Special Education

Major: Special Education
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 45.0
Co-op Option: None
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 Pennsylvania special education certification must have an active Pennsylvania Instructional I or II teaching certificate.

The courses address all required state and federal regulations as well as the Pennsylvania General Standards for Special Education and the competencies and standards outline by the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC).

The Master of Science in Special Education produces professionals who are equipped with the fundamental skills, knowledge, and competencies they need to meet the needs of students with disabilities or those at risk for of developing disabilities. 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. Most courses have a field component that has the student apply what they are learning to classroom experiences.  The program culminates with each potential graduate completing an action research project and an ePortfolio that demonstrates the student's mastery of core content.

Available Concentrations

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.

Customized Concentration
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.

Additional Information

For more information about this program, contact the program manager:

Ms. Kyra Dukes, Program Manager
kat353@drexel.edu

Admission Requirements

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:

Brenda Gormley
School of Education
Drexel University
215.895.3559
bg424@drexel.edu

Degree Requirements 

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.

Pre-Requisite 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 credits)
  • EDEX 544: The Inclusive Learner (3 credits)
  • EDEX 546: Literacy and Content Skill Development PreK-8 or or EDEX 566: Literacy and Content Skill Development 7-12 -- dependent on certification level desired (3 credits)
Required Courses
EDEX 543Emotional and Behavioral Support of Individuals with Disabilities 3.0
EDEX 549Teaching Individuals with High Incident Disabilities3.0
EDEX 550Teaching Individuals with Low Incident Disabilities3.0
EDEX 552Integrating Technology for Learning & Achievement3.0
EDEX 555Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder3.0
Students complete a sequence of three courses specific to either the PreK-8 or the 7-12 certification concentration from the following:9.0
Special Education Law and Processes PreK-8
Teaching STEAM in an Inclusive Pre-K to 8 Environment
Special Education Practicum PreK-8
OR
Special Education Law and Processes 7-12
Teaching Secondary Mathematics in an Inclusive Environment
Special Education Practicum 7-12
Capstone Courses
EDEX 610Action Research for Special Education Teachers I4.5
EDEX 611Action Research for Special Education Teachers II1.5
Concentration Courses12.0-27.0
Students complete courses from one of the concentrations listed below.
Professional Elective *3.0
Total Credits45.0-60.0
*

Candidates pursuing Special Education Leadership or the Applied Behavioral Analysis concentrations do not need to enroll in a 3.0 credit Professional Elective.

Concentration Options
Students must complete one of the following concentrations options:
Autism Spectrum Disorders Concentration12.0
Characteristics & Methods: Autism
Characteristics & Methods: High Functioning Autism
Communication & Language Interventions: Autism Spectrum Disorders
Behavior & Sensory Support: Autism Spectrum Disorders
Technologies for Special Education12.0
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 & Process12.0
Family, School and Community Engagement in Special Education
Special Education Advocacy
Special Education Dispute Resolution and Skills Training
School Law & Policy in Special Education
Multisensory Reading Instruction Level **12.0
Applied Methods in Multisensory Reading Instruction
Early Literacy Skills
Basic Word Study I
Basic Word Study II
Multisensory Practicum I
Multisensory Practicum II
Multisensory Practicum III
Special Education Leadership16.0
School Law & Policy in Special Education
Instructional & Curriculum Leadership in Special Education
Development, Supervision, & Support: Special Education Leadership
Organization & Administration of Special Education
Supervisor of Special Education Internship: Special Education Leadership
Supervisor of Special Education Internship: Instructional Leadership
Supervisor of Special Education Internship: Collaboration & Personnel
Supervisor of Special Education Internship: Finance & Management
Applied Behavior Analysis27.0
Fundamental Elements of Behavior Change
Measurement and Experimental Design
Behavioral Assessment and Functional Analysis
Behavioral Interventions
Consultation, Systems Change and Supervision
Ethical Considerations and Professional Conduct
**

The multisensory reading instruction courses fulfill certain requirements (but not all) for the Wilson Language Level I certification.

 

Sample Plan of Study

Basic MS Special Education Program of Study

Candidates pursuing Special Education Leadership Concentration will enroll in additional 1 credit Internship Courses in First Year Term 3 (EDEX 721) and Term 4 (EDEX 722) and Second Year Term 1 (EDEX 723) and Term 2 (EDEX 724).

First Year
Term 1Credits
EDEX 537
or 538*
Special Education Law and Processes PreK-8
Special Education Law and Processes 7-12
3.0
EDEX 549Teaching Individuals with High Incident Disabilities3.0
 Term Credits6.0
Term 2
EDEX 555Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder3.0
Professional Elective3.0
 Term Credits6.0
Term 3
EDEX 543Emotional and Behavioral Support of Individuals with Disabilities 3.0
EDEX 552Integrating Technology for Learning & Achievement3.0
 Term Credits6.0
Term 4
EDEX 550Teaching Individuals with Low Incident Disabilities3.0
Concentration Course 13.0
 Term Credits6.0
Second Year
Term 1
EDEX 545
or 565**
Teaching STEAM in an Inclusive Pre-K to 8 Environment
Teaching Secondary Mathematics in an Inclusive Environment
3.0
Concentration Course 23.0
 Term Credits6.0
Term 2
EDEX 610Action Research for Special Education Teachers I4.5
Concentration Course 33.0
 Term Credits7.5
Term 3
EDEX 576
or 577***
Special Education Practicum PreK-8
Special Education Practicum 7-12
3.0
EDEX 611Action Research for Special Education Teachers II1.5
Concentration Course 43.0
 Term Credits7.5
Total Credit: 45.0
*

Candidates pursuing Special Education PK-8 Certification enroll in EDEX 537. Those seeking Special Education 7-12 Certification enroll EDEX 538

**

Candidates pursuing Special Education PK-8 Certification enroll in EDEX 545. Those seeking Special Education 7-12 Certification enroll EDEX 565

***

Candidates pursuing Special Education PK-8 Certification enroll in EDEX 576. Those seeking Special Education 7-12 Certification enroll EDEX 577

MS Special Education with Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration Plan of Study

First Year
Term 1Credits
EDEX 537
or 538*
Special Education Law and Processes PreK-8
Special Education Law and Processes 7-12
3.0
EDEX 549Teaching Individuals with High Incident Disabilities3.0
 Term Credits6.0
Term 2
EDEX 552Integrating Technology for Learning & Achievement3.0
EDEX 555Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder3.0
 Term Credits6.0
Term 3
EDEX 543Emotional and Behavioral Support of Individuals with Disabilities 3.0
Concentration Course 14.5
 Term Credits7.5
Term 4
EDEX 550Teaching Individuals with Low Incident Disabilities3.0
Concentration Course 24.5
 Term Credits7.5
Second Year
Term 1
EDEX 545
or 565**
Teaching STEAM in an Inclusive Pre-K to 8 Environment
Teaching Secondary Mathematics in an Inclusive Environment
3.0
Concentration Course 34.5
 Term Credits7.5
Term 2
Concentration Course 44.5
 Term Credits4.5
Term 3
EDEX 576
or 577***
Special Education Practicum PreK-8
Special Education Practicum 7-12
3.0
Concetration Course 54.5
 Term Credits7.5
Term 4
EDEX 610Action Research for Special Education Teachers I4.5
 Term Credits4.5
Third Year
Term 1
EDEX 611Action Research for Special Education Teachers II1.5
Concentration Course 64.5
 Term Credits6.0
Total Credit: 57.0
*

Candidates pursuing Special Education PK-8 Certification enroll in EDEX 537. Those seeking Special Education 7-12 Certification enroll EDEX 538

**

Candidates pursuing Special Education PK-8 Certification enroll in EDEX 545. Those seeking Special Education 7-12 Certification enroll EDEX 565

***

Candidates pursuing Special Education PK-8 Certification enroll in EDEX 576. Those seeking Special Education 7-12 Certification enroll EDEX 577

Education Faculty

Jennifer Adams, EdD (Harvard University). Associate Professor. Comparative and international education; Poverty and education; Child welfare; Educational policy.
Ayana Allen, PhD (Texas A&M University ). Assistant Professor. Urban education; Identity construction in school contexts; Urban school transformation.
Kristen Betts, EdD (George Washington University). Clinical Professor. Higher education administration and governance, online blended education, instructional design and educational technology, program assessment and evaluation.
Holly Carpenter, PhD (Arizona State University). Assistant Clinical Professor. Higher education policy development and implementation, community college/university articulation, and online education.
José Luis Chávez, EdD (University of Southern California). Clinical Professor. Higher education leadership and administration.
Rebecca Clothey, PhD (University of Pittsburgh). Assistant Professor. Comparative and international education, education of ethnic and linguistic minorities, sociology of education.
James Connell, PhD (Louisiana State University) Clinical Director and Research Fellow, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute. Associate Professor. Identifying the variables that influence adult behavior change in community settings; autism intervention; widespread dissemination of evidence-based interventions in school and community settings.
Salvatore V. Falletta, EdD (North Carolina State University). Associate Clinical Professor. Human Resource intelligence (i.e., HR research and analytics practices); HRD assessment, measurement, and evaluation models and taxonomies; organizational diagnostic models; web-based employee and organizational survey methods, and computational modeling.
Alonzo Flowers III, PhD (Texas A&M University). Assistant Professor. Higher Education/Higher Education Administration.
Aroutis N. Foster, PhD (Michigan State University). Associate Professor. Educational psychology and educational technology, especially the following: Motivation; Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK); Immersive Interactive Digital Environments (simulation, games, virtual realities.
Kathy Geller, PhD (Fielding Graduate University). Assistant Clinical Professor. Educational leadership and management.
Rajashi Ghosh, PhD (University of Louisville, Kentucky). Associate Professor. Mentoring and leader development, workplace Incivility, workplace learning and development.
John M. Gould, PhD (University of Pittsburgh). Associate Clinical Professor. Change leadership, curriculum re-design, the impact of technology on learning.
Allen C. Grant, PhD (Louisiana State University). Assistant Clinical Professor. K-3 virtual schooling, virtual school leadership, collaborative technologies, 21st century learning skills
Mary Jo Grdina, PhD (Case Western Reserve University). Associate Clinical Professor. Undergraduate studies, science education, curriculum design.
Dominic F. Gullo, PhD (Indiana University) Associate Dean of Research. Professor. Studying the relative and long-range effects of early schooling experiences in prekindergarten and kindergarten on children's achievement and social adaptation to school routine.
Penny Hammrich, PhD (University of Minnesota) Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. Professor. Urban education; science education; genetics; gender equity; science knowledge for conceptual teaching; sport science.
Paul Harrington, PhD (University of Massachusetts, Boston) Director, Center for Labor Markets and Policy. Professor. Teen and young adult job access; economic outlook, college labor market; workforce development, planning, and development; vocational rehabilitation and job market transition.
Michael J. Haslip, PhD (Old Dominion University). Assistant Professor. Early childhood education, social and emotional learning, child guidance strategies, effects of public pre-school attendance.
Marlene Hilkowitz, M.Ed (Temple University). Assistant Clinical Professor. Science education; Curriculum development; Student engagement
Jennifer Katz-Buonincontro, PhD (University of Oregon). Associate Professor. Educational administration, leadership development, survey & instrument design.
Kristine Kelly, PhD (University of Wisconsin, Madison). Assistant Clinical Professor. Sociology of gender and development; anthropology of policy; comparative and international education; qualitative research methods; Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
Valerie Klein, PhD (University of Pennsylvania). Assistant Clinical Professor. Mathematics learning and teaching; teacher's use of formative assessment in mathematics; creating opportunities for rich problem solving in the classroom; examining teachers growth and change; qualitative research methods.
Vera Lee, EdD (University of Pennsylvania). Assistant Clinical Professor. Practitioner Research in online courses to explore inservice/preservice teachers’ emerging understandings about issues of diversity; the development of information/digital literacies of urban youth; English language learners.
Bruce Levine, JD (New York University). Assistant Clinical Professor. Educational policy, school law, public-private partnerships, intersection of business and education.
Kristine Lewis-Grant, PhD (Temple University). Associate Clinical Professor. Experiences of students of African descent at predominantly white colleges and universities, college access and college student development, youth civic engagement in urban school reform, qualitative research and evaluation.
William Lynch, PhD (University of Maryland). Professor. Curriculum and educational leadership, educational technology, distance learning policy development, higher and adult education.
Constance Lyttle, PhD, JD (University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University). Associate Clinical Professor. Legal rights of gifted and talented children and children with disabilities; inclusive education of exceptional children; special education mediation; special education IEP/IFSP facilitation; resolution session facilitation
Kenneth Mawritz, PhD (University of Pittsburgh). Assistant Clinical Professor. Educational administration
Joyce Pittman, PhD (Iowa State University of Science and Technology). Associate Clinical Professor. Curriculum and instruction K-16; teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL); instructional design business education and administration; industrial and career technology; oral and written communication; research methodology; instructional and assistive technology assessment; online learning pedagogy
Kathleen Provinzano, PhD (Marywood University). Assistant Professor. Educational administration. Contextually responsive leadership, leadership for social justice, leadership for learning, community school strategies.
Fredricka K. Reisman, PhD (Syracuse University) Director of the Torrance Center for Creativity and Innovation. Professor. Mathematics education, learning mathematics, mathematics pedagogy, teacher education, heuristic diagnostic learning and teaching, theory and research in creativity and applied creativity.
Lori Severino, EdD (Neumann University). Assistant Professor. Special education, differentiated instruction, reading, Wilson language, multi-sensory instruction, reading comprehension, assessment, adolescent literacy.
Jason Silverman, PhD (Vanderbilt University). Associate Professor. Teaching and learning of advanced mathematical ideas (algebra and calculus); improving teachers' ability to orchestrate and sustain inquiry-based and discussion-based instruction; technology in mathematics education.
Brian Smith, PhD (Northwestern University). Professor. Design of computer-based learning environments; Human-computer interaction; Design sciences.
Toni A. Sondergeld, PhD (University of Toledo). Associate Professor. Cognitive and affective assessment development; program/grant evaluation; high stakes testing measurement; STEM education; urban education.
Nancy Butler Songer, PhD (University of California, Davis) Dean, School of Education. Distinguished Professor. STEM education, urban education, educational assistance
Mary Jean Tecce DeCarlo, EdD (University of Pennsylvania). Assistant Clinical Professor. Early literacy development, learning differences, knowledge construction, urban education.
Sarah P. Ulrich, EdD (Saint Joseph’s University). Associate Clinical Professor. Emphasis in cross-cultural, language and academic development.
Sheila Vaidya, PhD (Temple University). Professor. Educational psychology, school psychology, research design.
Christina Vorndran, PhD (Louisiana State University). Associate Clinical Professor. Behavior analysis, single subject research methods, functional analysis
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