General and Program Specific Requirements for Teaching Students with Disabilities in Early Childhood (Birth-Grade 2)
06. Teaching Students with Disabilities in Early Childhood (Birth-Grade 2)
The following regulations for Teaching Students with Disabilities in Early Childhood (Birth - Grade 2) certificate programs are effective September 28, 2022.
Content Core Requirements
The content core shall be a major, concentration, or the equivalent in one or more of the liberal arts and sciences, which, in combination with the pedagogical core, ensures that the candidate has a knowledge base for teaching to the State learning standards for students in the following areas of the early childhood education curriculum: the arts; career development and occupational studies; English language arts; health, physical education, and family and consumer sciences; world languages; mathematics, science and technology; and social studies, as prescribed in Part 100 of this Title. The program shall include a requirement that the candidate complete study in the subject(s) to be taught which shall prepare candidates with the knowledge base to teach the subject(s) and shall prepare candidates for refining and expanding that knowledge base.
General Pedagogical Core Requirements
The program shall include the following:
- human developmental processes and variations, including but not limited to: the impact of culture, heritage, socioeconomic level, personal health and safety, nutrition, past or present abusive or dangerous environment, and factors in the home, school, and community on students’ readiness to learn -- and skill in applying that understanding to create a safe and nurturing learning environment that is free of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and that fosters the health and learning of all students, and the development of a sense of community and respect for one another;
- learning processes, motivation, communication, and classroom management -- and skill in applying those understandings to stimulate and sustain student interest, cooperation, and achievement to each student’s highest level of learning in preparation for productive work, citizenship in a democracy, and continuing growth;
- means for understanding the needs of students with disabilities, including at least three semester hours of study for teachers to develop the skills necessary to provide instruction that will promote the participation and progress of students with disabilities in the general education curriculum. The three semester hour requirement shall include study in at least the following areas: the categories of disabilities; identification and remediation of disabilities; the special education process and state and federal special education laws and regulations; effective practices for planning and designing co-teaching and collaboration with peers; individualizing instruction; and applying positive behavioral supports and interventions to address student and classroom management needs. When such requirements cannot be completed in three semester hours, the remaining study requirements may be included in other courses. This three semester hour requirement may be waived at the discretion of the commissioner, upon a showing that the program provides adequate instruction to prepare candidates on understanding the needs of students with disabilities through other means;
- language acquisition and literacy development by native English speakers and students who are English language learners -- and skill in developing the listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills of all students;
- curriculum development, instructional planning, and multiple research-validated instructional strategies for teaching students within the full range of abilities -- and skill in designing and offering differentiated instruction that enhances the learning of all students in the content area(s) of the certificate;
- uses of technology, including instructional and assistive technology, in teaching and learning -- and skill in using technology and teaching students to use technology to acquire information, communicate, and enhance learning;
- formal and informal methods of assessing student learning and the means of analyzing one’s own teaching practice -- and skill in using information gathered through assessment and analysis to plan or modify instruction, and skill in using various resources to enhance teaching;
- history, philosophy, and role of education, the rights and responsibilities of teachers and other professional staff, students, parents, community members, school administrators, and others with regard to education, and the importance of productive relationships and interactions among the school, home, and community for enhancing student learning -- and skill in fostering effective relationships and interactions to support student growth and learning, including skill in resolving conflicts;
- means to update knowledge and skills in the subject(s) taught and in pedagogy;
- means for identifying and reporting suspected child abuse and maltreatment, which shall include at least two clock hours of coursework or training regarding the identification and reporting of suspected child abuse or maltreatment, in accordance with the requirements of section 3004 of the Education Law;
- means for instructing students for the purpose of preventing child abduction, in accordance with Education Law section 803-a; preventing alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse, in accordance with Education Law section 804; providing safety education, in accordance with Education Law section 806; and providing instruction in fire and arson prevention, in accordance with Education Law section 808; and
- means for the prevention of and intervention in school violence, in accordance with section 3004 of the Education Law. This study shall be composed of at least two clock hours of course work or training that includes, but is not limited to, study in the warning signs within a developmental and social context that relate to violence and other troubling behaviors in children; the statutes, regulations and policies relating to a safe nonviolent school climate; effective classroom management techniques and other academic supports that promote a nonviolent school climate and enhance learning; the integration of social and problem solving skill development for students within the regular curriculum; intervention techniques designed to address a school violence situation; and how to participate in an effective school/community referral process for students exhibiting violent behavior.
- means for the prevention of and intervention in harassment, bullying (including cyberbullying) and discrimination in accordance with section 14 of the Education Law. Such study shall include six clock hours of course work or training on the social patterns of harassment, bullying and discrimination, as defined in section 11 of the Education Law, including but not limited to those acts based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex; the identification and mitigation of harassment, bullying and discrimination; and strategies for effectively addressing problems of exclusion, bias and aggression in educational settings.
Program-Specific Pedagogical Core Requirements
The program shall include the following:
- historical, social, and legal foundations of special education, employment and independence for individuals with disabilities;
- characteristics of learners with disabilities;
- managing behavior of students with disabilities and promoting development of positive social interaction skills;
- participating in collaborative partnerships for the benefit of students with disabilities, including family strengthening partnerships;
- assessment, diagnosis, and evaluation of students with disabilities;
- curriculum development and research-validated methods of instructing students with disabilities, including methods of teaching reading and mathematics and methods of enrichment and remediation in reading and mathematics;
- at least six semester hours of study in teaching the literacy skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing to native English speakers and students who are English language learners. This six-semester-hour requirement may be waived upon a showing of good cause satisfactory to the Commissioner, including but not limited to a showing that the program provides adequate instruction in language acquisition and literacy development through other means;
- use of assistive and instructional technology in the teaching of and learning by students with disabilities;
- understanding the needs of students with autism, including, but not limited to, the etiology, prevalence, characteristics, and evidence-based instructional methodology for teaching students with autism, instructional design and supports to promote communication and socialization skills and skill generalization and maintenance; positive behavioral supports, functional behavioral assessments and behavioral intervention plans; collaboration between the home, class, school and community to ensure that students are supported in the general education environment; and knowledge of resources such as early childhood supports, respite care, state agencies, transition services and vocational rehabilitation services and parent support networks and associations that are available to support students and families;
- planning and managing teaching and learning environments for individuals with disabilities, including planning for and supporting students with disabilities in general education settings;
- processes of social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic, physical, and aesthetic growth and development in early childhood within socio-cultural contexts and how to provide learning experiences and conduct assessments reflecting understanding of those processes; and
- a focus on developing comprehensive knowledge, understanding, and skills for teaching students with mild, moderate, severe, and multiple disabilities;
- a focus on developing comprehensive knowledge, understanding, and skills for teaching students with disabilities who are culturally and linguistically diverse.
Clinical Experiences: Field Experiences, Student Teaching and Practica Requirements
For registered programs with candidates who first enroll prior to the Fall 2024 semester:
The program shall include:
at least 100 clock hours of field experiences related to coursework prior to student teaching or practica; and
at least 15 of the 100 clock hours of field experience shall include a focus on understanding the needs of students with disabilities.
The program shall also include:
at least two college-supervised student-teaching experiences with students with disabilities of at least 20 school days each in at least two of the following early childhood settings; pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and/or grades 1 through 2 ; or
at least one college-supervised student-teaching experience with students with disabilities of at least 40 school days, provided that:
the combined field experiences and student teaching with students with disabilities shall include all three early childhood settings; pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1 through 2: and
the mentoring teacher of record at the school or school district where the student teacher is placed holds a certificate in the certificate title or in a closely related area; and is designated by the school or district as a teacher mentor or coach or is rated effective or highly effective in their most recent annual professional performance review conducted pursuant to section 3012-c of the Education Law or holds a national board certificate.
The program shall ensure field experiences and student-teaching experiences with students with disabilities in each of the three early childhood groups, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1 through 2.
For candidates holding another classroom teaching certificate or for candidates who are simultaneously preparing for another classroom teaching certificate and completing the full field experience for that other certificate, the programs shall require such candidates to complete at least the equivalent of 50 clock hours of field experiences and at least 20 days of practica or student teaching with students with disabilities in early childhood, including pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1 through 2.
For registered programs with candidates who first enroll for the Fall 2024 semester and thereafter:
The program shall include:
- at least 100 clock hours of field experiences related to coursework prior to student teaching or practica, provided that at least 15 of the 100 clock hours of field experiences shall include a focus on understanding the needs of students with disabilities.
- a college supervised student teaching or practicum experience of at least a full semester of at least 70 school days, or its equivalent, in an early childhood students with disabilities setting, and in alignment with the daily schedule and annual calendar of that educational setting; provided that candidates pursuing more than one certificate title may complete placements of at least 35 school days for each certificate title.
The student teaching or practicum must:
- address each of the applicable general and program-specific pedagogical core requirements for an early childhood students with disabilities program.
- be designed to provide candidates with opportunities to practice teaching skills identified in the New York State Teaching Standards in an early childhood students with disabilities setting, co-supervised by a university-based teacher educator and a certified school-based teacher educator.
The combination of clinical experiences must:
- meet or exceed the specific requirements for the early childhood students with disabilities certificate and,
- address the full range of student developmental levels in early childhood students with disabilities, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1 through 2
Limited Exemption for candidates holding teacher certification:
A candidate who is enrolled in a graduate-level program leading to certification in one or more certificates shall be exempt from the requirements for clinical experiences if such candidate satisfies one or more of the following conditions: 1) they have completed a New York State registered teacher preparation program prior to enrollment and hold an Initial and/or Professional certificate 2) hold National Board certification or 3) have at least one year of effective teaching under a valid New York State or out-of-state teaching license or certificate.
Clinical experience requirements for candidates that qualify for the limited exemption:
The clinical experience shall require the candidate to complete at least 50 clock hours of student teaching or practica, where such experiences focus on the applicable program-specific pedagogical core requirements for the early childhood students with disabilities certificate and must occur with actual students with disabilities in early childhood educational settings.