Remember that Walden’s Title IV Code is 025042.
Do you want to increase your ability to promote positive social change by meeting the diverse educational requirements of students with special needs? If you are an experienced special educator with the desire to enhance your skills by incorporating the latest developments in the field into your program, this specialization offers a path to continuing professional achievement. Walden’s M.S. in Education with a Special Education specialization synthesizes the most current research in the arenas of neuroscience, assessment, and scientifically based interventions so that you can determine best practices for student learning.
Estimated time to completion is 20 to 24 months. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.
Walden University's M.S. in Education program with a specialization in Special Education (Non-Licensure) does not lead to certification or licensure in special education. Walden makes no representation, warranty, guarantee, or commitment that successful completion of this program or coursework for graduate credit within this program, will permit a graduate to obtain state certification or licensure as a special education teacher.
In this course, education professionals explore what it means to be a professional in today’s diverse and changing educational landscape. They examine their values, beliefs, vision, and mission, and they explore their role in the larger context of the teaching profession. They also explore the importance of collaboration in a professional learning community and the need to advocate for Education students, other educators, and the field of education. Education professionals learn how a professional stance influences student learning. Through a written reflection, they synthesize their learning throughout the course and consider how to use this knowledge to enhance professional growth and development.
In this course, education professionals explore the value of linguistic and cultural diversity and the powerful learning opportunities it affords today’s classrooms and schools. They examine their attitudes, beliefs, and biases regarding linguistically and culturally diverse students, families, and communities, and they learn approaches for working together to ensure high levels of learning for all students. Through real-world observations, they assess strategies for ensuring equitable access to high-quality learning experiences. Education professionals also explore effective practices, such as cultural responsiveness, anti-bias curriculum, differentiated instruction, and academic vocabulary development. (Prerequisites: Endorsement candidates must complete special education endorsement courses and receive a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher prior to moving into M.S. in Education courses.)
Education professionals use action research in a variety of ways to improve schools, student performance, and their own professional development and skills. In this course, education professionals examine a structured approach to the practice of action research. They learn how to address relevant problems, become involved in collaborative inquiry, use data and research to inform their practice, improve student academic success, and contribute to positive change in their classroom and school environments. Education professionals engage in reflective practices as they collect and analyze student data and develop and implement data-informed decisions/actions to improve student learning and enhance professional growth.
Powerful internal and external forces affect the leadership capacity and influence potential of special educators. In this course, education professionals examine internal variables, such as their emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical health. They also consider external variables, including current trends and issues related to medicine, neuroscience, research, law and governance, and technology. Moreover, education professionals explore the influence of these variables on teaching and learning and on enhancing their leadership capacity.
Special educators understand the breadth and depth of each disability and they continually expand their knowledge and skills related to the impact of cognition, behavior, sensory input, and physical/health issues on learning and teaching. Education professionals in this course examine disabilities beyond the surface level of definitions, characteristics, and common understandings to a deeper, life-encompassing, and future-planning perspective. Through this course, education professionals further their ability to advocate for individuals with disabilities and for the field of special education.
Teaming, partnerships, and collaboration are practices that special educators must embrace and continually hone and refine. Education professionals in this course explore the attitudes, skills, and dispositions that foster healthy and productive collaborative relationships, which are essential for working with teams to provide services for individuals with disabilities. They also examine the benefits and challenges of collaborating with others to maximize the learning potential of every student.
Providing accommodations and differentiating instruction are essential practices for special educators. In this course, education professionals learn advanced research-based approaches for designing, adapting, prescribing, and delivering instruction in the content areas, with special emphasis on progress monitoring. They also examine content-area standards and curriculum, focusing on the goal of designing standards-based, individualized instruction that is functional, appropriate, and systematic.
Reading, writing, and communicating are literacy competencies that impact the quality of life for all people, especially individuals with disabilities; however, learning and behavioral disabilities often have a major influence on literacy development, thus requiring special educators who are well-versed in this area of learning and teaching. In this course, education professionals learn to identify reading and writing disabilities and collaborate with others to devise appropriate and effective interventions, including the use of assistive technologies. They engage in a variety of conceptual and application-based assignments that emphasize progress monitoring and ongoing assessment of literacy skills, strategies, and dispositions.
Behavior impacts human development at all ages and stages of life and is typically a matter of concern for individuals with disabilities. Education professionals in this course focus on understanding, assessing, managing, teaching, and monitoring behavior. They also review classroom and school management strategies, and they explore in greater depth individual functional analysis and individual behavior management plans, focusing on the goal of transition planning.
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