Master of Education in Special Education – Moderate to Severe (ITL)

Master of Education in Special Education: Moderate to Severe (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)Initial Program – Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure

Offered By: College of Education

What Is A Licensure Master’s In Special Education (MEd)?

The Master of Education in Special Education – Moderate to Severe (ITL) is designed for individuals with a bachelor's degree who are interested in the education of K-12 children with moderate to severe special needs. This program prepares candidates seeking initial teaching licensure in the special education area of moderate to severe. Teacher candidates study topics ranging from ethical and legal practices to diagnosis and assessment in special education. In addition to taking 47 credits, students in this program must complete a full-time, 15-week student teaching component with a certified special educator.

The Master of Education in Special Education – Moderate to Severe (ITL) program is offered in person and online. This program is uniquely tailored to equip candidates for success in serving students with moderate to severe special needs. The program includes rigorous curriculum, relevant courses and highly trained faculty to support the graduate journey. Grand Canyon University cares about promoting the well-being of students at a large scale, including academic, spiritual and vocational growth. For this reason, academics are supported by our Christian worldview and strong academic heritage. GCU also sees the benefit of achieving a balanced lifestyle. The online and campus MEd in Special Education: Moderate to Severe program creates room for both academic excellence and personal flexibility to suit your individualized needs. 

What Will You Learn?

Teacher candidates study topics including:

  • Characteristics of intellectual disabilities and other physical health impairments
  • Ethical and legal practices
  • Developmentally appropriate teaching skills
  • Instructional planning/li>
  • Collaboration strategies
  • Diagnosis and assessment in special education
  • Communication and behavior strategies
  • Assistive technologies
  • Classroom management methods

Student Teaching Requirements:

The special education degree program concludes with a full-time, 15-week student teaching component that must be completed with a certified special educator. Teacher candidates are expected to have access to K-12 settings with moderate to severe special education students in order to complete the 103 hours of practicum/field experience requirements.

What Can I Do With a Master’s in Special Education: Licensure?

Graduates seeking licensure by completing the MEd in Special Education: Moderate to Severe program are equipped to work with those with moderate to severe special needs and create individualized education plans to meet individual student needs. Graduates can pursue employment as a special education teacher in a public, charter or private school, a teacher in a hospital or a residential service provider.

Get More Information!

Loading Form

TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Program Credits: 47
Online: 6 weeks
[More Info]
TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
PROGRAM TUITION RATE:
Online: $565 per credit [More Info]

Course List

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 special educational theories and practices are constructed, and explore a variety of the common issues, trends, and opportunities that professional special educators face in the field. Special Education 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

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 are introduced to the educational needs of students with moderate to severe exceptionalities including the definitions, characteristics, prevalence, causes and educational approaches to these disabilities and disorders. Candidates define low-incidence disabilities and identify cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and behavioral patterns of learning and development for individuals with moderate to severe exceptionalities. Practicum/field experience hours: 3. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-501.

Course Description

Teacher candidates survey professional ethical principles, professional practice standards, laws, and regulations that guide special educators. Candidates build upon this foundational knowledge to examine the multiple roles and complex situations of professional practice related to individuals with moderate to severe exceptionalities. Practicum/field experience hours: 3. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-506.

Course Description

Teacher candidates investigate diagnostic and assessment tools for determining student eligibility and monitoring for progress. Foundational knowledge is built regarding the use of multiple methods of assessment and data sources for diagnostic and educational decisions for individuals with moderate to severe exceptionalities. Candidates analyze assessment data and develop an individualized education plan (IEP) for a student. Ongoing collaboration with IEP team members and external stakeholders is emphasized. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates explore effective collaboration and communication techniques and strategies used in moderate to severe special education settings. Collaboration among teachers, other school professionals, families, and outside service agencies is analyzed to meet the individual needs of this special population. In addition, evaluation of the techniques and strategies used to meet the unique medical and educational needs of students within the moderate to severe classroom setting is addressed. Practicum/field experience hours: 6. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-556.

Course Description

Teacher candidates examine how instructional planning advances the learning of students with moderate to severe disabilities by creating a variety of specialized curricula aligned to content standards. Candidates are guided in designing engaging instruction that meets the needs documented in a student’s individualized education plan. Plans for accommodations, differentiated instruction, and strategies are identified in the lesson planning process. Formative and summative assessments are created to evaluate student progress and identify if instructional adjustments are necessary. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-558.

Course Description

Teacher candidates examine how to create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments through collaboration with colleagues and other professionals so individuals with disabilities become active and effective learners. Strategies to develop students' emotional well-being, positive social interactions, and self-determination are emphasized. Candidates focus on functional behavior assessments, behavior improvement plans, activities of daily living, and positive behavior interventions and supports. Practicum/field experience hours: 9. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-562.

Course Description

Teacher candidates examine curriculum needs of individuals with moderate to severe disabilities to develop and integrate the skills needed to transition students from the educational environment into successful postsecondary opportunities. Candidates focus on writing measurable postsecondary goals, creating aligned activities, and identifying the importance of family and interagency involvement. Practicum/field experience hours: 9. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-564.

Course Description

Teacher candidates examine typical and atypical language development, and associated disabilities and disorders. Candidates investigate how speech-language pathologists, special education teachers and others assist individuals with moderate to severe exceptionalities in the use of augmentative and alternative assistive technology, modifications, and accommodations to enhance their communication skills. Practicum/field experience hours: 9. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-566.

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 build foundational knowledge on a variety of research-based instructional strategies to provide individuals with moderate to severe exceptionalities access to content areas. From this foundational knowledge, teacher candidates select and adapt research-based instructional strategies to plan lessons with a focused attention on functional mathematics and sciences. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-568.

Course Description

Teacher candidates select and adapt research-based instructional strategies to provide individuals with moderate to severe exceptionalities access to language arts content. With this foundational knowledge, teacher candidates plan a functional approach to literacy instruction. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-568.

Course Description

This course supports the special education clinical field experience through a full-time student teaching experience. Candidates select a K-Grade 12 special education moderate to severe classroom setting to engage in 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) and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) Performance Template 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 NES or your state’s mandated content area exams; and approval and placement by the 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.

Program 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 that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.

Program Domains

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

Scroll back to top