Academic Programs Catalog

College of Education

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education

Graduate Study
Special Education - Master of Arts

Graduate study in special education leads to the Master of Arts or Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Persons who hold valid State of Michigan teaching certificates in elementary or secondary education and who wish endorsements in special education should refer to the statement on Other Educational Opportunities for Teachers in the Department of Teacher Education section of this catalog.

Master of Arts

The master’s degree program with a major in special education is designed for persons who plan to be involved in the education of students with disabilities. Students who are enrolled in the program must complete one of the following areas of emphasis: autism spectrum disorder, or learning disabilities.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Education, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

An applicant for admission to the master’s degree program in special education is required to submit:

  1. Both departmental and university application forms.
  2. Three letters of recommendation from persons knowledgeable about the applicant’s academic potential to pursue graduate study and teaching competence or potential.
A statement of professional goals that clearly describes the applicant’s reasons for pursuing a masters degree and the goals that the emphasis area will help the student attain.

Applications are reviewed by faculty who look for indications of a high probability of success.  The following factors are significant in determining admission to the program:

  1. A grade-point average of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 credit hours attempted of undergraduate and all graduate courses.
  2. A valid teaching certificate in elementary or secondary education or eligibility for admission to the teacher certification program.
  3. Experience working with children and youth with disabilities (e.g., in a school or camp emphasis area) that is acceptable to the faculty. The experience should be related to the applicant’s planned area of emphasis.
  4. Professional goals that are consistent with the objectives of the program.
  5. A test of English language proficiency for students for whom English is not a first language.
Students who are seeking certification or endorsement through these emphasis areas and who do not have a valid teaching certificate must complete the requirements for teacher certification in elementary or secondary education, in addition to meeting the requirements for the master’s degree in special education with an emphasis in autism spectrum disorder, or learning disabilities.

Students who enter the master's degree program with a valid teaching certificate in elementary or secondary education and who desire an additional endorsement in an area of special education also must meet the endorsement requirements for autism spectrum disorder, or learning disabilities.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Special Education

In addition to a formal evaluation, the student must complete one of the following three areas of emphasis: autism spectrum disorder, or learning disabilities.  The total number of credits required for the Master of Arts  in Special Education varies according to the area of emphasis a student selects.  The program is available only online and only under Plan B (without thesis).

Autism Spectrum Disorder 

Two programs in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are available; autism spectrum disorder or autism spectrum disorder with an autism spectrum disorder endorsement. All graduate-level courses are offered via a combination of web-based, video conference, and phone/video-phone technologies. Students are required to have access to the appropriate technologies and the internet. A student who, in the judgment of the faculty, has not completed appropriate courses in exceptional children or behavior management may be required to complete such courses in addition to the courses listed below.
 
Autism Spectrum Disorder – Master of Arts with an Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits if they possess a teaching certificate and an initial endorsement in special education. A student who possesses a teaching certificate and is seeking an initial endorsement in special education will be required to complete an additional 6 credits (3 credits of CEP 840 and 3 credits of CEP 893J) for a total of 36 credits. A student who earned a teaching certificate and endorsement in learning disabilities from Michigan State University can transfer 12 credits of approved course work and complete this program upon the completion of 18 credits. 
           
1. All of the following courses (30 credits):  
  CEP 801A Collaboration and Consultation in Special Education 3
  CEP 803A Assessment of Students with Mild Disabilities 3
  CEP 841 Classroom and Behavior Management in the Inclusive Classroom 3
  CEP 842 Content-Area Instruction for Students with Mild Disabilities 3
  CEP 843 Autism Spectrum Disorders: Characteristics and Educational Implications 3
  CEP 844 Applied Behavior Analysis 3
  CEP 845 Autism Spectrum Disorders: Assessment and Intervention 3
  CEP 846 Autism Spectrum Disorders: Advanced Topics 3
  CEP 850 Technology and Literacy for Students with Mild Disabilities 3
  CEP 894J Special Education Practicum: Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders 3

Autism Spectrum Disorder – Endorsement only

Students must complete a total of 21 credits. The autism spectrum disorder endorsement only is available to students who already possess a special education endorsement in another disability area. Students who are seeking their initial endorsement in special education in the area of autism spectrum disorder must follow the requirements above under the heading Autism Spectrum Disorder – Master of Arts with an Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement.

           
1. All of the following courses (21 credits):  
  CEP 841 Classroom and Behavior Management in the Inclusive Classroom 3
  CEP 843 Autism Spectrum Disorders: Characteristics and Educational Implications 3
  CEP 844 Applied Behavior Analysis 3
  CEP 845 Autism Spectrum Disorders: Assessment and Intervention 3
  CEP 846 Autism Spectrum Disorders: Advanced Topics 3
  CEP 894J Special Education Practicum: Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders       6

Learning Disabilities

Two programs in learning disabilities are available; Master of Arts without a learning disabilities endorsement or  a Master of Arts with a learning disabilities endorsement. All graduate-level courses are offered via a combination of web-based, video conference, and phone/video-phone technologies, with the exception of the Special Education Internship, which is required for students who are seeking an endorsement. Students are required to have access to the appropriate technologies and the internet.
 
Learning Disabilities – Master of Arts

This program is designed for students who already have an endorsement to teach students with learning disabilities or who are seeking a master’s degree that will permit them to improve their knowledge of learning difficulties and disabilities. Students who complete these requirements will not receive an endorsement in learning disabilities.

Students must complete 30 credits and may be able to transfer 6 to 12 credits of course work from their post-baccalaureate program into the master's area of emphasis with advisor approval. The course work must meet the area of emphasis, department, college, and university requirements. The student's area of emphasis must be approved by the advisor.
           
1. All of the following courses:  
  CEP 801A Collaboration and Consultation in Special Education 3
  CEP 803A Assessment of Students with Mild Disabilities 3
  CEP 804A Literacy Instruction for Students with Mild Disabilities 3
  CEP 840 Policies, Practices, and Perspectives in Special Education 3
  CEP 841 Classroom and Behavior Management in the Inclusive Classroom 3
  CEP 842 Content-Area Instruction for Students with Mild Disabilities 3
  CEP 844 Applied Behavioral Analysis  3
  CEP 850 Technology and Literacy for Students with Mild Disabilities 3
  TE 846 Accommodating Differences in Literacy Learners 3
  Elective in TE or CEPSE 3


Learning Disabilities – Master of Arts with a Learning Disabilities Endorsement

This program is designed for students who are seeking an endorsement in learning disabilities. This may be the first endorsement for a teacher who is certified in elementary or secondary education prior to entering the area of emphasis or it may be a second endorsement for a student who has an endorsement in another special education area.
 
Students must complete 36 credits. Students who enter the area of emphasis with a teaching certificate in elementary or secondary special education may be able to transfer up to 6 credits of course work from their post-baccalaureate program into the master’s area of emphasis with advisor approval. The course work must meet the area of emphasis, department, college, and university requirements. The student’s area of emphasis must be approved by the advisor.
 
Students who enter the area of emphasis with a valid teaching certificate will be recommended for a State of Michigan teaching endorsement in learning disabilities upon completion of these requirements. The student must contact the Department of Education in other states in which they may desire to teach to determine if the endorsement is recognized.

           
1. All of the following courses:  
  CEP 801A Collaboration and Consultation in Special Education 3
  CEP 803A Assessment of Students with Mild Disabilities 3
  CEP 804A Literacy Instruction for Students with Mild Disabilities 3
  CEP 840 Policies, Practices, and Perspectives in Special Education 3
  CEP 841 Classroom and Behavior Management in the Inclusive Classroom 3
  CEP 842 Content-Area Instruction for Students with Mild Disabilities 3
  CEP 844 Applied Behavioral Analysis  3
  CEP 850 Technology and Literacy for Students with Mild Disabilities 3
  CEP 893F Special Education Internship: Teaching Children with Learning Disabilities 3
  CEP 894G Special Education Practicum: Children and Youth with Learning Disabilities 6
  TE 846 Accommodating Differences in Literacy Learners 3