Department of Special Education and Literacy

Welcome to the Department of Special Education and Literacy, which includes the following programs: Undergraduate Program in Teacher of Students with Disabilities (TSD), Graduate Certification in Teacher of Students with Disabilities (Tracks A and B), Master of Arts in Special Education – Option: High Incidence; Master of Arts in Special Education – Option: Low Incidence; Post Master’s Certification – Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant, Master of Arts in Reading Specialization, options Reading Specialist, Basic Skills Specialist and, Certification only programs for Reading Specialist and Teacher of Reading.

Candidates who complete the undergraduate, graduate certification and master’s students who don’t already hold a certificate in TSD will be eligible for New Jersey Certification as a Teacher of Students with Disabilities. Master’s candidates who complete the program and already hold a TSD certificate can use their course of study to expand their knowledge and expertise in the field of Special Education. Candidates in the Post-Master’s program are eligible to apply for New Jersey Certification as a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant.

Candidates in the ‘Teacher of Students with Disabilities’ program will prepare to be dually certified in one of the eight options: P-3 (preschool – grade 3); K-5 (Kindergarten – grade 5); K-5 & K- 5-8 (Kindergarten – grade 5 & 5-8 middle school); and dual certification in special education and K-12 History, English, Mathematics, Earth Science and Biology. Admission to the university does not guarantee admission into the College of Education. Candidates must pass the Praxis I and have a minimum GPA of 2.75 for admission to the program. The admission requirements also include candidates achieving a B- or better in ENG 1030, Math 1000, Speech Communication 1402, ID 2052 (Human Exceptionality), SPED 2120 (Introductory Field), SPED 2200 (Multicultural Learner in Diverse Settings), passing a speech and hearing test, and filing an application with the department. Candidates must also apply to their academic major department for admission to the program. Teacher certification requirements include the satisfactory completion of field experiences in the sophomore and junior years as well as passing the Praxis II content exam prior to the full semester of the Professional internship during the senior year. A grade of C or better is required in all Education and Interdisciplinary courses (except where B- or better is specified). Due to the dual nature of the certification, candidates will be required to complete split placements in both Preprofessional and Professional experiences between the general education setting and special education setting. Students may be interested in pursuing positions in public and private school teaching, extended employment settings, group homes, programs for adults with disabilities, and with private agencies serving the developmentally disabled.

The Master of Arts degree, Reading Specialization, offers three (3), 33 credit, options; Reading Specialist, Basic Skills Specialist and Adult Literacy. The program is designed to accommodate the schedule of the working teacher, all practicum requirements are completed at the candidate's own school. The Reading Specialist option graduates are eligible for State Certification. Degree candidates in this option will be prepared to work with pupils who have reading problems and to work with teachers in the prevention of reading disabilities. The Master's degree in Basic Skills option provides candidates with in- depth training in teaching mathematics, writing and reading. Candidates will develop a general understanding of the basic skills, their interrelationship and the skills necessary to use this understanding to assist their pupils in the acquisition of higher level cognitive skills. The Master's degree in Adult Literacy provides advanced preparation in the design, implementation and supervision of training programs for adults in business, industry, the community college and other settings.  Each option consists of 33 credits and culminates in a major research project. Those applying, except for the Adult Literacy option, need to hold the NJ Instructional Certificate. It is necessary for all applying to these Master's Degree programs to take either the MAT or the GRE test as part of the application process.

The Certification only programs provide those credits needed for state certification. The Reading Specialist option fulfills the requirements for Reading Specialist. The Teacher of Reading option provides those credits needed for the Teacher of Reading Certification, and requires that the certification candidate take the appropriate Praxis Examination.

The Special Education faculty and the Literacy faculty wish you well in your studies at Kean University and are ready to assist you with your endeavors. The program at Kean University reflects the philosophy held by the College of Education. Special Education and Literacy faculty firmly believe that students should achieve growth toward becoming informed, dynamic, professionals as evidenced by demonstration of proficiencies in knowledge, comprehension, disposition developments, and skill application. We suggest that you utilize the guidesheets as well as the student handbooks to familiarize yourself with our courses and program requirements with the expectation that we can and will support you in fulfilling your goals. We look forward to attending your graduation.


Reading Specialization:
Dr. Joan Kastner


Special Education:
Ms. Jean Force


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