Special Education

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M.Ed. with Pre-K-8 Certification (currently certified in Elementary Education) - Credits: 30 (program code: 0746)

M.Ed. with Dual Pre-K-4/K-8 Certification (no current teaching certification) - Credits: 63 (program code: 0148)

M.Ed. with 7-12 Certification (currently certified in Secondary Content Area) - Credits: 30 (program code: 0747)

M.Ed. with Autism Spectrum Disorders (currently certified in Special Education) - Credits: 30 (program code: 0749)

Certification - Autism Spectrum Disorders - Credits: 12 (program code: 0752)

Certificate - Autism Spectrum Disorders - Credits: 12 (program code: 0751)

(Two concentrations are also offered in Applied Behavior Analysis.)

Program Description

Master of Education

The Master of Education in Special Education program is available to students seeking a master's degree along with coursework making the student eligible for Pennsylvania teaching certification. There are several different program options that are dependent upon an applicant's undergraduate degrees. These options are as follows:

M.Ed. with Pre-K-8 Certification (currently certified in Elementary Education): This program is intended for applicants who already hold Pennsylvania teaching certification in elementary education, Pre-K to grade 4 or grade 4 to grade 8. Upon completion, the student will hold a master's degree in special education and will be eligible to add Pre-K to grade 8 special education endorsement to their current teaching certificate.

M.Ed. with Dual Pre-K-4/K-8 Certification (no current teaching certificate): This program is intended for applicants who do not already hold Pennsylvania teaching certification. Upon completion, the student will hold a master's degree in special education and will be eligible for dual certification in Pre-K to grade 4 and Pre-K to grade 8 special education.

M.Ed. with 7-12 Certification (currently certified in Secondary Content Area): This program is intended for applicants who already hold Pennsylvania teaching certification in a secondary education content area. Upon completion, the student will hold a master's degree in special education and will be eligible to add grade 7-12 special education endorsement to their current teaching certificate.

M.Ed. with Autism Spectrum Disorders (currently certified in Special Education): This program is intended for applicants who already hold Pennsylvania teaching certification in special education. Upon completion, the student will hold a master's degree in special education and will be eligible to add autism spectrum disorders (ASD) endorsement to his/her current teaching certificate.

Candidates for Pennsylvania certification must have completed undergraduate or graduate coursework that includes the following:

  • 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)

Students entering the program without all, or part, of the undergraduate requirements may meet them with additional coursework or by competency tests while they are taking the graduate classes.

Certification

The certification-only programs in special education are available to students seeking to be eligible to add special education endorsement to a current Pennsylvania teaching certification. These options do not lead to a master's degree. There are several different program options that are dependent upon an applicant's undergraduate degrees and prior certification. These options include:

  • Certification - Autism spectrum disorders (not certified in special education): Students who do not currently hold special education certification, including educators with certification in any area, other education professionals, family members of individuals with ASD and others, can complete the four-course, 12-credit online program for professional development, but will not be able to apply for ASD certification.

Certificate

The certificate program in autism spectrum disorders is available to students seeking to gain knowledge in the subject area without a desire to secure teaching certification.

  • Certificate - Autism spectrum disorders: Students, including teachers, other education professionals, family members of individuals with ASD, and others, can complete the four-course, 12-credit online program for professional development.

Delivery Mode

Traditional (on-ground, face-to-face delivery, with some online/distance elements)

Accreditation

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation  (CAEP, formerly NCATE)

Approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education

Curriculum - Master of Education: Special Education Pre-K - 8 Certification

Course Credits
ESP 602  Life Skills Planning and Instruction 3
ESP 603  Assessment and Prescriptive Teaching 3
ESP 607  Early Intervention: Special Education 3
ESP 610  Special Education Foundations and Collaboration 3
ESP 612  Evidence-based Practices for Pre-K-8 Inclusion 3
ESP 620  Special Education History, Theory and Exceptionality 3
ESP 622  Advanced Evidence-based Practices for Pre-K-8 Inclusion 3
ESP 639  Field Experience Seminar in Special Education 3
ESP 701  Introduction to Behavior Analysis 3
ESP 800  Seminar in Advanced Behavior Analysis and Research Design 3
Total 30

ESP 610 and 701 are pre-requisite courses for all other ESP courses.

Curriculum - Master of Education: Special Education with Dual Pre-K - 4 & K-8 Certification 

Course Credits
Core Courses
ESP 610*  Special Ed: Foundations and Collaboration  3
ESP 620  Special Ed. History, Theory and 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.

Curriculum - Master of Education: Special Education with 7 - 12 Certification

Course Credits
ESP 602  Life Skills Planning and Instruction  3
ESP 603  Assessment and Prescriptive Teaching 3
ESP 606  Transition Planning and Instruction 3
ESP 610  Special Education Foundations and Collaboration 3
ESP 613  Evidence-based Practices for Secondary Inclusion 3
ESP 620  Special Education History Theory, and Exceptionality 3
ESP 623  Advanced Evidence-based Practices for Secondary Inclusion 3
ESP 639  Field Experience in Special Education 3
ESP 701  Introduction to Behavior Analysis 3
ESP 800  Seminar in Advanced Behavior Analysis and Research Design 3
Total 30

Curriculum - Master of Education: Special Education with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Course Credits
ESP 602  Life Skills Planning and Instruction 3
ESP 603  Assessment and Prescriptive Teaching 3
ESP 606  Transition Planning & Instruction  OR  ESP 607  Early Intervention: Special Education 3
ESP 639  Field Experience Seminar in Special Education 3
ESP 701*  Introduction to Behavior Analysis 3
ESP 740  Nature/Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
ESP 741  Communication, Behavior and Instruction: Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
ESP 742  Life Transitions and Partnerships: Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
ESP 743  Navigating the Social World: Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
ESP 800  Seminar in Advanced Behavior Analysis and Research Design 3
Total 30

* ESP 701 is a prerequisite course for all other courses in Special Education.

Students must complete 15 credits of Required Special Education Courses. These courses listed in the sequence above include ESP 602, ESP 603, ESP 606, ESP 607 and ESP 639. Students may substitute any of these required 15 credits with the following courses listed below:

  • ESP 612  Evidence Based Practices for PK-8 Inclusion (3 credits)
  • ESP 613  Evidence Based Practices for Secondary Inclusion (3 credits)
  • ESP 620  Special Ed. History, Theory and Exceptionality (3 credits)
  • ESP 622  Advanced Evidence Based Practices for PK-8 Inclusion (3 credits)
  • ESP 623  Advanced Evidence Based Practices for Secondary Inclusion (3 credits)

Curriculum - Certification - Autism Spectrum Disorders

 
Course Credits
ESP 740  Nature/Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
ESP 741  Communication, Behavior and Instruction: Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
ESP 742  Life Transitions and Partnerships: Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
ESP 743  Navigating the Social World: Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
Total 12

Curriculum - Certificate - Autism Spectrum Disorders

Course Credits
ESP 740  Nature/Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
ESP 741  Communication, Behavior and Instruction: Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
ESP 742  Life Transitions and Partnerships: Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
ESP 743  Navigating the Social World: Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
Total 12

Advisement

Students in the special education program receive academic and professional advisement from the program coordinator and program faculty. Each student is assigned to an academic adviser from the time they are accepted into the program of study. Advisers work with students to discuss, monitor and provide advisement as it relates to their program of study.

Department Website

www.calu.edu/academics/graduate-programs/mental-and-or-physical-handicapped/index.htm

For Additional Information

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

Program Coordinator

Peter Heh, Ed.D, BCBA (University of Pittsburgh), M.Ed. (Edinboro University of Pennsylvania), B.A. (Washington and Jefferson College), Assistant Professor; Specializations: Autism, Applied Behavioral Analysis, Assessment Design.

Webpage: https://www.calu.edu/inside/faculty-staff/profiles/peter-heh.aspx 
Email:
heh@calu.edu
Phone:
724-938-4993

Graduate Faculty

James Burton, Ed.D. M.A. (West Virginia University), B.A. (Fairmont State University), Assistant Professor; Specializations: Life Skills, Transition and Assistive Technology

Jason Kight, Ed.D. (West Virginia University), Assistant Professor; Specializations: Behavior Disorders, Co-Teaching, Classroom Management and Autism

Kalie R. Kossar, Ed.D., BCBA-D (West Virginia University), M.Ed. (California University of Pennsylvania), B.S. (University of Pittsburgh), Associate Professor; Specializations: Collaboration, Assessment, Inclusion, Applied Behavior Analysis

Katherine Mitchem, Ph.D., BCBA-D (Utah State University), M.Ed. (Drury University), B.S. (Manchester University), Professor; Specializations: Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism and Special Education Technology

Mary Seman, Ed.D. (West Virginia University),  M.Ed. (University of Vermont), B.S. (California University of Pennsylvania), Professor; Specializations: Applied Behavior Analysis, Direct Instruction, Learning Strategies and Content Enhancement Routines

For faculty bios, visit: https://www.calu.edu/inside/faculty-staff/profiles/