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M.S. in Education:

Special Education

 

The Master of Science in Education: Special Education at WOU is a highly comprehensive program that prepares students to work across K-12 and community settings specific to students with exceptionalities. The program prides itself on its collaborative and student centered focus in addition to having multiple partnerships with school districts across Oregon. The WOU SpEd program offers both an initial certification and an endorsement option.

Accepting applications for Fall 2024!

Fall Cohort Program Orientation:

Zoom session: https://wou-edu.zoom.us/j/88941178867

  • Saturday, June 8th from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

If you have a disability that may require some accommodation to participate in a Western Oregon University class or activity, please notify the Office of Disability Services at 503-838-8250 or ods@wou.edu at least three (3) business days in advance.

Learn more about the new Bilingual and Diverse Teacher Scholars program.

Program Details

Overview

Where this degree can take you:

  • Teaching PK-12th grade
  • Preparation for administration or doctoral programs

Designed for:

Individuals who want to become teachers who work with students with mild or severe disabilities. Candidates who successfully complete this program fulfill the requirement of the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) and are eligible for initial teacher licensure in Oregon.

To start, you need:

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Desire to become a special education teacher

Finishing will take:

  • 2 years (6-7 terms)
  • Minimum 45 credits
    • Must meet with advisor to create a program contract
  • A professional portfolio

Begin your master’s degree in special education:

  • Fall term

Where you will take classes:

  • Online (synchronous meetings)

Technology you will need:

  • Computer with internet connection
  • Video conferencing capability (e.g., Zoom)

What you will learn:

The Special Educator initial endorsement program prepares special education teachers to work with students with mild disabilities and students with severe disabilities. 

The Special Educator I program is designed for teachers who hold or are eligible to hold a valid initial teaching license. Six quarters of full-time training are required to complete the program.

The Special Educator II program is designed for students who do not hold a teaching license. Seven quarters of full-time training are required to complete this program.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Effectively teach students who have a wide range of cognitive, physical, emotional, and learning disabilities.
  2. Understand current, credible research findings on disability, instruction, assessment and behavior management.
  3. Provide enriched learning opportunities for students with disabilities in self-contained classrooms, resource rooms or general education classrooms.

Application Requirements

Deadlines and key dates:

Priority Application Deadline April 1st for a fall start. Applications are being accepted until August 30th for fall consideration.

Completed applications received after the priority deadline may be considered until the cohort is full or placed on a waitlist.

Detailed application requirements:

Application materials required for WOU Graduate admission:

  • Application Fee $60
  • Transcripts
    • You can upload an unofficial copy of your transcript to complete your application for admission. Save as a PDF with your first and last name in time from all previous colleges. We will require an official transcript from the Colleges or Universities you have attended for formal admission.
    • Transcripts are used as Evidence of completion of a four-year baccalaureate degree (or international equivalent) from a regionally accredited institution as defined by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars, with a cumulative B average (equivalent 3.00 on a U.S. 4.00 grading scale) on the most recent baccalaureate degree. Applicants who hold a master’s degree will have the 3.0 GPA requirement waived. Students with less than 3.0 can also provide passing MAT/GRE scores to be fully admitted.
  • Current Resume
    • Save as a PDF with your first and last name in the title.
  • Personal Statement
    • Please provide a PDF personal statement answering the following questions:
      • Describe your experience working with individuals with disabilities, your level of responsibility within the setting(s), and the length of time spent in each experience.
      • Describe your career goals and explain how a Master’s Degree in Special Education will help you accomplish these goals.
      • Describe the qualities that make you a good match for this specific program as well as your plan for being successful within the program.
  • Two Recommendations and EDA form
    • Two references verifying your success working with youth. Each reference will need to complete an EDA form (reference copy) that is attached to their online recommendation request.
  • EDA Form with Signature from Applicant
    • Please review the form (applicant copy) and upload it with your signature.

    Process: Applications will be reviewed once all application materials have been submitted. Please refer to the Application Checklist in your Graduate Application Portal to confirm the status of your submitted materials. The Graduate Application Portal will also provide additional details about the checklist items for further clarification. You will be notified via email regarding changes in the status of your application or if you are missing any application components.

    Curriculum

    MSEd: Special Education curriculum overview:

    The Special Educator initial endorsement program prepares teachers to work with students with mild disabilities and students with severe disabilities. The Oregon Teachers Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) requires each student to be authorized to teach at one of two age-level authorizations: (1) early childhood/elementary or (2) middle school/high school. All endorsement coursework taken at the 500 level can be included in the M.S. in Education: Special Education degree.

    The Special Educator I program is designed for teachers who hold or are eligible to hold a valid initial teaching license. Six quarters of full-time training are required to complete the program.

    The Special Educator II program is designed for students who do not hold a teaching license. Six quarters of full-time training are required to complete this program.

    Your plan of study:

    Once admitted to Master of Science in Education: Special Education, you will work with an advisor to plan the courses you will take and how you will complete the academic requirements of the program. By filing this Program Plan (PDF form), you have a road map for completing your degree and clarity on what to expect.

    Course of Study Options:

    This program requires a minimum of 45 graduate credits of which the majority are in special education.

    Students entering this program may include content from licensure/endorsement programs such as the special educator or the early intervention special education programs. Candidates may have, but are not required to have, prior teaching licensure. Typically the MSED: Special Education program is part of the preliminary license or endorsement in special education generalist credential.

    Professional Education Core

    • SPED 607 Seminar Credits: 1-6 Credits: 3
    •  SPED 616 Evaluating Special Education Research Credits: 3
    • or  ED 612 Quantitative Research in Education Credits: 3
    • or  ED 633 Educational Research Credits: 3
    • SPED 682 Contemporary Issues in Special Education Credits: 3

    Special Education Content Core

    • SPED 607 Seminar Credits: 1-6 Credits: 3
    • SPED 618 Introduction to Special Education Credits: 3
    • SPED 622 Literacy Methods for the Diverse Learner Credits: 3
    • SPED 623 Behavior Support Credits: 3
    • SPED 625 Assessment for Instruction Credits: 3
    • SPED 628 Math Methods for the Diverse Learner Credits: 3
    • SPED 630 Instructional Methods for Learners with Extensive Support Needs Credits: 3
    • SPED 642 Standardized Assessment Credits: 3
    • SPED 646 Law and Special Education Credits: 3
    • SPED 670 Collaboration: Supporting Exceptional Learners Credits: 3
    • SPED 649 Clinical Experience III Credits: 3
    • SPED 689 Clinical Experience IV Credits: 3

    Those candidates without a teaching license will also complete the following courses:

    • ED 681 Principles and Practices of ESOL and Bilingual Education Credits: 3
    • SPED 617 Theory and Philosophy of Teaching Exceptional Learners Credits: 3
    • SPED 647 Clinical Experience I Credits: 3
    • SPED 648 Clinical Experience II Credits: 3

    Total Credits: 45-57

    Note: Completion of the Special Education MS.Ed. program along with all state licensure requirements will result in a master’s degree and a special education K-12 Generalist endorsement/license.

    Faculty

    OLIVIA FLORES

    Clinical Placement Coordinator, Education & Leadership
    503-838-8675 | floreso@wou.edu | RICHARD WOODCOCK EDUCATION CENTER(RWEC) 218

    SHARI HOPKINS

    Assistant Professor, Education & Leadership
    503-838-8471 | hopkinss@wou.edu | RWEC

    KATRINA HOVEY

    Associate Professor, Education & Leadership
    503-838-8961 | hoveyk@wou.edu | RWEC 119

    DANI LANE

    Assistant Professor, Education & Leadership
    laned@wou.edu

    Where this degree can take you:

    • Teaching PK-12th grade
    • Preparation for administration or doctoral programs

    Designed for:

    Individuals who want to become teachers who work with students with mild or severe disabilities. Candidates who successfully complete this program fulfill the requirement of the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) and are eligible for initial teacher licensure in Oregon.

    To start, you need:

    • A bachelor’s degree
    • Desire to become a special education teacher

    Finishing will take:

    • 2 years (6-7 terms)
    • Minimum 45 credits
      • Must meet with advisor to create a program contract
    • A professional portfolio

    Begin your master’s degree in special education:

    • Fall term

    Where you will take classes:

    • Online (synchronous meetings)

    Technology you will need:

    • Computer with internet connection
    • Video conferencing capability (e.g., Zoom)

    What you will learn:

    The Special Educator initial endorsement program prepares special education teachers to work with students with mild disabilities and students with severe disabilities.

    The Special Educator I program is designed for teachers who hold or are eligible to hold a valid initial teaching license. Six quarters of full-time training are required to complete the program.

    The Special Educator II program is designed for students who do not hold a teaching license. Seven quarters of full-time training are required to complete this program.

    Learning outcomes:

    1. Effectively teach students who have a wide range of cognitive, physical, emotional, and learning disabilities.
    2. Understand current, credible research findings on disability, instruction, assessment and behavior management.
    3. Provide enriched learning opportunities for students with disabilities in self-contained classrooms, resource rooms or general education classrooms.

    Deadlines and key dates:

    Priority Application Deadline April 1st for a fall start. Applications are being accepted until August 30th for fall consideration.

    Completed applications received after the priority deadline may be considered until the cohort is full or placed on a waitlist.

    Detailed application requirements:

    Application materials required for WOU Graduate admission:

    • Application Fee $60
    • Transcripts
      • You can upload an unofficial copy of your transcript to complete your application for admission. Save as a PDF with your first and last name in time from all previous colleges. We will require an official transcript from the Colleges or Universities you have attended for formal admission.
      • Transcripts are used as Evidence of completion of a four-year baccalaureate degree (or international equivalent) from a regionally accredited institution as defined by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars, with a cumulative B average (equivalent 3.00 on a U.S. 4.00 grading scale) on the most recent baccalaureate degree. Applicants who hold a master’s degree will have the 3.0 GPA requirement waived. Students with less than 3.0 can also provide passing MAT/GRE scores to be fully admitted.
    • Current Resume
      • Save as a PDF with your first and last name in the title.
    • Personal Statement
      • Please provide a PDF personal statement answering the following questions:
        • Describe your experience working with individuals with disabilities, your level of responsibility within the setting(s), and the length of time spent in each experience.
        • Describe your career goals and explain how a Master’s Degree in Special Education will help you accomplish these goals.
        • Describe the qualities that make you a good match for this specific program as well as your plan for being successful within the program.
    • Two Recommendations and EDA form
      • Two references verifying your success working with youth. Each reference will need to complete an EDA form (reference copy) that is attached to their online recommendation request.
    • EDA Form with Signature from Applicant
      • Please review the form (applicant copy) and upload it with your signature.

      Process: Applications will be reviewed once all application materials have been submitted. Please refer to the Application Checklist in your Graduate Application Portal to confirm the status of your submitted materials. The Graduate Application Portal will also provide additional details about the checklist items for further clarification. You will be notified via email regarding changes in the status of your application or if you are missing any application components.

          MSEd: Special Education curriculum overview:

          The Special Educator initial endorsement program prepares teachers to work with students with mild disabilities and students with severe disabilities. The Oregon Teachers Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) requires each student to be authorized to teach at one of two age-level authorizations: (1) early childhood/elementary or (2) middle school/high school. All endorsement coursework taken at the 500 level can be included in the M.S. in Education: Special Education degree.

          The Special Educator I program is designed for teachers who hold or are eligible to hold a valid initial teaching license. Six quarters of full-time training are required to complete the program.

          The Special Educator II program is designed for students who do not hold a teaching license. Six quarters of full-time training are required to complete this program.

          Your plan of study:

          Once admitted to Master of Science in Education: Special Education, you will work with an advisor to plan the courses you will take and how you will complete the academic requirements of the program. By filing this Program Plan (PDF form), you have a road map for completing your degree and clarity on what to expect.

          Course of Study Options:

          This program requires a minimum of 45 graduate credits of which the majority are in special education.

          Students entering this program may include content from licensure/endorsement programs such as the special educator or early intervention special education programs. Candidates may have but are not required to have, prior teaching licensure. Typically the MSED: Special Education program is part of the preliminary license or endorsement in special education generalist credential.

          Professional Education Core


          • SPED 607 Seminar Credits: 1-6 Credits: 3
          • SPED 616 Evaluating Special Education Research Credits: 3
          • or  ED 612 Quantitative Research in Education Credits: 3
          • or  ED 633 Educational Research Credits: 3
          • SPED 682 Contemporary Issues in Special Education Credits: 3

          Special Education Content Core


          • SPED 607 Seminar Credits: 1-6 Credits: 3
          • SPED 618 Introduction to Special Education Credits: 3
          • SPED 622 Literacy Methods for the Diverse Learner Credits: 3
          • SPED 623 Behavior Support Credits: 3
          • SPED 625 Assessment for Instruction Credits: 3
          • SPED 628 Math Methods for the Diverse Learner Credits: 3
          • SPED 630 Instructional Methods for Learners with Extensive Support Needs Credits: 3
          • SPED 642 Standardized Assessment Credits: 3
          • SPED 646 Law and Special Education Credits: 3
          • SPED 670 Collaboration: Supporting Exceptional Learners Credits: 3
          • SPED 649 Clinical Experience III Credits: 3
          • SPED 689 Clinical Experience IV Credits: 3

          Those candidates without a teaching license will also complete the following courses:


          • ED 681 Principles and Practices of ESOL and Bilingual Education Credits: 3
          • SPED 617 Theory and Philosophy of Teaching Exceptional Learners Credits: 3
          • SPED 647 Clinical Experience I Credits: 3
          • SPED 648 Clinical Experience II Credits: 3

          Total Credits: 45-57

          Note: Completion of the Special Education MS.Ed. program along with all state licensure requirements will result in a master’s degree and a special education K-12 Generalist endorsement/license.

          OLIVIA FLORES

          Clinical Placement Coordinator, Education & Leadership
          503-838-8675 | floreso@wou.edu | RICHARD WOODCOCK EDUCATION CENTER(RWEC) 218

          SHARI HOPKINS

          Assistant Professor, Education & Leadership
          503-838-8471 | hopkinss@wou.edu | RWEC

          KATRINA HOVEY

          Associate Professor, Education & Leadership
          503-838-8961 | hoveyk@wou.edu | RWEC 119

          DANI LANE

          Assistant Professor, Education & Leadership
          laned@wou.edu

          Nicolette

          Being a student in the M.S. in SpEd program at Western Oregon University gave me the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills that equipped me to become an effective teacher. The professors in this program provide both challenge and motivation in the classroom setting through the support, knowledge, and enthusiasm that they exhibit in their teaching practices. Aside from establishing positive relationships with the professors, I also had the opportunity to build relationships with mentors in a nearby school district, while completing my field experience requirements. Receiving mentorship and guidance in the special education field before beginning my teaching career, helped me apply the knowledge that I had gained in my classes to support students in their academic and/or functional development. Overall, this program helped me grow so much as a person and a teacher, and I know it will do the same for you.

          Nicolette Wise
          M.S. In Ed. Special Education

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