Arkansas offers an abundance of cultural, economic and recreational opportunities. Located in the southern region of the United States, “the Natural State” affords residents and visitors a wide variety of outdoor activities with its diverse topography.
- Online MSEd in Special Education (Ranked #11 Best Online Master’s in Special Education Program by U.S. News & World Report 2021)
- Online Master of Science in Special Education
- M.Ed. in Elementary Education and Special Education (ITL); M.Ed. in Special Education: Moderate to Severe (ITL); M.Ed. in Special Education: Cross Categorical (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
- BA Special Education (Mild to Moerate) - Leads to single licensure in K - 12 special education; MA Teaching, Special Education (K-12)
In recent years, Arkansas has been focused on improving education through reforms and increased funding. It is now leading the country in preparing students for postsecondary education. In addition, the state enjoys a network of two major state universities, 11 private colleges and universities, plus one of the country’s “Top 100” liberal arts colleges. Many prominent leaders began their careers in Arkansas such as President Bill Clinton, Senator J. William Fulbright, General Douglas MacArthur, and Wal-Mart founder, Sam Walton.
Note: Those interested in distance learning programs should consult our recommendations for Online Master’s in Special Education.
Purdue University’s online MSEd in Special Education offers separate tracks for initial teacher licensure, and for licensed teachers looking to add advanced endorsements.
The online MSEd in Special Education from Saint Joseph’s University online MSEd in Special Education from Saint Joseph’s University offers concentrations in ASD, Hearing Impairment and the Wilson Reading System®.
Arkansas State University, AR
College of Education
Arkansas State University College of Education is committed to preparing students for a successful career in education through teaching, research and service. Students are encouraged to utilize their variety of graduate programs including:
• College Student Personnel Services, M.S.
• College Student Personnel Services, M.S.
• Curriculum and Instruction, M.S.E.
• Early Childhood Education, M.S.E.
• Early Childhood Services, M.S.
• Educational Leadership, M.S.E.
• Educational Theory and Practice, M.S.E.
• Exercise Science, M.S.
• Middle Level Education, M.S.E.
• Physical Education, M.S.E.
• Reading, M.S.E.
• Rehabilitation Counseling, M.R.C.
• School Counseling, M.S.E.
• Special Education – Gifted, Talented and Creative, M.S.E.
• Special Education – Instructional Specialist Grades 4-12, M.S.E.
• Special Education – Instructional Specialist Grades P-4, M.S.E.
• Sport Administration, M.S.
• Teaching, M.A.T.
ASU is dedicated exposing their students to real-world challenges and experiences through internships and co-ops.
Master of Science in Education: Special Education – Instructional Specialist Grades 4-12 (M.S.E.)
The Master of Science in Education: Special Education – Instructional Specialist for Grades 4-12 assists graduates to gain expertise in teaching disabled children. Through consultation with other teachers, curricula are established for the best approach in educating developmental, learning and behavioral disabilities for independent as well as inclusion settings. Admission is restricted to those who hold a teaching license and have a written commitment from a practicing grades 4-12 special educator who will function as a mentor throughout the program.
This graduate program is accredited through the NCATE and has established rigorous standards for teacher education. In addition to providing support and services for disabled children and their families, it is their mission to also improve overall quality of life through education.
Master of Science in Education: Special Education – Instructional Specialist Grades P-4 (M.S.E.)
The Master of Science in Education: Special Education – Instructional Specialist Grades P-4 program prepares teachers to work in various professional roles with disabled children from birth through grade 4 and their families. This advanced graduate degree is based on performance criteria established by the Council for Exceptional Child (CEC), Division of Early Childhood (CEC-DEC) and NCATE.
Admission is restricted to those who hold a teaching license and have a written commitment from a practicing grades 4-12 special educator who will function as a mentor throughout the program. Students are eligible for endorsement in special education in the state of Arkansas upon completion of the Master of Science in Education degree.
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Council for Exceptional Child (CEC)
Division of Early Childhood (CEC-DEC)
The Higher Learning Commission North Central Association
PO Box 720
State University, AR 72467
Southern Arkansas University, AR
College of Education
The College of Education at Southern Arkansas University faculty readies students for their chosen professional careers as educators, administrators, coaches, trainers, student services professionals and clinical professional counselors. Emphasis on the clinical experience, with up to a year in a school setting, is required prior to graduation.
Graduate programs include:
• Master of Arts in Teaching
• Master of Science in Mental Health and Clinical Counseling
• Master of Education in School Counseling P-8/7-12
• Master of Education in Student Affairs and College Counseling
• Master of Education in Elementary or Secondary Education – with specialty in:
-Special Education: Early Childhood Instructional Specialist P-4
-Special Education: Instructional Specialist 4-12
-Gifted and Talented P-8/7-12
• Master of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision
• Master of Education in Library Media and Information Specialist P-8/7-12/P-12
• Master of Science In Kinesiology – Coaching
Master of Education in Elementary or Secondary Education – with specialty in: Special Education: Early Childhood Instructional Specialist (P-4 and 4-12) (M.Ed.)
The Master of Education – Special Education: Early Childhood Instructional Specialist is offered in two tracks for grades P-4 and 4-12 and requires a valid general education teaching license for admittance. The program is designed to prepare educators for a professional career in special education. Course standards are outlined by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, Council for Exceptional Children, the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium and the National Board for Professional Teaching.
Both Instructional Specialist tracks require 24 credit hours and proficiency in special education. Projected student outcomes include:
• Nature and needs of students with mild disabilities
• Classroom and group management
• Educational diagnosis and assessment
• Collaboration/Consultation for inclusion
• Language development
• Instructional planning for mild disabilities (P-4 and 4-12)
A directed internship is required for completion of the program.
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
National Board for Professional Teaching (NBPTS)
The Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC)
100 E University
Magnolia, AR 71753
University of Arkansas at Little Rock, AR
College of Education
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Education promotes and strengthens student development as professional educators by giving them the tools, methodologies and technologies to succeed in the workforce. The conceptual framework of the college focuses on communication, specialized expertise, professional development and commitment to diversity.
Master degree programs offered include the following specialties:
• Adult Education
• Counselor Education
• Curriculum and Instruction
• Educational Administration and Supervision
• Teaching Gifted and Talented Education
• Higher Education
• Learning Systems Technology
• Middle Childhood Education
• Secondary Education
• Special Education
Master of Education in Special Education – Early Childhood Instructional Specialist (B-4) (M.Ed.)
The Early Childhood Instructional Specialist master’s degree program prepares teachers and early interventionists with the tools to service the developmental and educational needs of disabled children (birth through fourth grade) and their families. Graduates will be eligible for Arkansas Teacher Licensure in Special Education Early Childhood.
A minimum of 33 credit hours are required for this graduate program. Core curriculum requirements include the basic foundations of special education, technology, managing the learning environment, disability law, assessment in special education and SPED Practicum and special education assessment/intervention.
Master of Education in Special Education – Instructional Specialist (4-12) (M.Ed.)
The Master of Education in Special Education – Instructional Specialist provides an opportunity for students to focus on areas of study appropriate for grades 4-12. This non-categorical preparation program prepares students to collaborate with other special education teachers in the school environment. A strong focus is placed on disability assessment and determining when intervention is needed.
Requirements for acceptance include: Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, favorable recommendation from faculty member in the program. In addition, a standard license in general education is required – licensure in special education is an endorsement that may be obtained prior to completion of the degree. Projected student outcome for the graduate degree includes designing educational instruction for the classroom that meets the needs of children and youth with disabilities.
Higher Learning Commission
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
Ottenheimer Library, Ste 501
2801 South University Avenue
Little Rock, Arkansas 72204-1099