Master of Education: Mentally/Physically Handicapped Education
Our master's degree in mentally/physically handicapped education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and nationally recognized by our professional organization, Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
This program is designed for students who are certified in Elementary or Secondary Education. Students who are not certified will need to choose our Track D option for our Dual Elementary/Special Education Program.
Elementary Education certified teachers can choose from the following:
M.Ed. with certification in Special Education Grades PreK-8 - (33 graduate credits)
Certification Only - Special Education Grades PreK-8 - (27 graduate credits)
Secondary Education certified teachers can choose from the following:
M.Ed. with certification in Special Education grades 7-12 - (33 graduate credits)
Certification Only - Special Education Grades 7-12 - (27 graduate credits)
Track D - M.Ed. in Elementary and Special Education - (63 graduate credits): This track is for those with no teaching certificate who would like to earn dual certification in elementary and special education. Track D leads to Pennsylvania certification in elementary education and special education and a master's degree. Graduate students who will student teach will be required to meet all requirements as are currently in place.
Post-Master's Certification: Autism Spectrum Disorders
We also offer an autism spectrum disorders (ASD) graduate certificate (12 credits). This certificate directly addresses the needs of today's educators and professionals who are working with individuals with autism spectrum disorders throughout the lifespan. The proposed certificate provides specialized preparation of teachers in ASD through an innovative 12-credit hour graduate program endorsement in ASD that has at its core the provision of socialization opportunities for individuals with ASD and educational outreach materials and resources for parents and community members.
Note: Admissions criteria are similar to mentally/physically handicapped education degree program though other credentials and/or qualifications for educators, professionals and family members affected by ASD applying to this program without a teaching certificate will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Educators who are qualified to teach students with autism and other special needs are expected to be in high demand in the coming years, and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 17% increase in the number of special educators between 2008 and 2018. Special-education positions are often more demanding, one administrator said, but those teachers may earn a higher salary than their general-education counterparts. The Boston Globe (7/11)
Throughout his career, Marc E. Thornton (M.Ed. Mentally and/or Physically Handicapped Education '98 and Administrative Program for Principals '09) has worked with a variety of different student populations. In his current role as Principal of Seville Elementary School in the North Hills School District, Thornton plans and implements comprehensive programs and support services that meet the needs of all children in kindergarten through sixth grade. A semi-finalist for the 2010 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year program, Thornton valued the experience he received during his internships. "Each assignment proved to be a valuable learning tool for future interviews. They're great opportunities to show evidence of your accomplishments and what you can bring to a school district."