Special Education

Master of Education

This program is nationally recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and is accredited by CAEP (Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation) under NCATE Standards (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher 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

Content Assessment 

This degree program contributes to eligibility for licensure/certification as an educator in Delaware public schools. As such, all candidates must meet the content knowledge requirements set by Delaware’s Professional Standards Board in order to be eligible for a student teaching placement.

The assessments and minimum test score requirements that are applicable to this degree program are:
ETS test #5354, Exceptional Children: Passing Score 151
Passage of Content Readiness Exam in one of the following grade levels and subject areas.
Early Childhood (5024)
Elementary K6 (5001 – 5002, 5003, 5004, 5005)
Middle Level – ELA (5047)
Middle Level – Mathematics (5169)
Middle Level – Science (5440)
Middle Level – Soc. Studies (5089)
HS Sciences
Biology (5235)
Chemistry (5245)
Earth Science (5571) HS English (5038)
Integrated Science (5435)
Physical Science (5435)
Physics (5265)
HS Social Studies (5081)
HS Mathematics (5161)
HS English (5038)
World Languages
Chinese Mandarin (5665)
French (5174)
German (5183)
Latin (5601)
Spanish (5195)

Cut Scores and Approved Assessments are subject to change. Please visit ETS for a current list of Praxis II exams for Delaware.

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 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 subject area and grade level. This program reflects Wilmington University’s advocacy of an inclusion model of special education service delivery.

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. Students will be notified of any changes that may affect program or degree completion/conferral requirements.

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:




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.

Praxis Testing Requirements

Candidates must pass (by achieving Delaware minimum scores) appropriate PRAXIS II test (both Special Education as well as core content Praxis II of their choosing) prior to registration for Student Teaching/Teacher Internship. In addition to the Delaware PRAXIS II Category test - Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications - Code 5354, candidates must also take and pass a Delaware-approved ETS PRAXIS II Content Test of their choosing and complete their student teaching in an inclusion setting that aligns with the selected core content area.

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. Otherwise, candidates must provide original copies of all official score reports, including all sub-score reports to the office of Graduate Admissions. 

Wilmington University reserves the right to change requirements to comply with any licensure/certification mandates of the Delaware Department of Education.

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.


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.


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

Para Partnership Program

Wilmington University College of Education, partnering with local school districts and charter schools, will offer a Master’s Degree Program tailored specifically to meet the needs of classroom instructional paraeducators working in the schools to support teaching and learning.  The program is designed to provide an opportunity for candidates to complete the required coursework toward the degree within 18-24 months, and complete the clinical experience, consisting of Practicum and Student Teaching Internship, while working as a co-teacher with the teacher of record for students with disabilities.  The program provides an opportunity for candidates to complete the necessary coursework to meet certification requirements for both the K-12 Teacher of Students with Disabilities as well as the Teacher of Students with Autism or Severe Intellectual Disabilities or Early Childhood Exceptional Children (Fall 2016).  Please contact the Program Chair to review the sequence of coursework and clinical experiences to complete the degree program.  Candidates must meet all MSE degree requirements for entrance and exit criteria.

Participation in this program requires a written agreement between the University, the District and the Candidate. Not all DE school districts participate in this partnership.