Enhance Your Teaching Career With a Special Education Master’s Program
The Master of Education in Special Education (NITL) program from Grand Canyon University’s is a non-licensure program that can prepare teacher candidates for a career in special education with a focus on K–12 students with mild to moderate disabilities. This MEd in Special Education non-licensure program aims to help graduate students master the knowledge and cultivate skills that can support the development of students with exceptionalities.
Offered by the College of Education, its curriculum teaches how to adapt instructional strategies to meet each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), while building upon strengths that a teacher already possesses. This non-licensure initial special education MEd program can help teacher candidates increase their familiarity with mild to moderate disabilities, while advancing knowledge in assessment and transition planning. This initial special education, mild to moderate K-12 program, does not lead to teaching licensure.
Benefits of Earning an MEd in Special Education From GCU
Earning a degree from a special education master’s program from GCU can offer a range of benefits for aspiring educators, including:
- A deep understanding of special education practices
- An emphasis on evidence-based approaches, inclusive education and the application of research findings in K-12 classroom settings
- A collaborative environment with knowledgeable faculty members
- Application of critical thinking
- The discovery of innovative techniques to engage students with diverse learning abilities in the least restrictive environment (LRE)
- Ways to enhance academic experiences for students with exceptionalities
- Field experience opportunities to apply theories, research, concepts and strategies studied throughout the program
- Flexible online and in-person in the evening learning options
Coursework in the Master’s of Education in Special Education Program
Teacher candidates who choose to earn their MEd in Special Education (non-licensure) degree at GCU will complete field experience assignments within each course. These assignments guide candidates through practice-based and observational experiences. Access to a K–12 classroom is required to complete the non-licensure special education MEd program assignments. The classroom setting must represent mild to moderate disabilities and impairment categories that range from emotional, physical and health to learning and intellectual.
Study Valuable Skills for Teaching Special Education
Immerse yourself in the world of teaching special education by developing knowledge to teach and support students with exceptionalities. In this program you will:
- Discover innovative techniques to engage students with diverse learning abilities in the least restrictive environment (LRE)
- Gain insight into the educational requirements of students with mild to moderate disabilities and their families, encompassing definitions, characteristics, prevalence, causes and educational strategies
- Develop an understanding of employing diverse assessment methods and data sources for making diagnostic and educational choices for those with mild to moderate disabilities
- Foster inclusive, safe learning environments through collaborative efforts, promoting active learning, well-being and self-determination in individuals with disabilities
- Explore how instructional planning enhances learning for students with exceptionalities using subject-matter knowledge and specialized curricula
- Build a foundation of understanding diverse settings and learning experiences through individualized education and transition plans
- Gain field experience and learn to apply theories, research, concepts and strategies learned throughout the course
- Investigate the use of augmentative and alternative assistive technology, modifications and accommodations to enhance student communication skills
- Apply research-based strategies for teaching, focusing on math and ELA in academic and specialized curricula
Career Paths for Master’s in Special Education (Non-Licensure) Graduates
Graduates may have the opportunity to pursue careers in various educational settings, such as private, charter and public schools, as well as colleges, social service organizations and higher education institutions.
- Special education teacher
- Preschool and kindergarten special education teacher
- Elementary school special education teacher
- Middle school special education teacher
- Secondary school special education teacher
- Teaching assistant including special education
Further, this degree is worth pursuing if you want to advance your skills to position yourself to move ahead in your career within special education industries of research, policy development, advocacy organizations or within the non-profit sector.
These career paths may provide opportunities to contribute to the advancement of inclusive practices and improve educational opportunities for individuals with exceptionalities.
Master’s in Special Education (Non-Licensure) FAQs
The decision to pursue a special education master’s program often comes with many questions. To help you make your decision, we’ve provided a few frequently asked questions about this degree.
Take the next step in your career and work toward making a lasting impact in the field of special education with GCU's MEd in Special Education program. Start your journey towards becoming an exceptional special education professional by applying to GCU's MEd program today.
If seeking licensure or certification, applicants to the program are responsible for contacting their state department of education for licensure requirements and program approval. In addition, fingerprint and background clearance is required.
1 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Special Education Teachers, retrieved on June 30, 2023.
* 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.