Special Education and Childhood Education (1-6), B.S.

Degree Type
Bachelor of Science

Teachers equipped with a degree in childhood special education possess the potential to profoundly influence the lives of children, particularly those attending elementary school with unique learning requirements.

At SUNY Old Westbury, prospective educators engage in a dynamic educational environment, supported by a wealth of resources, dedicated facilities, and esteemed faculty, to cultivate the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the field.

This comprehensive program encompasses more than 150 hours of practical fieldwork across various teaching settings and districts, preparing students to confidently assume leadership roles in their own classrooms upon graduation.

Upon completing the requirements for the degree, graduates are primed to embark on fulfilling careers as special education teachers, armed with both theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience.

Student Profile

Meet Julianna Josey '25 and hear about her experiences in class and on campus as she prepares for her education career.

After Graduation

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), New York State has among highest employment levels of special education teachers in kindergarten and elementary schools in the entire country:

  • 18,740 employed as of 2023
  • Annual mean salary in NY: $94,000

The Projections Managing Partnership projects that New York State by 2030 will need 25,370 special education teachers in those grades.

Get Dual Certification in Elementary Education & Special Education

Specifically, this program will prepare you with the skills to earn initial dual certification in childhood education and special education in New York State and focuses on developing students' capabilities, ensuring they are well-versed in the intricacies of teaching diverse learners. Through rigorous coursework spanning multiple disciplines, aspiring educators develop the collaborative skills essential for effective teaching in schools nationwide.

With this blend of academic rigor and practical training, students emerge prepared to positively impact the next generation of learners, equipped with the confidence to navigate the complexities of the modern educational landscape.

Dr. Stephanie Schneider

Other Paths You Can Follow

Graduates of the degree in childhood special education program are not limited to solely specializing in special education classrooms. The comprehensive curriculum equips them to excel in inclusive classroom settings, where students from both general and special education backgrounds learn together harmoniously.

Individuals who earn a Bachelor of Science in Childhood Special Education have the option to advance their careers through graduate-level studies. Pursuing a master's degree in education, with a focus on special education, literacy education, or other relevant disciplines, enables graduates to enhance their professional expertise while maintaining their teaching credentials in compliance with New York regulations.


Julio Gonzalez

Chair of Exceptional Education & Learning
Associate Professor
Exceptional Education & Learning
School of Education
New Academic Building