Enhance your skills as an educator to help shape lives by earning a master’s degree in education.
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 MS 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.
Now earn your degree in as little as 12 months for less than $10,000. Learn more.
Northgate School, a virtual simulation where you explore authentic scenarios in special education.
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 855-646-5286.
Graduates of this program will be prepared to:
|Course Code||EDUC 6610||Course||Teacher as Professional||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6640||Course||Designing Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6780||Course||Exploring Leadership, Collaboration, and Consultation||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6781||Course||Special Education: Honoring Due Process||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6727||Course||Strategies for Teaching English as a Second Language||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6782||Course||Supporting Effective Evaluation and Assessment Practices||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6783||Course||Creating Effective Behavior Interventions||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6784||Course||Adapting Instruction Using Evidence-Based Strategies||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6785||Course||Implementing Literacy-Based Instructional Interventions||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6733||Course||Action Research for Educators||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
Effective teachers are leaders who make a positive difference in classrooms, schools, and society. Education professionals explore what it means to be a teacher leader in today's diverse and changing educational landscape, while gaining expertise in current research-based educational advancements. They examine their values, beliefs, vision, and mission, and they explore teacher effectiveness in relation to their role in the larger context of the teaching profession. They collaborate in professional learning communities and advocate for students and other educators in order to promote positive social change. They synthesize their learning throughout the course and use this knowledge to enhance professional growth and development.
In this course, education professionals examine classroom curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the context of standards and accountability. The importance of alignment of these components and resulting impact on student learning are emphasized. Educators explore learning theory, learner variables, and the need for differentiation to meet diverse learning needs. Multiple purposes and methods of assessment as well as effective approaches to grading and reporting will be discussed. Using their state or district standards, educators engage in a process for designing standards-driven classroom curriculum, instruction, and assessment that will meet the diverse learning needs of their students. Endorsement candidates must complete special education endorsement courses and receive a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher prior to moving into MS in Education courses.)
Leadership and collaboration are essential skills for working with teams to provide effective services for individuals with exceptionalities. These are practices that special educators must embrace and continually refine. Educators in this course will analyze the skills and dispositions that build healthy leadership styles and produce positive collaborative relationships. They will also examine the benefits and challenges of leading and collaborating with others to maximize the learning potential of every student.
Special education teachers are constantly confronted with ever-changing rules and regulations. In order to effectively lead and collaborate with teachers, families, and other professionals, special education teachers must have a thorough knowledge of the history and current practices related to special education advocacy, policy, and law. When presented with real-life scenarios, candidates will create practical solutions grounded in law and policy.
Education professionals in this course learn effective instructional skills and strategies to teach English as a second language in the K–12 classroom. Through conceptual and practical discussions and activities, they learn strategies and techniques to help students develop listening, speaking, reading, writing, and vocabulary skills in a variety of English-language learning environments. They also examine a range of language-learning programs, such as dual language immersion, transitional bilingual education, and structured English immersion. Additionally, education professionals learn to apply theories of second-language learning, literacy development, and standards-based teaching strategies to provide productive learning environments for English-language learners in general classroom settings.
Special educators in today's schools are responsible for working with a team to evaluate and assess to determine eligibility, create educational plans, and evaluate progress. In order to do this, they must be aware of and be able to implement culturally responsive, valid, and reliable practices. In this course, candidates will synthesize formal and informal assessments to monitor progress and analyze achievement to drive instructional strategies and assistive technologies for students with exceptionalities.
Behavior greatly impacts all students' ability to learn. Special educators are the most frequently called-upon professionals to evaluate, assess, and create behavior interventions whether a student is in a self-contained classroom or an inclusive setting. Candidates will be presented with a case study and reflect together on the behavior by identifying the antecedents and consequences presented. Furthermore, they will develop intervention strategies and share resources of evidence-based practices for improving behavior.
Providing accommodations and differentiating instruction are essential practices for special educators. In this course, special education professionals will apply research-based strategies for designing, delivering, and adapting instruction for students with exceptionalities. Candidates will be presented with real-life scenarios and must debate appropriate research-based instructional strategies to optimize learning for all students.
Reading, writing, and communication are literacy competencies that impact the quality of life for all people, especially individuals with exceptionalities. Special education professionals will devise appropriate and effective interventions for individuals with exceptionalities. Candidates will engage in a variety of conceptual and application-based assignments that emphasize ongoing assessment of literacy skills, strategies, and dispositions. Additional areas of emphasis include cultural and linguistic diversity, assistive technologies, and inclusive environments.
Education professionals use action research in a variety of ways to positively impact P–12 student learning. They examine, design, and implement action research. They address relevant problems, become involved in collaborative inquiry, use data and research to inform their practice, improve P–12 student academic success, and contribute to positive social change in their classrooms and school environments. Education professionals collect and analyze student data, develop and implement data-informed decisions to guide instructional planning, and engage in reflective practices to ensure continuous improvement and enhance professional growth.
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.
Note on Teacher Licensure or Certification
This program does not lead to teacher licensure or certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.