Curriculum: Master of Education in Special Education

December 15, 2021
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curriculum icon Curriculum at a Glance

With UC Online’s Master’s in Special Education (SPED), all of your coursework is completed online, providing the flexibility, accessibility, and control you need to complete your degree on your terms. With three (3) different focus areas to choose from, UC Online allows you to really personalize your educational experience to your interest and professional goals. A customized individual schedule will be available following admission.

Three Areas of Concentration:
  • Path for Licensure and Reading Endorsement
  • Supporting Students with Complex Needs
  • Transition to Work Endorsement and Special Education Leadership

Learn more about which courses are taken for each concentration by reviewing this Program Map and the below descriptions for all MEd in Special Education courses that may be taken.

Graduation Requirements:
  • Complete a minimum of 30 credit hours.
    • SPED Core Coursework: 12 credit hours
    • Concentration Coursework: 18 credit hours
  • Be in good academic standing; that is, not on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Submit a formal application for the degree by the posted semester of graduation deadline.

Advanced Strategies in Special Education

This course is designed for masters students enrolled in the online special education masters program. This course covers (a) advanced instructional strategies and curricular planning for children and youth with exceptionalities and (b) advanced methods in providing instructional best practices to the heterogeneous groups of students found in general education contexts.

Master's Project Guidance: Special Education I

The Master's Project is an online seminar course completed during a candidate's final year of the program. This seminar facilitates participants' development of skills related to critical self-reflection as individuals and as professional educators. The purpose of Project Guidance is to support candidates in generating a research validated (evidence-based) project that supports the academic, life-skill, occupational, and/or social/emotional development of students. The design of the master's project is to produce a well organized literature review reporting on the current status of literature-based knowledge about a topic. Candidates implement and collect data on the evidence-based practices in a classroom or a service-delivery context. The teacher candidates build the necessary skills to conduct an applied evidence-based master's project. The purpose of this seminar is to support candidates in completing a research validated (evidence based) project that supports the academic, life-skill, occupational, and/or social/emotional development of students. The master's project is a culminating work of the master's program.

Universal Design for Learning

This course provides an overview of how the principles of Universal Design for Learning can be used to design online and blended learning experiences that meet the needs of diverse learners including those who are accelerated and those who are struggling for a variety of reasons. Special attention will be given to integrating technologies that support student engagement, authentic learning, and general accessibility supports.

Literacy Learning and Instruction PreK-12

This course surveys current literacy curricula, methods, and materials for grades K-12 and is designed to bring teachers and administrators up-to-date in the field of literacy instruction. Amajor goal of this course is to identify the instructional contexts and practices most likely to support literacy development among all school-age students.

Literacy Assessment, Instruction, and Practicum I

This is the first course that examines a wide range of assessment and instructional methods to support the literacy development of PreK-12 learners experiencing difficulty with reading. This course focuses on the administration and interpretation of assessment tools, instruction within the context of individual differences and development, and methods of communicating results.Tutoring is required.

Literacy Assessment, Instruction, Practicum II

The second of two courses that examine a wide range of assessment and instructional methods to support the literacy development of PreK-12 learners experiencing difficulty with reading. This course focuses on the administration and interpretation of assessment tools, instruction within the context of individual differences and development, and methods of communicating results.The course also incorporate the study of and implementation of a wide range of assessments and builds on and extend the methods to support literacy development. Tutoring is required.

Promoting Positive Behaviors

The primary purpose of this course is to help teacher candidates acquire the understanding and skills related to increasing, decreasing, maintaining, and generalizing behaviors. Teacher candidates enrolled in this course will gain an understanding of applied behavior analysis, and how to create a positive and safe learning environment in schools by carefully assessing socially significant students' needs and the context in which (both desired and problem) behavior occur. Teachers can prevent or decrease problem behavior by: (1) applying effective primary prevention and early intervention strategies in the classroom, and (2) identifying students, with and without disabilities, who need additional behavioral support. Teachers can apply an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a safe learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active participation, academic engagement, and independence.

Curriculum Planning & Instructional Strategies: Mild to Moderate

This course provides foundational understanding of curriculum development and instructional planning for individuals with mild to moderate disabilities. Course content covers service delivery, service delivery roles of the special educators, Individual Education Plan (IEP) development, instructional planning and transition preparation and programming. Teacher candidates will develop knowledge and skills in supporting various learning environments, providing for transition, and IEP development.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

This course examines the psychological models and behavioral characteristics of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Participants examine and develop an in-depth understanding of the underpinnings of autism, how autism manifests in an individual's life, and the influence of autism on daily functioning at home, school, and in the community.Course content includes the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders (triad), the historical context, the brain-behavior connection, and the three major psychological models (i.e., Theory of Mind, Executive Function, and Central Coherence). The purpose of the course is for participants to understand the cognitive underpinnings of ASD and how these influence everyday life.

Autism Spectrum Disorders: Theory to Practice

Education professionals gain insights in the theories of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Based on theoretical understanding, professionals learn evidence based practices for students with ASD and implement these practices in their educational settings with support from instructors.

Applied Behavior Analysis I

This course, the first in a sequence of courses inapplied behavior analysis, provides an in-depth introduction to the philosophy, concepts, and principles of behavior analysis in general, and toapplied behavior analysis in particular. The conceptual foundations developed in this course will be the basis for understanding academic and behavior problems in applied settings and in the development and implementation of: behavioral assessments, functional behavioral hypotheses, intervention procedures directly related to problem function, and data-based decisions about intervention effectiveness.

Transition to Work Endorsement: Assessment and Planning Learning Environments and Supports

This course provides information on appropriate assessment and the application of this assessment to planning, implementing, and evaluating learningenvironments and supports in the transition to work.

Transition to Work Endorsement: Collaboration and Teaming

This course explores the role of the transition towork specialist in collaboration and serving effectively as a member of a team on behalf of students with disabilities.

Transition to Work Endorsement: Clinical Experience

This clinical experience engages students in the role of transition to work specialist, putting content knowledge into practice.

Educational Leadership Theory

This course is designed to introduce the student to the theories and practices of educational leadership and organizational behaviors in school systems. Through a series of individual and collaborative activities, participants will begin to understand and appreciate the challenges faced by modern school leaders.

Overview of Special Education Law

This course provides students a foundational understanding of the modern practices within special education. Students gain understanding by studying how the field has evolved throughout time. Information presented in this course is contextualized through various means including: understanding of human need, law/policy, and current research. From this course, students gain an initial understanding of the legal and ethical roles and responsibilities of a professional within the field of special education.

Student Teaching Students with Mild to Moderate Educational Needs

A full time, supervised, mentored, clinical experience with students who have mild or moderate educational needs.

Seminar: Teaching Students with Mild to Moderate Educational Needs

Seminar to provide a professional learning community to support student teachers during their clinical experience.

Principles of Organizing a Literacy Curriculum

This course addresses a wide range of issues and approaches related to planning, implementing, and supervising literacy programs in K-12 settings. Itis designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to take a leadership role in designing effective instruction, developing and evaluating curriculum materials, creating a literate environment, and facilitating teacher professional development to meet the literacy needs of students across the grades.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

This course includes an overview of augmentative communication systems - candidates, symbol & vocabulary systems, devices, and funding. Additionally,strategies for assessment and intervention will be addressed.

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The University of Cincinnati is one of the first institutions to offer online courses. Innovation in education is at the forefront of what we do. We have expanded the convenience and quality of our online learning to online degree programs. Today, we offer nearly 100 degrees from undergraduate to doctoral programs.

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