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School of Education

Early Childhood Special Education Grant Resources

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education – Office of Special Education Programs

Hofstra University School of Education is proud to offer qualified prospective early childhood special education teachers two substantial funding opportunities to support graduate study. Both grant programs are designed to improve learning outcomes for children with special needs and their families by increasing the number of graduates fully prepared to bring about improvements in educational and developmental services.

  • About the Grant Programs

    Hofstra Early Childhood Intervention Specialist Program

    The School of Education has partnered with the Developmental Disabilities Institute and the Genesis/Eden II Agency to create the Hofstra Early Childhood Intervention Specialist (HECIS) grant program to train highly qualified teachers to serve the needs of pre-school age children (birth to five years) with disabilities. Applicants must be initially or professionally certified in Early Childhood or Childhood Education and/or Special Education grades 1-6 in New York State.  Qualified applicants have a strong desire to serve young children with disabilities and their families with special training in early childhood special education and applied behavior analysis. The program leads to a Master of Science in Education in Special Education Early Childhood Intervention.

    Graduates are prepared for NYS certification in early childhood special education, and the program fulfills the education requirement for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. This 45-semester-hour dual certification program can be completed in two years.


    Hofstra Early Childhood Interdisciplinary Professionals Program

    In partnership with Developmental Disabilities Institute and Mill Neck Manor Early Childhood Center, Hofstra University’s Early Childhood Interdisciplinary Professionals Program (HECIP) prepares aspiring teachers to serve young children with special needs in multiple settings, including early intervention for infants and toddlers (IDEA, Part C) as well as services for pre-school and school age children from kindergarten through grade 2 (IDEA, Part B) in integrated classrooms. The interdisciplinary curriculum is intended for students with no formal course work or teaching experience in early childhood, or early childhood special education. It combines a rich core of graduate level courses grounded in scientifically based research with a menu of embedded field experiences in culturally and linguistically diverse settings, leading to a Master of Science in Education in Inclusive Early Childhood Special Education.

    Graduates are prepared for NYS certification in early childhood education and early childhood special education (Birth – Grade 2). This 48-semester-hour dual certification program can be completed in two years.

  • Benefits
    • Students accepted to the M.S.Ed. in Special Education Early Childhood Intervention receive tuition remission for 18 credits of the 45-credit degree program. Students accepted to the M.S.Ed. in Inclusive Early Childhood Special Education receive tuition remission for 16 credits of the 48-credit degree program. Students are eligible for merit-based departmental scholarships and can apply for additional federal aid through FAFSA. Finally, students may apply for loan forgiveness programs that can potentially provide funding for an additional 15 credits.
    • The Office of Field Placement and Office of Educational Support Services within the School of Education provide comprehensive resources to help students navigate and prepare for New York State certification.
    • Grant recipients form a cohort group that continues throughout the M.S.Ed. program and there are many opportunities to network and support each other through student professional organizations.
    • Plan of study combines face-to-face and online classroom instruction including site-based work.  Courses are scheduled in the evenings to accommodate full-time professionals, and are also available during January and three Summer sessions. 

    Students progress through the program under the advisement of a faculty director committed to their success in both the program and the field.  Mentoring and students supporting students are important facets of the program.

  • Terms
    • Graduates will need to provide up to four years of employment service to a school in the United State (two years of service for each year they receive tuition remission through the grant). Service can be provided to children ages birth to grade 2, and can take place up to nine years beyond completion of the program.
      • At least 51 percent of the infants, toddlers, and children to whom the individual provides services are to be receiving special education, related services, or early intervention services from the individual; or
      • the individual spends at least 51 percent of his or her time providing special education, related services, or early intervention services to infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities; and
      • if serving children, the children served must fall under the definition of eligible children as described in section 602(3) of IDEA.
    • Recipients must:
      • Be a citizen or national of the United States; or
      • Be a permanent resident of:
        • Puerto Rico, United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; or
        • The Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau during the period in which these entities are eligible to receive an award under the Personnel Development to Improves Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program; or
      • Provide and maintain evidence for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that he/she is
        • A lawful permanent resident of the United State; or
        • In the United States for other than a temporary purpose with the intention of becoming a citizen or permanent resident.
  • Application Procedure

    Students must provide the following materials electronically to the Office of Graduate Admissions at hofstra.edu/gradapply.

    • Completed application form for the M.S.Ed. in Special Education Early Childhood Intervention or the M.S.Ed. in Inclusive Early Childhood Special Education
      • M.S.Ed. in Special Education Early Childhood Intervention applicants for the HECIS grant are required to show proof of initial or professional New York State teacher certification in Early Childhood or Childhood and/or Special Education grades 1-6.
    • Unofficial transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate institutions with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. 
    • Three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant’s potential to succeed in the teaching of students with disabilities.
    • A written personal statement of professional intent.

    Interview with a faculty member in special education.

  • Contact Information

    Stephen J. Hernandez, Ed.D.
    Assistant Professor of Special Education
    Director, Early Childhood Special Education
    Co-director, Early Childhood Intervention Program
    Email
    Phone: 516-463-7148
    Bio

    Stephen J. Hernandez

    Diane C. Schwartz, Ed.D.
    Professor of Special Education
    Co-director, Early Childhood Intervention Program
    Email
    Phone: 516-463-5778
    Bio

    Diane C. Schwartz

    For more information about Special Education Graduate Studies, click here.

OSEP