Hofstra University’s School of Education is launching an online program this fall leading to an MSEd in Special Education: International Perspectives, aimed at providing educators worldwide with tools to build services for students with special needs. There are many countries around the world with no formal education or training for teachers and administrators who want to work in special education. Hofstra’s is the only program of its kind in New York, and it was developed in response to the 2012 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which called on countries to protect the rights of persons with disabilities and to view them as equal members of society.
Dr. Elfreda Blue, associate professor and graduate director, says, “This is a phenomenal time to become a special educator. We actually find that countries worldwide are now committed to making education inclusive for all learners.”
She says that “10 percent of the population worldwide lives with some type of disability,” and in developing countries, many of these people are unable to go to school or take advantage of resources their community offers. By putting this graduate program online, Dr. Blue hopes it will draw an international student body with a shared goal of “providing access and inclusion for students and individuals with special needs.”
Students in this 31 semester-hour program receive instruction in the foundations of special education, working with parents, assessment and diagnosis, intervention and strategies, curriculum and methods of instruction, behavior management, and current research and issues in the field.
Program participants learn special education curriculum across developmental levels (early childhood, elementary, adolescent, and adult) and a range of disabilities. Upon completion of the program degree recipients have the ability to apply the special education content within their own professional areas to meet the goals of education for students with disabilities. This degree does not lead to New York state certification in Special Education.
Upon graduation, participants are ready to serve as leaders in countries around the world that are committed to meeting the UN’s goals regarding the education of special needs students and their place in society.
For more information on the MSEd in Special Education: International Perspectives contact Dr. Blue at 516-463-5762 or Elfreda.Blue@hofstra.edu.