Degrees and Requirements

Master of Education (with Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement Certification)

PURPOSE: The Master's Degree in Education is designed for candidates who currently hold a teaching certificate.  Candidates will earn a M.Ed. and an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) endorsement.  The curriculum is developed to provide graduates with the advanced skills and knowledge needed to successfully teach children with special needs and work effectively with their families and agencies.

30 credits are required for degree

OBJECTIVES:

  1. Master's Degree Candidates (MDC) will demonstrate the knowledge and skills to foster academic, social, and emotional growth to maximize the abilities of individual students with diverse needs.
  2. MDC will demonstrate competence in classroom management for diverse populations, with a focus on students in inclusive settings.
  3. MDC will integrate evidence-based practice (instructional strategies and assessment techniques) to meet the needs of students and families.
  4. MDC will employ skills in facilitating the transition process of students with special needs.
  5. MDC will collaborate with various community agencies to enhance educational opportunities for all stakeholders.
  6. MDC will engage in research to actively promote the advancement of the profession.

Summary of Requirements

Required Courses: 30 credits

  • EDSP5015
    CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN SPECIAL EDUCATION & INTRO TO RESEARCH |

    EDSP5015
    CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN SPECIAL EDUCATION & INTRO TO RESEARCH |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    The purpose of this graduate level course is to prepare Masters Degree candidates to be well-informed special educators by investigating current trends and issues in special education, and some of their historical roots. A core set of topics will be explored in depth that could build toward leadership in the field, including developments in curriculum and instruction, legal policies, new technology, ethical principles, and standards for practice. Additional content may be added in response to new issues or student-expressed interests. Students will prepare to become informed consumers of educational research by learning to evaluate the strength of the research articles describing trends and issues. Students will learn to analyze research and trends to identify effective practices for working with individuals with exceptionalities and their families. |

    PREREQUISITES:

  • EDSP5025
    COLLABORATING WITH FAMILIES & COMMUNITY AGENCIES |

    EDSP5025
    COLLABORATING WITH FAMILIES & COMMUNITY AGENCIES |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    The purpose of this graduate level course is to prepare Master's Degree Candidates to collaborate with all stakeholders to enhance educational opportunities for students with special needs. This course will focus on effective communication skills and culturally responsive practices that can be used to interact in a professional and ethical manner with families and community agencies. |

    PREREQUISITES:

  • EDSP5030
    READING INSTRUCTION FOR STUDENTSWITH HIGH INCIDENCE EXCEPTIONALITIES|

    EDSP5030
    READING INSTRUCTION FOR STUDENTSWITH HIGH INCIDENCE EXCEPTIONALITIES|

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    The purpose of this graduate level course is to prepare Masters Degree candidates to understand how processing differences effect reading, and how to provide the explicit, systematic instruction needed by students with high-incidence exceptionalities. The course will provide research-based recommendations for both instruction in the five essential skill areas of reading and measures to assess and monitor students' progress. Participants will also learn how to evaluate instructional effectiveness and adapt instruction, differentiate instruction for diverse groups of students, and provide differentiated instruction through a Response to Intervention and Instruction (RTII) model. Practice opportunities will be provided for application of course concepts. The course will maintain a strong emphasis on helping participants to establish best practices for effective reading instruction for students with exceptionalities.|

    PREREQUISITES:

  • EDSP5035
    RESEARCH METHODS |

    EDSP5035
    RESEARCH METHODS |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    The purpose of this graduate level course is to prepare Masters Degree candidates to become critical consumers of educational research, and to conduct research projects. The course is highly interactive, designed to help participants apply many of the examined quantitative and qualitative practices by analyzing research reports and planning research projects. Emphasis will be placed on exposure to the breadth of research possible in the educational field.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    EDSP5015

  • EDSP5040
    INTRO TO EDUCATION OF PERSONS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER |

    EDSP5040
    INTRO TO EDUCATION OF PERSONS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This introductory course fulfills part of the requirements for those wishing to obtain an ASD Endorsement from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. It is designed to provide students with an overview of characteristics and learning traits, classification systems, assessment strategies/issues, approaches, and interventions related to individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Special emphasis is placed on collaboration, adapting instruction and use of evidence based interventions. Specific attention will be devoted to review of the Comprehensive Autism Assessment Planning System and principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. Field experiences are embedded in this course.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    Graduate Students Only

  • EDSP5045
    ADVANCED STUDIES IN BEHAVIOR |

    EDSP5045
    ADVANCED STUDIES IN BEHAVIOR |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course fulfills part of the requirements for those wishing to obtain an ASD Endorsement from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. This course provides an in-depth review of applied behavior analytic techniques including: conducting behavioral assessments, completing environmental assessments and making adaptations, designing effective behavior change programs, and applying behavioral procedures consonant with ethical standards. Teachers will learn to apply behavior analytic principles toward the improvement of socially significant behaviors in a wide range of settings as well as to evaluate the effects of behavioral procedures. Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA), behavior supports, antecedent management, and encouraging positive alternative behaviors and crisis management will be addressed. Evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies will be emphasized. This course will equip teachers to design instruction and supports in order to encourage positive changes in classroom behavior. Field Experiences are embedded in this course.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    EDSP5040

  • EDSP5050
    COMMUNICATION & SOCIAL SKILLS INSTRUCTION FOR PERSONS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER|

    EDSP5050
    COMMUNICATION & SOCIAL SKILLS INSTRUCTION FOR PERSONS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER|

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course on communication and social skills instruction fulfills part of the requirements for those wishing to obtain an ASD Endorsement from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. It addresses normal language and communication development and the language development of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Teachers will examine the language-behavior connection, how language delays can lead to social incompetence, and how language can be supplemented with augmentative and alternative interventions. Specific research validated instructional strategies focusing on the assessment and development of social and academic language skills are emphasized. This course explores assistive technology as a research supported tool to improve access to and participation in the general education curriculum. In addition, students will integrate assistive technology in lesson planning to meet students' individual needs. Field experiences are embedded in this course.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    EDSP5040

  • EDSP5055
    ADVANCED TOPICS FOR PERSONS WITHAUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER: CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION|

    EDSP5055
    ADVANCED TOPICS FOR PERSONS WITHAUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER: CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION|

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course on advanced issues related to autism fulfills part of the requirements for those wishing to obtain an ASD Endorsement from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition to completing a field experience upon completion of this course students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the variety of programming options available to children and families, discuss non-traditional methods and interventions related to past and present etiologies and treatments of autism including efficacy research; complete research on social skills programs for students with an ASD in order to be able to advocate for social skills programming; complete an intervention assessment tool and create specially designed instruction for a student on the spectrum, and additionally reflect on issues that affect both children with the diagnosis and their families. Field experiences are embedded in this course.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    EDSP5045

  • EDSP6020
    ADVANCED INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES & ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY|

    EDSP6020
    ADVANCED INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES & ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY|

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    The purpose of this graduate level course is to prepare Master's Degree Candidates to provide evidenced-based instructional techniques to students with disabilities in inclusion settings. An emphasis is placed on results of research and proven methods of instruction including: modifications and adaptations of materials, co-teaching models, learning strategies, lesson planning, assessment, and transitioning. The purpose and use of assistive technology will also be highlighted.|

    PREREQUISITES:

  • EDSP6025
    RESEARCH BASED ASSESSMENT METHODS & SEMINAR |

    EDSP6025
    RESEARCH BASED ASSESSMENT METHODS & SEMINAR |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    The purpose of this graduate level course is to prepare Master's Degree Candidates to use valid and reliable assessment practices to improve their instruction and to minimize bias. This course will focus on designing and implementing assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of practices and programs for individuals with exceptionalities. In addition, this is the capstone course for the Master's Degree in Special Education program, so Master's Degree Candidates will present their original research projects as a culminating activity.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    EDSP5035