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Special Education

Master of Education

THIS IS A DELAWARE LICENSURE/CERTIFICATION PROGRAM WITH CONTENT KNOWLEDGE AND PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS. 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 and/or teaching experience requirements, and for applying for credentials.


Content and Performance Assessment Requirements

Praxis Testing Requirements 

Prior to placement for student teaching/internship in K-12 special education, candidates must pass (by achieving minimum scores set by the DE Professional Standards Board) ETS Praxis II #5354: Core Knowledge and Applications and an ETS PRAXIS II content knowledge exam approved by the Professional Standards Board for licensure/certification as a secondary teacher (grades 7-9 or 7-12) or the content knowledge exam specified for elementary teachers (grades K-6).

Please note that state-mandated licensure/certification exams and minimum score requirements are subject to change by the Delaware Department of Education.  Any changes mandated by the Department of Education will be implemented as required by state regulation. 

Test takers should designate Wilmington University and the Delaware Department of Education as score recipients. This enables scores to be sent directly, confidentially, and electronically to the University and to the DE Department of Education. Otherwise, candidates must provide original copies of all official score reports, including all sub-score reports to the office of Graduate Admissions.

NOTE: Wilmington University is obligated to modify educator preparation program requirements to comply with any regulatory mandates/changes of the Delaware Department of Education.

Performance Assessment

The State of Delaware requires new teachers to achieve a passing score on a state-approved performance assessment in order to be fully licensed. The performance assessment may not be scored by any employees of the Educator Preparation Program or Unit. It is scored by Nationally Certified ETS Reviewers not associated with Wilmington University. The assessment used by Wilmington University to satisfy this requirement is the Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers (PPAT). 


Completing this assessment is a student teaching requirement. Candidates must check with their program advisors or program chairs to obtain current and accurate information related to the assessments and minimum scores that are required.

Program Changes

Master of Education degree programs in the College of Education which contribute to eligibility for initial licensure and certification as Delaware educators are approved by the Delaware Department of Education. Any changes that are mandated by the Delaware Department of Education or the Delaware General Assembly will be implemented in accordance with state regulations. 

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Master of Education in Special Education licensure/certification degree program is to prepare candidates for positions teaching students with disabilities in specific content/subject areas and grade levels (grades K-12).

Students with disabilities 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 provides candidates with the opportunity to complete the coursework with assignments and performance tasks aligned to the appropriate standards. This 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 Exceptional Children, in addition to the Delaware Professional Teaching Standards/InTASC Model Teaching Standards, and reflects the College of Education Program Attributes and Conceptual Framework. Those standards can be accessed below:

CEC STANDARDS

INTASC STANDARDS

ATTRIBUTES AND FRAMEWORK

Outcomes Assessment

The assessment of content knowledge, pedagogy, learning theory, and performance competencies is accomplished through satisfactory attainment of specific course objectives; satisfactory performance on tests of general and content-related knowledge, as well as performance assessments, successful completion of assignments linked to program competencies and graduation competencies; fieldwork evaluations from advisors and school-based mentors; and evaluations and post-graduation surveys.

Program Design

The M.Ed. in Special Education is for candidates who have completed a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education who wish to obtain a master’s degree and eligibility for a state of Delaware initial teaching license and certification as a K-12 teacher of students with disabilities and who also desires to meet the requirements for a standard certificate in a core content area. At entry, previous transcript(s) of teacher candidates will be carefully reviewed to determine if they have completed the necessary core content area coursework for which they intend to teach children with disabilities. Any omissions in such content area coursework must be completed before Student Teaching/Teaching Internship.

Prerequisite Coursework

Candidates will complete 10 credits (Secondary) or 12 credits (Elementary) of prerequisite coursework, aligned to the content subject area/grade level certification the candidate is pursuing. Those candidates wishing to participate in the Year Long Residency (YLR) internship will postpone their methods coursework until their residency in the final two semesters of the program.

Program Requirements

This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2016-2017 Academic Year or later. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2016 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.

Teacher candidates are required to register for and activate MSE 6102, E-Folio as the initial course in the program as this course will allow them to document various course requirements needed to satisfy individual program competencies.

Teacher candidates are expected to complete all requirements associated with the Master of Education in Special Education degree, including content course work, required special education courses, and clinical experiences. The appropriate PRAXIS II subject and content readiness exam must be satisfied prior to taking MSE 7993  and MSE 8802, Practicum III, and Student Teaching/Teaching Internship. All courses have one or more goals for diversity in education and writing across the curriculum.

Teacher candidates must apply to the Office of Clinical Studies for a Student Teaching/Teaching Internship placement for the Fall semester by February 1 or for the Spring semester by August 1. Practicum and Student Teaching/Teaching Internship applications are to be submitted electronically in Taskstream. Applications do NOT take the place of registering for Practicum or Student Teaching/Teaching Internship. Registration and payment of all fees, including laboratory fees for Student Teaching/Teaching Internship, are still required. All sections of ETS PRAXIS II category and content tests, a 3.0 grade point average, and approval from the Office of Clinical Studies are required for Student Teaching/Teaching Internship.

The College of Education sets a required minimum grade of “C-” for all education core courses as well as courses needed to satisfy the content major. However, an overall GPA of 3.0 is required for program completion.

Fieldwork Requirements

All fieldwork placements are arranged by the Office of Clinical Studies in accordance with school district partnership agreements and placement protocols. However, final placement decisions are made by school district officials and are based on the availability of High Quality Cooperating/Mentor Teachers. Candidates are not permitted to seek or make arrangements for their own placements.

PRACTICUM COURSES (PRACTICUM I, II, III)

Each course requires 80 hours of commitment. This includes 35 clock hours of field experience during the regular school day in an approved setting, plus 45 clock hours of seminar-format classes for Practicum I. Practicum II and II each include the 50 hours of field experience during the regular school day in an approved setting, plus 30 clock hours of seminar-format classes The 50 hours of field experience will usually take place in the specific county where the student attends the seminars. A sealed Federal and Delaware CBC (Criminal Background Check) Report, a recent TB/PPD (less than one (1) year old) and a completed CPR (Child Protection Registry Form) are required.

Although Practicum courses only require candidates to register and pay for one (1) credit for each course, the courses are actually structured as three (3) credit courses. The reason for this approach is to keep the total credit hours as low as possible while still meeting state requirements. Otherwise, candidates would have to register and pay for an additional 6 credits. This benefit represents a tuition cost savings of more than $2,000.

CAPSTONE CLINICAL EXPERIENCE (STUDENT TEACHING/INTERNSHIP)

The capstone clinical experience is a full-time, full-day placement for at least 80 school days in an approved inclusive setting and in a content area/grade level that corresponds to a candidate’s content area concentration.  Candidates may also elect to participate in the Year-Long Residency Internship, affording them the opportunity to serve as a co-teacher in the classroom for the Practicum III and Student Teaching experience in the same school classroom. Interested candidates should submit application for this YLR early in their program to ensure coursework alignment while completing the residency. Registration for the capstone clinical experience requires prior approval from the Office of Clinical Studies and the following: a 3.00 or higher cumulative GPA, no Incomplete grades in required courses, passing PRAXIS II scores, a sealed Federal and Delaware CBC (Criminal Background Check) Report, a recent TB/PPD (less than a year old), a completed CPR (Child Protection Registry Form) and a completed health form.

A new Federal and Delaware CBC (Criminal Background Check) Report sent / delivered to the Office of Clinical Studies in its original sealed envelope. A new TB/PPD, Health Authorization Form and completed CPR (Child Protection Registry Form) uploaded into Taskstream. A completed Student Teaching Fieldwork application in Taskstream by the deadlines of February 1 for placement in Fall and August 1 for placement in Spring. At the time of application, candidates must have submitted passing scores and subset scores on the Praxis II Content Specific Examination. It is the responsibility of candidates to make sure that complete test score reports are provided to the College of Education. All test score requirements for Delaware certification can be viewed at https://www.ets.org/praxis/de/requirements. Chair approval is required for course registration.


Content Requisites are based on subject area/grade level certification. Candidates will take either elementary or secondary requisites.

Program Content Requisites (Secondary)

MAS 7603 Instructional Strategies in Secondary Education

MAS 7651 Adolescent Growth and Development

MAS 7801 Practicum/Pedagogical Approaches to Teaching in the Middle and High School

*These may be satisfied with the corresponding undergraduate courses. Advisors can provide course sequence to align to clinical experiences for Teacher Preparation.

Program Content Requisites (Elementary)

MEE 7603 Instructional Strategies in Elementary Education

MEE 7631 Child Growth and Development

MEE 7633 Integrated Methods to Teaching Elementary Language Arts/Reading

MEE 7637 Integrated Methods for Teaching Elementary Mathematics

*These may be satisfied with the corresponding undergraduate courses. Advisors can provide course sequence to align to clinical experiences for Teacher Preparation.

MSE Course Requirements

MED 6102 E-Folio

MSE 7604 Technology for Instruction

MSE 7403 Diagnosis/Assessment/IEP Development for Exceptionalities

MSE 7402 Applied Behavior Analysis

MSE 7405 Curriculum in Special Education

MSE 8102 Legislation and Implementation of Policy and Procedure

MRD 7802 Process and Acquisition of Literacy

MRD 7901 Diagnosis/Assessment of Reading Difficulties for Non-Reading/Literacy Majors

MED 6000 Elementary Mathematics for Teachers

MSE 7501 Introduction to Autism & Severe Disabilities

MSE 7991 Practicum I in Special Education

MSE 7992 Practicum II in Special Education

MSE 8805 Performance Assessment

MSE 7993 Practicum III in Special Education

MSE 8802 Student Teaching in Special Education

Paraprofessional Pathways

Paraprofessionals with undergraduate degrees from regionally accredited institutions of higher education may be eligible for admission to a Wilmington University master’s degree program in special education that can contribute to eligibility for a DE Initial Teaching License and an endorsement to teach exceptional children. Currently employed paraprofessionals who are interested in this opportunity should contact the Special Education Program Chair or a Program Advisor to discuss program details, evaluate transcripts, review prerequisites, and develop a program plan.  It is sometimes possible for special education paraprofessionals to use current and prior experience to satisfy some program requirements, through a process known as PLA (Prior Learning Assessment). 

It must be understood, however, that the M.Ed. in Special Education (K-12) requires more than 600 hours of supervised clinical experiences in a variety of instructional settings, including classroom observations and conducting learning activities for students classified as having mild, moderate and severe disabilities at both the elementary (K-6) and secondary (7-12) levels. This means that a paraprofessional’s employing district must agree to permit (and enable) the candidate to complete all fieldwork requirements.  Such approval must be provided in writing by the appropriate school official (e.g., the HR Director or Superintendent of Schools).



This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2018-2019 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2018 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.