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Graduate School » Professional Studies » Special Education Online (MS)

Master of Science in Education, Special Education: Mild Intervention License, Intense Intervention License or Non Licensure Track (Online)

The Special Education program at the University of Saint Francis allows you to choose one of two specialized tracks: mild intervention or intense intervention.  The three-track online special education program is customizable to your current skill set and professional goals. The flexibility of online courses allows you to continue working while completing a graduate degree in just two years.

Today’s schools seek teachers who can research, analyze, and apply best educational practices that maximize student learning.  A Master of Science in Education from the University of Saint Francis empowers you to excel as an instructional leader in schools and the profession at large.  Licensing-only tracks in mild intervention and intense intervention are also available.

Program Outline

Select one area of concentration (Mild Intervention or Intense Intervention) or Non Licensure Track
All courses are three credit hours, unless stated otherwise.

Mild Intervention (33-36 Hours)

  • PSYC 500 Research Methods and Statistics
    • Basic methods of research and evaluation in the behavioral sciences. An overview of research and evaluation designs, their strengths and limitations. Application of statistical methods and data-gathering techniques.
  • SPED 600 Foundations in Exceptionalities
    • Introduces principles and theories, relevant laws and policies, diverse and historical points of view, human diversity issues and their impact on students and families, and the relationship of organizations of special education to the organizations and functions of schools. Explores how these foundations influence professional practice.
  • READ 602 Reading Methods
    • The course combines theory and practice in the teaching of reading. Cognitive, affective, physical, and language development factors related to emergent literacy, beginning reading instruction, and developmental reading are addressed. Major emphasis is placed on the five areas of reading instruction: phonetic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Opportunities to understand the integration and continuous assessment of reading and writing effectively will be provided. Strategies for teaching study skills/reading skills with content subject areas will be presented. Emphasis is placed on current research and methods used in reading instruction.
  • EDUC 605 Technology Applications
    • Presents topics related to recent innovations in technology education in schools. Promotes discussion of issues for p-12 students with exceptional needs in accessing and utilizing technology. Develops skills for instructional design, delivery, and assessment through integration of technology across the curriculum and learning environments.
  • SPED 613 Collaborative Models of Behavior Management
    • Promotes knowledge and understanding for building skills of positive behavioral interventions and supports through collaborative models. Analyzes proven theoretical models that are culturally relevant for students with exceptional needs through collaborative consultative skills of advocacy, conflict resolution, and consensus building for students and families.
  • SPED 615 Language and Social Skills Topics
    • Builds understanding of typical and atypical language development, effective language models, individualized communication strategies for enhancing language development and teaching communication and social skills, and of augmentative, alternative, and assistive technologies to support and enhance communication of individuals with exceptional needs who do and do not have English as their primary language.
  • SPED 625 Instructional Methods Topics
    • Builds understanding of procedures for developing, implementing, monitoring, and amending individualized programs. Explores the impact of learning environments on students with exceptional needs and examines skills needed to plan, manage, and modify learning environments. Analyzes effective, research-based instructional practices for students that promote students' success in the general curriculum in ways that are age-appropriate and culturally responsive for Mild Intervention.
  • READ 630 Literacy Topics
    • Builds knowledge of research-based effective teaching of literacy skills for p-12 students with exceptional needs. Targets identification or design of environments, methods, strategies, skills, and materials to meet individual needs. Emphasizes criteria for analyzing impact of curricula, materials, and strategies on student performance.
  • SPED 635 Assessment Topics
    • Builds understanding of basic and specialized assessment terminology, theories of measurement, and types of assessment and procedures. Emphasizes legal/ethical issues, eligibility determination, uses and limitations of tools, and integration of technology. Targets skills for appropriate design, selection, application, and evaluation of tools, and communicating results to all stakeholders.
  • SPED 670 Practicum in Mild Intervention
    • Utilizes a variety of approved clinical experiences under the supervision of a university instructor and certified school personnel. Targets implementation of required skills for effective practice as a special educator that results in positive impact on success of p-12 students with mild exceptional needs. Seminars are required.
  • SPED 675 Teaching Internship (Initial)
    • Utilizes a variety of approved clinical experiences under the supervision of a university instructor and certified school personnel. Targets implementation of required skills for effective practice as a special educator that results in positive impact on success of p-12 students with mild or intense exceptional needs. Seminars are required.
  • SPED 680 Research Topics
    • Targets skills that effective special educators must demonstrate to design and implement research activities that foster their professional growth and keep them current with evidence-based best practices. Promotes reflection and evaluation on the effectiveness of their instructional practices as appropriate to their role.
      Action Research:
      A formal, publishable action research proposal will be completed following APA current edition and/or the requirements of the professional journal to which the proposal will be submitted.
      Applied Research:
      An action research project will be designed, implemented, and evaluated. A formal, publishable paper will be completed and submitted to a professional journal. A written reflection on impact for professional practice will be submitted.
      *PSYC 500 must be taken prior to SPED 680.
      **SPED 625 must be completed prior to taking SPED 670.
      ***Initial candidates (those who do not possess any teaching license) must enroll in and successfully complete SPED 675.

Pre-K Exceptional Needs (must be added to an existing license)

  • SPED 625 Instructional Methods - Pre-Kindergarten
    • Builds understanding of procedures for developing, implementing, monitoring, and amending individualized programs. Explores the impact of learning environments on students with exceptional needs and examines skills needed to plan, manage, and modify learning environments. Analyzes effective, research-based instructional practices for students that promote students' success in the general curriculum in ways that are age-appropriate and culturally responsive for Mild Intervention.
  • SPED 670 Practicum –Pre-K*
    • Utilizes a variety of approved clinical experiences under the supervision of a university instructor and certified school personnel. Targets implementation of required skills for effective practice as a special educator that results in positive impact on success of p-12 students with mild exceptional needs. Seminars are required.
  • SPED 516 Health and Related Issues
    • This course is designed to provide educators and related professionals with knowledge of health and related issues for children with disabilities. A review and discussion of interventions, services, and providers are included.
  • SPED 615 Language and Social Skills Topics
    • Builds understanding of typical and atypical language development, effective language models, individualized communication strategies for enhancing language development and teaching communication and social skills, and of augmentative, alternative, and assistive technologies to support and enhance communication of individuals with exceptional needs who do and do not have English as their primary language.
  • *SPED 625 must be taken prior to SPED 670.

Intense Intervention (33-36 Credit Hours)

  • PSYC 500 Research Methods and Statistics
    • Basic methods of research and evaluation in the behavioral sciences. An overview of research and evaluation designs, their strengths and limitations. Application of statistical methods and data gathering techniques.
  • EDUC 605 Technology Applications
    • Presents topics related to recent innovations in technology education in schools. Promotes discussion of issues for p-12 students with exceptional needs in accessing and utilizing technology. Develops skills for instructional design, delivery, and assessment through integration of technology across the curriculum and learning environments.
  • SPED 600 Foundations in Exceptionalities 
    • Introduces principles and theories, relevant laws and policies, diverse and historical points of view, human diversity issues and their impact on students and families, and the relationship of organizations of special education to the organizations and functions of schools. Explores how these foundations influence professional practice.
  • SPED 613 Collaborative Models of Behavior Management
    • Promotes knowledge and understanding for building skills of positive behavioral interventions and supports through collaborative models. Analyzes proven theoretical models that are culturally relevant for students with exceptional needs through collaborative consultative skills of advocacy, conflict resolution, and consensus building for students and families.
  • SPED 615 Language and Social Skills Topics
    • Builds understanding of typical and atypical language development, effective language models, individualized communication strategies for enhancing language development and teaching communication and social skills, and of augmentative, alternative, and assistive technologies to support and enhance communication of individuals with exceptional needs who do and do not have English as their primary language.
  • SPED 626 Functional Curriculum/Assistive Technology
    • Builds understanding of procedures for developing, implementing, monitoring, and amending individualized programs. Explores the impact of learning environments on students with exceptional needs and examines skills needed to plan, manage, and modify learning environments. Analyzes effective, research-based instructional practices for students that promote students' success in the general curriculum in ways that are age-appropriate and culturally responsive for Mild Intervention.
  • READ 630 Literacy Topics
    • Builds knowledge of research-based effective teaching of literacy skills for p-12 students with exceptional needs. Targets identification or design of environments, methods, strategies, skills, and materials to meet individual needs. Emphasizes criteria for analyzing impact of curricula, materials, and strategies on student performance.
  • SPED 635 Assessment Topics
    • Builds understanding of basic and specialized assessment terminology, theories of measurement, and types of assessment and procedures. Emphasizes legal/ethical issues, eligibility determination, uses and limitations of tools, and integration of technology. Targets skills for appropriate design, selection, application, and evaluation of tools, and communicating results to all stakeholders.
  • SPED 671 Practicum in Intense Intervention
    • Utilizes a variety of approved clinical experiences under the supervision of a university instructor and certified school personnel. Targets implementation of required skills for effective practice as a special educator that results in positive impact on success of p-12 students with intense exceptional needs. Seminars are required.
  • SPED 675 Teaching Internship
    • Utilizes a variety of approved clinical experiences under the supervision of a university instructor and certified school personnel. Targets implementation of required skills for effective practice as a special educator that results in positive impact on success of p-12 students with mild or intense exceptional needs. Seminars are required.
  • SPED 680 Research Topics
    • Targets skills effective special educators must demonstrate to design and implement research activities that foster their professional growth and keep them current with evidence-based best practices. Promotes reflection and evaluation on the effectiveness of their instructional practices as appropriate to their role.
      Action Research:
      A formal publishable action research proposal will be completed following APA current edition and/or the requirements of the professional journal to which the proposal will be submitted.
      Applied Research:
      An action research project will be designed, implemented and evaluated. A formal publishable paper will be completed and submitted to a professional journal. A written reflection on impact for professional practice will be submitted.
      *PSYC 500 must be taken prior to SPED 680.
      **SPED 626 must be completed prior to taking SPED 671.
      ***Initial candidates (those who do not have any teaching license in Indiana or another state) must enroll in and successfully complete SPED 675.

Non Licensure Track (36 Hours)

  • PSYC 500 Research Methods and Statistics
    • Basic methods of research and evaluation in the behavioral sciences. An overview of research and evaluation designs, their strengths and limitations. Application of statistical methods and data-gathering techniques.
  • SPED 600 Foundations in Exceptionalities
    • Introduces principles and theories, relevant laws and policies, diverse and historical points of view, human diversity issues and their impact on students and families, and the relationship of organizations of special education to the organizations and functions of schools. Explores how these foundations influence professional practice.
  • READ 602 Reading Methods
    • The course combines theory and practice in the teaching of reading. Cognitive, affective, physical, and language development factors related to emergent literacy, beginning reading instruction, and developmental reading are addressed. Major emphasis is placed on the five areas of reading instruction: phonetic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Opportunities to understand the integration and continuous assessment of reading and writing effectively will be provided. Strategies for teaching study skills/reading skills with content subject areas will be presented. Emphasis is placed on current research and methods used in reading instruction.
  • EDUC 605 Technology Applications
    • Presents topics related to recent innovations in technology education in schools. Promotes discussion of issues for p-12 students with exceptional needs in accessing and utilizing technology. Develops skills for instructional design, delivery, and assessment through integration of technology across the curriculum and learning environments.
  • SPED 613 Collaborative Models of Behavior Management
    • Promotes knowledge and understanding for building skills of positive behavioral interventions and supports through collaborative models. Analyzes proven theoretical models that are culturally relevant for students with exceptional needs through collaborative consultative skills of advocacy, conflict resolution, and consensus building for students and families.
  • SPED 615 Language and Social Skills Topics
    • Builds understanding of typical and atypical language development, effective language models, individualized communication strategies for enhancing language development and teaching communication and social skills, and of augmentative, alternative, and assistive technologies to support and enhance communication of individuals with exceptional needs who do and do not have English as their primary language.
  • SPED 625 Instructional Methods Topics or SPED 626 Functional Curriculum/Assistive Technology
    • (SPED 625) Builds understanding of procedures for developing, implementing, monitoring, and amending individualized programs. Explores the impact of learning environments on students with exceptional needs and examines skills needed to plan, manage, and modify learning environments. Analyzes effective, research-based instructional practices for students that promote students' success in the general curriculum in ways that are age-appropriate and culturally responsive for Mild Intervention. (SPED 626) Builds understanding of procedures for developing, implementing, monitoring, and amending individualized programs. Explores the impact of learning environments on students with exceptional needs and examines skills needed to plan, manage, and modify learning environments. Analyzes effective, research-based instructional practices for students that promote students' success in the general curriculum in ways that are age-appropriate and culturally responsive for Mild Intervention.
  • READ 630 Literacy Topics
    • Builds knowledge of research-based effective teaching of literacy skills for p-12 students with exceptional needs. Targets identification or design of environments, methods, strategies, skills, and materials to meet individual needs. Emphasizes criteria for analyzing impact of curricula, materials, and strategies on student performance.
  • SPED 635 Assessment Topics
    • Builds understanding of basic and specialized assessment terminology, theories of measurement, and types of assessment and procedures. Emphasizes legal/ethical issues, eligibility determination, uses and limitations of tools, and integration of technology. Targets skills for appropriate design, selection, application, and evaluation of tools, and communicating results to all stakeholders.
  • SPED 673 Practicum in Special Education
    • Utilizes a variety of approved agency and / or community-based clinical experiences under the supervision of a university instructor and agency / community personnel. Targets implementation of required skills for effective practice as a special educator. Seminars are required. Requires 120 Field Hours. Repeatable; Variable Credit.
  • SPED 676 Internship
    • Utilizes a variety of approved agency and / or community-based clinical experiences under the supervision of a university instructor and agency / community personnel. Targets implementation of required skills for effective practice as a special educator. Seminars are required. 400 Hours. Repeatable; Variable Credit.
  • SPED 680 Research Topics
    • Targets skills that effective special educators must demonstrate to design and implement research activities that foster their professional growth and keep them current with evidence-based best practices. Promotes reflection and evaluation on the effectiveness of their instructional practices as appropriate to their role.
      Action Research:
      A formal, publishable action research proposal will be completed following APA current edition and/or the requirements of the professional journal to which the proposal will be submitted.
      Applied Research:
      An action research project will be designed, implemented, and evaluated. A formal, publishable paper will be completed and submitted to a professional journal. A written reflection on impact for professional practice will be submitted.
      *PSYC 500 must be taken prior to SPED 680.
      **SPED 625 must be completed prior to taking SPED 670.
      ***Initial candidates (those who do not possess any teaching license) must enroll in and successfully complete SPED 675.

Admissions Requirements

  • Have an undergraduate GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale. If your undergraduate GPA is below 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, you must submit one of the following:
    • GRE composite score of 280 (GRE score prior to 8/1/2011: 800)
    • MAT composite score of 389
  • Hold a standard teaching license and/or a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. If you do not have a teaching license, teaching license coursework will be part of your program. You will also have to do one of the following:
    • Pass CORE Academic Skills Assessment (CASA):
    • Required CASA scores: Reading=20, Mathematics=19, Writing (MCQ)=20 and Writing (CRI)=5
    • Earn an SAT Critical Reading and Math score of 1,100.
    • Earn an ACT composite score of 24.
    • Earn a GRE Verbal and Quantitative score of 301 (GRE score prior to 8/1/2011: 1100)
    • Earn a prior master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

 

Steps to Apply

  • Completed application form (plus $20 fee if submitting the paper application)
  • Official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended
    • Must be sent directly from Registrar of institution(s) attended
  • Submit a DD214 form (United States veterans only).
  • If your undergraduate GPA is below 3.0:
    • Submit a current resume to gradschool@sf.edu.
    • Submit a GRE composite score of 280+ or a MAT composite score of 389+.
  • Submit copies of one of the following:
    • Your teacher license
    • Your CASA scores
  • Your SAT Critical Reading and Math score of at least 1,100
  • Your ACT composite score of at least 24
  • Your GRE Verbal and Quantitative score of 301
  • Previous master’s degree transcripts
  • Submit a statement of career goals to gradschool@sf.edu.
  • Submit recommendations from two people who are capable of speaking about your academic ability and teaching potential. Must be submitted using our department form.

Contact Us

If you have questions about getting started in our Master of Science in Education Special Education program, please contact your graduate counselor.