Graduate Catalog: 2020-21

Special Education MS

The fully online Master of Science in Education – Special Education program at the University of Saint Francis allows you to choose one of two licensure tracks: mild intervention or intense intervention. By taking two additional classes, you can license in both.  The Mild and Intense programs are high-need teacher shortage areas which allow candidates with or without a prior teaching license to enroll.  The flexibility of online courses allows you to continue working while completing a graduate degree and teaching license in two years or less.

Today’s schools seek teachers who can research, analyze, and apply best educational practices that maximize student learning. A Master of Science in Education from the University of Saint Francis empowers you to excel as an instructional leader in schools and the profession at large. For candidates looking for a shorter option, the Transition to Teaching in Special Education tracks in mild intervention and intense intervention are also available.

Accreditation

Teacher education programs are accredited by the Indiana Department of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Student Learning Outcomes

Candidates completing a Special Education program will demonstrate knowledge and skills in applying the following:

Learner and Learning Environments

  • Learner Development: The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences. (INTASC Standard 1)
  • Learning Differences: The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards. (INTASC Standard 2)
  • Learning Environments: The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. (INTASC Standard 3)

Planning, Instruction, and Assessment

  • Instructional Practice: The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making. (INTASC Standard 6
  • Planning for Instruction: The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context. (INTASC Standard 7)
  • Instructional Strategies: The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways. (INTASC Standard 8)

Content and Content Pedagogy Knowledge

  • Content Knowledge: The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content. (INTASC Standard 4)
  • Application of Content: The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues. (INTASC Standard 5)

Professionalism

  • Professional Learning and Ethical Practice: The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner. (INTASC Standard 9)
  • Leadership and Collaboration: The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession. (INTASC Standard 10)

Council for Exceptional Children Standards

Learner and Learner Environment

  • Learner Development and Individual Learning Differences: Beginning 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.  (CEC Initial Preparation Standard 1)
  • Learning Environments: Beginning 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.  (CEC Initial Preparation Standard 2)

Content and Content Pedagogy Knowledge

  • Curricular Content Knowledge: Beginning special education professionals use knowledge of general and specialized curricula to individualize learning for individuals with exceptionalities. (CEC Initial Preparation Standard 3)

Planning, Instruction, and Assessment

  • Assessment: Beginning special education professionals use multiple methods of assessment and data sources in making educational decisions.  (CEC Initial Preparation Standard 4)
  • Instructional Planning and Strategies: Beginning special education professionals select, adapt, and use a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies to advance learning of individuals with exceptionalities.  (CEC Initial Preparation Standard 5)

Professionalism

  • Professional Learning and Ethical Practice: Beginning 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.  (CEC Initial Preparation Standard 6)
  • Collaboration: Beginning 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. (CEC Initial Preparation Standard 7)

Licensure or Certification Eligibility

Special Education graduates are licensable in Mild Intervention or Intense Intervention with a school setting of Early Childhood (P-3), Elementary (K-6), Secondary (5-12) or All Grades (P-12).

Degree Requirements

Master of Science in Education requires 33-36 credit hours:

  • 33 credit hours for advanced licensure master’s degree
  • 36 credit hours for initial licensure master’s degree
  • 36 credit hours for non-licensure master’s degree

Program of Studies

MS Ed Special Education Licensure Track program outline

Area of Concentration (Select Mild Intervention or Intense Intervention):

Mild Intervention

Course Name Credits
EDUC 500 Research Methods and Statistics* 3
EDUC 505 Integrated Classroom Technology 3
EDUC 606 Inclusive Content Assessment 3
SPED 602 Diverse Learners in Today’s Classrooms 3
SPED 613 Collaborative Models of Behavior Management 3
SPED 615 Language and Social Skills Topics 3
READ 602 Reading Methods 3
READ 610 Literacy for All Learners 3
SPED 660 Methods and Practicum in Mild Intervention 3
SPED 675 Teaching Internship (Initial)** 3
SPED 680 Research Topics 3
ELECTIVE: EDUC 525, EDUC 568, EDUC 607, EDUC 609, EDUC 677 (2 credits), EDUC 678 (2 credits), READ 611, SPED 626 2-3

* EDUC 500 must be taken prior to SPED 680.
**Initial candidates (those who do not possess any teaching license in Indiana or another state) must enroll in and successfully complete SPED 675.

Intense Intervention

Course Name Credits
EDUC 500 Research Methods and Statistics* 3
EDUC 505 Integrated Classroom Technology 3
EDUC 606 Inclusive Content Assessment 3
SPED 602 Diverse Learners in Today’s Classrooms 3
SPED 613 Collaborative Models of Behavior Management 3
SPED 615 Language and Social Skills Topics 3
SPED 626 Functional Curriculum/Assistive Technology 3
READ 602 Reading Methods 3
SPED 671 Practicum in Intense Intervention** 3
SPED 675 Teaching Internship*** 3
SPED 680 Research Topics 3
ELECTIVE: EDUC 525, EDUC 568, EDUC 607, EDUC 609, EDUC 677 (2 credits), EDUC 678 (2 credits), READ 610, READ 611 2-3

*EDUC 500 must be taken prior to SPED 680.
**Must complete SPED 626 prior to taking SPED 671.
***Initial candidates (those who do not possess any teaching license in Indiana or another state) must enroll in and successfully complete SPED 675.

Admission Requirements

Progression Point 1

There are two options in the Special Education Master’s Degree program, a teacher licensure track and a non-licensure track.  The non-licensure track is for individuals who wish to work with special needs populations outside of a school setting in group homes, hospitals, camps, shelter workshops, etc.

In addition to university admission requirements, the Department of Education requires the following:

The Special Education Teacher Licensure Track:

  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Already licensed teachers are not required to demonstrate the basic skills competency requirement below.
  • Undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or 2.5 with 5 years of profession experience.
  • National Sex Offender registry check.
  • A candidate statement form of background and career goals.

The Special Education Non-Licensure Track:

  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or 2.5 with 5 years of professional experience.
  • National Sex Offender registry check.
  • A candidate statement of background and career goals.

Applicants have one year (12 months) from the date of notification of acceptance or provisional acceptance to register for classes; failure to do so invalidates admission and the applicant must re-apply, without guarantee of acceptance.

A maximum number of 12 credit hours can be transferred into the MSEd program. A maximum number of 6 credit hours can be transferred into the Transition to Teaching program.

Progression Requirements

Candidates must meet the following criteria to be accepted into the Practicum and Teaching Internship phase of the program (Progression Point 2):

  • Prior to the field placement, complete Formal Declaration of Licensure/Non-Licensure track.
  • Submit the completed Request for Practicum Placement.
  • Submit the completed Application for Teaching Internship (if required).
  • Submit an Expanded Criminal History check and Authorization Form.
  • Clearance of National Sex Offender check.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Graduation Requirements

Progression Point 3:

  • Successful completion of Field Practicum and /or Teaching Internship including Field Evaluation.
  • Successful completion of all required courses and program assignments.
  • Maintain an overall GPA of 3.0.
  • Submit the Application for Graduation Form.

Post Program Licensure Requirements

To apply for an Indiana Mild Intervention or Intense Intervention Teaching license, the following criteria must be met:

  • Pass Indiana required Pearson CORE Content Knowledge Tests (025) Exceptional Needs –Mild Intervention (P-12) or (024) Exceptional Needs –Intense Intervention (P-12) in the appropriate licensing area(s).
  • Mild Intervention licensure also requires passing the Pearson CORE (064) Exceptional Needs –Mild Intervention Reading Instruction Test (unless the person is already licensed in Elementary Education or has taken the Pearson (060) or (038) Test.
  • Pass the appropriate Indiana required Pearson Developmental (Pedagogy) Test (004) Early Childhood Education (P-3), (005) Elementary Education (K-6), (006) Secondary Education, or (007) P-12 Education.
  • Submit proof of Certification from either an American Red Cross or an American Heart Association approved program in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillators (AED) at the adult and child levels with the online application.
  • Submit proof of a research-based Suicide Prevention Training.
  • Submit the online Application for an Indiana Teaching License in LVIS on the Indiana Department of Education website which includes an application fee.