Early Childhood Development and Learning: Diverse Children and Families-Severe/Multiple Disabilities for those with NYS Certification in Early Childhood Education


Program Overview

This graduate program will prepare you to work with learners with significant, severe/multiple disabilities in both self-contained special education classrooms and inclusive general education environments through the principles of Universal Design for Learning. You will learn to use strategies to teach communication skills to learners with cerebral palsy (CP), traumatic brain injury (TBI), deafblindness, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and intellectual disabilities using augmentative and alternative communication devices (AAC), tangible symbols, and other assistive technology (AT). Graduates from this program go on to work as specialized teachers of learners with severe disabilities, including deafblindness, in NYC’s District 75, as inclusion support providers (SETTS or SEIT), and as collaborative team teachers with general education teachers in both public and private schools, private early intervention agencies, hospitals, and clinics.




Students with Disabilities (Birth to Grade 2) with an annotation extension in Severe/Multiple Disabilities

Eligibility and Admission Requirements

This program is designed for applicants who hold New York State (NYS) certification in Early Childhood Education (Single Certification)

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 or a master’s degree from an accredited institution with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.5
  • New York State initial/permanent teacher certification in Early Childhood or PreK to Grade 6. Those holding permanent certification must either show proof that they have satisfied the New York State requirements regarding wellness, child abuse, drug abuse, fire safety, and violence prevention or take HED 71500, a one-credit course covering these topics
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose
  • An official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score report (Waived for Spring 2024 and Fall 2024 applicants)

To Apply

Applications are accepted each Fall and Spring semester.

To start your application, visit the Hunter College Online Application.

When applying to this program under Program of Study, select School of Education – Special Education and ECDL Severe/Multiple Disabilities (leads to Early Child and/or Students with Disab B-2).

Application Deadlines

Fall Start

  • March 15 (Priority Deadline)
  • June 1 (Extended Deadline)

Spring Start

  • October 15 (Priority Deadline)
  • November 1 (Extended Deadline)

Visit How to Apply for information about deadline extensions.

Related Programs

If you hold a master’s degree in Special Education and NYS certification, you may be eligible for the Specialized Additional Teaching Certificate program leading to Severe and Multiple Disabilities Annotation Extension.

Contact an Admissions Advisor


Program Leader

Jamie Bleiweiss

Upcoming Events