Master of Arts in Special Education

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The Master of Arts in Special Education Program is designed to prepare certified teachers to teach students with special needs in a variety of settings. This program provides opportunities for students to understand the nature and causes of disabilities, become familiar with agencies and resources for persons with disabilities, and learn best practices and materials for teaching students with disabilities. This knowledge base, combined with a variety of shared experiences, provides opportunities for teachers to develop their expertise and become confident in their ability to work with students with special needs and become leaders in meeting the challenges of diverse classrooms.

For individuals who already hold New Jersey Teacher of the Handicapped or Teacher of Students with Disabilities certification, a 33-credit sequence is available to provide opportunities for them to further develop their knowledge base and become experts in the field of special education.

For individuals who are currently prepared to teach in general education settings, a 39-credit course sequence is designed to strengthen their preparation to meet the needs of all children, particularly those with disabilities. Students who currently hold a regular New Jersey instructional certificate in another field and successfully complete the program will be eligible for a New Jersey Teacher of Students with Disabilities Endorsement.

Course Requirements

Students entering with an undergraduate degree in education and teacher certification will be required to take the following courses in each area listed. Special education courses in Group II (Core Courses) must be completed in order based on the prerequisites. Based upon a review of previous coursework by their advisor, students entering with an undergraduate degree in special education and certification, as a teacher of students with disabilities or teacher of the handicapped may be able to waive up to 9 credits.

Headshot of Diane Casale-Giannola
Bierenbaum Fisher Hall 102E

Academic Background

  • Doctor of Education (Administration and Leadership), New York University
  • Advanced Certificate (Educational Supervision and Administration) Brooklyn College
  • Master of Science (Educational Psychology and Statistics/Special Education) Albany University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Albany University


  • Nasim Dil Service Award, Council for Exceptional Children – Teacher Education Division – National recognition for outstanding service 2010