Special Education (MS)

This online MS program is for an individual seeking knowledge and skills in the area of Special Education.  Students will gain expertise in pedagogy and evidence-based practices.  In addition, students will develop skills related to designing and conducting applied research.  Someone enrolled in this program can be seeking a MS only or seeking a teaching license in addition to the MS. 

Program Requirements

Research/Methods Course(s)

Introduction to quantitative, qualitative, and action research methodologies as applied to educational research and evaluation. Development of skills for interpreting and evaluating published studies, for evaluating programs, and for developing original or secondary research plans using one or a combination of the three methodologies.

Prerequisites: none

Interpretation and application research and theoretical articles relatated to education. Students will learn how to use a concise, objective, academic style of writing to create a review of literature fore theses or Capstone projects.

Prerequisites: none

Restricted Electives

Choose 11 - 27 Credit(s). Course selection requires approval of advisor.

This course is designed to introduce students to theories of learning and human development as they relate to regular and diverse learning populations. Students will acquire an understanding of the many factors that affect learning and human development and strategies that can be used to enhance learning for all learning populations.

Prerequisites: none

This course is designed to describe and demonstrate strategies that teachers can use to differentiate the curriculum to meet the special learning needs of students in an inclusive classroom setting. This course will also examine the latest knowledge related to intelligence, creativity, holistic education, and classroom differentiation.

Prerequisites: none

This course will introduce students to methods and strategies for personal and professional growth and development. Students will engage in reflective inquiry, identify professional dispositions, and describe environment effects on learning and human development.

Prerequisites: none

This course is designed to provide an introduction to reading and language arts instruction for special needs and other students in an inclusive classroom. As a result of taking this course, students will be able to plan and implement effective literacy lessons and utilize a variety of differentiation strategies.

Prerequisites: none

Legal, historical, and foundational issues in the education of young children with disabilities as well as characteristics, service needs, and models of service for young children with disabilities with emphasis on young children with moderate/severe disabilities.

Prerequisites: none

Applied practical approaches to improve academic and personal social behavior of special needs students in general education and special education settings. Principles of applied behavior analysis including reduction and enhancement procdures will be explored.

Prerequisites: none

Focus in quantitative methods in educational research in applied educational settings.

Prerequisites: none

Focus on qualitative methods in educational research in applied educational settings.

Prerequisites: none

This course will familiarize teachers with methods used in action research. Action research is a systematic observation of one's own teaching situation, environment, or pedagogical practice with the expectation that a new understanding will result in a plan of action that in turn, will ultimately lead to change.

Prerequisites: none

Current practices in the identification, placement, and education of exceptional children and youth. Emphasis on patterns of social, cognitive, language, and psychological development of exceptional children. Social, political, and economic advocacy issues.

Prerequisites: none

Teaches objective academic writing and the basics of program and curriculum planning design.

Prerequisites: none

This course covers strategies used to meet the literacy learning needs of all students within an inclusive classroom. Strategies will focus primarily on the special learning needs of students with EBD, LD and gifted learners.

Prerequisites: none

This course will introduce teacher candidates to different aspects of being a Special Educator, including writing Individualized Education Program plans, working collaboratively, addressing strategies for working with paraprofessionals, including co-teaching and using technology in the classroom to assist student learning.

Prerequisites: none

In-depth examination of the problems, trends, and procedures used in planning career development, pre-vocational, and vocational programs for the midly disabled. Program models, assessment, job analysis, placement, and employer-school relations are covered.

Prerequisites: none

This course addresses foundational knowledge for teachers of students with learning disabilities, and focuses on the referral, evaluation, and program planning process for these students.

Prerequisites: none

Interpretation and implementation of psychological reports, formative and summative assessment data, enabling incorporation of relevant information/data into an evaluation report. Applied practical understanding, development, usage, and interpreation of information assessment tools determining identification and instructional design.

Prerequisites: none

Pedagogy for teaching students with mild to severe learning disabilities with an understanding of instructional theories and trends. Applications include sequences/adaptations of instruction/curriculum, technology integration, collaborative techniques, and metacognitive strategies. Focus is in reading, written language, and mathematics.

Prerequisites: none

Field experiences in off-campus programs providing services to students with learning disabilities. Designed to professionalize the educational experience and ensure license standards competency. Must be taken with SPED 649.

Prerequisites: none

This course will provide students with foundational background knowledge of developmental disabilities, and characteristics and assessments associated with students with developmental disabilities. Topics covered will include: characteristics, historical perspectives, identification and assessment, family perspectives, learning characteristics and educational models.

Prerequisites: none

This course addresses curricular approaches, instructional strategies, inclusion techniques, adaptive techniques, assistive technology, behavior techniques, and other specialized interventions needed to serve students with moderate to severe developmental and multiple disabilities effectively.

Prerequisites: none

Student teaching is designed to provide graduate students an opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and skills learned in their coursework and demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to effectively teach students with developmental cognitive disabilities in a classroom setting.

Prerequisites: none

This is an accompanying course for initial licensure Special Education teacher candidates in the areas of ASD, DCD, EBD, LD, and ECSE.

Prerequisites: none

The purpose of this course is the effective applications of procedures for teaching students with emotional/behavioral disorders in school settings. Students will build individual programs through the use of Functional Behavioral Assessments focusing on Positive Behavioral Supports.

Prerequisites: none

This course is an accompanying course for all advanced licensure Special Education teacher candidates.

Prerequisites: none

This graduate course is designed to assist educators to develop knowledge of the due process requirements outlined in Minnesota Rule and Statute as well as a working understanding of federal special education law under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Understanding the requirement of due process and federal special education law is critical in today's schools, both for teachers as well as administrators.

Prerequisites: none

Field experience in off-campus programs providing services to student with learning disabilities. Designed to professionalize the educational experience and ensure license standards competency. Must be taken with SPED 658.

Prerequisites: none

This course will focus primarily on educational program development for children with autism. Students will learn to build visual schedules and write social stories to affect the behavior of students with autism. Students will learn the importance of individualized program development and legal issues surrounding appropriate programming.

Prerequisites: none

One of 4 required courses for the certificate in ASD. This class will focus on current stressors affecting teachers, caregivers, and family members dealing with issues related to Autism.

Prerequisites: none

Field experience with students with autism spectrum disorders. Designed to professionalize educational experience and ensure license standards competency. Take with SPED 656 (initial) or 659 (add-on license). All course work related to special education must be completed. Professor permission required.

Prerequisites: none

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Prerequisites: none

Unrestricted Electives

Choose 0 - 16 Credit(s). Course selection requires approval of advisor.

Capstone Course

Designed to assist student in preparation of their capstone project as part of their graduation requirements. In this experience, students receive one-on-one contact with their advisor.

Prerequisites: none