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Early Childhood and Special Education, M.Ed.

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Lifetime success begins in early childhood.

Become a New York State certified teacher in Early Childhood Education (birth-grade 2) and Students with Disabilities (birth-grade 2) through this affordable and flexible dual certification program, developed for working adults who want to become teachers.

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Do you need questions about the program and the admissions process answered? Reach out via email at age-admissions@roberts.edu or schedule an appointment with our Adult & Graduate Enrollment Representative.

Start Terms

Earn Initial Teacher Certification in Rochester, NY

  • August 26, 2024
    Hybrid only

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Get More Info by clicking below to request details on our program admissions, curriculum, tuition, and more.


Program Details

15-week semesters

16 months full-time
28 months part-time

20 students

Why Choose a M.Ed. at Roberts?

A Master’s degree from Roberts Wesleyan University in Early Childhood and Special Education offers an excellent advantage. With a profound need for teachers in the early childhood classroom today, many young children benefit from coaching and early intervention.

Early Childhood programs require trained educational professionals who offer positive behavior support, supporting students with grace and patience. If you want a teaching license that allows you to be a part of community organizations that support children, childcare centers for learners with special needs, and the formulation of new alternative learning programs, a master's degree is an essential asset.

Our Early Childhood and Special Education master's degree equips baccalaureate graduates with evidence-based practices and field experiences they can use in early childhood classrooms and intervention programs.

The Early Childhood and Special Education program consists of four terms and students can complete courses in a hybrid format. Half of the courses in the program are provided asynchronously online and the other half are face-to-face courses that meet at the Roberts Wesleyan University main campus.

Program Highlights

Work-friendly schedule (evening and online classes with full/part-time options)

Interview prep with local principals and superintendents

Faculty coaching through the certification process

Review sessions for certification exams

Teacher Immersion Fellowship Program (paid work in schools while enrolled)

Focus on connecting theory and practice

Career Outlook


  • Teacher


  • Rochester City School District
  • Charter Schools
  • Public Schools
  • Private Schools

Early Childhood Education-Focused Learning in Every Term

As a student, you can expect to learn the following per term.

What You'll Learn in Your First Term

Your first term features core courses that will familiarize you with the foundations of lesson planning, literacy, and special education. You will learn to identify teaching strategies that work in various contexts in different schools. You will formulate unit and lesson plans that conform to New York State Learning Standards.

The diversity of student backgrounds forms a defining characteristic of every New York classroom. Your first term will teach you the foundations of culturally responsive teaching.

What You'll Learn in Your Second Term

Your second term will expand your understanding and application of literacy and mathematics methods of instruction, assessment in special education, and proactively managing the learning environment. You will learn how to differentiate instruction, adjusting your lesson plan to your students' results from various assessments aligned with New York State standards.

What You'll Learn in Your Third Term

In your third term, you will learn about the cognitive, physical, and emotional development.

Also, you will learn to work with families and caregivers of children enrolled in early childhood programs from birth to age seven. Additionally, you will learn to use programs and applications to support instructional technology and adaptive needs.

Finally, you will complete a Master’s Project that connects research to your practice as an educator.

What You'll Learn in Your Final Term

The final term in all Roberts Wesleyan University degree programs focuses on applying pedagogy and content knowledge in the classroom through student teaching. This phase supports continued development of teachers by providing experience through daily practice in the school and classroom.

A Capstone Seminar will allow you to thrive in various classroom environments using real-time situational analysis and role-playing scenarios with educators. You will learn to adjust to school cultures, laws, and changing professional ethics.

The final courses in your program feature supervised teaching experiences with college faculty members and school based mentor teachers.

Additional New York State Requirements

The Early Childhood and Special Education program requires the completion of the following workshops, tests, and seminars before earning a New York State certification:

  • 150 hours of field experience
  • 14 weeks of student teaching practicum
  • Certification exams
  • State mandated safety workshops

Related Majors

Adolescence and Special Education, M.Ed. - Prepare for New York State teaching certification and earn a Masters in Adolescence Education, as well as a Masters in Adolescence Special Education (Grades 7-12) in an affordable and flexible dual certification program developed for time constrained adults.
School Psychology, M.S. - Our Masters in School Psychology program prepares students to evaluate, diagnose, and treat children and adolescents, in consultation with parents and teachers.
Adult and Graduate Admissions - 585.594.6600 | 800.777.4792 (toll free) - AGE-Admissions@roberts.edu