Special Education

Master of Education

About 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 three distinct options which allow the master's candidate to focus on his/her individual needs and career goals. This program reflects an inclusion model of special education service delivery.

Program Competencies

The College of Education has 14 program competencies derived from the Delaware Professional Teaching Standards and the College of Education Conceptual Framework. Teacher candidates will demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to:

All Options

  1. Critique current research in the area of curriculum and methods of teaching students with exceptionalities.
  2. Interpret and use behavioral programming while recognizing the significance of relationships in classroom management.
  3. Analyze informal and formal assessments used in identifying students with special needs and develop plans to meet educational goals and objectives.
  4. Enable professionals in schools to understand and utilize assistive technology for students with disabilities.
  5. Plan and implement content lessons that accommodate or adapt for unique needs of individuals with severe and multiple disabilities.
  6. Apply knowledge of legislation, policy, and procedure during IEP meetings with professional colleagues and parents.
  7. Apply best practices and research in special education to program development, administration, supervision, and evaluation.
  8. Examine language development and its particular relationship to students with disabilities.
  9. Practice methods, techniques, and instruments used to diagnose and remediate reading-related problems.
  10. Obtain and retain successful employment in the profession of education.

Option A (Certification)

  1. Teach effectively in an actual special education setting.
  2. Exhibit confidence, caring, professionalism, and energy in teaching.

Option B (Instruction)

  1. Design classroom strategies that serve diverse populations, reflect  child-development theory and principles, and recognize issues related to parental involvement.

Option C (Administration)

  1. Develop a curriculum plan based on theory and practice that includes leadership, management, classroom organization, and school support services for special education programs.

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.

Please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.