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- Career-advancing credential offered online
- Specialized coursework in special education
- Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
- Next Start Date
- January 16th
- Est. Program Length
- 1.5 years
- Course Length
- 8 weeks
- Cost per Credit
- Credit Hours
- Credits Accepted
*Price reflects tuition for Oklahoma residents. Non-resident tuition is $713.80 per credit hour. There is a non-resident tuition waiver available if certain requirements are met. Speak to an enrollment counselor for more information. An additional semester fee of $89 will apply for all students and possible charges for course related fees. Fees and tuition subject to change.Request Info
Make an Impact by Earning Your Master’s in Special Education Online
An online Master of Education in Special Education from East Central University explores the unique learning abilities and psychological requirements of children with disabilities. Our curriculum covers teaching methods and various technologies, as well as ethical and legal considerations, necessary to work in special education.
In addition to our in-depth coursework, you’ll have access to our interactive platform, which allows you to network with other students and make connections with fellow professionals. You’ll complete practicum experiences with children who are at various levels of academic functioning before you begin student teaching.
The program prepares you to sit for state certification for teaching children with mild/moderate disabilities from preschool through high school and is based on the Council for Exceptional Children (ECE) Initial Professional Standards for Special Educators and Initial Practice-Based Preparation Standards for Special Educators. In the last three and a half years, 100% of students have completed the program, and 100% of graduates secured teaching positions.
Topics of Study
The M.Ed. Special Education online program teaches a host of subjects crucial to success in the field, along with 12 semester hours in science, mathematics, social studies and language arts. Some other topics of study include:
- Behavior modification
- Cultural diversity
- Dignity and responsive teaching
You will also be required to complete a practicum to gain hands-on experience in the field.
When you graduate, you will be able to:
- Develop and demonstrate the content knowledge and practice-based teaching skills to provide effective instruction for students with mild to moderate disabilities.
- Develop the capacity to identify and implement evidence-based programs, instructional and behavioral interventions and high leverage practices to teach students with mild to moderate disabilities and special needs.
- Enhance critical thinking skills and an experiential base for professional positions in clinical, educational and other related settings.
Courses & Requirements
Our M.Ed. Special Education online program requires a total of 32 credit hours. Students are required to take five credit hours of core courses, including a practicum worth two credit hours and 27 credit hours of specialization courses.
- EDUC 5113
- EDUC 5762
- EDUC 5023
- EDUC 5093
- EDUC 5163
- EDUC 5333
- EDUC 5353
- EDUC 5743
- EDUC 5753
- EDUC 5103
- EDUC 5233
Techniques of Research
Introduces students to the theory of educational research by developing competencies in literature review, library research, data analysis, research writing and developing plans for applied or action research. This course will consider the ethics of research with human subjects.
Practicum and Portfolio in Special Education
This course will provide actual classroom experiences with students with mild/moderate disabilities. Students will attend seminars to reflect on the classroom experience, demonstrate effective practices and discuss relevant issues. The course may be repeated with students with severe/profound disabilities.
Educational Aspects of Exceptional Children
An in-depth study of children who have educational, intellectual, behavioral or physical characteristics which adversely affect their educational performance. Emphasis will be given to educational methods and legal issues in working with these children.
Identification of and Strategies for Students with Behavioral Disorders
This course will explore characteristics and IDEA procedures for identifying students with behavior disorders in educational settings. This course will also prepare those working with students to manage behavior in special and general education classrooms. Various theoretical approaches for managing group and individual behaviors and their relevant management strategies will be discussed. Specific methods for identifying and documenting behavioral concerns (i.e. FBAs) and interventions for increasing appropriate behaviors and decreasing inappropriate behaviors (i.e. BIPS) will be discussed.
Advanced Methods for Mild and Moderate Disorders
This course will explore the approaches to planning and designing educational programs for students with mild/moderate disabilities. Course includes strategies for classroom modifications, individualized program implementation and behavior management techniques.
Legal Aspects of Special Education
This course will explore the legal aspects of special education including formulation of policies and procedures and program development. Emphasis will be given to individual rights, school responsibility and development of individualized education plans.
Advanced Assessment and Program Development
Students will gain a basic understanding of assessment, diagnosis and evaluation procedures used in special education. Emphasis will be given to appropriate utilization of assessment, legal issues surrounding assessment and using assessment results to plan individualized education programs.
Collaborative Learning Communities in Special Education
This course will examine collaborative learning communities, also designated as wrap-around services, for students with mild/moderate disabilities from birth to 21 years of age. Family systems theory and strategies used to prepare students with mild/moderate disabilities for transition from school to community life will also be emphasized.
Differentiated Instruction for Special Education
This course will examine Response To Intervention (RTI), using IEP assessment results to design curriculum, aligning curriculum with PASS skills and strategies for modifying curriculum for students with mild/moderate disabilities in academic content areas (i.e., reading, math, language arts, and science). Specific emphasis will be on providing accommodations and modifications for students with mild/moderate disabilities.
Students With Mild Disorders
This course is an in-depth study of the history and philosophy of teaching students who have mild disabilities and their characteristics. Students will also explore issues of ethical considerations in the area of mild disabilities.
Survey of Teaching Reading
This course surveys the reading process with an emphasis given to language development, word recognition skills, comprehension skills and study skills. Psychological reading theory and various approaches to teaching reading are discussed with opportunities to manipulate reading materials.
Students must earn at least a B in EDUC 5113 or will be required to retake it.
To be accepted into ECU’s online special education master’s degree, you must meet the following criteria:
- Have a minimum cumulative 2.5 grade-point average on all undergraduate coursework to date; or
- Have a minimum 2.75 GPA for the last 60 credit hours of coursework; or
- Have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA for at least 9 credit hours of graduate coursework
How to Apply
To apply, you must submit the following materials:
- Complete application
- Transcripts of all completed work (baccalaureate and graduate) from an accredited institution
- Two references
- A personal statement. Explain your career goals, how an ECU degree will help you accomplish those goals, your interest in the field and any actions you have taken to pursue this interest. You must also describe any skills, attributes or experiences you possess that would aid in your future profession.
Have a question about this program or the admission process? Get connected to one of our knowledgeable enrollment counselors.
Tuition & Fees
|32 credit hours
|Total with transfer credits (up to 9)
*Price reflects tuition for Oklahoma residents. Non-resident tuition is $713.80 per credit hour. There is a non-resident tuition waiver available if certain requirements are met. Speak to an enrollment counselor for more information. An additional semester fee of $89 will apply for all students and possible charges for course related fees. Fees and tuition subject to change.
At ECU Online, we strive to ensure your education is as affordable as possible. Learn more about your options for financing your education by visiting our Financial Aid page.View Financial Aid
East Central University is a proud military-friendly school. Discover how your status as a U.S. military veteran or active-duty service member can help you earn your degree by visiting our Military & Veterans page.View Military Benefits
Native American Students
Eligible Native American students can find financial aid programs, heritage scholarships, grants, and academic support services to help ensure their success at ECU.View our Native American Students page
Are You the First in Your Family to Go to College?
At ECU, we recognize that “going first” can be difficult. We provide the extra financial support, scholarships, resources, services, and skills you need to succeed.View our First-Generation College Students page
If you’ve taken college-level courses elsewhere, you could save time and money earning your degree by transferring credits to ECU and may qualify for scholarships.View our Transfer Students page
Once you earn your master’s degree in special education online, you can pursue many career opportunities to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs, including the following:
Director of Special Education
Directors of special education ensure that schools and districts follow regulations and procedures for students with special needs. They provide leadership for special education teachers and ensure students receive education and services that meet their abilities.
Average annual salary: $88,727
Nonprofit Program Manager
Nonprofit program managers handle projects within an organization that is specific to their area of expertise to meet the goals of the organization. They oversee programs to ensure quality and budgets and often work with various departments and the public.
Average annual salary: $80,158
Special Education Consultant
Special education consultants help identify academic targets and appropriate resources for students with special needs. They work with the student’s family and teacher to design an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and monitor progress to ensure success in school.
Average annual salary: $62,194
Special Education Teacher
Special education teachers work with students who have learning, mental, emotional or physical needs beyond what is typical in a classroom. They help to adapt lesson plans and ensure that special needs students get the resources and care they need.
Average annual salary: $55,104
All information cited from Glassdoor.
An M.Ed. in Special Education prepares you for a variety of impactful careers. Our graduates work in public and private schools, nonprofit agencies and home health agencies. Many students advance into roles as directors, principals or program managers. Some choose careers as lobbyists and advocates.
Special education is the field of education that seeks to perfect and execute the practice of educating students who need special accommodations due to physical, emotional and psychological differences.
Earning an online degree allows you to continue to meet your daily obligations while earning a career-advancing credential. Our courses are asynchronous, providing flexibility, but feature the same challenging curriculum and expert faculty as an in-person program.