The Special Education Pre-K – 8 specialization is a post baccalaureate program with two paths for completion. One option combines special education teacher certification with a Master of Education (MEd) degree. The other option is for special education teacher certification only.
Students pursuing a Master’s of Education degree (MEd) specializing in Special Education Pre K – 8 are required to complete a minimum of 39 credits beyond the prerequisite course work. MEd students will develop advanced knowledge in the fields of educational research, learning theory and child development to enhance their teaching practice.
Most MEd candidates complete the program in twelve months of full-time study. Each year a new cohort of students begins the program together, starting in late June and finishing in early June of the following year. With the exception of the first summer term, special education courses are offered in the evening. A few of the MEd required courses are also available in an on-line format.
Students are required to complete two different full-time student teaching practica in the spring, each of eight weeks duration. During the student teaching experiences, teacher candidates are closely supervised by both a University supervisor and an experienced mentor teacher. Additionally, during the fall term students are required to spend one day per week in each school to which they are assigned for student teaching. The School of Education’s Office of Clinical Practice will arrange these placements for students.
The MEd program requires students to successfully complete the Special Education Comprehensive Exam. The Comprehensive Exam is a proctored three-hour written exam based on the student’s area of concentration and is completed towards the end of their MEd degree program.
Admission follows successful completion of an initial teacher certification program in (elementary, pre-k-4, grade 4-8, reading specialist), undergraduate degree, and selected prerequisite courses. Most students enter the Special Education Pre-K-8 specialization on a full-time basis; however a part-time option is also available.