Sep 18, 2019  
2019-2020 Catalog and Handbook 
2019-2020 Catalog and Handbook

Master of Science in Disability Services in Higher Education

Academic Director: Mariette Bates, PhD
CUNY School of Professional Studies
119 West 31st Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10001
Email Contact: ​

The Program

The MS in Disability Services in Higher Education is the first program of its kind in the country and will equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to provide legally mandated accommodations to students with disabilities in higher education settings. The coursework includes theoretical, conceptual, and practical information that will provide students with sound philosophical grounding in addition to building skills that they will apply in the field.

The curriculum for the degree was developed with the participation of disability service office directors, lawyers familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADA/AA) as it applies to colleges and universities, assistive technology specialists, and educators to ensure that graduates will be prepared to assume significant responsibility in providing accommodations to post-secondary students with disabilities.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the MS in Disability Services in Higher Education will be able to:

  1. Analyze disability experience, both individual and social, and describe models commonly used to frame disability.
  2. Explain requirements of applicable laws to students with disabilities and apply legal frameworks and principles used to determine compliance and provide access in a higher education setting.
  3. Describe commonly employed forms of assistive technology and the use of each.
  4. Describe the function of a campus Disability Service office and its associated tasks and practices.
  5. Analyze the educational accommodation needs of neurodiverse students for educational accommodations and formulate strategies to support student success by addressing them.
  6. Explain the principles of universal design for learning (UDL) and describe methods and strategies to advocate for more fully accessible classrooms (including online classrooms), campuses, curricula, and support services.
  7. Describe the needs of emerging populations of students - including veterans, students on the autism spectrum, students with traumatic brain injury, international students with disabilities, students with intellectual disabilities - and those with multiple disabilities - and design appropriate accommodation strategies for each.
  8. Formulate methods of accommodating students - including those who use service animals - in non-classroom settings, including campus facilities such as residence halls, off-campus situations such as study abroad programs and co-curricular activities such as clubs, student organizations, athletic clubs and sporting events.
  9. Explain the needs of students with psychiatric diagnoses, challenges they may experience in college and types of accommodations that support their academic success.
  10. Describe the major factors contributing to inequality impacting people with disabilities, including race, gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and health opportunities.
  11. Engage in advanced critical thinking, speaking and writing about the role of a Disability Service professional in advancing social justice and accessibility in higher education.

Admission Criteria

In addition to the admission criteria for graduate degree programs, experience in providing disability services is valuable but not essential. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.