Program Details - SUNY Cortland

Program Details

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

Special Education Program

Foundations and Social Advocacy Department
Janet Duncan, chair
David Smukler, 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.

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.

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 (submitted online with the application).
  4. A personal statement (submitted online with the application) 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.

Admissions Criteria

Preference will be given to candidates with the following:

An overall undergraduate GPA of 2.8 and above on a 4.0 scale.

Note 1:  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.

Note 2:  An interview with the TSD 7-12 program coordinator or designee may be required if deemed necessary after application review.


Fall semester applications: July 1

Applications submitted after the 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)

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 [[permalink=43|new:{'title':1}]][[/permalink]] section of this catalog.

A. Core Courses: 12 credit hours
  • EDU 671 - Issues in Foundations of Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 515 - Introduction to Disability Studies in Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 651 - Understanding and Conducting Educational Research (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 653 - Master's Project TSD 7-12 (3 cr. hr.)
    Students who do not successfully complete FSA 653 must register for
  • FSA 697 - Extension of Graduate Culminating Activity (1 cr. hr.)
B. Content Courses: 20 credit hours
  • FSA 530 - Assistive Technology and Augmentative Communication (1 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 615 - Assessment for Adolescents with Disabilities (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 620 - Discipline and Social Skill Development (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 625 - Inclusive Curricular Pedagogy for Adolescents with Disabilities (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 630 - Students with Disabilities in Context (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 683 - Administration of Special Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 694 - Internship: Teaching Students with Disabilities 7-12 (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 695 - Seminar: Teaching Adolescents with Disabilities (1 cr. hr.)
C. One Diversity Course: 3 credit hours

Choose from the following:

  • EDU 552 - Gender Issues in Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 505 - Sociology of Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 525 - Teaching the Inner City Child (3 cr. hr.)
  • SAB 550 - Education Institute in Western Belize (3 cr. hr.)
Total credit hours: 35
Required Workshops

Complete the following workshops:

  • Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting (CARR)
  • Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
  • Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE)
Annotation in Severe or Multiple Disabilities: 6 credit hours
  • FSA 640 - Teaching Students with Severe/Multiple Disabilities (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 650 - Autism Spectrum Disorders (3 cr. hr.)