Our Master of Arts in Teaching program allows those with a bachelor's degree and an interest in teaching to get the education and experience necessary to become an effective educator.
In this specialization, you will:
The curriculum includes a variety of field experiences that provide opportunities to observe expert educators, receive mentoring, and apply what you learn in classroom environments. You will complete a minimum of 105 hours of classroom-based and Virtual field experiences (VFE) in conjunction with coursework, plus 12 weeks of full-time demonstration teaching.
Courses for this specialization incorporate standards of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) and are aligned with Minnesota state’s special education licensure standards.* Prior to completing this program, you will complete the Teacher Performance Assessment.
Gain a general understanding of the guidelines and requirements of the Special Education MAT program with the Special Education Candidate Guidebook (abridged version). After you download the guidebook, please call 1-866-492-5336 to speak with your enrollment advisor for assistance in reviewing the information.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will 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.
|Course Code||EDUC 6605||Course||Teacher as Lifelong Learner and Professional Educator||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6606||Course||Today's Classroom and the Diverse Learner||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6607||Course||Effective Practices: Assessment, Teaching, and Learning||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6608||Course||Classroom Management||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6209||Course||Collaboration to Support All Learners||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6626||Course||Foundations of Special Education||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6627||Course||Foundations of Literacy||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6628||Course||Individualizing Education Programs for Learners With Exceptionalities||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6636||Course||Characteristics of Learners With Exceptionalities||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6637||Course||Literacy Assessment and Intervention to Support Student Learning||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6638||Course||Behavior Management to Support Learners With Exceptionalities||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6639||Course||Instructional Strategies for Learners With Exceptionalities||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6648||Course||Demonstration Teaching||Credits||(4 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6649||Course||Seminar for Professional Educators||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6688||Course||Action Research||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
Lifelong learning and professionalism are key components of teaching. Education professionals in this course are oriented to the skills, understandings, strategies, and knowledge necessary to become successful learners while establishing the foundations for becoming professional educators, including knowledge of child development. Course instructors help education professionals become comfortable in the online learning environment, enabling them to clarify program expectations; create support networks and learning communities with colleagues and instructors; and establish a personal professional philosophy to promote social change. Upon completion of this course, education professionals demonstrate understanding of resources and expectations, initiate an electronic professional portfolio, and determine strategies for success as professional educators.
The dynamics of today's classroom are unique and challenging for teachers and learners. Education professionals in this course explore and analyze issues, complexities, and responsibilities associated with the field of education in the 21st century, including providing equal educational opportunities for all learners, regardless of their differences. They come to understand that many factors influence learning, including individual experiences, talents, prior learning, language, culture, and family and community values. Additionally, education professionals gain an understanding of the Minnesota-based American Indian tribal government, history, language, and culture. They engage in discussions and reflections on issues of diversity through which they have the opportunity to articulate, defend, and/or challenge current issues. They also address learning theory, diverse learning styles, and practical instructional strategies, and they acquire theoretical and practical knowledge about today's classroom as well as the family and community contexts that influence children's learning and development.
To help ensure high levels of learning and achievement for all students, today's educators must be knowledgeable about learners and learning and well-versed in effective teaching and assessment practices. In this course, education professionals examine the interrelationships between assessment, teaching, and learning as well as effective practices for applying and integrating these critical components in the P–12 classroom. They gain a historical perspective on the standards and accountability movement, and they examine standards in their state or local setting. They also explore learning theory in the context of today's challenging educational goals and standards. Education professionals learn and apply research-based practices in effective assessment, curriculum design, and instruction. Through on-site and Virtual Field Experience (VFE®), they critically analyze and implement teaching and learning principles and practices that help ensure awareness of individual and collective needs of students.
Education professionals are helped to create safe, supportive, and respectful learning environments that promote social-emotional development, self-responsibility, and character to optimize learning for all students in this course. Education professionals learn how to foster a sense of community in the classroom and develop positive relationships with and among students. They explore age-appropriate skills and strategies for managing dynamic and flexible grouping structures and teaching conflict resolution. They also examine strategies for building positive relationships, fostering motivation, and engaging in effective communication and problem-solving with parents and families. Education professionals apply course concepts through the development of a hands-on, age-appropriate learning activity to implement within a classroom field experience.
In this course, candidates explore strategies for effective communication and collaboration with colleagues, specialists, families, and community agencies to provide support for all children. Candidates examine collaboration strategies that promote the growth and learning of all children, including those with exceptionalities. Candidates learn about the roles of all participants in collaborative teams such as Individualized Education Program (IEP) team, professional learning communities (PLCs), and co-teaching teams. Candidates examine the role of the school in supporting all learners within the larger community context. They identify factors in the students' environments that may impact their growth and learning and explore strategies for effective collaboration with diverse families.
What do special educators need to know and be able to do to support students with exceptionalities and address their unique learning needs? In this course, education professionals examine historical, legal, and philosophical foundations that inform teaching and learning for students with exceptionalities. Education professionals explore issues related to identification, eligibility criteria, and delivery of services for students across multiple disability areas. Through course assignments and discussions with colleagues, education professionals develop the knowledge and skills necessary to build collaborative relationships with families and other stakeholders to help provide appropriate services to students.
An important role of all educators is helping students develop the literacy skills they need to succeed in school and in life. In this course, education professionals build foundational knowledge in literacy principles, practices, and strategies so that they can effectively engage and enhance students’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Education professionals learn about early literacy development including phonological awareness, concepts of print, and phonics. They explore strategies to help developing readers, including ways to promote vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, writing, and content-area literacy. Education professionals identify research-based principles that support the literacy and learning of all students, including English language learners. Through field experience assignments, education professionals develop and implement literacy instruction and assessments with students in K–12 classrooms. Topics include organizing the literacy classroom, differentiating literacy instruction, and involving families to support the literacy development of all students.
All learners possess unique characteristics, interests, and abilities. One of the most important responsibilities of special educators is to consider the individual strengths and needs of students with exceptionalities and to collaborate with families and other stakeholders to individualize their education appropriately. In this course, education professionals learn about the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process, including referral, eligibility, and the importance of using research-based interventions. They explore stakeholder responsibilities, consider assessments and other forms of data that inform program planning, and develop an IEP for a case study student. Education professionals consider the benefits of assistive technology and the role of transition planning in developing individualized education for learners with exceptionalities.
Special educators must understand each category of exceptionality as well as the abilities and needs of individual learners. In this course, education professionals examine the characteristics and instructional implications of specific learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, other health impairments, and giftedness. They explore accommodations and modifications for students with exceptionalities and consider how to foster effective and positive relationships with all stakeholders to support student success. In their field experience, education professionals apply course content by completing a child study project, in which they conduct an intensive case study of a single student with exceptionalities in a K–12 classroom.
Learners with exceptionalities often experience difficulties in literacy, which, in turn, negatively affect their learning and achievement. What can educators do to prepare these students for academic success? The focus of this course is on designing, implementing, monitoring and adjusting, and assessing literacy development to promote achievement across the curriculum. Education professionals use literacy assessments and interventions with students in K–12 classrooms to foster language development and to promote phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension. Candidates explore the impact of reading and writing disabilities on learning, and consider literacy practices and strategies for developing students' academic language and supporting their diverse learning needs. In addition, candidates examine assessment data and other evidence to inform literacy instruction and incorporate assistive and other technology-based interventions.
Helping students to develop the necessary skills for positive behavior is critical to creating an educational environment where all students can learn. In this course, education professionals develop data-informed practical behavior management strategies from three different perspectives—individual behavior management, classroom management, and school-wide behavior support. Education professionals apply behavior management strategies to create and implement an individualized behavior management plan in a K–12 classroom with a target student.
How can special educators help students with exceptionalities reach their full potential? In this course, education professionals develop lesson-planning skills and apply research-based instructional strategies to promote the academic and social development of students with exceptionalities. Education professionals complete a lesson-planning project by collaborating with school personnel to design, adapt, and implement lessons in diverse K–12 classrooms.
Demonstration teaching is the culminating experience in the teacher preparation program and is an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills and to demonstrate required competencies. During demonstration teaching, education professionals will participate in orientation activities then gradually assume complete teaching responsibility of the special education classroom for 4 consecutive weeks over a 12-week placement, gaining real-world experience and the opportunity to translate theory into practice. Candidates demonstrate the various roles of the special educator. Education professionals work closely with, and are evaluated by, their university supervisor, classroom cooperating teacher, and Walden instructor. During demonstration teaching, all special education professionals are assessed on the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) and the Demonstration Teaching Evaluation. This course runs concurrently with EDUC 6649 - Seminar for Professional Educators.
Taken concurrently with EDUC 6648 - Demonstration Teaching, this seminar allows education professionals to consolidate their knowledge and fine-tune their skills as they reflect on and share experiences from the districts, schools, and classrooms in which they are completing their demonstration teaching assignments. Candidates complete requirements for their ePortfolio and develop strategies for success as professional educators. The seminar promotes reflection, problem-solving among colleagues, group and individual reflection, and collaborative feedback to support professional practice. Seminar topics focus on promoting success as candidates transition from the program of study (POS) into the special education profession.
This course provides a structured approach to the practice of action research. Education professionals learn how to address relevant problems, become involved in collaborative inquiry, and use data and research to inform their practice. Education professionals engage in reflective practices as they plan data-informed actions to improve student learning, contribute to positive change in school environments, and enhance their professional growth.
*Walden is approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator and Licensing Standards Board to offer a program leading to initial licensure in Special Education: Academic and Behavioral Strategist. Candidates must pass the required Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exams (MTLEs) before Walden can recommend candidates to the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) for the license. Candidates are responsible for completing any other Minnesota requirements beyond Walden’s state-approved program and MDE is solely responsible for reviewing applications and issuing licenses.
Individuals interested in a special education licensure in states other than Minnesota may qualify by virtue of completing a state-approved teacher preparation program; however, individuals must review their state’s regulations to ensure the program meets all requirements, paying particular attention to any requirements specific to out-of-state program completers. The standards for an academic and behavioral strategist cover a wide spectrum of disabilities including, autism spectrum disorders, developmental cognitive disability, emotional or behavioral disorders, other health disorders, and specific learning disabilities; at the moderate level. Other states may refer to this as a cross-categorical, generalist, or mild/moderate license. Additionally, prospective students are advised if they choose to relocate to carefully review, evaluate and understand the requirements of the applicable licensure board in the state in which they intend to relocate.
Eligibility for initial educator certification in Washington is based on completion of a state approved educator preparation program. This program is approved in Minnesota and is authorized for field placements in Washington by the Professional Educators Standards Board. Even though you may be residing in Washington while in this program, your application for educator certification in Washington will be processed as an out-of-state application.
Go to https://www.pesb.wa.gov/educator-pathways/becoming-a-washington-educator/out-of-state-license-transfers/ for more information. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for teacher advancement.
Walden enrollment advisors can provide guidance on licensure issues; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with all state licensure requirements. Walden makes no representation or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure or endorsement.
Prospective Alabama students: State Authorization to provide a program related to the preparation of teachers or other P-12 school/system personnel does not indicate eligibility for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate. Applicants who complete an educator preparation program at a non-Alabama institution must apply for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate through the Alabama Certificate Reciprocity Approach. Current requirements may be found at www.alsde.edu.