Major: Special Education
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 45.0
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 13.0402
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 11-9039; 25-2053; 2054;2059
About the Program
The Master of Science in Special Education program is intended for those interested in gaining greater skills and expertise in the area of Special Education and/or a teaching certificate in the area of special education. Candidates seeking PA special education certification must have an active PA Instructional I or II teaching certificate in the appropriate area.
The Master of Science in Special Education seeks to produce professionals who are equipped with the fundamental skills, knowledge, and competencies they will need to meet the needs of students at risk for and with disabilities in multiple settings. The program is a flexible, part-time graduate program consisting of 45.0 credits: 27.0 credits in Core Special Education Certification courses, 12.0 credits in concentration courses, and 6.0 credits in research. The program culminates with each potential graduate completing an action research project.
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Within the past decade, the number of children diagnosed with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome has increased drastically. Consequently, the need for professionals trained in this specialized area has significantly increased. This concentration is designed for those who seek additional expertise in this critical need area. It will provide knowledge and skills for working with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as effective teaching methods, interventions, and supports. Students who have an active PA Instructional I or Instructional II teaching certificate are eligible to apply for the PA Autism Spectrum Disorders endorsement upon completion of EDEX 551 and the concentration courses.
Collaborative Special Education Law and Process
Meeting the needs of children with disabilities through school-family-community collaboration is an ambitious goal of educational policy in the United States. An implementing objective is to develop highly qualified special education teachers and administrators in schools and the community, as well as to offer special education collaborative knowledge and practical skills training to parents and advocates, whose cooperative partnership is imperative to support the provisions for the successful learning of all students as incorporated and mandated in legislation such as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA).
Multisensory Reading Instruction Level I with WILSON® Level 1 Certification
It is estimated that up to 20% of school age children experience difficulty with some aspect of literacy. This course sequence gives teachers the necessary skills to provide direct instruction in a multisensory phonetic-based program to students with decoding deficits.With successful completion of the coursework, students are eligible for WILSON® Level 1 Certification.The Wilson Reading System® is recognized nationwide and is a highly desirable certification to have in Special Education.
Technologies for Special Education
Best practices in the education of students with disabilities requires educational professionals to be proficient with a wide range of technologies. This concentration is designed for those seeking additional expertise in the area of educational technologies and assistive technology that can be used to create accessible learning opportunities and increased outcomes for students with disabilities.
Students who already posses a special education certification or who are not interested in obtaining a special education certification but want to enhance their skills in specific special education topic areas may choose to take two of the concentrations (24.0 credits) and 15.0 credits of their choosing from the special education certification core in addition to completing the research courses.
For more information about this program, contact the program manager:
Dr. Janet Sloand
Associate Clinical Professor
Reading and ESL Specialist Programs
Applicants for the program will follow the university standards for admission to graduate study. Prospective students must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher to be considered for admission (graduate degree GPAs will be considered along with the undergraduate GPA). In addition, prospective students are required to submit the following:
- Completed Application Form including official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended
- Two letters of recommendation
- Personal essay
- Application fee
The admissions committee will evaluate the applicant’s potential and commitment to succeed in graduate study in the online environment. The applicant’s potential to contribute to the overall quality of the program of study will also be considered.
Interviews, in person or by phone, will be conducted by the admissions committee with those applicants who meet Graduate Admission’s standard admissions criteria.
Decisions will be made using dates corresponding to the regular university schedule for rolling admissions in Graduate Admissions.
For more information about this program, contact the program manager:
School of Education
The Master of Science in Special Education requires 45.0 credits consisting of 27.0 credits in core special education certification courses, 12.0 credits in concentration courses, and 6.0 credits in research. For a certification in special education, students must have completed 9 prerequisite credits in special education accommodations to apply for certification in Pennsylvania.
A field component is required in most courses.
|Students must have the following courses in order to apply for a certification in special education. All students entering this master's program from an approved PA certification program after 2011 should have had these core courses in their initial certification program. If a student does not have these courses, they must complete them with a minimum grade of "B" in addition to the core certification offerings.|
|EDEX 542||Fundamentals of Special Education||3.0|
|EDEX 544||The Inclusive Classroom||3.0|
|One of the following, depending on whether pursuing the PreK-8 or 7-12 certification concentration:|
|EDEX 546||Literacy and Content Skill Development PreK-8||3.0|
|or EDEX 566||Literacy and Content Skill Development 7-12|
|Required Courses: MS in Special Education Program|
|EDEX 548||Emotional and Behavioral Support of Individuals with Disabilities||4.5|
|EDEX 549||Teaching Individuals with High Incident Disabilities||3.0|
|EDEX 550||Teaching Individuals with Low Incident Disabilities||3.0|
|EDEX 551||Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder||4.5|
|EDEX 552||Integrating Technology for Learning & Achievement||3.0|
|Students complete a sequence of two courses specific to either the PreK-8 or the 7-12 certification concentration from the following:||9.0|
|Special Education Processes PreK-8|
and Special Education Practicum PreK-8
|Special Education Processes 7-12|
and Special Education Practicum 7-12
|EDEX 610||Action Research for Special Education Teachers I||4.5|
|EDEX 611||Action Research for Special Education Teachers II||1.5|
|Students complete courses from one of the concentrations listed below.||12.0|
|Students must complete one of the following 12.0 credit concentrations options:||12.0|
|Autism Spectrum Disorders Concentration|
|Characteristics & Methods: Autism|
|Characteristics & Methods: High Functioning Autism|
|Communication & Language Interventions: Autism Spectrum Disorders|
|Behavior & Sensory Support: Autism Spectrum Disorders|
|Technologies for Special Education|
|Integrating Assistive Technology for Individuals with High Incident Disabilities|
|Integrating Assistive Technology for Individuals with Low Incident Disabilities|
|Researching & Evaluating Instructional Technology|
|Learning Technologies & Disabilities|
|Collaborative Special Education Law & Process|
|School Law & Policy in Special Education|
|Family, School and Community Engagement in Special Education|
|Special Education Advocacy|
|Special Education Dispute Resolution and Skills Training|
|Multisensory Reading Instruction Level I *|
|Applied Methods in Multisensory Reading Instruction|
|Multisensory Reading Instruction K/1|
|Basic Word Study I|
|Basic Word Study II|
|Multisensory Practicum I|
|Multisensory Practicum II|
|Multisensory Practicum III|
The multisensory reading instruction courses fulfill certain requirements (but not all) for the Wilson Language Level I certification.