Special Education

Master of Education

Accredited by CAEPAbout This Program

Program Purpose

Students with special needs must be taught by professionals who are trained in the identification, assessment, and teaching of individuals with exceptionalities. To reach this goal, the Master of Education in Special Education program has two distinct options which allow the master’s candidate to focus on his/her individual needs and career goals. This non-categorical program reflects Wilmington University’s advocacy of an inclusion model of special education service delivery.

Program Competencies

The Master of Education in Special Education (MSE) degree program is built around standards developed by the Council for Exception Children, and reflects the College of Education Program Attributes and Conceptual Framework. Those standards can be accessed at:
CEC Standards:  www.cec.sped.org/~/media/Files/Standards/Professional%20Preparation%20Standards/Initial%20Preparation%20Standards%20with%20Elaborations.pdf
Attributes and Framework: www.wilmu.edu/education/clinicalstudies/conceptframework.aspx

Outcomes Assessment

The assessment of outcomes consists of multiple measures. Grades on assignments and for courses are the first level of assessment. The course goals, learning outcomes, and assignments are designed to address measurement of the program competencies as well as the graduation competencies. Other assessment measures include observation of the application of knowledge in practical settings and alumni surveys that query such items as preparation levels for careers and life-long learning activities.

Program Design

The Special Education master's program is a nationally recognized program by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and is designed to serve teacher candidates with a variety of educational needs. Options follow:

  • Teacher candidates who wish to obtain a master's degree and a State of Delaware standard teaching certificate for special education grades K-12. (Option A)
  • Teacher candidates who wish to obtain a master's degree with an instructional focus (Option B) [will not lead to certification]
  • Teacher candidates who wish to obtain a master's degree with an administrative focus (Option C) [will not lead to certification]

The program is designed for individuals who have at least a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education and who wish to become certified teachers in Special Education (Option A), as well as teacher candidates who have completed at least a bachelor’s degree and already hold a Delaware teaching certificate (Options B and C).   Teacher candidates in Option A must satisfy specific prerequisites; including EDU 402/407, EDU 405/410, EDU 306 Available Online, PSY201 or PSY 332 Available Online and EPY 401 Available Online.  The College of Education sets a required minimum grade of "B" for all education core courses.

Praxis Testing Requirements

Candidates starting their programs on or after July 1, 2014, must pass - by achieving Delaware minimum scores - the ETS Praxis Series Core Academic Skills for Educators (ETS # 5712, 5722, and 5732), or other approved tests of general knowledge that satisfy Delaware Department of Education regulations, in order to register for Practicum I, MSE 7991.

Candidates must also pass (by achieving Delaware minimum scores) appropriate PRAXIS II test(s) prior to registration for the methods course (MEE 7633 Available Online Methods in Elementary reading or MEE 7637 Available Online Methods in Elementary Mathematics). Teacher Candidates should designate Wilmington University as a score recipient at the time the tests are taken, and also provide a paper copy of the ETS score report that includes all scores and sub-scores. COMPLETE score reports must be received in the College of Education main office (Peoples Building, New Castle).


Delaware Autism & Severe Disabilities Certification Courses*

Students taking courses to satisfy certification requirements are personally responsible for verifying with the Delaware Department of Education (or the appropriate licensure/certification authority in another state) that such course work is applicable and acceptable. Students are also responsible for meeting all state-mandated testing requirements (PRAXIS I, PRAXIS II, etc.), for fulfilling state-mandated degree and/or teaching experience requirements, and for applying for credentials.

Any changes in state regulations for certificates could cause Wilmington University to make course and/or program adjustments in order to align with new or revised state requirements. Wilmington University reserves the right to change requirements to comply with any licensure/certification mandates of the Delaware Department of Education.

Wilmington University courses (*) approved for Delaware certification in Autism and Severe Disabilities:

MSE 7402 Available Online Applied Behavior Analysis*

MSE 7501 Introduction to Autism and Severe Disabilities*

MSE 7506 Available Online Functional Communication*

MSE 7409 Methods of Instruction in Academic Standards and Functional Skills*

MSE 7507 Competency-Based Practicum*


This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2014-2015 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2014 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.