The Loading... program is designed to provide a sequenced program of study that provides the knowledge and competencies to effectively address the needs of individuals with mild to moderate disabilities in primarily inclusive settings. This program is open to anyone interested in obtaining skills that are applicable in a traditional classroom setting, as well as a variety of non-classroom contexts.
The program will provide participants with more knowledge and clinical experience with which to create an inclusive classroom that incorporates the essential principles of Universal Design for Learning. Coursework in the program will provide participants with a deeper understanding of the range and characteristics of learning disabilities and tools with which to differentiate learning in and out of the classroom.
Upon completing the program, participants who already hold a teaching certification may be able to apply for an additional teaching certificate in Students with Disabilities at the grade level consistent with their initial classroom-teaching certificate. Note that obtaining certification takes place after the completion of this program and is something the student must complete individually. SUNY Potsdam does not recommend for certification as typical with other degree programs.
The certification program was life-changing for me and I am still so grateful for the opportunities it provided.Special Education Teacher, Salmon River High School
What You Will Learn
- Expertise in creating an inclusionary classroom environment, and implementing differentiated instruction to help those with special learning needs and styles perform at the highest level possible.
- The ability to assess and diagnose students with mild to moderate disabilities, and design interventions and curriculum to meet their needs.
- Creative approaches for integrating technology into classroom to enhance learning.
- Collaboration and communication skills central for working as part of a school team addressing the unique needs of B-12 learners.
- Knowledge of behavior management strategies to help classrooms and other learning environments to run smoothly.
- Foundational knowledge about current issues, policy, and educational research in the field of special education.
Unique Program Features
- Classes are scheduled in late afternoons and evenings to accommodate working teachers, enabling them to complete the program part-time in only 12 months.
- Flexible course scheduling with two enrollment locations in Potsdam and Watertown.
- Opportunities to attend professional development workshops and/or conferences to help further your understanding of educational content and pedagogy.
- Small class sizes promote close relationships with professors and fellow classmates. Students graduate with a cohort who provides support throughout the length of their future careers.
- 12-15 minimum credits
- 3-6 months is the approximate minimum time to complete (assumes full time attendance)
- Rolling deadline to submit application materials
- Start date: Summer*
*Part-time options are available during the academic year
Make a Meaningful Impact
This program is designed to provide you with practical skills and knowledge within the field of inclusive and special education, so that you can make a meaningful impact in the lives of children who need it most.
Our faculty and program are dedicated to preparing knowledgeable and passionate inclusive and special education professionals with strong commitments to equity and diversity, excellence in their practice, social responsibility and critical reflection.
Role in Education
Professionals working in the special education field work with students who have an array of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. They wear many hats, serving as both an educator and an advocate for students with special needs.