Apr 14, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Education, MEd

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

Graduate Program Coordinator:
Dr. Waseem Mazher

The Graduate Special Education program is based on a conceptual framework, which focuses on the following perspectives: Academic Scholar, Collaborative Practitioner, Reflective Practitioner, and Professional Dispositions. The preparation of skilled and knowledgeable practitioners who understand reflective and inquiry-based teaching is also emphasized. The program is based on the notion that all students can achieve. Graduate teacher candidates learn how assessment drives instruction and the importance of data-based decision making.

The program is designed to produce teachers who understand the purpose of education as well as the developmental aspects of learning. Another major program emphasis is placed on preparing teacher candidates to perform skillful and continuous monitoring of students’ learning.

The program further provides the candidate with a foundation for the teaching and management of students with disabilities based on current knowledge, research, and practice in the field. Action research is emphasized to document the efficacy of teaching methodology. The candidate is expected to demonstrate an understanding of students with disabilities relative to their cultural, emotional, social, academic, cognitive, transitional, and physical needs. Candidates become proficient in the use of computer technology, and application of behavior management techniques. As an extension of the inclusion model, candidates learn to work collaboratively with other staff members in an interactive process in order to generate creative solutions to mutually defined problems.

The program is generic in nature and focuses on students with mild and moderate disabilities from elementary through middle school (grades 1-8). The program consists of 36 credit hours grouped sequentially to provide the student with a hierarchy of knowledge and skills. The program requires three field-based experiences.

Degree Requirements

All prospective graduate special education candidates whose undergraduate degrees are not in the field of education are required to complete foundation courses. The exact number of courses required is based on an evaluation of each student’s transcript. The student’s advisor will conduct transcript evaluations.

Students are required to have three semester hours in Human Growth and Development prior to entry into the program and maintain a 3.25 average during the program. Students are also required to pass Praxis I as an entrance requirement and Praxis II as an exit requirement. A program of study is also required and must be completed by a University assigned advisor with appropriate signatures prior to the candidate taking any courses.

Total 36 Credits

Program Goals

The student shall:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and skills related to the philosophical, historical, and legal foundations of special education.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge and skills related to characteristics of learners with and without exceptional learning needs, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; the implications of those individual difference; and the effects of the child’s cultural milieu.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge formal assessment instruments used for identification of disability and of informal assessment, diagnosis, and evaluation procedures (academic, cognitive, communicative, social-emotional, and physical) used for IEP development and ongoing instructional revision. The use of performance-based assessment data is emphasized to monitor ongoing educational progress and to guide instructional decision-making.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge and skills of both general and special curricular necessary to develop instructional content and appropriate practice in response to individual needs of learners.
  5. Demonstrate the knowledge and use of best practices and technology for effective management and modification of teaching and learning environments to accommodate individual learning needs.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge and skills related to managing student behavior and the support of intercultural social interaction skills development.
  7. Demonstrate appropriate communication with parents and students from diverse backgrounds in order to assist them in becoming active collaborators in the educational partnership.
  8. Demonstrate knowledge of effective collaboration approaches among professionals, community and family members and particularly between general and special education professionals.
  9. Exhibit knowledge of the importance of teachers as models of professionalism and ethical practice and demonstrate commitment to developing the highest potential of individuals with exceptional learning needs.
  10. Design, conduct, analyze and apply various types of research.
  11. Use reflection as a means of judging the effectiveness of their performance.
  12. Demonstrate knowledge of educational applications of current technology.
  13. Articulate problems and issues that cut across cultural, economic, political, and technological systems are interconnected. Students will also identify the differences and commonalities that exist in various global perspectives and the ways they shape education today.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study