2021-2022 College Catalog 
    Feb 01, 2023  
2021-2022 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Developmental and Special Education

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Chairperson: Ken Hoyte 718 270 4829 office 718 270 4828 fax khoyte@mec.cuny.edu
Office: B 1007 C
Faculty: Ivor Baker, Kamau Chow-Tai, Ken Hoyte, Margareth Lafontant, Michele Meredith, Donna Wright

General Information

All degrees and programs offered were developed based on Medgar Evers College’s Mission and the School of Education Conceptual Framework and Standards for cultural literacy, responsiveness, excellence and academic achievement resulting in the ability to ‘Educate to Liberate’ locally, nationally, and globally.

The School of Education’s Department of Developmental and Special Education has developmental and special education programs. Developmental Education addresses the need for college students to increase their readiness and preparation in literacy, writing and mathematics in order to attain and master academic and career skills. Students can simultaneously earn college credits while fully engaging in improving skills to facilitate appropriate responses to the demands of college level critical literacy, numeracy and writing. Additionally, the Department’s two special education degrees prepare teacher candidates to successfully teach early and elementary school students at-risk for academic failure, students experiencing atypical development, and students with special needs. The degrees are Early Childhood Special Education (Birth thru Grade 2) and Childhood Special Education (Grade 1 thru Grade 2). Both degrees are nationally accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The degree programs are recognized by the Special Professional Associations, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The standards associated with the Special Professional Associations specify the excellence that our candidates are expected to achieve, and this is articulated in each course’s expected Student Learning Outcomes.

Developmental Education

The aim of the Developmental Education sector is to empower students to reach and manifest their fullest potential, beyond demonstrable understanding and mastery of the particular content area. To that end, this division of the department employs multidimensional pedagogical approaches in administering various content areas (such as writing, math, and reading) to students in the higher education arena. Specifically, it focuses on the underprepared student’s challenges with cognition (the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses), affect (the experience of the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion or feeling as a key part of the process of one’s interaction with stimuli), identity (personal conception and expression that help to establish the fact that one sees himself or herself radically different in different settings), and other aspects of the college context.

Special Education

The special education degree programs utilize constructivism to assist candidates in developing meaningful learning experiences for the students they will teach. Each special education degree program requires the application of course’s theoretical perspectives to an authentic field setting facilitating gains in developmental and contextual understandings of diverse students and deeper understanding of applying pedagogical and content knowledge to diverse settings. Graduates are expected to be able to identify gaps in knowledge, promote academic excellence, and use culturally responsive pedagogy to liberate and empower ethnically diverse students. Additionally, Special Education majors learn the skills required to develop and implement individualized family service plans (IFSPs) for infants and toddlers and/or individualized education programs (IEPs) for older preschoolers and children. Our graduates are also equipped with the skills to teach all students in a variety of settings, including: one-on-one, small group, whole classroom selfcontained, general education or inclusive learning settings.

Students enrolled in our Special Education teacher preparation programs have received financial support through scholarships from federal grants totaling over $4M. These special education scholars participated in additional preparation to work with the growing population of typically special needs children from a diversity of cultural and language backgrounds in our nation’s early childhood and elementary schools.

If you are searching for a career path that will enable you to play a prominent role in the lives of children with special needs and their families, we recommend that you consider the dual special education teacher preparation programs we have to offer. As the number of children diagnosed with developmental disabilities continues to rise, so does the demand for qualified special education teachers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for special education teachers is estimated to grow by nearly 10% by the year 2026.

Whether you are new to education or a preschool or primary school teacher looking to refocus your career on special education, the programs we offer can help you achieve your goals.

Offered as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, undergraduate programs in the Department provide a comprehensive course of study in Special Education with a solid foundation in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. These teacher preparation programs in Special Education are focused on pedagogy for either the early childhood level (birth -grade 2) or the primary/elementary grades (Kindergarten-grade 6).

See the Course of Study at the end of this narrative. The Institute of Cognitive Development provides additional support informing our research based practices to keep pace with emerging trends and continuous reforms in education. The Special Education Degree Programs prepare teacher candidates to work locally, nationally and internationally.

Institute of Cognitive Development

The MEC Center for Cognitive Development has been designed to be a research-based repository of resources for all stakeholders involved in the education of culturally and linguistically diverse populations: researchers, policy-makers, school leaders, teachers, parents and students. The Center is be housed in the School of Education to serve all academic departments as well as feeder programs and other educational initiatives undertaken by the College, including the MEC Pipeline Initiative. Led by Dr. Ken J. Hoyte, a faculty member with a PhD in Neuroscience, the Center will promote innovative research focused on the many variables that impact learning among culturally and linguistically diverse populations and will provide a variety of services and resources aimed at improving educational outcomes.

How to Become a Teacher in New York

To become a New York teacher, a candidate must meet the requirements stipulated by the Office of Teaching Initiatives of the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Like most states, New York requires that all state teachers hold a bachelor’s degree, complete a New York teacher certification program, and pass the required content examinations. Upon meeting the requirements for certification, an applicant may be issued an initial certificate, which is valid for five years. This entry-level certificate leads to the professional certificate, which is an advanced level license that is continuously valid, assuming the teacher completes the appropriate number of professional development hours every five years.

New York Teacher Testing Requirements

There are several exams that are required for obtaining a teaching license in special education and general education in New York. The first is the Educating All Students (EAS) test, which measures direct teaching skills and knowledge. All prospective teachers must also pass the edTPA, which measures teaching performance and instructional practice. To teach in a general education setting, which requires candidates to teach core subjects, must also pass the appropriate Content Specialty Test (CST) specifically the Multi-subject test at either the early of childhood level. To teach in a special education setting, candidates must pass the Content Specialty Test: Students with Disabilities. You can find more specific information through the New York State Teacher Certification

Examinations Website

The of Developmental and Special Education receives requests to certify a candidate as a teacher, following graduation in June, July, and August, so it’s recommended to send in all information three to four months in advance of an estimated date of employment. The required steps to obtain a New York educator certificate are as follows:

Verification of background clearance by the state.

  • Official transcripts showing proof of bachelor’s degree.
  • Proof of completing a teacher preparation program at an approved school.
  • Passing scores on the required examinations.
  • Completed application for teaching certification in New York.
  • Payment of non-refundable processing fees.

Special Education Baccalaureate Degree Programs

The Developmental and Special Education Department in the School of Education currently offers the following dual-certificate degree programs:

  • BA in Early Childhood/ Special Education (Birth - Grade 2)
  • BA in Childhood/ Special Education (Grades 1 - 6)

There is a 36 credit General Education Core that all Medgar Evers College students must complete. This part of the college’s program is designed to provide students with general knowledge and intellectual skills that actively engage students in making connections across disciplines, and prepares them for civic responsibility and leadership roles in their own communities and in a rapidly changing technological world. Courses from this General Education Core draw from a number of academic departments, including: English, Mathematics, History, Music and the Arts, Mass Communications, Sciences, and Modem Languages.

Our Bachelor’s of Education programs include a concentration in one of the following academic content areas (27 - 30 credits): English Mathematics Science Social Studies & Psychology (only Early Childhood Special Education)

Candidates take Education courses, that form a School of Education core of 15 credits and a Program-Specific Pedagogical Core of 40 credits.

The Department of Developmental and Special Education is committed to assisting students to improve their proficiencies so that they can successfully navigate college coursework and requirements. Expert remedial education instructors provide students with skills enrichment in Critical Reading, Professional Writing and Critical Numeracy. This program offers extensive instruction, tutoring and mentoring to students through individualized and small group in-class sessions, accompanied by online practice sessions to boost content area skills.


    Bachelor of Arts

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