Master of Science in Special Education
Master of Science in Special Education

Special Education: Philosophy and Purpose




The philosophy which guides the masters' programs in Early Childhood / Childhood Special Education (B-6), Childhood Special Education (1-6) and Adolescence Special Education (7-12) is based on the belief that all individuals possess intellectual, social, emotional, and physical strengths that enable them to function in and contribute to their families and the greater society. In special education, the role of the teacher candidate is to recognize these strengths and work with their students to develop them to their greatest ability. To accomplish this, the Special Education program faculty are dedicated to preparing teachers who are:



  • Knowledgeable in theories of learning and growth, content areas to be taught, developmentally appropriate practice, and the theories, laws, procedures, and programs related to the field of special education.
  • Skilled instructors and creators of positive and safe classroom environments that promote learning.
  • Reflective and effective practitioners.
  • Skilled at addressing the needs of diverse student populations.
  • Collaborative and ethical decision-makers.
  • Technologically competent.
  • Life-long learners.

The program is designed to allow faculty to certify that teacher candidates possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are linked to the six values and commitments that the faculty strive to nurture in themselves and in their teacher candidates: critical inquiry and intellectual development, professional skills and dispositions, culturally responsive practice and social justice education, and democratic citizenship and student advocacy.

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Admission Information:

Alana Matuszewski, Director of Graduate Admissions


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