2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    Apr 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Special Education (MA or Post-Bacc)

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Program Directors:
Robert Schulze, Ed.D.
Leigh-Ann Brown, Ph.D. (Educational Research Option)

Program Description

The graduate Special Education program (30-40 credits) provides multiple pathways for advanced study in special education. Active special educators will enhance their professional practice through advanced study in the discipline. Licensed teachers in other areas can earn an additional endorsement in special education (K-21) through the program. The program also provides a pathway for individuals seeking initial licensure to serve as special educators. 

The program is based on a characteristics approach and focuses on students with both low- and high-incidence disabilities. The courses provide participants with theoretical, practical, and social justice models of current special education philosophy and practices. It emphasizes field-based practicum and internship experiences to provide opportunities for participants to implement their learning in authentic settings and to further solidify the connection between research and practice.  

Currently licensed teachers who wish to add the Special Education endorsement must provide a copy of their Vermont teaching license, complete the course requirements, and participate in an extensive special education practicum. Participants might be able to complete the practicum in their schools. 

The initial licensure option includes a full semester of full-time Student Teaching. A transcript analysis is required to determine whether previous content area coursework fulfills all content area requirements; the Licensure Office or its designee will conduct the review. The student may need to take additional content courses in order to be recommended for licensure. 

The program provides three pathways for the study of special education. The interdisciplinary option provides broad study in the field of education and special education while preparing participants to add the special education endorsement. Career-changing participants qualify for Initial Licensure and the Special Education endorsement by adding the licensure courses to the interdisciplinary option. The educational research option is for individuals who would like to learn to conduct educational research in special education with an original scholarly thesis. 

Participants who wish to qualify for the special education endorsement must complete the designated SPED sequence (21 credits), which includes these courses: EDU-5011, EDU-6235, EDU-6555, EDU-6330, EDU-6095, EDU-6730, EDU-6465. EDU-6100 will also be an option upon approval by the VT accrediting body.  

Program Outcomes

Students in Education programs gain both an understanding of the discipline of education and a practical grasp of effective professional practice. Connecting these two realms provides a foundation for achieving the department’s objectives for each student, including:   

1.The use of academic study in the formation of content-specific professional knowledge,  

2. The use of practitioner inquiry to design effective pedagogical strategies,  

3.The use of critical theory to confidently serve as a progressive colleague and advocate, and  

4. The use of transformative reflection in pursuit of continuous personal growth.  

Program Core

Credits required for program: 31-40

Credits required for additional endorsement only: 21

Approval Body

The program is approved by the Vermont Standards Board of Professional Education to recommend for initial licensure and endorsements. 

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