Special Education

Special Education Master of Education (M.Ed.) With Dual Pre-K - 4/Pre-K - 8 Certification

About Special Education: Grades Pre-K - 4/Pre-K - 8 Dual Certification

Start your teaching career with a specialty in one of the most dynamic and in-demand fields.

Make a daily impact as a special education teacher. California University of Pennsylvania's dual certification master of education in elementary/special education is designed for students who are seeking to become certified teachers for the first time, while also gaining in-depth training in the teaching of educationally and physically handicapped students.

In addition to obtaining a master's degree, you'll graduate from this program eligible for dual certification in Pennsylvania in pre-K to grade 4 and pre-K to grade 8 special education. Cal U's hands-on approach to teacher's education will also ensure you'll develop the skills, expertise and confidence you need for a top teaching career.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: SPECIAL EDUCATION DUAL PRE-K - 4/PRE-K - 8

Internship: As a Cal U special education graduate student, you'll complete internships working with children and adults with physical or mental disabilities in a variety of settings, including inclusive classrooms, special public school classes and classes in residential treatment centers, special schools and hospitals.

Field Experience: In addition to your internship, you'll participate in field experiences that will enable you to work with various groups of children with physical or mental disabilities, in places such as public schools, institutions, sheltered workshops, activity centers, summer camps or community MH/MR facilities - or by doing specific research with a particular population of students.

Top Accreditation: This graduate degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Cal U's education programs have also been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.

Learn more about applying.

Top 5 
Pennsylvania is in the top five states for highest employment level of special education teachers in kindergarten and elementary schools.
160+ years 
Cal U has a 160-year reputation of producing top-quality teachers in Pennsylvania and beyond.
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Degree Benefits

As an elementary/special education M.Ed. student you will benefit from:

  • The insights of expert faculty who have years of real-world special education experience.
  • Comprehensive training in special education within a non-categorical, behavior analytic model.
  • Career and job placement support through faculty connections and Cal U's Career and Professional Development Center.
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Graduate Outcomes

The field of special education is steadily growing, providing excellent professional career opportunities for today's graduates. Program graduates can be found working in public, private and charter schools throughout Pennsylvania and the United States in roles such as:

  • Special education classroom teacher.
  • Resource room teacher.
  • Homebound instruction teacher.
  • Hospital teacher.
Special Education Dual Pre-K - 4/Pre-K - 8 Master's Degree
A wellness coach teaches a student.

Top Accreditation

Cal U education programs have been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we're continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). In addition, this program meets the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

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Distinguished Faculty

Cal U's special education master's degree faculty offers a diverse set of skills that meets the clinical, theoretical and personal growth needs of our graduate students. Your professors are actively involved in research activities and in national and local counseling organizations.

Special Education Dual Pre-K - 4/Pre-K - 8 Master's Degree Courses

This comprehensive 63-credit graduate degree is an on-campus program intended for applicants who do not already hold Pennsylvania teaching certification.

Curriculum

 

Course Credits
Core Courses
ESP 610* Special Ed: Foundations & Collaboration  3
ESP 620 Special Ed. History, Theory & Exceptionality 3
ESP 639 Field Experience Seminar in Special Education 3
ESP 701* Introduction to Behavior Analysis  3
   
Specialized Courses
ECE 703 Literacy Development 3
ECE 707 Leadership and Management in Early Childhood  3
ELE 701 Teaching Language Arts 3
ELE 702 Teaching in Reading 3
ELE 711 Teaching in Mathematics  3
ELE 718 Teaching Expressive Arts 3
ELE 721 Teaching in Science 3
ELE 731 Teaching in Social Studies 3
ESP 602 Life Skills Planning and Instruction 3
ESP 603 Assessment and Prescriptive Teaching 3
ESP 607 Early Intervention: Special Education 3
ESP 612 Evidence-based Practices for PreK-8 Inclusion 3
ESP 622 Advanced Evidence Practices for PreK-8 Inclusion 3
   
Capstone Courses**
ELE 795 Student Teaching Internship 3 to 9
ESP 661 Student Teaching Internship 3 to 9
ESP 800 Seminar in Advanced Behavior Analysis & Research Design 3
   
Total 63

* ESP 610 and ESP 701 are prerequisite courses for all other ESP courses.
** Total of 12 credits for capstone courses. 

Program Requirements

PA certification requires the following at the undergraduate or graduate level:

College-level Mathematics (6 credits)
English Composition and English/American literature (3 credits/3 credits)
Health and Wellness (3 credits)
Citizen: Geography, Political or Economy (3 credits)
English Language Learners (3 credits)
Instructional Technology (3 credits)
U.S. History (3 credits)
Physical Science (3 credits)
Environmental/Earth Science (3 credits)
Biology (3 credits)

Students must take the Graduate Comprehensive Exam.
Admission Requirements

 

Admission Requirements (Regular)  

  • Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.80 or a 3.00 in last 48 credits earned (Students with a GPA below 2.80 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution
  • Copy of teaching certificate (not required for Autism Spectrum Disorders Letter of Completion if ASD certification is not desired or M.Ed. Dual Special/Elementary)
  • International Graduate Applicants


Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements.  Those admitted conditionally based on missing document/s have up to a maximum of two semesters to satisfy these requirements:
    • Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.80 will be reviewed for a decision
    • Unofficial transcripts

 

Program Requirements

  • The following Undergraduate/Graduate classes are needed for certification:
    • Mathematics (6 credits)
    • English Composition I (3 credits) or English/American literature (3 credits)
    • Instructional Technology
    • U.S. History
    • English Composition II
    • Physical Science
    • Biology
    • Environmental / Earth Science
    • Educational Psychology
    • Economics

How to Apply:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419

  • Submit unofficial transcripts and other documents by mail (using the address above), email (gradschool@calu.edu) or fax (724-938-5712)

 

For additional information:
Email: gradschool@calu.edu   
Phone: 724-938-4187 

Out of State Students:
All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification. 

Special Education

Bachelor's Degrees
2
Master's Degrees
6
Certifications
1
Certificates
2

Special Education Faculty

Dr. James Burton
Associate Professor

burton@calu.edu

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Dr. Peter Heh
Assistant Professor

heh@calu.edu

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Dr. Jason Kight
Associate Professor and Chair

kight@calu.edu

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Dr. Kalie Kossar
Associate Professor

kossar@calu.edu

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Dr. Katherine Mitchem
Professor

mitchem_k@calu.edu

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Dr. Mary Seman
Professor

seman@calu.edu

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Please Note: All students who will be seeking licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for more information.