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M.Ed. in Special Education – Program Mission & Outcomes

he mission of the MEd Special Education Program is to provide additional preparation to certified teachers to enable them to: (1) research and apply evidence-based pedagogy in all areas of instruction in the P-12 setting for diverse learners with an emphasis on either mild or moderate to severe disabilities; (2) implement the application of principles of educational foundations based on high academic standards and best professional practice in the diverse learning needs of special education students with mild or moderate to severe disabilities; (3) develop school and community partnerships that lead to addressing content in a variety of functional and academic areas so that students are prepared for graduation, post-secondary education, employment, and adult life; (4) use reflective practices necessary to be effective teachers for students with diverse learning needs; and (5) use technological resources as a tool for instruction, as well as for adaptive and assistive devices for students with disabilities in the P-12 setting.

The MEd Special Education Program is an NCATE accredited program aligned with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards for Advanced Programs, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), Council for Exceptional Students (CEC) Advanced Preparation Standards, and the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) Model Core Teaching Standards.

The program supports the university mission of engagement by linking field experiences with coursework and research beginning with the first semester and continuing through every semester until graduation. Teacher candidates are not only taught the concepts of identifying students with potential disabilities but participate in the collection of progress monitoring data, observation of the development of individualized instruction based on current educational standards, and the use of technology, including assistive technology to promote student growth and overall life success. Program faculty are dedicated to excellence in teaching and the development of a fertile learning environment exemplified by a free exchange of ideas, high academic expectations, and individual responsibility for academic achievement.

Student Learning Outcome 1 (Content Knowledge)

Graduates of the MAT in Special Education Program will demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of content needed to teach in interrelated disciplines as an independent teacher in a specialized setting or as a co-teacher in the general education setting. Candidates will:
a) Demonstrate an understanding of course content gained through Master’s level coursework by,
i. completing a comprehensive review of current research related to special education and mild disabilities and,
ii. describing and comparing characteristics of student with disabilities with students without disabilities.
b) Evaluate current research and practice in special education.
c) Collect and evaluate student performance data.

Student Learning Outcome 2 (Instructional Planning)
Graduates of the MAT in Special Education Program will plan effective teaching and learning experiences for diverse learners. Candidates will:
a) Describe the learning environment and the diversity of learners.
b) Identify data collection methods to determine current student performance by,
i. choosing multiple assessments to assess student performance and,
ii. describing assessment results related to student performance.
c) Describe of instructional strategies that address deficiencies in student performance.
d) Interpret assessment outcomes related to student performance and needs.
e) Define a range of current resources related to the improvement of student performance, including technology.

Student Learning Outcome 3 (Instruction)
Graduates of the MAT in Special Education Program will apply effective teaching and learning experiences during clinical. Candidates will:
a) Describe data collection procedures to assess student performance,
b) Develop instructional goals to meet the needs of diverse learners,
c) Identify multiple instructional strategies used in the clinical setting for diverse learners including,
i. stating a rationale for the use of instructional strategies,
ii. stating a justification for appropriate pairing of instructional strategies to instructional goals and,
iii. describing subsequent instruction to meet diverse needs.
d) Identify multiple assessments to measure instructional goals including,
i. stating a rationale to justify data collection and,
ii. reporting student performance related to instructional goals.
e) Define instructional competencies to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the content they teach including,
i. identifying professional dispositions that ensure that all students learn.
f) Define a range of current resources related to the improvement of student performance, including technology.

Student Learning Outcome 4 (Assessment)
Candidates will demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to assess and analyze student learning, make appropriate adjustments to instruction, monitor student learning, and have a positive effect on learning for all students. Candidates will:
a) Identify assessments to assess and monitor student performance including,
i. selecting a pretest to assess the current student performance and,
ii. selecting a posttest to assess the progress of student performance.
b) Critique the impact of instruction on student performance data including,
i. analyzing negative trends and,
ii. predicting potential achievement.
c) Interpret assessment outcomes related to student performance and needs.
d) Describe instructional procedures to modify instruction based on student performance data.
e) Describe data collection, analysis, and interpretation of the assessment process.

Student Learning Outcome 5 (Professional Disposition)
Graduates of the MAT in Special Education program will demonstrate the professional dispositions that are expected of educators. Candidates will:
a) Collaborate with peers, parents, and other school personnel.
b) Demonstrate professional behaviors and expectations.
c) Demonstrate a belief that all students can learn.
d) Communicate respect for and development of a rapport with all students.
e) Develop a culturally responsive learning environment.
f) Follow laws related to the rights and responsibilities of all students.
g) Adhere to state and local Code of Ethics.


Last updated: 11/11/2019