Master of Science in Education (Grades 1-6)

  • Learn to differentiate instruction among diverse learners in grades 1-6 and be more employable as a dual-certified elementary teacher equipped for regular, special, and inclusive education.
  • Nazareth defines inclusion as a multi-faceted process in which every student, with or without special needs, is nurtured to pursue a meaningful life.
  • Benefit from Nazareth’s accomplished faculty and clinically rich, innovative approaches to learning, which have given the College’s inclusive education programs a long, proud history of transforming dedicated learners into well-prepared, effective educators in urban, rural and suburban schools.
  • Program graduates are recommended for two New York state certifications: teaching grades 1-6 and teaching students with disabilities at the initial and professional levels. 

Program Options

Initial Certification (48 credits)

Program is ideal for:

  • Career re-inventors — people who want to become elementary school teachers.
  • Recent college graduates, not yet certified as teachers, who want to teach students in grades 1-6 with a wide range of learning styles/capabilities, including students with disabilities (special education).

Additional Certification at the Same Developmental Level (36 credits)

Program is ideal for teachers certified for grades 1-6 who want to also be certified to teach students with disabilities in grades 1-6.

Additional Certification, Changing Developmental Level (39 credits)

Program is ideal for certified teachers who want to extend their certification to teach students in grades 1-6.

Professional Certification at the Same Developmental Level (36 credits)

Program is ideal for:

  • Teachers initially certified in both childhood education and teaching students with disabilities grades 1-6 who need a master’s degree
  • Teachers or professionals who want to concentrate on students with severe or multiple disabilities (an annotation) or gifted and talented education (an extension).

See clinical assistantship option below to save money and gain experience.

Career Information

  • Employment of kindergarten and elementary school teachers nationwide is projected to grow 12 percent by 2022, due to projected increases in enrollment and declines in student-teacher ratios, according to the U.S. Occupational Outlook Handbook.
  • Openings vary by region. Many Nazareth education graduates work in the Rochester region, providing extensive practicum and networking opportunities.

Clinical Assistantships

Save a third of the total tuition cost and gain valuable experience as a clinical assistant. A limited number of full-time students in the professional or additional certification master’s degree get selected to work two days a week in a secondary school on a research project or on a residency project. Clinical assistantship details and the application are online.

Urban Education Grant

A TOC state grant can provide up to half the cost of tuition for eligible students from racial/ethnic groups historically underrepresented in the teaching field who are committed to teaching in high-need urban schools. Learn more about TOC »

From the Field

"The childhood inclusion program at Nazareth helped me to discover my full potential as an inclusive educator by supporting my research-based curricular studies as well as my practical field experience training. The professors at Nazareth are passionate educators who believe in the ability of all learners."

Meghan Zumbo '12G, first-grade teacher at Victor Early Childhood School, Victor Central School District

What to Expect
  • Clinically rich program
  • Classes taught on-site in local elementary schools
  • Exposure to rural, urban, and suburban schools
  • Classes are offered mostly evenings, in both traditional (on campus) and hybrid (partly online) formats
  • Choose part-time or full-time; full-time students can complete a program in as little as 14 to 20 months
  • Individual advisement is available for program planning and support in applying for N.Y. state certification
  • You have the option to get specialized preparation in teaching students with autism and students with severe or multiple disabilities, and a federal grant may cover your cost for those courses. See details about the Interdisciplinary Specialty Program in Autism (I-SPAN) specialization and the I-SPAN Scholars grant opportunity, which also can cover the Teaching Students with Severe or Multiple Disabilities annotation.
  • You have the option to take a three-course elective sequence to earn a local certificate of specialization in deafness.

Curriculum Examples
  • Social Foundations of Education
  • Strategies for Complex Learners in an Inclusive Classroom
  • Diverse Learners Learning and Learning Environments
  • Science: Curriculum and Methodology
  • Math: Curriculum and Methodology
  • Literacy, Language Arts, and Social Studies: Curriculum and Methodology
  • Capstone Seminar

Program Requirements & Course Descriptions

Program Director

Ellen Contopidis

Ellen Contopidis

Professor / Graduate Inclusive Childhood Education Program Director in Inclusive Childhood Education
Golisano Academic Center 251

Education: B.A., Herbert H. Lehman of CUNY; M.S. Ed., SUNY College of Brockport; Ph.D., SUNY, University Center at Albany

Teaching and Research Interests: Special Education, Transition Services, Disproportionality in Special Education, Universal Design for Learning, Interprofessional Education, Assessment in Teacher Education

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