Special Education: Instruction, Master of Education

Master of Education

This degree program is state-approved and contributes to eligibility for Delaware certification depending on the Special Education category selected, as long as the candidate meets all other Delaware Department of Education licensure and certification requirements.  As such, there are admissions restrictions and exit requirements.

Program Purpose

The Wilmington University's Master of Education Special Education: Instruction provides licensed educators who are interested in acquiring research-based skills, knowledge and practices in teaching students with disabilities. Students will identify two of the three following categories to pursue:  K-12 Teacher of Students with Disabilities and/or Autism & Severe Intellectual Disabilities and/or Early Childhood/Exceptional Children. Candidates gain knowledge in practices related to instructional approaches, materials, and an integrated, comprehensive, balanced curriculum to support student learning in reading and writing; assessment strategies and practices to evaluate effective reading and writing instruction; awareness, understanding, respect, and a valuing of differences in our society; literate environments that foster reading and writing; and leadership and professional development opportunities.

Program Competencies

The program competencies adopted for the Master of Education in Special Education:  Instruction: degree program are based on standards developed by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Standards, the Model Standards for Teacher Licensing, Assessment, and Development from The Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC 2011), Council of Chief State School Officers. The M.Ed. Special Education:  Instruction degree program is designed to enable candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the program competency standards:

Program Competency Standard 1. Learner Development and Individual Learning Differences

The special education professionals understand how exceptionalities may interact with development and learning and use this knowledge to provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences for individuals with exceptionalities.

Program Competency Standard 2. Learning Environments

The special education professionals create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments so that individuals with exceptionalities become active and effective learners and develop emotional well-being, positive social interactions, and self-determination.

Program Competency Standard 3. Curricular Content Knowledge

The special education professionals use knowledge of general and specialized curricula to individualize learning for individuals with exceptionalities. 

Program Competency Standard 4. Assessment

The special education professionals use multiple methods of assessment and data-sources in making educational decisions.

Program Competency Standard 5. Instructional Planning and Strategies

The special education professionals select, adapt, and use a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies to advance learning of individuals with exceptionalities.

Program Competency Standard 6. Professional Learning and Practice

The special education professionals use foundational knowledge of the field and their professional Ethical Principles and Practice Standards to inform special education practice, to engage in lifelong learning, and to advance the profession.

Program Competency Standard 7. Collaboration

The special education professionals collaborate with families, other educators, related service providers, individuals with exceptionalities, and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways to address the needs of individuals with exceptionalities across a range of learning experiences.

Outcomes Assessment

Multiple assessments are used to determine candidate growth toward achievement of the knowledge and skills described in the Master of Education Special Education: Instruction degree program competencies and the college-wide graduation competencies. Performance-based assessments are used to evaluate projects, assignments, and research papers. Goals, learning outcomes and activities, external assignments, and assessment strategies are linked directly to program and graduation competencies as stated on each course syllabus. Other assessment strategies may include coaching/mentoring sessions and observations of candidate performance in authentic settings.

Program Design

This 30-credit program consists of 15 credit hours of coursework from two separate categories of Special Education specialty areas focused on teaching and learning. The program requires that candidates be working in an educational setting or a training center to complete the program competency assignments. An effort is made to provide candidates with choices of course formats (traditional, hybrid or online) although this cannot be guaranteed. There is a non-credit E-Folio course requirement.

Course Requirements

Courses (30 credits-Select Two from the Following:)

Special Education Autism Severe Intellectual Disabilities Course Requirements (15 credits)

MSE 7501 Introduction to Autism & Severe Disabilities

MSE 7402 Applied Behavior Analysis

MSE 7506 Functional Comm Indv with Autisim&Sever Disability

MSE 7409 Methods of Instruction in Academic Standards and Functional Skills

MSE 7507 Competency-based Practicum in Behaviorally-Based Teaching Techniques

Special Education - Early Childhood Exceptional Children Course Requirements (15 credits)

MSE 7502 Educating Preschoolers with Special Needs

MSE 7603 Assessment of Young Children

MSE 7605 Differentiation of Instruction for Young Children

MSE 7607 Emergent Literacy for Young Children

MSE 7407 Collaboration/Teaming with Families & Communities

Special Education K-12 Teacher of Students with Disabilities Courses (15 credits)

MSE 7403 Diagnosis/Assessment/IEP Development for Exceptionalities

MSE 7405 Curriculum in Special Education

MSE 7402 Applied Behavior Analysis

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

MSE 8102 Legislation and Implementation of Policy and Procedure


MSE 7404 Assistive Technology (MH, SED, LD)

MSE 7406 Transition Planning & Implementation for Students with Disabilities

MSE 7407 Collaboration/Teaming with Families & Communities