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George Mason University
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Master's and Graduate Certificate Programs in Special Education
Purdue University
Master
Online MSEd in Special Education
St. Mary's University
Master
Online Master's in Special Education
Saint Joseph's University
Master
Online Master of Science in Special Education
Winthrop University
Master
Online Master of Education (M.Ed) In Special Education Intervention
George Washington University
Master
Online Master in Special Education

Master’s in Special Education Degree Programs in the District of Columbia

The District of Columbia is also known as Washington, D.C. and is the capital of the United States of America. While it is not a part of any U.S. state, it holds a prominent position as the heart of the nation. As home to all three branches of the federal government, the Congress, the President and the Supreme Court, the District provides a strong, historic foundation for today’s educators.

Many public and private universities and colleges in the District of Columbia provide specialized programs for earning graduate degrees. Master’s programs in Special Education offered at the following institutions allow future educators to align their talents with special needs children at all levels of disability.

Note: Those interested in distance learning programs should consult our recommendations for Online Master’s in Special Education.

American University, D.C. College of Arts and Sciences

American University’s College of Arts and Sciences offers master’s degree programs in several teaching disciplines. Both daytime and evening classes are available for working students for flexible scheduling to pursue graduate degrees. Master of Arts degrees are available in the following specialties: Teaching, Nutrition Education, Bilingual Education, Special Education – Learning Disabilities, and Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to providing outstanding educational instruction through the use of small, individualized classrooms, award-winning faculty, distinctive field experiences and educational opportunities found in the Washington metropolitan area.

Master of Arts in Special Education: Learning Disabilities (MA) (K-12)

The Master of Arts in Special Education: Learning Disabilities program emphasizes a philosophy that all children and adolescents have the right to access and participate in education regardless of learning capabilities. Program outcomes include: assessment of student strengths and weaknesses, child development in the areas of language, comprehension, motor skills and social proficiency.

Innovative techniques for teaching children with learning disabilities to utilize all their senses to learn, remember and process information are practiced within the Sally Smith Methodology at The Lab School of Washington. Graduate students learn research and remediation skills for teaching learning-disabled students (grades K-12). An experiential learning approach is taught through both academics and the arts including music, dance, graphic arts and drama.

Graduates qualify for teaching positions in public and private schools, treatment centers and clinics. In addition, imaginative master’s degree recipients in the learning disabilities program will gain the expertise necessary to work as researchers, arts coordinators, curriculum specialists and educational game designers to improve the quality of life for the learning disabled.

Accreditation

National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Contact Information

Battelle-Tompkins, Terrace 27
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016-8017
(202) 885-3620

George Washington University, D.C.
Graduate School of Education & Human Development

The Graduate School of Education & Human Development at George Washington University provides innovative graduate programs to prepare students to be educational leaders. Ranked among the top 11 private schools of education and among the top 35 graduate schools of education nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, the GSEHD continues to strive for excellence for all students.

Master of Arts degree programs are available in the following specialties:

-Bilingual Special Education.
-Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
-Curriculum and Instruction.
-Early Childhood Special Education.
-Higher Education Administration.
-Human Resource Development.
-Special Education for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities.

In addition, numerous graduate certification programs are available for professional educators interested in enhancing their skills or secondary endorsement to their licensure.

Master of Arts: Bilingual Special Education (MA) (K-12)

The Master of Arts: Bilingual Special Education is designed to train professional educators to understand and focus their skills on assisting special needs children and adolescents (grades K-12) with language, social, cultural and learning difficulties. The program is NCATE accredited and provides advanced certification in bilingual special education.

Special learning outcomes in the areas of language and literacy development, research and development skills for young children with disabilities, and a thorough understanding of the immigrant experience prepare graduate students to be leaders in education. Traditional classroom and online classes are available and provide flexible scheduling for those already working in the field. Licensure recommendation is available upon completion of the program.

Master of Arts: Special Education for Children with Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities (MA) (K-12)

The master’s program in special education for children with emotional and behavioral disabilities (EBD) requires 39 credit hours and is completed in one year. A clinical internship is done during the school day and students are required to complete course work at night. Designed to provide training for teaching children with EBD, this accredited graduate program focuses on psycho-educational theories.

Research and instructional team-teaching experiences prepare students for a career as special education teachers with a concentration on children and adolescents (grades K-12) with emotional and behavioral disabilities. In addition to completion of the master’s program, licensure in the District of Columbia requires all students pass a PRAXIS test before application.

Master of Arts: Secondary Special Education and Transition Services (MA) (K-12)

The Master of Arts: Secondary Special Education and Transition Services is intended to provide training for special education secondary level teachers, transition coordinators and vocational evaluators. A strong emphasis is placed on helping children and youth transition from an elementary school setting to a secondary middle or high school level (grades K-12).

The graduate program includes training for special needs students with acquired brain injury, learning disabilities, and/or emotional and behavioral disabilities. Teachers are trained in collaborative and supportive services to involve children, parents, administrators and case managers for a comfortable transition and positive learning experience.

Master of Arts: Early Childhood Special Education (MA) (Birth-G3)

This master’s degree program in early childhood special education is non-categorical and prepares educators to work with disabled children, their families and other professionals. Areas of focus include developmental delays for children from birth through grade 3 in cognition, communication, motor skills, social or emotional development, and the ability to engage in age-appropriate actions.

Anticipated learning outcomes include: curriculum development and implementation, intervention and inclusion techniques, evaluation and progress assessment, and field-based workshops and internships. Upon completion, graduates will be prepared for service as special education teachers, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, child care, home care and hospital settings, and early intervention programs.

Brain Injury: Educational and Transition Services (Graduate Certificate) (K-12)

Graduate certification in Brain Injury: Educational and Transition Services for grades K-12 provides professional educators the skills necessary to develop a specialization in brain injury. Both coursework and field experiences are required and include case studies, research, and internships involving children and youth with acquired brain injury.

A focus on special education and the impact of transition at each level of schooling gives educators a better understanding of the complex needs of students with brain injury. Required courses introduce graduate students to programs, policies and resources available to children with brain injury for a multifaceted approach to learning and education.

Transition Special Education (Graduate Certificate) (K-12)

With legislative requirements established for transition services for disabled youth, the School of Education and Human Development created a graduate certification program, Transition Special Education, to accommodate these services. This online program prepares graduate students with the skills to provide thorough transition services to all special needs youth for post-secondary prospects. All candidates will be schooled in assessment techniques, curriculum planning and collaborative competencies.

The Transition Special Education Certificate Program requires 12 credit hours and meets all criteria established by the District of Columbia and most states. Standards have been established by the CEC Advanced Knowledge and Skills Base for Transition Specialists and the National Alliance for Secondary Education and Transition.

Bilingual Special Education (Graduate Certificate) (K-12)

The Bilingual Special Education Certificate Program provides professional educators with the skills necessary to obtain advanced certification in English as a Second Language and Special Education for grades K-12. Students are exposed to the challenges faced by non-English speaking, special needs children and youth at school, home and in their community. Skills are derived through research, theory and best practices proven to be effective with culturally and linguistically diverse students with disabilities.

The 18 credit hours of coursework is available through traditional classroom settings and also online. Specific learning outcomes include development of language and literacy, development of young children with disabilities, and diversity, advocacy and education for immigrants.

Accreditation

National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Division of Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children

Contact Information

2134 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052
(202) 994-8860

Howard University
School of Education

Howard University’s School of Education has a long history of preparing educational leaders for a career as teachers, researchers and administrators of change. Established in 1890, Howard University has been committed to eliminating discrimination by providing equal educational opportunities to African Americans and other underserved groups.

The HUSOE is comprised of three departments: Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Administration and Policy, and Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies. Master of Education degrees are offered in the following majors: Educational Administration, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Secondary Education and Special Education. Accredited by the NCATE, the School of Education promotes professional leadership in urban environments and the belief that all students can learn.

Master of Education: Special Education (M.Ed.) (K-12)

The Master of Education in Special Education is designed to prepare professional educators with the skills necessary to add a secondary endorsement to a current licensure. The graduate program teaches candidates about the psychology and characteristics of children and youth (grades K-12) with disabilities. Assessment, diagnosis, curriculum development, behavior management, plus social and emotional abilities of special needs children and adolescents are learning outcomes anticipated upon completion of this master’s degree program.

Additionally, the Department of Curriculum and Instruction specifically focuses coursework on methodologies helpful in dealing with the special education needs of urban and black communities. Each student must also complete a field practicum in a special needs setting. With a goal of creating leaders who will influence educational policies and practices, the HUSOE expects their special education teachers to be adept at critical thinking, problem solving, ethical decision makers and advocates for children and youth with disabilities.

Accreditation

National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

Contact Information

2441 4th Street NW
Washington, DC 20059
(202) 806-7340
http://www.howard.edu/schooleducation/index.html

The Catholic University of America, D.C.
School of Arts and Sciences

The School of Arts and Science at the Catholic University of America is the largest school and offers a variety of graduate programs. Degrees in Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts and Master of Science can be pursued in the fields of anthropology, biology, drama, education, physics and sociology. With approximately 10 students per graduate course, individualized instructor support is available for each master’s program candidate.

The Department of Education is under the School of Arts and Sciences and provides a complement of experienced faculty committed to training experienced and future educators. Master of Arts degrees are available in the following specialties: Special Education, Secondary Education, Early Childhood/Special Education and access to Professional Development Workshops is offered for recertification credits.

Master of Arts in Special Education (MA) (K-12)

The Master of Arts in Special Education is designed for candidates who have a prior degree or have a provisional teaching license and want to be certified in special education. This graduate series provides training for special educators for children and youth (grades K-12) with learning disabilities, mental retardation, behavioral and speech-related difficulties.

Special skills acquired with the Master of Arts in Special Education include assessment, management, inclusion techniques and consultation/collaboration methods for special needs students. The degree requirements include 30 credit hours of coursework and field experience in a special education environment. Graduates who successfully complete this master’s program and already hold a teaching certificate will be eligible for a special education endorsement.

The Catholic University of America’s School of Arts and Sciences is fully accredited in the District of Columbia and 43 other states. This master’s degree course structure is aligned to career opportunities as a special education teacher or consultant in public and private schools.

Accreditation

Middle States Commission on Higher Education
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Contact Information

109 McMahon Hall
620 Michigan Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20064
(202) 319-5254
http://arts-sciences.cua.edu/

Trinity Washington University, D.C.
School of Education

Trinity Washington University School of Education is committed to supporting graduate-level students succeed as they continue their education. All degree programs are accredited and are offered for educators at all career stages. An entry seminar is provided for all graduate students for an easier transition process.

Several Master of Arts degrees are available in specialties such as: Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling. A Master of Arts in Teaching with concentration areas in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Secondary Education and Special Education are available with licensure endorsements. In addition, a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction plus a Master of Science in Administration complete the graduate program listing.

Master of Arts in Teaching: Special Education (M.A.T.) (K-12)

The Master of Arts in Teaching: Special Education gives students an understanding of the science and the art of teaching special needs children and youth (grades K-12.) Graduate-level study explores both theory and research on many factors in learning disabilities and other difficulties. The curriculum focuses on these issues and includes: assessment and root causes, psychological and physiological components, as well as social influences and outcomes.

Coursework, field experiences and student teaching elements are combined to provide a strong knowledge base in development of effective curricula, teaching strategies and instructional methods for children and youth with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. Special attention is given to collaboration and communication with parents/family and professional practitioners for improved learning outcomes. Licensure with an endorsement in special education is available upon completion of this program.

Accreditation

District of Columbia State Education Agency
Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)
National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Contact Information

125 Michigan Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20017
(202) 884-9555
edu@trinitydc.edu
http://www.trinitydc.edu/education/

University of the District of Columbia, D.C. College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of the District of Columbia is engaged in developing life-long learners who are well equipped to be influential in their communities and leaders in their fields. The College is comprised of ten departments and three institutes as well as state-of-the-art clinics and labs.

Many master’s degree programs are available for varying levels of experience and include: Master of Science in Cancer Biology Prevention and Control, Master of Science in Counseling, Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education, Master of Science in Homeland Security, Master of Arts in Special Education and Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling. All programs are accredited and meet standards of excellence in their respective fields of study.

Master of Arts in Special Education (MA) (K-12)

A Master of Arts in Special Education program provides the foundation and skills necessary for teaching and managing children and youth with special needs or behavioral disabilities (grades K-12). The Urban Teacher Academy at the National Center of Urban Education offers this program to meet the pressures and challenges encountered in high-poverty areas. Practitioners with a teaching certificate will be eligible for a special needs endorsement upon completion of this program.

Anticipated learning outcomes include:

-Development and remediation of language skills.
-Psychology, socio-cultural and vocational issues related to disabled children and youth.
-Legal concerns in special education.
-Behavior management.
-Assessment, diagnosis and adaptive teaching.

A minimum of 39 credit hours are required plus internship for students with less than one year of teaching experience. Specialization is available for Serious Emotional Disturbance and Specific Learning Disabilities and require further training.

Accreditation

Middle States Commission on Higher Education
National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Contact Information

4200 Connecticut Avenue NW
Building 41, Suite 405
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 274-5194
http://www.udc.edu/college_arts_and_sciences/about_college_arts_sciences

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