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Master’s in Special Education Degree Programs in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is located in the northeastern region of the United States known as New England. As the colonial site where the first Pilgrims landed in 1620, the “Cradle of Liberty” that led to the American Revolution, and the home state of prominent political families such as the Kennedys and Adams, the area is rich with historic significance.

Western Massachusetts has been nicknamed the “Knowledge Corridor” for its large number of college towns. Of special significance, Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher learning in the country, and Mount Holyoke College was the first women’s college in the U.S. Massachusetts is committed to providing quality educational opportunities for graduate students by offering master’s degree programs in a variety of specializations.

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

Bridgewater State University, MA

College of Education and Allied Studies

Bridgewater State University’s College of Education and Allied Studies has a goal to provide all students the professional development skills needed for a successful career as an educational leader. As the first teacher education program in the United States, Bridgewater has been a major contributor to preparing aspiring teachers.

The College of Education and Allied Studies offers graduate-level programs for master’s degrees and licensure in Counselor Education, Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Movement Arts, Health Promotion and Leisure Studies, Secondary Education and Professional Programs, and Special Education and Communication Disorders.

Master of Education in Special Education (PK-12)

The demand has never been greater for well-trained, committed special education teachers and the College of Education and Allied Studies provides that knowledge through their Master of Education in Special Education program. This fully accredited curriculum prepares students to help preschool through grade 12 adolescents with special needs to achieve academic and a lifetime of success. Moderate disabilities are addressed including traumatic brain injury, deafness, blindness, physical impairments, autism, learning disabilities or multiple disorders/impairments. Disabled children and adolescents are taught through individualized with a goal of ultimately achieving independence.

Accreditations

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

Contact Information

131 Summer Street
Hart Hall, Rooms 124-125
Bridgewater, MA 02325
(508) 531-1347
http://www.bridgew.edu/college-education-allied-studies

Fitchburg State University, MA

Education Department

The Education Department at Fitchburg State University is one of just a few teacher preparation programs that have earned the recognition of the Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Specialized programs in teacher preparation include Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Middle School Education and Special Education.

Fitchburg State University offers a unique opportunity to students to work at their in-house preschool, elementary and middle schools to explore a real-life experience in all types of education settings. In addition, local public schools and childcare centers provide enriched programs designed to better prepare graduates for their careers.

Master of Education in Special Education: Severe Disabilities (Initial Licensure)(P-12)

The Master of Education in Special Education with specialization in severe disabilities is intended for individuals who want to teach preschoolers, children and youth with low-incidence disabilities (grades P-12). Initial licensure opportunities are available to teach students with intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, autism, other health impairments or multiple disabilities. In the majority of cases, the disabilities are so severe that instruction is required for basic communication, social behavior and life skills.

Master of Education in Special Education: Moderate Disabilities (Initial Licensure) (PreK-8; 5-12)

The Master of Education in Special Education with emphasis in Moderate Disabilities degree has been developed to address a shortage of skilled teachers in this field. Two concentrations are available for teachers for special needs preschoolers (grades PreK-8) and Moderate Disabilities (grades 5-12). Initial Licensure with an endorsement in one or both programs is available upon completion of this degree. Initial licensure in Elementary Education can be obtained with an additional 150-hour practicum.

Moderate disabilities for this program include learning disabilities, behavior disorders, high-functioning autism and other moderate exceptionalities. The program is structured for children and youth with disabilities to be taught in an inclusive classroom.

Accreditations

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

Contact Information

160 Pearl Street
Fitchburg MA 01420-2697
(978) 665-3000
http://www.fitchburgstate.edu/academics/academic-departments/education-dept/

Framingham State University, MA

Department of Education

The Department of Education at Framingham State University is dedicated to preparing its students for leadership roles in the teaching profession. It is the philosophy of the department to help each student achieve excellence in their field by becoming knowledgeable and skillful while maintaining a caring, inclusive and ethical approach to the profession.

According to the Colleges of Distinction website, Framingham State University has been recognized as the sole Massachusetts 2013-14 Public College of Distinction for its engaged students, great teaching, a vibrant community and successful outcomes. Master of Education degree programs are offered with concentrations in Special Education, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Educational Technology, and Curriculum and Instructional Technology.

Master of Education concentration in Special Education (PK-8; 5-12)

The M.Ed. degree with concentration in Special Education prepares students for initial licensure as a Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities. A 300-hour practicum is required for both grade levels PreK-8 and 5-12 with specified hours in an inclusive, general education setting. Children and youth served include those with learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, high-functioning autism, ADHD and other exceptionalities.

Anticipated learning outcomes for core and concentration courses include: Education Philosophy and the practice of teaching, communication through language development, research and evaluation methods, literacy and mathematical training for diverse learners, curriculum development and implementation, assessment and measurement strategies, classroom management.

Accreditations

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

Contact Information

100 State Street
PO Box 9101
Framingham, MA 01701-9101
(508) 620-1220
http://www.framingham.edu/education/index.html

Salem State University, MA

School of Education

The School of Education at Salem State University has been preparing teaching professionals for 160 years. Three departments make up the School of Education: Childhood Education; Adolescent Education and Leadership; and Literacy, Counseling and Learner Development. Teaching programs are supported through long-standing relationships with more than 50 school districts and enhance student teaching experiences. Graduate programs to earn master’s degrees and licensure are available in various specialties such as special education, reading, educational technology, educational leadership and teaching English language.

Master of Education in Special Education: Mild to Moderate Disabilities (PK-8 or 5-12)

The Master of Education in Special Education degree program with emphasis in Moderate Disabilities allows graduates to apply for licensure in special education. Students obtain more comprehensive knowledge in the field to work with mild to moderate disabilities for preschoolers to grade 8 or grades 5-12. Career opportunities are varied from public to private special education programs as well as inclusive or individualized settings. A requirement of 39-credit hours of coursework, research and practicum experience is needed for graduation..

Accreditations

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

Contact Information

352 Lafayette Street
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 542-6000

University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA

College of Education

The College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been ranked among the 2013 Best Education Schools. The College is dedicated to preparing teachers to be mentors in their field with goals toward educational advancement and reform. Graduate-level degree and certificate programs are available through traditional campus, blended and online formats in a variety of educational concentrations.

Master of Education in Special Education: Moderate Disabilities Advanced (P-8; 5-12)

The Special Education Master’s degree program offers licensure for Moderate Disabilities. Two grade level areas are available: Preschool to grade 8 and grades 5 through 12. Candidates must complete the required 33 credits to earn the degree. Additional credits are required for licensure.

Programs of study related to the special education M.Ed. degree include: Instructional methods and materials for special education, literacy and language arts for children and youth with disabilities, special needs children and their families, legal policy related to children and youth with exceptionalities, behavior analysis, inclusion and integrative classrooms, collaboration with families and teaching professionals.

Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study: Special Education Administrator (CAGS)

The Special Education Administrator certificate program is intended to provide intensive development for educational specialists. Emphasis on administration is consistent with the growing need for special education professionals beyond the master’s level. Opportunities to pursue a Master teacher course of study will also provide the focus necessary for a leadership role in education. Advanced certification is awarded through the College of Education upon completion of the required 30-credit hours of coursework.

Accreditations

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

Contact Information

813 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003
(413) 545-6984
http://www.umass.edu/education/

Westfield State University, MA

Department of Education

The Department of Education at Westfield State University is a leading teacher preparation institution in the state. Candidates must achieve a high level of educational standards that include ten core outcomes. Currently, 95 percent of student teachers have accomplished this goal. Graduate degree and licensure programs are available in the following concentrations: Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Special Education and Early Childhood.

Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Licensure Program: Moderate Special Needs (P-8)

The Teacher Licensure Program with endorsement in Moderate Special Needs prepares students who hold a bachelor’s degree to obtain initial licensure as a special needs teacher. The program fosters management roles in special education of preschoolers, children and youth (grade P-8).

Initial licensure requires the following learning outcomes:

-Early assessment and implementation of curriculum for special needs preschoolers.
-Development skills for intellectual, social and personal learning.
-Critical thinking and problem solving in an inclusive classroom setting.
-Continuous communication and collaboration between parents, students, school colleagues and community agencies.

Master of Education in Special Education: Moderate Special Needs (P-8)

The Master of Education in Special Education degree for Moderate Special Needs requires an initial general education licensure as a prerequisite for the program. Upon completion of the degree, professional licensure in Moderate Special Needs is available.

Coursework and a field experience are required for the graduate program. The curriculum includes: Development and intervention through language and communication, Moderate Special Needs identification and assessment skills, instructional strategies for learning disabilities, early intervention techniques for special needs preschoolers, technology for special needs children and youth, research in special education, and behavior management for elementary and secondary levels.

Accreditations

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

Contact Information

577 Western Avenue
Westfield, MA 01086
(413) 572–8020
http://catalog.westfield.ma.edu/content.php?catoid=9&navoid=404

Wheelock College, MA

School of Graduate and Professional Programs

The School of Graduate and Professional Programs at Wheelock College offers many master’s degree and certificate programs. Both conventional campus and online formats are available for adult learners with multiple obligations. Both full and part-time courses are available in: Early Childhood Education, Integrated Elementary and Special Education, Social Work, Teacher of Reading, and Child Life and Family-centered Care.

Master of Science in Integrated Elementary and Special Education (P-8)

The demand for more special education teachers in mainstream classrooms is growing. The Master of Science in Integrated Elementary and Special Education helps fulfill that need. This is a unique master’s degree programs as it leads to Elementary Education and Special Education licensure. This program leads to a full-time, paid intern in a supervised inclusive classroom setting. Students gain experience in typical general education children and special needs children with mild to moderate disabilities.

Accreditations

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

Contact Information

200 Riverway
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
(617) 879-2000
http://www.wheelock.edu/academics/graduate

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