year accelerated program, a two-year program, or may complete the degree in a time frame that best meets their needs. Students begin the one-year 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  information section of this catalog.

Total Credit Hours: 35

Required Workshops

Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting (CARR)

Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE)

Annotation in Severe/Multiple Disabilities: 9 credit hours

Example of the TSD Accelerated One-Year Program

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