Master of Education in Elementary and Special Education IR

Master of Education in Elementary Education and Special Education (Leads to Initial Licensure)Initial Program – Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure

Offered By: College of Education

Earn a Master’s Degree in Special Ed With Elementary Teaching Certification

Grand Canyon University’s Master of Education in Elementary and Special Education IR is designed for students seeking dual certification in elementary education (K-8) and mild to moderate education (K-12). The format and courses of this regionally accredited and Arizona-approved program are designed to maximize the content knowledge the teacher candidate will possess upon graduation.

Opportunities are provided to apply concepts, theories and research throughout the program with focused experiences that guide students through 113 hours of observational and practice-based field experiences in K-8 elementary settings, as well as K-12 special education mild to moderate settings. Graduates of the program are prepared to work with special education student populations and implement individualized educational plans to accommodate the students’ various learning, behavioral and social needs.

Teacher candidates are responsible for contacting their state department of education for licensure requirements and program approval. Teacher candidates should consult the Grand Canyon University Catalog, the University Policy Handbook and an academic advisor to obtain information regarding current policies and procedures inherent in a teacher licensure program. Graduates of this program are eligible for the Mild to Moderate Disabilities Special Education, K-12 Certificate and the Elementary Education K-8 Certificate in the state of Arizona.

Curriculum Overview for GCU’s Online Masters in Elementary Special Education With Licensure

Courses are taught by experts in their respective fields who share knowledge and experience. All courses are directly aligned with Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) principles, and Council for Exceptional Children standards.

Study Topics Include: 

  • Child and early adolescent development and psychology
  • Characteristics of intellectual disabilities
  • Ethical and legal practices
  • Collaboration and communication strategies
  • Assessment, eligibility and transition planning
  • Classroom management and engagement
  • Literacy development
  • Supporting English language leaners
  • Instructional planning
  • Methods of teaching academic subject areas including science, health, math, language arts, social studies and arts

Student Teaching Requirements: 

Teacher candidates must be prepared to complete a full-time, 16-week student teaching component at the end of the program. Eight weeks of student teaching will need to be completed in a K-8 general education setting with a certified elementary education teacher, and eight weeks will need to be completed in a K-12 mild to moderate special education setting with a certified special education teacher.

Applying Your Special Needs Elementary Education MEd degree to Your Teaching Career

Graduates may move on to pursue important leadership roles within the education industry including special education teacher, intervention specialist, resource teacher, special education inclusion teacher and many others. This Master of Education in Elementary Special Education program also prepares graduates who wish to pursue their doctoral degree in education or related disciplines.

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TOTAL CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 57
Online: 6 weeks
[More Info]
TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
TUITION RATE:
Online: $572 per credit [More Info]

Course List

Major:
57 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
57 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

Teacher candidates 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 prepare for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University by developing and strengthening the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students, including graduate level writing and research. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates survey how children and early adolescents grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas while understanding the implications for designing and implementing developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences. This survey of the seminal concepts, principles, theories, and research related to development of children and young adolescents will allow teacher candidates to build foundational knowledge for constructing learning opportunities that support individual students’ development, acquisition of knowledge, and motivation. Practicum/field experience hours: None. 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

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 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 or approved enrollment in the Graduate Certificate of Completion: Special Education, Mild to Moderate.

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 required. Prerequisite: SPD-510.

Course Description

Teacher candidates build foundational knowledge of planning instruction and assessment strategies designed to meet the needs of all students in an inclusive setting. Teacher candidates examine instructional planning based on the curriculum, knowledge of students, assessment data, learning theory, use of technology, and connections across the community. Formal and informal assessment strategies for planning, evaluating, and strengthening instruction for K-12 students are also examined. Practicum/field experience hours: 6. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: ESD-501 and SPD-521.

Course Description

Teacher candidates examine the process of assessment and eligibility in the inclusive classroom, along with the stakeholders involved. Teacher candidates build foundational knowledge of interventions such as RTI, MTSS, and the eligibility requirements for the disability categories identified by IDEA. This course reviews diagnostic assessments and how to incorporate the data for planning effective special education programs. Teacher candidates also develop knowledge and skills related to planning transitions for students with disabilities after high school, including legal requirements. Practicum/field experience hours: 6. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ESD-530.

Course Description

Teacher candidates examine how to create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive and engaging learning environments so that all students become active and effective learners and develop emotional well-being, positive social interactions, and self-determination. Teacher candidates focus on classroom procedures, physical classroom space, positive behavior interventions and supports, functional behavior assessments, adaptive behaviors, behavior improvement plans, and collaboration with colleagues. Practicum/field experience hours: 8. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ESD-530.

Course Description

Teacher candidates explore the language processing requirements of proficient reading and writing, including explicit, systematic, cumulative, and multisensory instruction that integrates listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Theoretical principles of the elements of reading instruction are examined. In addition, disabilities, such as dyslexia, are reviewed to understand how they affect the acquisition of reading skills and how they vary in presentation and degree. 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 for all students, including those with mild to moderate disabilities, with attention focused on reading. Practicum/field experience hours: 9. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ESD-530.

Course Description

In this course, teacher candidates examine the fundamentals of the legal, historical, and educational foundations of Structured English Immersion (SEI) 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. Through Universal Design for Learning they plan, deliver, and evaluate standards-based instruction for English language learners. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates examine fundamental concepts of physical, life, earth/space sciences, and health education. Teacher candidates build knowledge on a variety of age-appropriate inquiry-based instructional strategies to teach science, to build student understanding of personal and social applications, and to convey the nature of science for the practice of skills that contribute to good health. Practicum/field experience hours: 12. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ESD-530.

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 or ESD-530 or approved enrollment in the Graduate Certificate of Completion: Special Education, Mild to Moderate.

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 or ESD-530 or approved enrollment in the Graduate Certificate of Completion: Special Education, Mild to Moderate.

Course Description

Teacher candidates examine a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of the major concepts and modes of inquiry from the integrated study of history, geography, the social sciences, and other related areas. Teacher candidates build foundational knowledge on promoting students’ abilities to make informed decisions as citizens of a culturally diverse democratic society and interdependent world. Teacher candidates integrate the content, functions, and achievements of the performing and visual arts as primary media for communication, inquiry, and engagement among students. Practicum/field experience hours: 12. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ESD-530.

Course Description

Session A is the first of two 8-week sessions of the student teaching experience that includes practical classroom experiences, research, analysis, and teaching to support the creation of a Student Teaching Performance of Evaluation (STEP). Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: 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 the College of Education Office of Field Experience. All paperwork for student teaching must be submitted by the due date the semester prior to student teaching.

Course Description

This course supports the special education clinical field experience through an eight (8)-week full-time student teaching experience. Candidates select a K-12 grade special education mild to moderate classroom to engage in the student teaching experience that includes practical classroom experiences, research, analysis, and teaching to support the creation of a teacher work sample related to special education services. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in POS and content area; a 3.0 GPA; successful completion of state mandated basic skills and content area exams; and approval and placement by the Office of Field Experience. Arizona residents will be required to take the Arizona professional knowledge and subject knowledge exams for mild to moderate K-12 grade special education. All paperwork for student teaching must be submitted by the due date the semester prior to student teaching.

Locations

GCU Online Student


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 Evening Student


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.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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