Niagara University's College of Education has received approval from the New York State Education Department to offer a master of arts degree in developmental disabilities.
Applications are now being accepted for the fall of 2013.
The M.A. program serves to benefit individuals who are already employed by, or who seek employment in, agencies that provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities. The program was developed with the guidance and expertise of community leaders in rehabilitation and independent living.
"Most agencies serving individuals with disabilities and their families require a high level of education for upper management level employees," noted Michael Gross, CEO of Heritage Centers. "I cannot think of a better advanced degree to have than a master's in developmental disabilities if one wants to understand the issues surrounding our individuals, their families and the staff that serve. This type of knowledge will lead to better leadership."
Niagara University's program is comprised of 30 credit hours and provides individuals with a choice of two concentrations:
•The first concentration is for those seeking career opportunities related to working with people with disabilities, and wish to establish a firm experiential knowledge and skill base.
•The second concentration is designed for individuals working in the field who seek to cultivate their leadership skills with a goal to work at administrative levels within the industry.
Both concentrations require a culminating practicum of 250 field hours that includes training leading toward certifications in Medicaid, investigative training, and strategies for crisis intervention and prevention (SCIP).
"The field of developmental disabilities is experiencing great concerns regarding succession planning for organizational leadership at all administrative levels and building a highly qualified workforce that can address the needs of those with developmental disabilities," said Dr. Debra A. Colley, dean of Niagara's accredited College of Education. "The College of Education is pleased to extend our work with the rehabilitation community to serve young adults and adults with developmental disabilities. We are grateful to our community partners for working with the university to develop a degree program that can cultivate future leaders and clinicians in the field of developmental disabilities."
For information and application instructions, call 716-286-8550 or email [email protected].