Master In Special Education Master In Special Education

Specialized Expertise: Master In Special Education

The Master in Special Education program provides specialized expertise for educators who want to meet the diverse needs of exceptional students effectively. The program combines the Education Specialist Credential and the Master of Science degree in Special Education, offering both online synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Fieldwork supervision is conducted in a face-to-face format.

Key Takeaways: Master In Special Education

  • Gain specialized expertise in meeting the diverse needs of exceptional students
  • Combine the Education Specialist Credential and Master of Science degree in Special Education
  • Flexible online instruction with synchronous and asynchronous options
  • Face-to-face fieldwork supervision for practical learning
  • Enhance your teaching skills and advance in your career

Overview of the Education Specialist Credential and Master of Science in Special Education Program

The Education Specialist Credential program prepares individuals to teach and provide services to children and young adults with disabilities from kindergarten through age 22. It includes authorizations to teach and provide services for children with mild/moderate or extensive support needs, including English learners.

Candidates concurrently complete the requirements for the Master of Science in Special Education program. Applicants must submit two applications, one to the Department and one to the University, to be considered for the program. The program includes foundational coursework, discipline-specific methods courses, and three semesters of fieldwork and student teaching.

The program is a full-time, two-year cohort-based program that offers an alternate route to certification through the Intern Program.

Education Specialist Credential Program Flyer

Program Highlights Duration Fieldwork Experience
Authorizations to teach diverse exceptional students 2 years Three semesters
Concurrent completion of the Master of Science in Special Education Full-time Hands-on learning opportunities in diverse educational settings
Two applications: one to the Department and one to the University Cohort-based Supervised fieldwork experiences

Application Process and Deadlines

Prospective applicants interested in the Masters in Special Education program are encouraged to attend a Virtual Credential Information Session for more detailed information. These sessions provide valuable insights into the program, its requirements, and the benefits of pursuing a career in special education. Attending the session will also give applicants an opportunity to have their questions answered by program advisors and faculty members.

For those planning to apply for the upcoming Summer term admissions, the application deadline is April 1, 2024. It is important to note that this deadline applies to both the Department and the University applications. To be considered for the program, applicants must submit both applications and be accepted by both the Department and the University.

Similarly, for Fall term admissions, the application deadline is June 1, 2024. As with the Summer term, applicants must apply to and be accepted by both the Department and the University.

To complete the application process, applicants need to ensure that transcripts from their previous educational institutions are submitted by the respective deadlines. Transcripts play a crucial role in evaluating the applicant’s academic background and eligibility for the program.

Throughout the application process, the Credential Student Service Center is available to provide further assistance and guidance. The dedicated staff at the center can help applicants with any questions or concerns they may have, ensuring a smooth and successful application experience.

Application Deadlines:

Admission Term Department Application Deadline University Application Deadline
Summer April 1, 2024 April 1, 2024
Fall June 1, 2024 June 1, 2024

Program Structure and Fieldwork Experience

The Masters in Special Education program follows a full-time, two-year cohort-based structure, providing a comprehensive educational experience for aspiring educators. The program’s rigorous curriculum focuses on equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively support exceptional students in diverse learning environments.

Upon enrollment in June, candidates begin their journey with full-time coursework, laying the foundation for their specialized expertise. This immersive learning experience allows students to delve deep into various aspects of special education, including assessment strategies, intervention techniques, and inclusive classroom practices.

One of the program’s highlights is its emphasis on fieldwork experiences, which play a crucial role in preparing students for the challenges and rewards of working with exceptional students. As part of the program, students engage in supervised fieldwork experiences starting in the spring semester of the first year.

Fieldwork gradually increases in intensity, providing students with hands-on learning opportunities and practical experience in diverse educational settings. Through these fieldwork experiences, students have the chance to observe and collaborate with experienced special education professionals, gaining invaluable insights and honing their teaching skills.

By the second year of the program, students will transition to full-time teaching during their fieldwork, further solidifying their understanding of the program’s concepts and putting their knowledge into action. This immersive teaching experience empowers candidates to apply evidence-based instructional strategies, promote inclusive practices, and create supportive learning environments for exceptional students.

The program’s structure is designed to ensure that students are well-prepared to address the unique needs of exceptional students upon graduation. From the comprehensive coursework to the extensive fieldwork experience, every aspect of the program is meticulously crafted to foster the development of competent and compassionate special education professionals.

Having a strong program structure and meaningful fieldwork experience is essential for aspiring special educators. This combination of classroom learning and hands-on practice equips students with the skills, confidence, and expertise they need to make a significant impact in the lives of exceptional students.

Alternate Routes to Certification and Intern Program

For those seeking an alternative pathway to certification, the program offers the Intern Program. This program allows eligible candidates to apply for certification after program acceptance. To participate in the Intern Program, applicants must submit an Intern Application during the summer term. Interested candidates should also submit an Intern Approval Application to the program coordinator after being accepted into the program. It’s important to note that meeting the minimum requirements and obtaining a job offer does not guarantee recommendation for an Intern Credential.

Intern Credentials can only be issued after successfully completing summer classes with a “B” or better. This rigorous process ensures that interns have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in their roles. The Intern Program not only provides a valuable opportunity for aspiring educators to gain hands-on experience but also serves as an accelerated pathway to certification, enabling participants to enter the workforce with the confidence and competence required to make a meaningful impact.

Requirements for Intern Credentials:

1. Acceptance into the program

2. Intern Application submission

Intern Program Timeline Actions Deadlines
Submit Intern Application Summer term Deadline: TBA
Submit Intern Approval Application to program coordinator After acceptance into the program Deadline: TBA
Complete summer classes Summer term Deadline: TBA

“The Intern Program offers aspiring educators a unique opportunity to gain practical experience while working towards certification. It serves as a stepping stone for individuals who want to make a difference in the lives of exceptional students.” – Program Coordinator

The Intern Program is designed to provide a supportive environment for interns to develop their teaching skills under the guidance of experienced educators. With a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on practice, interns gain valuable insights into effective teaching strategies and classroom management techniques.

By offering alternate routes to certification, the program ensures that educators are well-prepared to meet the diverse needs of their students. The Intern Program prepares individuals to make a positive impact on the lives of exceptional students and equips them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the field of special education.

Cal Poly’s Integrated M.S. in Special Education Program

Integrated M.S. in Special Education

Cal Poly’s Integrated M.S. in Special Education Program is designed to prepare teachers, clinicians, and professionals in special education to make a lasting, positive impact on the lives of children and youth with disabilities. This comprehensive program combines practical experience with theoretical knowledge, equipping graduates with the skills and expertise needed to excel in a variety of roles within the field.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are well-prepared for diverse positions, including:

  • Special Education Teachers
  • Educational Diagnosticians or Testers
  • Adjunct Professors
  • Special Education Clinical Specialists
  • Behavior Intervention Specialists
  • Instructional Coordinators
  • Independent Consultants or Trainers
  • Directors or Program Managers
  • Resource Specialists
  • Transition Specialists
  • Curriculum Adaptation Specialists

Graduates of the Integrated M.S. in Special Education Program possess the knowledge and skills necessary to provide comprehensive support to individuals with mild/moderate disabilities. The program’s curriculum covers a broad range of topics, including inclusive education practices, assessment and intervention strategies, behavior management techniques, curriculum development, and more.

Special Education Roles and Opportunities Description
Special Education Teachers Special education teachers work directly with students with disabilities, providing instruction and support tailored to their individual needs.
Educational Diagnosticians or Testers Educational diagnosticians or testers assess students’ learning abilities, identify strengths and weaknesses, and recommend appropriate interventions.
Adjunct Professors Adjunct professors teach courses related to special education at colleges and universities on a part-time or contract basis.
Special Education Clinical Specialists Special education clinical specialists provide specialized support and expertise to students, families, and educational teams.
Behavior Intervention Specialists Behavior intervention specialists develop and implement behavior management plans to support students in overcoming challenges and improving behaviors.
Instructional Coordinators Instructional coordinators develop and implement strategies to improve instructional practices and support teachers in delivering effective instruction.
Independent Consultants or Trainers Independent consultants or trainers provide professional development, guidance, and support to educators, schools, and districts.
Directors or Program Managers Directors or program managers oversee special education programs and services, ensuring compliance with regulations and providing leadership and guidance.
Resource Specialists Resource specialists work with students with disabilities in special education resource programs, providing targeted support and accommodations.
Transition Specialists Transition specialists focus on helping students with disabilities navigate the transition from school to post-secondary education, employment, and independent living.
Curriculum Adaptation Specialists Curriculum adaptation specialists modify and adapt curriculum materials to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities.

“The Integrated M.S. in Special Education Program at Cal Poly provides graduates with a diverse skill set and comprehensive understanding of special education. The program prepares individuals for a range of fulfilling roles, such as special education teachers, educational diagnosticians, clinical specialists, and more. With opportunities to make a difference in the lives of children and youth with disabilities, this program offers a rewarding career path in the field of special education.”

– Dr. Jennifer Thompson, Program Coordinator

Careers and Opportunities in Special Education

Special Education Careers

A master’s degree in special education opens up a range of career opportunities beyond classroom teaching. Graduates can pursue various roles that allow them to make a difference in the lives of individuals with exceptionalities and contribute to the field of special education.

Here are some of the career paths you can explore:

  1. Classroom Teacher: Special education teachers work directly with students in inclusive or special education settings, implementing individualized education plans (IEPs) and providing support tailored to their needs.
  2. Educational Diagnostician: These professionals assess students’ learning abilities, identify special education needs, and develop appropriate interventions and accommodations.
  3. Adjunct Professor: Special education adjunct professors work in higher education institutions, teaching courses related to special education and sharing their expertise with aspiring educators.
  4. Special Education Clinical Roles: Clinical specialists provide direct services to students, conduct assessments, develop intervention plans, and collaborate with teachers and families to support students’ academic and social-emotional growth.
  5. Behavior Intervention Specialist: These professionals focus on behavior management and provide strategies and interventions to support students with challenging behaviors.
  6. Instructional Coordinator: Instructional coordinators develop and implement specialized curriculum and instructional strategies to meet the unique learning needs of students with exceptionalities.
  7. Independent Consultant: Independent consultants or trainers offer their expertise to schools, organizations, or individuals, providing support and guidance in implementing effective special education practices.
  8. Director or Program Manager: These leadership roles involve overseeing special education programs, managing staff, ensuring compliance with regulations, and developing policies for effective program implementation.
  9. Specialist Roles: Specialists may focus on specific areas within special education, such as resource specialists who provide support and accommodations, transition specialists who assist students in transitioning from school to post-school environments, or curriculum adaptation specialists who modify curriculum to meet the unique needs of students with exceptionalities.

These career paths offer opportunities for further growth and leadership in the field of special education. Whether you choose to work directly with students, conduct assessments, provide specialized support, or take on leadership roles, a master’s degree in special education equips you with the knowledge and skills needed to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals with exceptionalities.

Benefits of Earning a Master’s in Special Education

Benefits of a master's in special education

Earning a master’s in special education brings numerous benefits that can have a significant impact on your career. Let’s explore some of these benefits:

Enhanced Career Prospects

A master’s degree in special education makes graduates more qualified and marketable for various roles in the field. Employers value the advanced knowledge and skills acquired through a master’s program, which can open up new opportunities for career advancement.

Increased Salary Potential

Teachers with a master’s degree in special education often have the potential to earn a higher salary compared to those with only a bachelor’s degree. The advanced level of education and specialized expertise can be financially rewarding, reflecting your commitment to professional growth and excellence.

“A master’s degree in special education provides educators with the tools and knowledge to make a real difference in the lives of exceptional students.”

Greater Marketability

With a master’s degree, you become more competitive in the job market. The specialized training and comprehensive understanding of special education principles and strategies can set you apart from other candidates, increasing your chances of securing desired positions in the field.

Advanced Training

A master’s program in special education offers advanced training that goes beyond basic teaching skills. It equips educators with a deeper understanding of instructional strategies, assessment methods, behavior management techniques, and other essential knowledge necessary to effectively support exceptional students.

Effective Teaching Practices

The advanced coursework and hands-on experiences during a master’s program enable educators to develop more effective teaching practices. You will learn evidence-based approaches, innovative instructional methods, and practical strategies tailored to meet the diverse needs of exceptional students.

Earning a master’s in special education not only broadens your expertise but also shows your dedication to the field. The benefits of advanced training, increased marketability, and improved teaching practices all contribute to creating inclusive and supportive learning environments for students with exceptionalities. Take the next step in your career and unlock the opportunities that a master’s in special education brings.

The Master of Education in Special Education degree program offered by the College of Education provides a comprehensive online program designed to meet the needs of educators seeking certification and advanced knowledge in the field of special education. With a focus on applied behavior analysis and intervention strategies, this online degree program equips educators with the tools and strategies necessary to support students with disabilities in diverse educational settings. The coursework, which is regionally accredited and meets the standards set by the Council for Exceptional Children, covers topics such as positive behavior support, culturally responsive teaching strategies, and best practices for inclusive learning environments. Through a combination of online learning opportunities and field experiences, students in this program gain expertise in working with exceptional children and collaborating with general education teachers. Tuition and fees for the online graduate program are competitive, and financial aid is available to eligible students. Admission requirements include meeting the department of education’s standards for initial teacher certification and additional requirements specific to the program. The application deadline for this exceptional online degree program is approaching, so educators interested in advancing their careers in special education should apply soon to take advantage of this opportunity.

Earn a Master’s Degree in Special Education through our comprehensive online Master of Education program, designed to equip educators with the knowledge and skills needed to become special education teachers and meet the diverse needs of students with special needs in various educational settings. This online degree program, offered by a regionally accredited institution, covers special education laws, principles of applied behavior analysis, and strategies for students with autism spectrum disorders. Graduates qualify for special education certification and may pursue additional certifications such as BCBA certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. The completely online format allows students to balance their educational goals with their professional and personal commitments while accessing quality education. Scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available for eligible applicants. Applicants must meet initial teacher certification requirements and additional program-specific criteria to be deemed eligible to take the certification exam upon completion of the program. Join us and become a leader in special education, making a difference in the lives of exceptional children.

Also Read: What Are The Requirements For A Bachelor Of Education Degree?

Conclusion

Pursuing a Masters in Special Education offers specialized expertise that can elevate a teaching career in the field of special education. The program provides in-depth knowledge, skills, and experience to effectively meet the diverse needs of exceptional students. With a master’s degree, educators have expanded career opportunities and the potential for increased salary and marketability. By advancing their skills and knowledge in the field, professionals in special education can make a significant impact on the lives of students with exceptionalities and contribute to creating inclusive and supportive learning environments.

FAQs

Q: What is special education?

A: Special education is a specialized form of education designed to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities or special needs.

Q: How can I become a special education teacher?

A: To become a special education teacher, you typically need to earn a degree in special education or a related field from a regionally accredited institution, as well as obtain teacher certification in special education.

Q: What is the significance of a master’s degree in special education?

A: A master’s degree in special education provides specialized expertise and advanced training in educating students with special needs, making you a more qualified and effective special education teacher.

Q: Are there online degree programs available for special education?

A: Yes, there are online master of education programs in special education that offer flexibility for working professionals to earn their degree while continuing to work.

Q: What are some common admission requirements for master’s programs in special education?

A: Admission requirements for master’s programs in special education may include a bachelor’s degree, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and transcripts of previous academic work.

Q: Is financial aid available for students pursuing a master’s in special education?

A: Yes, financial aid such as scholarships, grants, and loans may be available to help students cover the tuition and fees associated with earning a master’s degree in special education.

Q: How does a degree in special education prepare individuals to work with students with special needs?

A: A degree in special education equips individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to understand and effectively meet the needs of students with disabilities or special needs in an educational setting.

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