Gain Knowledge and Skills to Support Students with Special Needs
Teachers and educational professionals enrolled in the online Master of Education in Special Education program from Penn State World Campus can learn about evidence-based practices to support individuals with special needs or those who are at risk. This program focuses on current issues and topics in the field of special education and gives you the opportunity to choose an emphasis in Academic and Behavioral Supports, Applied Behavior Analysis, or Autism.
Emphasis in Academic and Behavioral Supports
This emphasis is designed for educational professionals who want to learn skills to effectively support students with disabilities. Topics include, but are not limited to, effectively managing behaviors, designing and delivering instruction, and developing and administering educational assessments.
Emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
This emphasis is for professionals who want to gain in-depth knowledge of the principles and procedures of ABA, with or without the goal of becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). It includes a 21-credit course sequence intended to prepare you to sit for the 5th Edition BCBA certification exam. Educational professionals certified as BCBAs develop, implement, and monitor programs to promote positive behavior change in individuals with special needs.
Emphasis in Autism
The emphasis in autism is designed to help you acquire comprehensive, evidence-based knowledge to assist in developing effective educational programming for all students with autism spectrum disorders. It includes course work on assessing individuals with autism spectrum disorders; developing strategies to foster social, behavioral, communicative, and academic gains; using applied behavior analysis when working with children with autism; and enhancing collaboration among individuals with ASD, their families, and educators.
How Long Is the Program?
You can pursue full-time study and complete the 33-credit program in one calendar year. If you decide to take one or two courses each semester, you can complete the program in approximately two calendar years.
Who Should Apply?
If you have a background in education or human services and are interested in learning more about working with children and youth with disabilities, this program is ideal for you. Behavior specialists, social workers, mobile therapists, educational consultants, speech pathologists, mental health counselors and psychologists can also benefit from this program.
Please note that this master's degree program is not designed to lead to initial teacher certification in any state; however, it may help you renew or maintain your existing certification if you are already a certified teacher. Please check with your state's Department of Education for initial licensure requirements and renewal and maintenance requirements.