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School of Education

Elementary Special Education SALIS Grant

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

Hofstra University School of Education has partnered with United Cerebral Palsy and The Viscardi Learning Center to create the Hofstra School Age Low Incidence Scholars (SALIS) to train highly qualified teachers to serve the needs of children (grades 1-6, and K-12) with disabilities. The program is designed to improve learning outcomes for children with special needs by increasing the number of graduates who are fully prepared to bring about improvements in educational and developmental services. The interdisciplinary curriculum 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. Graduates are prepared for NYS certification in childhood special education, and teaching students with severe and multiple disabilities. This 37-semester-hour dual certification program can be completed in one and half to two years. This grant program leads to a Master of Science in Education in Special Education Grades 1-6.

  • Benefits

    Excellent candidates in the School Age Low Incidence Scholars (SALIS) will be considered for grant funding through the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs on a space-available basis; tuition remission immediately covers 30 credits of the 37-credit degree program, and provides a $1,600 stipend during student teaching. Students are also eligible for merit-based departmental scholarships and can apply for additional federal aid through FAFSA.

  • Terms

    Graduates will need to provide two years of employment service to a high-need school in the United States for each year they receive tuition reimbursement through the grant. Service can be done in classrooms from grades 1-6 for students with disabilities and grades K-12 for students with severe and multiple disabilities, and can take place up to seven years beyond completion of the program. The following conditions apply:

    • At least 51 percent of the children to whom the individual provides services are to be receiving special education or related services; or
    • The individual spends at least 51 percent of his or her time providing special education or related services for children with disabilities; and
    • The children must fall under the definition of eligible students as described in section 602(3) of IDEA.
    • Recipients must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States, or have intention of becoming U.S. permanent residents.
  • Who Should Apply?

    Applicants must be initially or professionally certified in Early Childhood or Childhood Education (Grades 1-6). Qualified applicants should have a strong desire to serve children with disabilities and their families with special training in childhood special education. Grant recipients must commit to working in the field for two years for every year they receive grant funding.

  • Career Opportunities

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts an increase in elementary special education job opportunities through 2022. The New York Times (2016) reports that special education is the second highest in-demand major in the current job market. Graduates of the School Age Low Incidence Scholars Program are qualified and prepared for careers as educators in:

    • Co-teacher in Inclusive Classrooms (Grades 1-6)
    • Special education self-contained classes (Grades 1-6)
    • Public and private school (Grades 1-6)
    • Resource Room (Grades 1-6)
    • Community-based special education itinerant teacher
    • Special Education programs for students with severe and multiple disabilities (K-12)
  • Contact Information

    Darra A. Pace, EdD
    Director of Elementary Special Education Programs
    208 Hagedorn Hall
    Email | Bio

    Darra A. Pace

    Elfreda Blue, PhD
    Chair, Department of Specialized Programs in Education
    160 Hagedorn Hall
    Email  | Bio

    Elfreda Blue