MASTER’S OF EDUCATION DEGREE (M.ED.) IN SPECIAL EDUCATION (SPED)
The Department of Counseling, Special Education, and Educational Psychology offers a 30-credit hour Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education degree. This program has been designed for working education professionals (licensed or unlicensed) who wish to pursue graduate studies focusing on teaching diverse students with disabilities. The program does not include a teaching credential. However, coursework may be combined with the Alternative Certification Program (ACP) for individuals seeing to receive their master’s degree and teaching license. For more information contact email@example.com.
A minimum 3.0 GPA on cumulative record (or 3.0 GPA in Education-Related Courses or final 60 undergraduate credit hours) prior to admission is required. Applicants are screened based on the quality of their application and the candidate’s potential for success in the program via the assessment of the special education program admissions committee. Students must include the following in their application:
- Curriculum Vitae/Resume
- Statement of intent (one-page written documentation that expresses the candidates interest in seeking a master's degree in special education and for selecting their desired concentration)
- Two professional letters of reference
- Official undergraduate transcripts
- Virtual Interview with Faculty
Final decision by
The twospecialization areas within the SPED Master’s Program are:
- Bilingual Special Education (Online)
- Social-Emotional Learning (Both in-person and online courses)
The applicant should confer with their faculty advisor to determine which specialization to pursue.
- Bilingual Special Education specialization area coursework will focus on topics related to teaching diverse students with disabilities who are emergent bilingual. Special attention is given to the foundations of bilingual and multicultural special education, the development of culturally responsive individualized family service plans (IFSPs) and individualized education programs (IEPs), and interventions that promote equity and inclusion through school-family-community partnerships.
- The Social-Emotional Learning specialization area coursework will focus on topics related to teaching and counseling students with disabilities who have high intensity mental health needs. Special attention is given to areas of multi-tiered systems of support, social-emotional learning evidence-based practices, school counseling, counseling related services, and culturally responsive assessment.
- Capstone Project
Students will be required to conduct research and develop a project relevant to their local community or schools with regard to the education of students with disabilities. The research project should reflect adherence to professional ethical research standards.
Below are the core requirements for students pursuing the M.Ed. in Special Education along with the courses necessary to complete the concentration in Bilingual Speecial Education or Social-Emotional Learning. All applicants should meet with their assigned program advisor prior to enrolling in coursework to map out their programs..
CORE REQUIREMENTS (18 hours)
EDPC 5310: Applied Research Design for Counseling and Special Education (Online)
This course focuses on the use of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research in settings with diverse and/or special populations. Descriptive and inferential statistics, single-subject design, and various qualitative approaches are covered.
SPED 5320: Special Education: Historical & Legal Basis (Online)
This course emphasizes the historical and legal issues pertaining to special education with specific attention paid to the evolution of federal law, policy, and litigation and its influence on promoting social justice and educational equity for students with disabilities and their families. The course centers on the landmark Supreme Court cases across Section 504, ADA, and IDEA, alongside the civil and disability rights movements in U.S. history, that have shaped legal and institutional schemes of special education services.
SPED 5321: Contemporary Trends in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Special Education (Online)
This course focuses on contemporary national, state, and regional trends related to educating students with disabilities who are culturally and linguistically diverse with emphasis on students who are English learners. Students will conduct a case-study in their community that explores the relationship between school and community.
SPED 5337: Assessment: Disability and Cultural/Linguistic Factors (Online)
This course will focus on issues related to the assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse students who have disabilities or are referred for special education. Topics related to disproportionality, multi-tiered systems of support, and the selection of valid, reliable, non-biased, and culturally responsive assessments will be discussed.
SPED 5361: Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (online)
This course focuses on the theory and applications of positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) and provides an in-depth examination of functional behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention planning based on academic, social, and cultural context. The course will emphasize applying PBIS principles and techniques for students with disabilities from bilingual and diverse backgrounds.
SPED 5378: Capstone in Special Education (Online)
(Prerequisite: EDPC 5310)
This course is the culminating experience of the M.Ed. in Special Education. This course will require students to develop a philosophy of teacher-leadership and develop a project in their local community or school to directly impact students, educational professionals, families, and/or community stakeholders. Earning a grade of “pass” in the capstone course is a degree requirement for graduation.
Bilingual Special Education (12 hours)
SPED 5322: Applications in Bilingual Special Education (Online)
This skills-based course will focus on providing instruction to bilingual and diverse students with disabilities. This course will address the foundations of bilingual and multicultural education, the development of culturally responsive individualized education programs, and teaching methods that promote equity and inclusion through school-family-community partnerships.
SPED 5330: Early Childhood Bilingual Special Education (Online)
This course focuses on evidence-based practices for young bilingual children with disabilities and their families. Developmental domains such as language, motor, social, cognitive development, and emergent literacy with an emphasis on implementation of instructional strategies, managing and understanding child behavior, within the context of bilingual family involvement will be addressed.
SPED 5347: Collaboration in Bilingual Special Education (Online)
This course overviews current research and practice on collaborating with diverse stakeholders (e.g., families, interpreters, related service providers, general educators, administrators, government agencies, community organizations) to support bilingual students with disabilities in early intervention, grade school, and transition settings. Topics related to family engagement, interdisciplinary collaboration, co-teaching, school/community asset mapping, and teacher/leadership models will be discussed.
ELECTIVE (Choose One of the Following:)
SPED 5345: Inter Stud w/ High Incid Disab (in-person)
SPED 5371: Inter Stud w/ Low Incid Disab (in-person)
BED 5325: Assessing Bilingual Learners (online)
BED 5334: Teaching Content and Literacy in Spanish (online)
BED 5335: Dual Language Bilingual Education (online)
BED 5336: Biliteracy. Literacy/Biliteracy Development (online)
SPED 5343: Content Area Instruction for Emergent Bilinguals (Online)
Social-Emotional Learning Concentration (12 hours)
SPED 5332: Multi-tiered SEL for SWD (In-Person)
Focuses on the foundations of high quality social-emotional learning assessments (e.g., screening, diagnostic, progress monitoring) and evidence-based interventions within multi-tiered systems of support (e.g., Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3) for students with disabilities who have high intensity mental health needs.
SPED 5333: Field-Experience: SEL for SWD (In-Person)
Focuses on field-based applications of high quality social-emotional learning assessments (e.g., screening, diagnostic, progress monitoring) and evidence-based interventions within multi-tiered systems of support (e.g., Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3) for students with disabilities who have high intensity mental health needs. In addition to a weekly seminar, scholars will receive supervision and mentorship to successfully complete their field-experience in PK-12 public school settings.
EDPC 5321: School Counseling (In-Person)
Analysis of the organization and administration of school counseling programs and services, including professional orientation issues. Emphasis on developmental school guidance and counseling in accordance with both national and Texas standards.
EDPC 5362: Counseling Children, Adolescents and Their Families (In-Person)
A focus on the dynamics, problems, and practical aspects underlying the behavior of children, adolescents and their families; provides a wide variety of intervention and treatment aspects for children, adolescents, and their families in therapy.