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M.A. in Special Education

Master of Arts in Special Education

Degree Type

Master of Arts

Department

Education Department

Being a special educator is one of the most rewarding education careers. The field of special education is characterized by passionate, loyal education professionals who are not afraid to advocate for their students.

Program Overview

Enhance opportunities for students with disabilities.

Our fully online Western Special Education programs are grounded in the Colorado State Standards for Special Education and Teacher Quality Standards. We teach our students to focus on the whole child and to tailor students’ experiences by collaborating with teaching teams, administration and families. Each course includes the philosophical and legal perspective of “the why” alongside the practical application of the primary roles and tasks of a special educator. The program includes multiple pathways for graduate students.

Leading the field

Western’s graduates are No. 1 in Colorado for producing more than expected growth in student learning, according to state-level data.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

Special Education Licensure (24-27 credits)
EDUC 611Strategies for Teaching Students with Exceptionalities3
EDUC 612Assessment and Programming3
EDUC 614Inclusivity with Collaboration3
EDUC 615Student Teaching for Students with Exceptionalities (Can be taken twice for credit)3-6
EDUC 630Inclusivity in the Content Areas3
EDUC 631Inclusive Methods and Strategies for Literacy3
EDUC 632Overview of Special Services3
EDUC 633Differential Literacy Assessment3
Total Credits24-27
Post-Licensure Coursework (3-6 credits)
One to two EDUC 600 level electives3-6
EDUC 603
Content Area Learning
EDUC 606
Reading and Writing in the Content Area
EDUC 607
Rethinking Learning through 21st Century
EDUC 608
Methods and Strategies of Effective Writing Instruction
EDUC 613
Methods and Strategies of Effective Mathematics Instruction
EDUC 621
Creating Effective Online Learning Environments
EDUC 622
Using Data to Plan for Online & Blended Learning and Targeted Interventions
EDUC 624
Managing to Differentiate
EDUC 628
Pedagogies for English Learners
EDUC 629
Inclusion and English Learners
EDUC 682
Shaping School Culture
EDUC 683
Legal and Ethical Issues in Education
EDUC 694
School Law for Teachers
EDUC 695
Resource Management in Education
EDUC 696
Engaging External Stakeholders
Total Credits3-6
Capstone Coursework (7 credits)
EDUC 680Research and Critical Inquiry for Leaders4
EDUC 693Capstone3
Total Credits7
Degree Plan
Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
EDUC 611Strategies for Teaching Students with Exceptionalities3
EDUC 614Inclusivity with Collaboration3
EDUC 615Student Teaching for Students with Exceptionalities (only initial licensure)0-3
EDUC 630Inclusivity in the Content Areas3
EDUC 632Overview of Special Services3
Credits12-15
Spring
EDUC 612Assessment and Programming3
EDUC 615Student Teaching for Students with Exceptionalities3
EDUC 631Inclusive Methods and Strategies for Literacy3
EDUC 633Differential Literacy Assessment3
Credits12
Year Two
Fall
EDUC 680Research and Critical Inquiry for Leaders4
EDUC XXX EDUC Elective (only added-endorsement)0-3
Credits4-7
Spring
EDUC 693Capstone3
EDUC XXX EDUC Elective3
Credits6
Total Credits34-40

Careers

Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.

How It Works

Discover the route built for you.

The M.A. in Special Education includes multiple pathways for those seeking an initial licensure, added-endorsement or alternative licensing for non-licensed or already-licensed graduate students.

Each of our asynchronous, online courses has been built to match four sets of teacher preparation standards in the state of Colorado: Colorado Special Education Generalist Standards, Special Education Professionalism Standards, Culturally-Linguistically Diverse Teacher Standards and the Teacher Quality Standards.

In addition to coursework, you will complete a master’s capstone project and create a special education milestone electronic teaching portfolio.

Our program provides a yearlong-residency model complete with a coaching team both locally, in the resident’s K-12 school and district, regionally for initial licensure students and through Western with a clinical coach.

Help students succeed.

The state and country need well-prepared, knowledgeable special educators who are experts in both pedagogy and the legal dimensions of serving students designated as requiring special services.

News & Research

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Additional Resources

Costs and Admissions

Learn more about admissions requirements and tuition costs for our affordable and effective M.A. in Education program.

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Frequently Asked Questions

View a list of frequently asked questions answered by our knowledgeable faculty to familiarize yourself with what you can expect as an M.A. in Education student.

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Summer Licensure Orientation

Summer Licensure Orientation For Summer 2020, we will be reimagining and recreating our typical face-to-face session into an engaging and exciting virtual experience. We can’t wait for you to join …

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Optional Added Endorsements

Supplement your master’s degree in education with additional endorsements to enhance your resume and your professional experience. Program Overview Bolster your credentials and gain a competitive …

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Residency Information

Know what to expect and how to prepare for your yearlong teaching residency experience.

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Department Information

Education Department

Department Chairperson

George Kamberelis, Ph.D.

Professor, Chairperson

Undergraduate Assistant

Barbara Woerner, B.Ed.

Placement Coordinator, Undergraduate Program Advisor

Graduate Assistant

Marilyn Krill

Department Support Coordinator

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Crawford Hall 101
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

Take the Next Step

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Alumni Community

Alumni Community

We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.