The General Special Education track of the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education is ideal for someone who wishes to become an expert in the overall field of special education, especially as it relates to serving children with disabilities in school settings. The Gonzaga Special Education faculty view the education of individual learners as a science, as well as an art. The program concentrates on the skills needed for professional placement in integrated settings, resource rooms, and self-contained classrooms. In addition, candidates are taught to communicate effectively, provide informed ethical advice to families, and act as an advocate for the full inclusion of all individuals within the culture. To further enhance the candidate's skills as a leader, the candidate is taught and mentored by faculty to become a scholar and researcher who can critically evaluate teaching strategies and curricula and then communicate those findings to families and the professional community.
The General Special Education track of the Master of Education (M.Ed.) is composed of 32 semester credits of coursework. All the graduate courses in this track are taught by the five full-time faculty using data-based effective college teaching techniques. Particular focus is placed on those fields with extensive research bases of effectiveness with children, such as Applied Behavior Analysis, Direct Instruction, and Precision Teaching. The faculty, courses, and programs consistently receive the highest median ratings on evaluations conducted each semester or year. Similarly, candidates and school professionals view candidate skills and competencies highly.
Of the 32 credits in the M.Ed. in Special Education, 24 may also apply toward a State of Washington endorsement in Special Education (P-12). The candidate seeking the Special Education endorsement would need to complete 1) six additional semester credits in special education, including one of our four courses in early childhood special education, one special education practicum at the elementary level, and one special education practicum at the secondary level, and 2) student teaching in special education. The student teaching practicum is 6 semester credits (EDSE 696) if the candidate is already certified and 9 semester credits (EDSE 697) if not certified (details are outlined below).
If the candidate does not already hold a State of Washington teaching certificate, then the student would need to pass the West B basic skills test and the Praxis, Special Education test. You will also need to complete an additional 13 credits of specific regular education course work outlined above, in addition to the special education coursework to obtain a Washington State teaching certificate and an endorsement to teach special education (P-12). Gonzaga University teacher certification programs are State, Regional, and National (NCATE) accredited. NCATE accreditation means the graduating candidate's certificate is recognized in almost all states. Over 90% of our graduates who completed Washington State Certification with an endorsement to teach special education are in teaching positions the following year.
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If the candidate is not Washington State certified to teach, then the candidate must pass the West B competency exam, have a 20-semester credit concentration outside of education, have an undergraduate degree, and earn a C or higher in the following non-Special Education courses: Course Title Course Number Credits Foundations of Am. Education EDTE 101/500 3 Learning Theories EDTE 201/510 3 Instruction, Assessment, Technology EDTE 221/615 4 Field Experience EDTE 221L/505 1 Abuse Prevention EDPE 417/600 1
Candidates completing certification course work after August 31, 2005 will also have to pass the State competency tests (West E) to become certified.
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