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Last Updated: May 6, 2020, 11:00 am

M.S. Degree in Early Childhood Education & Special Education (Birth-Grade 2)

The program in Early Childhood Education and Special Education prepares teaching candidates with knowledge of early childhood development, early intervention, and learning and teaching processes in preschool, kindergarten, and primary grade levels. Upon graduation from the program and completion of New York State Education Department (NYSED) requirements, this program leads to New York State Initial or Professional Teacher Certification in Early Childhood Education (Birth-Grade 2) and Students with Disabilities (Birth-Grade 2).

The Early Childhood Education/Special Education Program requires 36 credit hours. Coursework includes 15 credit hours of general pedagogical core courses and 21 credit hours of specific pedagogical courses, including six credit hours of Field Experience and Practicum. A culminating E-portfolio, presenting course-based learning artifacts to demonstrate satisfactory development as an effective novice teacher, is required for graduation.

Early Childhood Education and Special Education, Birth – Grade 2 (36 CREDITS)

EDPN 620 Child Development and Learning in Cultural Context

This course focuses on the nature of physi­cal, cognitive, emotional, social, and moral development from birth through adoles­cence with implications for learning and teaching; major orientations in the study of child development, including Vygotsky and the neo-Vygotskian theories of child devel­opment and learning; periods of child de­velopment from birth through adolescence seen in a socio-cultural context, with impli­cations for learning and teaching; integra­tion of theory and research findings from the fields of developmental and educational psychology; and exploration of multicul­tural contexts for growth, development, and learning with diverse student populations. Students are also exposed to evidence-based methods of instruction and critically exam­ine the idea that instruction should be evi­dence-based.

SEDN 602 Introduction to Teaching Students with Disabilities

This course focuses on the historical background of current approaches to teaching children with disabilities; special education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; state and federal special education laws and regulations; identification for evaluation of students who may have disabilities; current theories and methodologies for working with students with disabilities; inclusion and the concept of the least restrictive environment; early intervention; special education curriculum modifications, classroom management, and use of technology; planning and designing co-teaching and collaborative work with other teachers; developing partnerships, including with the family, for the benefit of students with disabilities; transitional services and employment; educational challenges and instructional approaches for children with cognitive deficits, physical and sensory impairments, language delays, emotional disturbance, and learning disabilities; working with children with autism; application of principles of response to intervention and differentiated instruction; approaches and debates on reading and language arts instruction for native English speakers and English language learners.  Students are exposed to evidence-based instructional methods and critically examine the concept that instruction should be evidence-based.

EDDN 625 The Education of Young Children: Principles and Methods

This course focuses on planning and implementing developmentally appropriate learning environments with integrated curricula for young children (birth-grade 2). Course topics include the relational processes by which children acquire knowledge, skills, and positive attitudes toward learning; the use of spontaneous play and hands-on activities; planned experiences and instruction that provide young children with opportunities to explore and manipulate ideas and concepts as they explore and manipulate the world;  approaches to working with gifted students and students with disabilities; integrated instruction in literacy, science, mathematics, technology, the arts, social studies (including exposure to a range of cultures and languages as well as United States and New York State history and geography), family, career and consumer education, and  physical and health education. Students are exposed to and engage in evidence-based methods of instruction and critically examine the concept that instruction should be evidence-based.

EDSN 657 Early Literacy Instruction I

 This course focuses on the use of oral language, general cognitive skills, the concepts underlying reading and writing, and specific literacy skills as the context for supporting initial steps toward literacy for young children.  Course topics include activities to promote phonemic awareness, understanding of the alphabetic principle, and beginning word recognition through letter-sound relations; motivational issues that pertain to the development of reading skills; meeting the needs of young children, including those with limited proficiency in English, who enter day care, nursery school, and other early childhood and intervention programs with inadequate literacy-related knowledge and skills; language-related experiences at home as well as at school; and the importance of providing frequent opportunities to write.  Students are exposed to evidence-based methods of instruction and critically examine the concept that instruction should be evidence-based. (Please note: This course is a prerequisite for SEDN 658.)

EDSN 640 Assessment of Individual Differences in General and Special Education: A Socio-Cultural Perspective

This course focuses on assessment in general education and special education of individual differences in intelligence, learning potential, personality, motivation, and student achievement; management of data from assessment and monitoring of student progress; characteristics of standardized tests; the role of educational testing in program design and informing instruction, particularly for students with disabilities, including children with autism; assessment of young children; use of achievement tests; introduction to dynamic (or interactive) assessment; differences between static and dynamic assessment; the use of teacher-made, informal tests; and opportunity to observe and practice use of achievement tests and/or curriculum-based assessment approaches in the classroom.

EDSN 682 Field Experience and Practicum I in Early Childhood General and Special Education, Birth-Grade 2

For the field experience component of this course, students complete 50 hours of observations in general education at the birth-preK, kindergarten, or grade 1-2 level. Students also complete 100 hours of work with students with disabilities at a level not used in general education. (Inclusion classes with strong special education components are acceptable.) For the practicum component of the course, students complete an additional 20 days or 100 hours in general education at one of the three age/grade levels. (Please note that over the course of their field experience and practicum courses students must work with children at all three levels.) Actual teaching is a component of the practicum part of this course. All student teaching is done in accredited schools with the involvement of appropriately certified supervising or cooperating teachers who submit student evaluation forms during and at the conclusion of the semester.

Over the course of the field experience and practicum courses, some work is done in a high-need school or a school serving a high-need community. Students keep time sheets of their hours, maintain logs in which critical incidents are recorded and analyzed, respond to questions about young children, analyze lesson presentations of cooperating teachers observed, and complete two term papers. Students integrate evidence-based methods of instruction into their lesson presentations. The course includes scheduled group meetings. An assigned Touro College faculty member meets with students at their field experience/practicum sites and observes and evaluates student work with children in a school or an equivalent educational setting. The faculty member and cooperating teacher evaluate both the field experience and practicum components of student work during the course. (Please note: This course must be taken within the first 18 credits of graduate study.)

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SEDN 635 The Study of Disabilities in Infancy and Early Childhood

This course focuses on educational programs and methods for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarten students, and first and second graders with disabilities. Course topics include  review of developmentally appropriate integrated curricula; effective materials for use in language arts, music, art, blocks, sand, water play, cooking, and other play activities; parental collaboration in early intervention and early childhood special education; comparison of early intervention and early childhood special education programs reflected in Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP) and  Individualized Education Programs (IEP);  comparison of least restrictive environment and natural environment approaches;  setting up and managing learning and play activities in safe and developmentally appropriate environments; special attention to work with children with autism; the role of the teacher in guiding young children in the development of self-regulation; communication and social skills necessary for constructive peer relations and group living; and interventions for prevention and management of challenging behaviors. Students are exposed to and engage in evidence-based methods of instruction and critically examine the concept that instruction should be evidence-based.

EDSN 650 Educational Technology in General and Special Education

This course focuses on the use of computers and other technological devices that facilitate communication, learning, and related functions in both general and special education contexts;   use of technology  to foster literacy, remediate reading problems, and promote  access to curriculum for all students;  special applications with computers in the classroom; information literacy; and recent developments in the field of assistive technology for students with disabilities, including students with autism. 

* For Touro College undergraduate education majors who took this course and received a grade of "B" or better, the credits earned will also count as graduate course credit toward the MS degree. However, in the event an undergraduate student does poorly in a graduate-level course and must take it again in their graduate program, financial aid will not be available for such coursework and both grades will appear on the student’s transcript. There are other collateral consequences to such coursework; please consult your advisor or Program Director for more details.

EDSN 626 Patterns of Parenting and Child Care in Relation to Early Intervention and Education

This course focuses on parents and families as the context for growth, development and learning of typically developing children and children with disabilities. Course topics include similarities and differences in family structures and parenting styles in various cultural groups; parents and family members as teachers of young children and collaborators with professional educators; parental and family responses to and coping with a child with disabilities; ways in which early childhood intervention programs build and expand upon the foundation provided by parents; ways in which educators can form constructive educational partnerships with parents; familiarizing parents with special education laws and available, appropriate services for their children and themselves; and assisting parents in being advocates for their children with disabilities. 

SEDN 658 Early Literacy Instruction II

This course focuses on the creation of language-rich environments and holistic approaches to reading and writing instruction that meet the needs of children with varying language preparation and aptitudes, as well as the needs of children from diverse backgrounds.  Course topics include a range of teaching and learning modalities; connections between speech sounds and spelling; ways to help students achieve fluency and comprehension; spelling conventions; special attention to student reading problems, with identification of services and approaches available for children who are not making adequate progress in reading; assessment and remediation of reading problems; language and literacy for gifted students; the importance of coordination of efforts among general educators, special educators, reading specialists, and parents; and approaches used with language-minority children, including the conditions under which greater or lesser emphasis is placed on reading and writing in the native language. Students do one-on-one work with a child who has reading problems and complete a comprehensive case study based on that work. (Please note: EDSN 657 is a prerequisite for this course.)

EDSN 600 History and Philosophy of Education and Special Education

Explores the historical and philosophical underpinnings of modern educational theory and practice, dating back to ancient Greek, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim writings on education and tracking developments into the present. It specifically examines the forces that have shaped educational policies in the United States, highlighting the current debate around meeting the educational and social-emotional needs of students from diverse communities. The role of technology in education and society at large, critical thinking skills, information literacy, and research-based instruction are also featured.

SEDN 683 Practicum II in Early Childhood Special Education, Birth-Grade 2

Students complete one 20-day practicum experience or its equivalent (at least 100 hours) teaching students with disabilities at the pre-K, kindergarten, or grade 1-2 level (inclusion classes with strong special education components are acceptable) and one 20-day experience or its equivalent (at least 100 hours) teaching students with disabilities at a second developmental level. (Please note that over the course of their field experience and practicum courses students must work with children at all three levels.) All student teaching is done in accredited schools with the involvement of appropriately certified supervising and cooperating teachers who submit student evaluation forms at the conclusion of the semester.

Over the course of the field experience and practicum courses, some work is done in a high need school or a school serving a high need community. Students keep time sheets of their hours, respond to questions about early childhood education and special education, analyze lessons of teachers observed, complete a written assignment on their understanding and use of evidence-based methods of instruction and intervention, and complete a comprehensive culminating project in which they analyze and discuss the ways in which various aspects of the program have affected their understanding of, and interventions with, children. Students also write a reflection paper on what they learned from carrying out the work of the case study completed in the second literacy course. This course includes scheduled group meetings. An assigned Touro College faculty member observes practicum students presenting formal lessons in the classroom or other educational facility. (Please note: This course must be taken in the final semester of studies.)

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Non-Credit Tuition-Free Seminars and Workshops

EDDN 511 Seminar in Child Abuse Identification and Reporting

Seminar on the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect; signs and symptoms to look for; ways to approach children; understanding the variety of ways children may convey that they are being abused or neglected; teacher concerns regarding reporting abuse or neglect; rationalizations for not reporting; working with systems; and the aftermath of reporting abuse or neglect.

EDDN 513 Seminar in School Violence Prevention and Intervention

Seminar on statutes, regulations and policies relating to a safe, nonviolent school climate; effective classroom management techniques and academic supports that promote a nonviolent school climate and enhance learning; social and problem-solving skill development for students within the regular school curriculum; warning signs within a developmental and social context that relate to violence and other troubling behaviors in children; intervention techniques to address school violence situations, and how to participate in an effective school/community referral process for students exhibiting violent behavior. 

SEDN 565 3-hour Autism Workshop (required for NYSED certification)

3-hour Autism Workshop (required for NYSED certification)

EDDN 565 6-hour Bullying and Harassment Workshop (required for NYSED certification)

6-hour Bullying and Harassment Workshop (required for NYSED certification)

Non-Credit Seminars and Preparation Workshops for NYSTCE (New York State Teacher Certification Examinations)

EDDN 515 Strengthening Writing and Reading Skills

This 12-session course focuses on enhancing the writing and reading comprehension skills students need to successfully complete graduate-level coursework in degree-bearing programs in the Division of Graduate Studies. The philosophy of the course is that good writing requires good thinking; good writing requires good reading, and students will become better writers and readers through practice, practice, and more practice. With this in mind, an aim of the course is to help students refine their writing and reading at the graduate level through guided instruction, hands-on exercises, many chances to interact with course instructors and peers, and opportunities to practice a variety of approaches to writing and reading. Attention is also paid to the communication skills and strategies students can use when taking required New York State teacher certification and other professional certification tests. Course learning topics and practice exercises and assignments are sequential. The course also provides students with materials on how to research topics for coursework and how to correctly apply APA style to research papers and reflection papers. Attendance at all 12 sessions is mandatory.

This course is offered in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. Classes meet weekly for two-and-a-half hours. Course instructors provide expert writing and reading help and are experienced in helping students write and read with greater ability and confidence.

Students are required to maintain a portfolio of their writing and reading assignments and exercises. Portfolios are established authentic assessment tools used to measure students’ progress in writing skills development and critical reading and to indicate where extra help may be needed in these areas. Weekly written feedback from course instructors will be included in each student’s portfolio. Summary progress reports will be provided to the students at the midpoint and final session of the course.

Graduate-level writing should be error free. With this in mind, students will be provided with materials on standard American English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation and spelling.

This course is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Students must complete all writing and reading assignments and bring their portfolios to all sessions. All assignments must be completed on time. One late assignment is permitted as long as it is completed and submitted the next scheduled session. Students who fail to comply with these requirements will be dropped from the course.

EDSN 567 edTPA Test Preparation Seminar

This test preparation course is a non-credit, non-graded course that focuses on the creation of a learning segment with at least three lesson presentations within a structure of a Planning Section, Instruction Section, and Assessment Section, along with attention given to work on expressive and receptive language skills, as required by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for the Ed Teacher Performance Assessment (EdTPA) that is now a NYSED requirement for NYS Initial Teacher Certification.

EDDN 562 CST Students with Disabilities Workshop

CST Students with Disabilities Workshop

EDDN 580 Educating All Students Exam Prep

This non-credit, non-graded seminar helps candidates to prepare for the Educating All Students exam. The exam content focuses on effectively teaching diverse student populations, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities as well as competencies related to the parent-school connection and the professional responsibilities of effective educators. This exam is required by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for all candidates seeking New York State Initial Teacher Certification and School Leadership certification.