Master of Science in Education – Special Education (WI Licensure)

Online Education Degree

 

Overview:

Teachers in special education can achieve amazing things. Our graduate-level program is designed to prepare current teachers and students to do just that, with in-depth instruction in Cross-Categorical and Early Childhood Special Education. Options include special education licensure only, MS degree only, or licensure and the MS degree. Because special education is designated as an area of teacher shortage, upon graduation, teachers often qualify for loan reduction or even loan cancellation.

With Concordia University Online, you can choose from two branches of special education: Early Childhood and Cross Categorical. Both provide teachers with the ability to identify and assess students with exceptional needs and create teaching strategies to empower them in their learning and development.

The curriculum is developed to meet all Wisconsin state and Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) standards for licensure. While this course often leads to licensure, if you are outside of Wisconsin you should make sure the standards are aligned with your state.

Our Online Master of Science in Education – Special Education Program is a top ranked program by US News and World Report, ranked #28 in the country – #1 in Wisconsin by affordablecollegesonline.org and also top ranked as Best Online Masters by accreditedschoolsonline.org 

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Area of Study Education
Next Start Date Varies
Credits
16 - 37
Cost/Credit
$579
Total Cost
$9,264 - $21,423
Also offered at:
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“I’m always available to answer questions, and I work very hard to give students the support they need.”
CUW Online faculty

Goals / Objectives

The Early Childhood Special Education Licensure Program (WI DPI License #1809) enables educators to teach students from birth through age 8:

  • Ability to provide early intervention services
  • Experience in collaborating with families to develop individualized family service plans (IFSP) for children from birth to age 3
  • Ability to work with families and schools to develop individualized education plans (IEP) and teach children from ages 3 to 8

The Cross Categorical Special Education Licensure Program (WI DPI License #1801) enables:

  • Licensure in either Middle Childhood to Early Adolescence (MCEA: ages 6 to 13), Early Adolescence to Adolescence (EA-A: ages 10 to 21), or both (MCEA and EA-A: ages 6 to 21); students who desire licensure in another state should contact that state’s Department of Education
  •  educators to teach students with Intellectual Disabilities (ID), Emotional-Behavioral Disabilities (EBD), and Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) in the state of Wisconsin

Career Outlook

  • Special Education Teacher
  • Textbook Writer or Editor
  • College Professor
  • Social and Human Services Assistants
  • Juvenile Detention Corrections Officer

Want to see salary averages for your career?

We've compiled national and regional salary information from the government and have paired it up with careers related to our programs. Check it out!

Early Childhood Special Education (WI DPI #1809 License)

Required courses for all Early Childhood Special Education students -16 Credits

Curriculum & Program for Early Childhood Special Education (EDG 732/938) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course is designed to provide students with the methods, techniques, and adaptations necessary for programming for young children with disabilities. The course examines how teachers can implement developmentally appropriate practices for children with disabilities in early childhood settings. Students will learn to design and adapt learning environments, curricular activities, and materials so they will better enable the active and full participation of all children, especially children with disabilities.
Language Acquisition & Literacy 0-3; Preschool/Primary (EDG 733/930) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to theory and research on language acquisition. This course will focus on language development including the major milestones in the development of: speech perception, speech production, word learning, morphology, syntax, pragmatic and social language skills. This course will also study the language acquisition of special needs children ages birth to age 8. The course includes analysis, assessment of literacy development and early intervention strategies necessary to support literacy development. Students will acquire a specialized knowledge of young children’s language development and will reflectively learn to analyze children’s oral and written language as a basis for curriculum planning and adaptations
Evaluative Techniques in Early Childhood Special Education (EDG 931) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Evaluative Techniques in Early Childhood Special Education includes the study of norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessment tools used in the identification of young students with a variety of developmental disabilities. Students will observe then conduct screening and diagnostic assessments of young children while researching appropriate observational assessment techniques to identify certain behaviors or characteristics indicating developmental delays or at-risk status in the youngest of children.
Characteristics and Procedural Safeguards in Special Education (EDG 935) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Characteristics and Procedural Safeguards in Special Education is designed to provide students with an overview of children and youth with disabilities and the legal requirements of providing an education for those students. Students will examine the components of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and how they ensure students with disabilities appropriate educational and related services. Other case studies and laws regarding the education and treatment of students with disabilities will also be examined.
Consultation, Collaboration, and Teaming (EDG 942) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Consultation, Collaboration, and Teaming presents the literature reflecting the importance and process of professional staff including administrators, teachers, assistants, special educators, and service staff collaborating for the successful inclusion of children with disabilities . This course also introduces students to state and federal laws impacting the education of students with disabilities, which prepares them to work collaboratively with other professionals and parents. Students become familiar with the special organizations, associations and other resources that will assist them in meeting their professional needs, the needs of families, and the needs of students with disabilities. Issues of communication, planning, role clarity, initiative, reporting, responsibility and administrative support are considered and analyzed in case studies and during team activities.
Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Practicum and Seminar (EDG 944) - Credits: 1

Course Description

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Practicum and Seminar provides the student with opportunities to experience, in depth, the full role and meaning of teaching in a special education or an inclusive classroom setting. Experiences include planning and organizing for instruction, accommodations and adaptations of instructions and instructional materials, developing classroom teaching competencies and skills, evaluating pupil progress, participating in extra-class activities, collaborating with school personnel, and utilizing school and community resources in the instructional program. Differences occur in age level placements for Early Childhood.
Portfolio 1 (EDG 996)

Course Description

Portfolio I is the first step in the required assessment process for the Masters in Education degree. Students complete the initial setup of their portfolio and develop rationales for each standard in their program.
Portfolio 2 (EDG 997)

Course Description

Portfolio II is the second step in the required assessment process for the Masters in Education degree. Students insert one artifact for each standard into their portfolio.
Portfolio 3 (EDG 998)

Course Description

Portfolio III is the third step in the required assessment process for the Masters in Education degree . Students insert at least two and no more than three additional artifacts for each standard into their portfolio.

For Master's degree students the following are also required:

Educational Research Methods (EFL 515/815) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Educational Research Methods examines the research tools available to design, implement and evaluate the formal study of the educational process in order to conduct research. The course includes the study of descriptive and experimental research methods, basic statistical methods as well as techniques of literature review and report writing, that is, the reporting of research. Students completing this course should have a draft of the first three chapters for either a thesis or graduate seminar project.
Graduate Capstone Project (EDG 595/895) - Credits: 3

Course Description

GRADUATE CAPSTONE PRO JECT provides an opportunity to examine a range of problems in school administration, curriculum, planning, organizing and evaluating. The seminar focuses on student projects and problems related his or her professional development. 3 credits.
Thesis Completion Seminar (EDG 590/890) - Credits: 3

Course Description

THESIS COMPLETION SEMIN AR provides an advisory structure for writing the master’s thesis for the degree. The seminar is normally taken near the end of the coursework for the degree. The student defends the thesis at the end of the course.

In addition to the courses above, the following courses are required for students entering the program without an Adaptive education minor and/or a current special education license. -15 Credits

Environmental and Personal Strategies for Self-Management of the Exceptional Child (EDG 919) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course is designed to teach students ways to incorporate community involvement in their curriculum specifically for the students with a wide range of disabilities. Family involvement will be stressed. Students will look at curriculum that incorporates basic issues related to social self-help skills. Units will focus on transitions, vocational options, legal issues, and post-secondary programs ranging from sheltered workshops to universities with special education services
Language/Communication Disorders (EDG 936) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Language/Communication Disorders includes analysis of language/ communication disorders (functional and dysfunctional anatomy of the oral, velopharyngeal, nasal and laryngeal areas) and the individual needs of persons with communication disorders . Diagnostic and treatment methods utilizing a multidisciplinary team is emphasized. Issues in assessment, treatment and classroom intervention strategies are considered and especially applied to the full gambit of communication with an emphasis on the relationship of the oral and written language abilities.
Educational/Behavioral Management in Special Education (EDG 984) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Educational/Behavioral Management in Special Education includes individual behavior management, behavioral change strategies, and classroom management for students with special needs. Principles of applied behavior analysis are discussed to promote appropriate academic and social behaviors and to decrease challenging behaviors in school settings. Creating learning environments that facilitate student learning and effective social interaction is emphasized.
Intervention Strategies in Special Education (EDG 987) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Intervention Strategies in Special Education provides an overview of strategies used from Early Childhood Education and Early Intervention programs to those used in elementary and secondary settings. Specific intervention strategies and curriculum planning issues are also considered. The main focus of this course in to assist student in linking assessment to service delivery .More specific interventions are covered in the following areas: cognitive skills; social skills and emotional development; adaptive behavior skills; motor skills; transition; personal competence; and program evaluation. This course will also provide a thorough study of the philosophical and practical base of effective assessment and intervention for young children with disabilities. Topics include eligibility evaluation, programmatic assessment, IFSP/IEP development, intervention planning and implementation in various service delivery settings, family participation, and progress monitoring.
Life Span and Development of Children with Disabilities (EDG 937) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Life Span and Development of Children with Disabilities is designed to assist students in the awareness of human growth/development and exceptionalities. Human growth and development includes physical development, cognitive development, social/emotional and moral development. Within each of those areas, students will become aware of how exceptionalities influence development and how process and procedure influence educators’ responsibilities regarding exceptional children. As students explore the areas of human growth/development and exceptionalities, they will also be made aware of the necessity to adapt to the changes brought to the classroom via diversity. Students will become aware of how race and ethnicity, language differences and gender/gender bias affect the teaching/learning process.

Cross Categorical Special Education (WI DPI # 1801 License)

Required courses for all Cross Categorical Special Education students -16 Credits

Characteristics and Procedural Safeguards in Special Education (EDG 935) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Characteristics and Procedural Safeguards in Special Education is designed to provide students with an overview of children and youth with disabilities and the legal requirements of providing an education for those students. Students will examine the components of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and how they ensure students with disabilities appropriate educational and related services. Other case studies and laws regarding the education and treatment of students with disabilities will also be examined.
Life Span and Development of Children with Disabilities (EDG 937) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Life Span and Development of Children with Disabilities is designed to assist students in the awareness of human growth/development and exceptionalities. Human growth and development includes physical development, cognitive development, social/emotional and moral development. Within each of those areas, students will become aware of how exceptionalities influence development and how process and procedure influence educators’ responsibilities regarding exceptional children. As students explore the areas of human growth/development and exceptionalities, they will also be made aware of the necessity to adapt to the changes brought to the classroom via diversity. Students will become aware of how race and ethnicity, language differences and gender/gender bias affect the teaching/learning process.
Reading Diagnosis and Instruction in Special Education (EDG 934) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Reading Diagnosis and Instruction in Special Education explores the practice and process of authentic reading assessment and instruction that contributes to student learning. This course focuses on the teacher’s role in the diagnostic and assessment process, the nature and interrelatedness of factors that affect reading performance, and reading interventions which are effective for students with a variety of disabilities, including cognitive disabilities, emotional/behavioral disabilities and learning disabilities.
Curricular Adaptations for Learners with Disabilities (EDG 941) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Curricular Adaptations for Learners with Disabilities covers historical prospective, philosophies, current issues and practices, and curriculum models. Developing and adapting curriculum materials for learners with a variety of disabilities including learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, physical /health associated with impairments, traumatic brain injury, and cultural barriers is emphasized . The course also includes identification of characteristics and educational programs, service models, trends, research, theories and practice for SLD, LD,CD and Gifted students.
Consultation, Collaboration, and Teaming (EDG 942) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Consultation, Collaboration, and Teaming presents the literature reflecting the importance and process of professional staff including administrators, teachers, assistants, special educators, and service staff collaborating for the successful inclusion of children with disabilities . This course also introduces students to state and federal laws impacting the education of students with disabilities, which prepares them to work collaboratively with other professionals and parents. Students become familiar with the special organizations, associations and other resources that will assist them in meeting their professional needs, the needs of families, and the needs of students with disabilities. Issues of communication, planning, role clarity, initiative, reporting, responsibility and administrative support are considered and analyzed in case studies and during team activities.
Cross Categorical Special Education (CCSE) Practicum and Seminar (EDG 943) - Credits: 1

Course Description

Cross Categorical Special Education (CCSE) Practicum and Seminar provides the student with opportunities to experience, in depth, the full role and meaning of teaching in a special education or an inclusive classroom setting. Experiences include planning and organizing for instruction, accommodations and adaptations of instructions and instructional materials, developing classroom teaching competencies and skills, evaluating pupil progress, participating in extra-class activities, collaborating with school personnel, and utilizing school and community resources in the instructional program. Placements are made according to the concentration area of SD, SLD or EBD.
Portfolio 1 (EDG 996)

Course Description

Portfolio I is the first step in the required assessment process for the Masters in Education degree. Students complete the initial setup of their portfolio and develop rationales for each standard in their program.
Portfolio 2 (EDG 997)

Course Description

Portfolio II is the second step in the required assessment process for the Masters in Education degree. Students insert one artifact for each standard into their portfolio.
Portfolio 3 (EDG 998)

Course Description

Portfolio III is the third step in the required assessment process for the Masters in Education degree . Students insert at least two and no more than three additional artifacts for each standard into their portfolio.

For Master's degree students the following are also required:

Educational Research Methods (EFL 515/815) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Educational Research Methods examines the research tools available to design, implement and evaluate the formal study of the educational process in order to conduct research. The course includes the study of descriptive and experimental research methods, basic statistical methods as well as techniques of literature review and report writing, that is, the reporting of research. Students completing this course should have a draft of the first three chapters for either a thesis or graduate seminar project.
Graduate Capstone Project (EDG 895) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Graduate Capstone Project provides an opportunity to examine a range of problems in school administration, curriculum, planning, organizing and evaluating. The seminar focuses on student projects and problems related his or her professional development.
Thesis Completion Seminar (EDG 890) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Thesis Completion Seminar provides an advisory structure for writing the master’s thesis for the degree. The seminar is normally taken near the end of the coursework for the degree. The student defends the thesis at the end of the course.

In addition to the courses above, the following courses are required for students entering the program without an Adaptive education minor and/or a current special education license. -15 Credits

Environmental and Personal Strategies for Self-Management of the Exceptional Child (EDG 919) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course is designed to teach students ways to incorporate community involvement in their curriculum specifically for the students with a wide range of disabilities. Family involvement will be stressed. Students will look at curriculum that incorporates basic issues related to social self-help skills. Units will focus on transitions, vocational options, legal issues, and post-secondary programs ranging from sheltered workshops to universities with special education services
Assessment and Instruction for Children with Special Needs (EDG 979) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Assessment and Instruction for Children with Special Needs places emphasis on assessing and promoting the attainment of cognitive, language, social, self-help, and motor skills. Students will learn to observe children and to conduct developmental evaluations and assessment. From results of the evaluations, students will learn to develop, implement, and monitor Individual Education Plans (IEP) and Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP) . Students will also be introduced to the concepts of home-based and center-based assessment and instruction. Issues surrounding the administration and interpretation of standardized instruments used in the identification of students with developmental disabilities, health disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders and learning disabilities are also examined.
Language/Communication Disorders (EDG 936) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Language/Communication Disorders includes analysis of language/ communication disorders (functional and dysfunctional anatomy of the oral, velopharyngeal, nasal and laryngeal areas) and the individual needs of persons with communication disorders . Diagnostic and treatment methods utilizing a multidisciplinary team is emphasized. Issues in assessment, treatment and classroom intervention strategies are considered and especially applied to the full gambit of communication with an emphasis on the relationship of the oral and written language abilities.
Educational/Behavioral Management in Special Education (EDG 984) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Educational/Behavioral Management in Special Education includes individual behavior management, behavioral change strategies, and classroom management for students with special needs. Principles of applied behavior analysis are discussed to promote appropriate academic and social behaviors and to decrease challenging behaviors in school settings. Creating learning environments that facilitate student learning and effective social interaction is emphasized.
Intervention Strategies in Special Education (EDG 987) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Intervention Strategies in Special Education provides an overview of strategies used from Early Childhood Education and Early Intervention programs to those used in elementary and secondary settings. Specific intervention strategies and curriculum planning issues are also considered. The main focus of this course in to assist student in linking assessment to service delivery .More specific interventions are covered in the following areas: cognitive skills; social skills and emotional development; adaptive behavior skills; motor skills; transition; personal competence; and program evaluation. This course will also provide a thorough study of the philosophical and practical base of effective assessment and intervention for young children with disabilities. Topics include eligibility evaluation, programmatic assessment, IFSP/IEP development, intervention planning and implementation in various service delivery settings, family participation, and progress monitoring.

Electives in Special Education

optional courses for both Early Childhood Special Education and Cross-Categorical Special Education tracks.

Strategies for Teaching At-Risk Youth (EDG 945) - Credits: 3
No course description at this time.
Assistive Technology for Individuals with Disabilities (EDG 940) - Credits: 3
No course description at this time.
Strategy Integration for Autism Spectrum Disorders (EDG 969) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will describe autism spectrum disorders and the characteristics in detail with an emphasis on understanding these characteristics in the context of the students' educational needs. The course will include strategies to incorporate in therapy, home and classroom. A distinction between medical and educational diagnostic models will be made. This course is appropriate for both health professionals and educators.
Sign Language for the Special Educator (EDG 968) - Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will provide communication and learning methods for exceptional children with an emphasis on multi-sensory learning. Exceptional children may require innovative techniques to help them communicate with others and learn developmental skills. American Sign Language will be introduced as a means to develop communication and understanding between children and their families as well as between children and educators.
Reading Diagnosis and Instruction in Special Education (EDG 934) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Reading Diagnosis and Instruction in Special Education explores the practice and process of authentic reading assessment and instruction that contributes to student learning. This course focuses on the teacher’s role in the diagnostic and assessment process, the nature and interrelatedness of factors that affect reading performance, and reading interventions which are effective for students with a variety of disabilities, including cognitive disabilities, emotional/behavioral disabilities and learning disabilities.
Faith and Worship Strategies for Children with Exceptional Needs (EDG 862) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Faith and Worship Strategies for Children with Exceptional Needs requires the development of lessons and inclusive worship strategies that will help children with special needs gain a better understanding of God’s love. This course is also designed to assist special educators in the practices of making adaptations in religious materials and curriculum to meet the needs of all children. The course provides students with knowledge regarding the use of sensory materials and resources, hands on experiences, varying activities, special aids and equipment for adapting tasks or environments to support children as they experience and express their faith.
Working with Children with Disabilities and Their Families (EDG 946) - Credits: 3
No course description at this time.

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