Earn an Online Master’s Degree in Special Education (NITL)
Grand Canyon University’s Master of Education in Special Education (NITL) program is a non-licensure program that prepares teacher candidates for a career in special education with a focus on K–12 students with mild to moderate disabilities. This program aims to help graduate students master the knowledge and cultivate skills necessary that support the development of exceptional children and high schoolers.
Offered by the College of Education, its rigorous 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 program helps teacher candidates increase their familiarity with mild to moderate disabilities, while advancing expertise in assessment, intervention and transition planning. This program does not lead to teaching licensure.
In this program students will:
- Learn to apply critical thinking
- Discover innovative techniques to engage students with diverse learning abilities in the least restrictive environment (LRE)
- Find ways to enhance academic experiences for those with disabilities
- Gain field experience and learn to apply theories, research, concepts and strategies learned throughout the course
- Learn how to implement plans to accommodate various learning needs
Should I Get a Master’s in Special Education Non-Licensure?
Education professionals who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of diverse children and elevating the special education field will benefit from earning GCU’s master’s in special education degree. The program is based on the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) principles and meets Council for Exceptional Children Standards. The program is regionally accredited and approved by the Arizona State Board of Education. Courses are led by knowledgeable and experienced instructors who are experts in their respective fields and in areas such as learning, emotional and behavioral disabilities, along with physical and cognitive impairments.
Teacher candidates who choose to earn their graduate degree at GCU will complete field experience assignments within each course. These assignments guide candidates through 96 hours of practice-based and observational experiences. Access to a K–12 classroom is required to complete the 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.
Online is often the preferred modality for earning a master’s degree because of its convenience and flexibility. GCU’s online program is tailored to meet the needs of adult learners who may also be working professionals, so they can learn at the times and locations best for them.
What is the Difference Between the Licensure and Non-Licensure Program?
Candidates who seek the non-licensure route (NITL) with this program will not need to complete the 15-week student teaching component. Therefore, those who cannot complete this requirement may choose to pursue this degree. In addition, the program completion will be a semester shorter, as this route has 36 total credits, as opposed to 44 credits with the licensure route. Please note that candidates who take this route cannot obtain an Institutional Recommendation (IR) from GCU.
What Can I do with a NITL Master’s Degree in Special Education?
Common careers and teaching areas are: K-12 special education teacher, school resource instructor, child advocate and disability services consultant. Potential workplaces include private, charter and public schools, as well as colleges, higher education institutions and social service organizations.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.