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Graduate Program

Campus in AutumnM.S.E. in Special Education

 

Currently Suspended and Not Accepting Applications

Introduction

The primary goal of the graduate program in special education is to provide an opportunity for teachers and related professionals to pursue in depth study or pursue new interests based on their individual professional development goals. Successful completion of the graduate program in Special Education leads to a Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.).

Program Description

The M.S.E. program in Special Education requires students to complete a minimum of 30 graduate credits including 15 credits at the 700 level. Three courses are required for all students seeking an M.S.E. in Special Education - SPED 708 "Introduction to Graduate Studies in Special Education," SPED 735 "Intervention for Students with Academic or Social Needs," and SPED 775 "Advanced Seminar and Practicum in Assessment." All other courses are electives and are selected in consultation with the student's advisor. Students must submit a Graduate Degree Program Plan to the Dean of Graduate Studies in Schofield 210 within the first 15 credits. In the Degree Plan, individuals specify their program of study.

Students may transfer up to nine graduate credits into their program from another University if approved by your advisor and an official transcript is provided. Students may also take up to 12 credits as a special student; however, it is advisable to apply to the program as soon as possible. Special students often face problems with course availability, whereas admitted students have priority registration. M.S.E. candidates must complete SPED 708, "Introduction to Graduate Studies in Special Education" prior to earning 12 graduate credits. A grade of A or B in SPED 708 is required for continuation in the graduate program. M.S.E. candidates will select their permanent advisor following completion of SPED 708. FED 740, "Introduction to Educational Research" is required for students writing a thesis or research paper.

Students must complete a written and oral comprehensive examination or thesis (or research paper) and oral defense for completion.

Written Comprehensive Examinations or Thesis?

Students seeking an MSE Degree in Special Education have two options for a culminating activity. They may demonstrate competence on both written and oral examinations, or they may complete a research paper or thesis and complete an oral defense.

Option 1 - The written comprehensive exam is taken upon completion of all course work and is designed to allow the student the opportunity to synthesize information.

After successful completion of the written examination, graduate students are required to participate in an oral comprehensive examination. The oral exam provides the student and his/her committee the opportunity to challenge and explore issues in special education that may be related to the students' course work, written examination, research paper, or thesis.

The criteria for passing the written and oral comprehensive examinations are presented in the Graduate Catalogue. Graduate students are encouraged to become familiar with comprehensive examination procedures and grading criteria.

Option 2 - The thesis or research paper can be started at any time during students' graduate studies; however, it is recommended that students take FED 740 before beginning their thesis. Up to six thesis credits may be applied to the M.S.E. and one to three credits may be taken in any one semester. Up to two research paper credits may be applied to the M.S.E. and one to two credits may be taken in any one semester. After the thesis or research paper has been completed, an oral defense is held. Any changes to the thesis or paper following the defense must be made so that the completed thesis is approved no later than one week prior to the end of the semester in which the student plans to graduate. Students interested in the thesis option should obtain a copy of the Thesis Manual from the Dean of Graduate Studies in Schofield 210.

Notification of intent to take the examination must be filed with the Dean of Graduate Studies at the beginning of the semester or summer session in which the examinations are to be taken. Students must be enrolled during the semester in which the comprehensive exam is taken.

Certification or M.S.E.?

Certification in the areas of Cognitive Disabilities (CD), Early Childhood: Special Education (ECSE), Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities (EBD), and Learning Disabilities (LD) may be obtained as part of the graduate program for individuals who currently hold a valid teaching license in the state of Wisconsin . An alternative certification option is available in ECSE for individuals without teaching certification who have coursework and experience in related disciplines. Individuals who wish to obtain certification, but do not wish to pursue an M.S.E. degree, should apply to the University as an undergraduate student seeking certification only. Individuals seeking certification only must also be accepted to the program in Special Education. Applications are accepted March 1 and October 1. Please call our office at 715-836-5511 for more information about admission to program or visit our website at http://www.uwec.edu/sped.

Admission Requirements

In order to be admitted to the graduate program in Special Education, an applicant must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Complete a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university prior to being admitted into the program.
  2. Possess an overall undergraduate average of at least 2.75 (based on a 4.00 scale) for admission with full standing. A student whose overall undergraduate grade point average falls between 2.25 and 2.75 may be admitted on probation providing evidence of an ability to complete graduate work.
  3. Submit three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the applicant's ability, interest, and character as an educator.

Applications are available from Graduate Admissions, Schofield 112 (836-4733).

Program Examples

A sample program for a special education teacher who is not seeking additional certification, but who wants to do a thesis, might look like this:

Credits Course Course Title
3 SPED 708 "Introduction to Graduate Studies in Special Education" (required)
2 SPED 665 "Child Abuse and Neglect: Educational Implications" (elective)
3 SPED 660 "Introduction to the Education of Students with Emotional Disturbance" (elective)
3 SPED 695 "Special Topics" (elective)
3 XXX Transfer Elective
3 SPED 735 "Intervention for Students with Academic or Social Needs" (required)
3 SPED 775 "Advanced Seminar and Practicum in Assessment" (required)
3 FED 740 "Introduction to Educational Research"
6 SPED 799 "Thesis"
Thesis defense (oral examination)


A sample program for a teacher who is certified in learning disabilities and wishes to obtain certification in emotional disturbance as part of the M.S.E. program might look like this:*

Credits Course Course Title
3 SPED 708 "Introduction to Graduate Studies in Special Education" (required)
3 SPED 660 "Introduction to the Education of Students with Emotional Disturbance"
3 SPED 655 "Behavioral Assessment and Intervention for Students with Severe Emotional Disturbance"
3 SPED 667 "Curriculum Methods for Students with Emotional Disturbance"
1 SPED 695 "Functional Behavioral Assessment" (elective)
3 SPED 665 "Child Abuse and Neglect: Educational Implications" (elective)
3 SPED 735 "Intervention for Students with Academic or Social Needs" (required)
3 SPED 775 "Advanced Seminar and Practicum in Assessment" (required)
3 CI 743 "Instructional Supervision Theory"** (elective)
2 XXX Transfer Electives
3 SPED 731 "Advanced Methods for Students with Learning Disabilities" (elective)
Comprehensive written and oral examination


*Student teaching would need to be done at the undergraduate level (SPED 470 or 471)**This class is free for teachers who agree to serve as a cooperating teacher.

There are an infinite number of program combinations that can be designed to meet the individual needs of each student.

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