For a version of this program that does not lead to teacher licensure, please click here
This Master of Education in Special Education program is designed for career changers or individuals with a bachelor‛s degree in a field outside of education who are interested in the education of children with special needs in the K-12 setting and also wish to seek initial teaching licensure. Graduates of the master‛s in special education degree program are prepared to work with special needs populations and implement individualized educational plans to accommodate various learning needs.
In this master‛s in special education degree program, you will study topics such as: classroom management for students with special needs, structured English immersion, diagnosis and assessment in special education, characteristics of learning disabilities and strategies to teach individuals with learning disabilities, characteristics of emotional/behavioral disabilities and strategies to teach individuals with learning disabilities, characteristics of intellectual disabilities and strategies to teach individuals with learning disabilities, and educational implications for students with physical and health impairments. The special education degree program concludes with a full-time, 16-week student teaching component that must be completed with a certified special educator.
Teacher candidates must have access to a K-12 special education classroom to complete the program assignments. The classroom setting must have at least three of the five disability categories represented: emotional disability, learning disability, intellectual disability, physical impairment, and/or health impairment.
|Course #||Course Title||Course Description||Credits|
|EDU-535||Foundations in Special Education Graduate Studies||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. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary.||3|
|SPD-500||Survey of Special Education: Mild to Moderate Disabilities||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. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary. Pre-requisite: EDU-535.||3|
|SPD-510||Professional, Ethical and Legal Practices and Policies in Special Education||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. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary. Pre-requisite: SPD-500.||3|
|SPD-520||Collaborations and Communications in Special Education||Teacher candidates survey theories and models for effective collaborations and communications 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. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary. Pre-requisite: SPD-500.||3|
|SPD-530||Assessment and Eligibility in Special Education: Mild to Moderate Disability||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. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary. Pre-requisite: SPD-500.||3|
|POS-500||U.S. and Arizona Constitutions for Teacher Candidates||Teacher candidates examine the United States Constitution, and the constitution of the State of Arizona. From this foundational review, teacher candidates will explore application of the United States Constitution and the constitution of the State of Arizona in educational contexts. This course requires 3 hours of field experiences. No Fingerprint Clearance required for field experience.||3|
|SPD-540||Creating and Managing Learning Environments for Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities||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. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary. Pre-requisite: SPD-500.||3|
|SPD-550||Instructional and Transitional Planning for Students with Mild to Moderate||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. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary. Pre-requisite: SPD-510.||3|
|SPD-560||Language Development with Mild to Moderate Disabilities and Disorders||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. No Fingerprint Clearance necessary. Pre-requisite: SPD-510.||3|
|ESL-523||English Language Teaching Foundations & Methods||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. Students are instructed in immersion strategies and the use of assessment data. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint Clearance necessary.||3|
|ESL-533||Advanced Methodologies of SEI||In this course students 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. Students will identify strategies to promote English language development and improve student achievement. They will plan, deliver, and evaluate instruction for English Language Learners. Practicum hours – 15. Prerequisite: Fingerprint Clearance and ESL-523.||3|
|SPD-570||Methods and Strategies of Teaching Mathematics to Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities||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 necessary. Practicum/field experience hours: 12. Fingerprint Clearance necessary. Pre-requisite: SPD-550.||3|
|SPD-580||Methods and Strategies of Teaching English Language Arts to Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities||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 necessary. Pre-requisite: SPD-550.||3|
|SPD-590||Student Teaching for Special Education Teacher Candidates||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 necessary. Pre-requisites: Fingerprint Clearance; successful completion of all courses in POS and content area; a 3.0 GPA; successful completion of state-mandated NES content area exams; and approval and placement by Office of Field Experience. All paperwork for student teaching must be submitted by the due date the semester prior to student teaching.||8|
|Required Course Total Credit:||47|
This program is offered in the following formats or locations:
The dynamic capabilities of GCU’s online curriculum offer considerable flexibility and convenience for career oriented professionals who are pursuing their educational goals. Full time faculty members, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Our small class sizes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Classes begin frequently.
The convenience of GCU’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals. Evening classes meet once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom, filled with career minded individuals. Evening class sizes are kept small, providing a warm nurturing environment that supports an engaging experience. Classes begin frequently at various locations.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.