The Special Education Assistant certificate program is designed to prepare you for a successful career as a teaching assistant/paraprofessional in the field of special education. The program fulfills requirements for New York State Level II and III Teaching Assistant certificates.

This is the only program of its kind in the Capital Region. Credits earned in the certificate also will transfer into the Early Childhood A.A.S. program.

This program is offered by the Education and Social Sciences Department.

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Career and Transfer Opportunities

Exterior of a school building
Graduates may become teaching assistants or paraprofessionals in child development and child care centers; public and private schools K-12, and agencies or centers that serve individuals with special needs. Graduates can also serve as a direct support assistant (DSA) for persons with developmental disabilities.
Teaching assistant working with students in the classroom
The program specifically prepares students for the teaching assistant profession. Some graduates may continue on to enter the Early Childhood A.A.S. program.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for Special Education Teaching Assistants is expected to grow 6 percent from 2015-2022, due to increases in student enrollment in elementary and secondary schools as well as in child care and preschool.

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Take Note

In addition to completing this certificate, NYS Assistant Certification (Level III) requires the following workshops, training, exams and clearance:

  • Child Abuse Identification, School Violence Intervention and Prevention workshops
  • DASA clearance (BOCES)
  • Fingerprint clearance
  • Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills (ATAS) Exam

Learn more at the Office of Teaching Initiatives Teaching Assistant Certificates webpage.

Get in Touch

Department or program information:

Elizabeth A. Yanoff, Ph.D.
Education and Social Sciences DEPARTMENT CHAIRPERSON
Higbee Hall, Room 109

Program admission information:

Guenther Enrollment Services Center, Room 223
Regular Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Summer Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.