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Post Masters Certificate Program: Multicultural Ed

Post Masters Certificate Program in Multicultural Education

Program Overview
Certificate Sponsors - The Educational Studies Department 
Structure of the Program 
Application and Admissions Policies and Procedures 
Course Descriptions 

​Program Overview

Responding to a need for professional development in diversity education, the Educational Studies and Leadership Department of the State University of New York at New Paltz offers a post-masters Certificate Program in Multicultural Education. This 15-credit program is designed for elementary, secondary, and special subject teachers, as well as school guidance counselors and administrators who are interested in enhancing their cultural competencies in multicultural education.

Also designed for teachers who already have their masters degree as well as professionals working in higher education and the human services, this certificate program enables educators to understand the ways in which race, gender, class, language, sexual orientation, religion, and physical/learning disabilities influence them as professionals, their students or clients, and the educational process. In addition, it provides educators with the knowledge and skills needed to culturally-responsive teaching and leadership, and approaches for creating socially-just educational settings.


​Certificate Sponsors - The Educational Studies and Leadership Department

The Educational Studies and Leadership Department, which is comprised of the Humanistic/Multicultural Education Program, the Educational Administration Program, and the Educational Foundations Unit, is uniquely qualified to offer this Certificate in Multicultural Education. All three units have a long history of offering a range of relevant multicultural courses, both theoretical and practical, from which students can choose in developing their plan of study for this 15-credit program. In addition, their certificate program draws on the resources of the Second Language Education Program.

​Structure of the Program

Students complete 15 graduate credits of course work, in a non-matriculated status, which include a 3-credit introductory course, 9 credits of electives, and a 3-credit capstone course, and must achieve a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. At the completion of the Program, a Certificate in Multicultural Education will be granted by the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Introductory Course (3 credits)
Issues of Sexism and Racism in Education (EDS581): offered face-to-face, fall semester

Electives in Multicultural Education (9 credits)
Students choose 3 courses from among the following:

Issues in Multicultural Education (EDS537)
Issues of Literacy for Diverse Learners (EDS549)
Teaching Students from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds (SPE572)
Leadership in Education and Human Services (EDS753)

Multicultural Approaches to Helping (EDS548)
Exploration of Gender in Education (EDS582)
Expressive Arts, Leadership and Change (EDS550)
Teaching in the Inclusive Classroom (SPE565)

Capstone Course (3 Credits)
Applied Practice in Multicultural/Social Justice Education (EDS793)

Note: Graduate courses taken prior to admission to the Certificate Program or not listed above cannot be applied to students' plans of study for this program. All graduate courses will be taken at SUNY New Paltz.

​Application and Admissions Policies and Procedures

The entrance requirements for the Certificate in Multicultural Education are:

1. Evidence of interest in multicultural/social justice education

2. A Masters degree in Education from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 grade point average.

Applicants will submit:

1. An official graduate transcript

2. Two letters of recommendation from school district officials, administrators, or colleagues

3. A 2-3 page personal essay describing your current educational initiatives in multicultural/diversity education and/or your goals for future endeavors for fostering greater appreciation of diversity in your classroom and school.

The completed application packet including application form, references, official transcript, and the essay must be submitted to the Graduate Office. Application deadlines are November 1 for spring admission and April 15 for fall admission.

Upon receipt of a completed application, the applicant will be contacted to schedule an interview with Dr. Robyn Sheridan or Dr. Shannon McManimon to complete the application process.

​Course Descriptions

EDS581  Issues of Racism and Sexism in Education
This course examines personal and institutional racism and sexism, and their intersections with discrimination based in class, sexual orientation, religion, ability, gender identity, language, age, and nationality. It provides strategies for creating multicultural, gender-fair, and equitable curricula, classrooms, schools and organizations.

EDS537  Issues in Multicultural Education
This course examines the way that racial and cultural differences shape the purposes and practices of education. It examines the social foundations of multicultural education, with particular attention to inequalities among racial and cultural groups.

EDS549  Issues of Literacy for Diverse Learners
Explores issues in the sociocultural, moral, political, historical, and developmental dimensions of literacy. Students consider how classroom practices for secondary students relate to theories of learning, to first- and second-language acquisition, and to literacy development. This course presents a broad view of literacy as a form of communication.

SPE572  Teaching Students from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds
This course examines the academic and social challenges education poses faced by students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Methods for implementing culturally relevant instruction and programs for all students will be discussed.

EDS753  Leadership in Education and Human Services
This course examines a variety of theoretical models of leadership and personal leadership styles. Students develop skills in areas of planning, staff evaluation, and development, personal goal setting, conflict resolution and supporting diversity.

EDS548  Multicultural Approaches to Helping
Focuses on the development of a multicultural model for facilitating helping relationships and recognizes helping as a structured helping process and an essential human quality. Explores traditional practices and contemplative approaches to helping.

EDS582  Exploration of Gender in Education
This course examines experiences of gender in educational institutions from early childhood through graduate school. Students analyze curriculum materials, classroom interaction patterns, organizational/social factors, and methods for creating gender-fair multicultural classrooms and other educational settings.

EDS550  Expressive Arts, Leadership and Change
The expressive arts can be utilized in envisioning and leading change initiatives that address social justice issues in schools and community organizations. This reflective and experiential course will explore practical, arts-based teaching and learning strategies.

SPE565  Teaching in the Inclusive Classroom
Examines a variety of issues and strategies related to educating learners with disabilities in general education classrooms. It also is designed to provide students with an understanding of the nature and needs of exceptional children and youth from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

EDS793  Applied Practice in Multicultural/Social Justice Education
This course provides an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills for teaching diverse students to one's educational setting. Emphasis will be on developing a curriculum or program to foster increased educational equity or social justice.

For Program Information Contact

Assistant Professor Shannon McManimon (
or Assistant Professor Robyn Sheridan (
Department of Educational Studies & Leadership
800 Hawk Drive
Old Main 108
SUNY New Paltz
New Paltz, NY 12561-2442

Educational Studies and Leadership Department office: (845) 257-2831

For Graduate Admissions Information Contact

The Office of Graduate and Extended Learning
800 Hawk Drive
Old Main 127
SUNY New Paltz
New Paltz, NY 12561-2443