Master of Arts in Teaching Adolescent Special Education (MAT SpEd)

Empire State College’s Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education program is a 45-credit, clinically-rich residency program available in the Buffalo, Syracuse, Latham, and New York City areas. The program’s philosophy and subsequent courses are based on an inclusive model that prepares teacher candidates for collaboration and co-teaching in the inclusion classroom. Completion of this degree program and passing scores on the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations lead to NYS Students with Disabilities 7-12 Generalist Initial and Professional Certification.

The M.A.T. in Special Education program’s goal is twofold:

  1. to produce caring and highly specialized teachers who have the ability to meet the challenges in today’s inclusion classrooms; and
  2. to produce teacher candidates who facilitate the growth of their students by empowering students to actively participate in their learning and reach their highest potential.

Particular attention will be given to instructional design for the inclusive and co-teaching classrooms; special education identification and assessment practices; classroom management and behavioral interventions; foundations of research with an emphasis on research methods, statistical analysis and interpretation; and applied behavioral analysis for severe stereotypic behavior.

Teacher candidates will complete 100 hours of pre-residency classroom field observations, two residency terms under the supervision of a critic teacher, 45 credit hours of coursework, and a capstone action research project to meet program requirements leading to initial certification.

Program Delivery

Curriculum delivery is blended using multiple delivery formats including online, face to face (Buffalo, Syracuse, Latham, & New York City only), video conference, and other technologies.

Important Information Regarding Prior Criminal History

State University of New York (SUNY) policy prohibits SUNY Empire State College admission applications from inquiring into an applicant’s prior criminal history. After acceptance, the College shall inquire if the student previously has been convicted of a felony if such individual seeks campus housing or participation in clinical or field experiences, internships or study abroad programs. The information required to be disclosed under SUNY policy regarding such felony convictions shall be reviewed by a standing campus committee consistent with the legal standards articulated in New York State Corrections Law.

Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs (e.g. teacher certification programs) and/or to meet licensure/certification requirements for certain professions (e.g. K-12 teaching). Students who have concerns about such matters are advised to contact the dean's office of their intended academic program.

The Classroom Academy Program

Classroom Academy Logo in the shape of an apple with red bands around it

The Classroom Academy residency model is a pathway option within our existing 3-year MAT program. After the first year of the program, Classroom Academy Residents are fully integrated into a host school for year 2 and 3. MAT students will teach alongside a Critic Teacher, under a gradual release of responsibility model. Over 2 years, the Resident will gradually take over the responsibilities of the teacher, including following curriculum, lesson planning, and classroom leadership. Residents will have the support and guidance of their Critic Teacher, Field Supervisor and course instructors over 2 years while working in their placement.

Residents are eligible for a living stipend through the Classroom Academy P-12 partners of $22,000 per year. In addition, students are welcome to apply for a Federal Works Study grant, which would be applied during the period of time the student is acting as the teacher in their residency placement. Completion of this program will give each Resident 1 year to count towards their professional certification.