Program Details

Master of Education in Special Education - Initial Teacher Licensure Initial Program – Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure

Offered By: College of Education
Next Start Date:
Program Now Enrolling
Approx. Course Length:
Online: 6 weeks [More Info]
Total Program Credits:
47 Credits
Transfer Credits:
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the program

Overview

Make an Impact with Children of Diverse Learning Abilities

With Grand Canyon University's (GCU) Master of Education in Special Education, you can master the knowledge to support development in students with exceptional needs. Approved by the Arizona State Board of Education, our special education degree provides the knowledge and coursework to prepare for initial teaching licensure. This program is offered by the College of Education in dynamic online and evening learning environments.

Directly aligned with national professional teaching standards, the master's degree in special education provides strategies to adapt teaching in the mainstream classroom to students with assorted needs. While core courses review pedagogy and classroom management, content in the special education focus aims to strengthen your ability to plan, assess and adapt learning for students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. Opportunities to apply your learning in real classrooms are available throughout your program and provide a well-rounded foundation to flourish into an outstanding educator.

Programs leading to teacher certification may require practicum hours, state exams, student teaching and an institutional recommendation from GCU.

Degree Outcomes

Coursework to Engage Students with Exceptional Learning Needs

In this master's in special education degree program, you examine cross-categorical teaching concepts and review theories and research from 21st century classroom practice to help you develop into an outstanding special education teacher. Explore innovation in the 21st century classroom and examine principles of collaborative teaching as well as learn to identify, evaluate and assess learning disabilities, instructional strategies and student achievement.

What You Will Learn

Master's in Special Education Coursework

In this masters in special education program, teacher candidates examine:

  • Lesson planning, development and assessment and methods to engage diverse learners
  • Professional ethical principles, practice standards, laws and regulations that guide special educators
  • First through eighth grade classroom management
  • Serving students with mild to moderate disabilities
  • Child and early adolescent growth and development
  • Typical and atypical language development and associated disabilities and disorders

Career Outcomes

Choose a Career Special Education

Common careers after gaining initial teacher licensure are elementary, junior high or high school special education teacher, school resource instructor, child advocate and disability services consultant. Potential workplaces include private, charter and public schools, colleges and social service organizations.

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. In order to view the specific course content and credit length available for your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
Major:
47 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
47 credits

Program Core Courses

Course Description

Teacher candidates will survey the philosophical, historical, and sociological influences upon which educational theories and practices are constructed and explore a variety of the common issues, trends, and opportunities that professional educators face in the field. Teacher candidates will prepare for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University by developing and strengthening the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the College of Education. Practicum/field experience hours: 6. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates are introduced to the educational needs of students with mild to moderate disabilities and their families, including the definitions, characteristics, prevalence, causes and educational approaches to these disabilities and disorders. Teacher candidates will identify cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional patterns of learning and development for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Teacher candidates also survey the special education process involving the application of various laws and regulations. Practicum/field experience hours: 6. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates survey professional ethical principles, professional practice standards, law and regulations that guide special educators. Teacher candidates build upon the foundational knowledge to understand the multiple roles and complex situations of professional practice that require attention to a variety of legal, professional, and ethical issues. Practicum/field experience hours: 6. Fingerprint clearance not required. Prerequisite: SPD-500.

Course Description

Teacher candidates survey theories and models for effective collaboration and communication with students with exceptionalities, colleagues, other school professionals, families and community members. In addition, teacher candidates apply collaboration and communication theories and models, incorporating technology, across a wide range of contexts to ensure active involvement in the education process for students with exceptionalities. Practicum/field experience hours: 6. Fingerprint clearance not required. Prerequisite: SPD-510.

Course Description

Teacher candidates will investigate diagnostic and assessment tools. Teacher candidates will build foundational knowledge regarding the use of multiple methods of assessment and data-sources for diagnostic and educational decisions for individuals with mild to moderate disabilities. Practicum/field experience hours: 6. Fingerprint clearance not required. Prerequisite: SPD-500.

Course Description

Candidates examine the United States Constitution, and the constitution of the State of Arizona. From this foundational review, candidates will explore application of the United States Constitution and the constitution of the State of Arizona in educational contexts. Practicum/field experience hours: 3. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates examine how to create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments through collaboration with colleagues so that individuals with exceptionalities become active and effective learners and develop emotional well-being, positive social interactions, and self-determination. Teacher candidates focus on behavior management, functional behavior assessments, adaptive behaviors, positive behavior interventions and supports, and behavior improvement plans. Practicum/field experience hours: 9. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-500.

Course Description

Teacher candidates will examine how instructional planning advances the learning of students with mild to moderate disabilities by drawing upon knowledge of central concepts, structures of the discipline, and tools of inquiry of the academic subject-matter content areas and a variety of specialized curricula. Teacher candidates build foundational knowledge about individualized education plans and transition plans for a wide range of settings and different learning experiences. Teacher candidates engage in organizing knowledge, integrating cross-disciplinary skills, and developing meaningful individualized learning progressions through drafting an IEP. Practicum/field experience hours: 9. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-510.

Course Description

Teacher candidates examine typical and atypical language development, and associated disabilities and disorders. Teacher candidates investigate the use of augmentative and alternative assistive technology, modifications and accommodations to enhance the communication skills of students with mild to moderate disabilities. Practicum/field experience hours: 9. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-510.

Course Description

This course presents the historical, legal, theoretical, and sociological foundations of programs of instruction for English language learners. It includes an examination of the role of culture in learning and instructional program models, with a focus on Structured English Immersion. Teacher candidates are instructed in immersion strategies and the use of assessment data. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

In this course, teacher candidates continue to examine the fundamentals of the legal, historical, and educational foundations of Structured English Immersion and other instructional programs for English language learners. Theoretical principles of language acquisition and the role of culture in learning are examined. Methods of assessment are identified and analyzed. Teacher candidates identify strategies to promote English language development and improve student achievement. They plan, deliver, and evaluate instruction for English language learners. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates build foundational knowledge on a variety of research-based instructional strategies to encourage individuals with mild to moderate disabilities to develop understandings and connections within content areas, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways. From this foundational knowledge, teacher candidates select, adapt and use research-based instructional strategies and interventions in academic and specialized curricula to advance the learning of students with mild to moderate disabilities with focused attention upon mathematics. Practicum/field experience hours: 12. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-550.

Course Description

Teacher candidates select, adapt and use research-based instructional strategies and interventions in academic and specialized curricula to individualize meaningful and challenging learning for students with mild to moderate disabilities, with an emphasis on literacy. Practicum/field experience hours: 12. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-550.

Course Description

Teacher candidates are engaged in the student teaching experience that includes practical classroom experiences, research, analysis, and teaching to support the creation of a Teacher Work Sample (TWS). Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in POS and content area; a 3.0 GPA; successful completion of NES or your state’s mandated content area exams; and approval and placement by College of Education Office of Clinical Practice. All paperwork for student teaching must be submitted by the due date the semester prior to student teaching.

Faculty Bios

Program Locations

Online

Online

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere. GCU offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.
Evening

Evening

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom. Night classes are designed for a specific number of students, providing a warm and nurturing environment that supports an engaging experience. In an evening cohort, you will progress through your degree program with the same career-minded classmates, providing an opportunity to network and forge relationships that go beyond the classroom. Classes begin frequently at various locations, including our main campus.

Online and Evening program disclosures

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.