2019-2020 Course Catalog

Masters of Education in Special Education (M.Ed)

The Master of Education in Special Education (M.Ed.) degree is designed for students in the teaching profession in grade PreK-12. The mission of the Chatham University Special Education Program is to prepare teachers in reflective, participatory, and collaborative practices to provide exemplary learning opportunities for children and youth with exceptionalities. The program is designed to develop ethical professionals working with diverse populations in a variety of social and cultural contexts. Students will either choose the PreK-8 Special Education major or the 7-12 Special Education major. Education courses are held both in class and online.

This program involves both classroom study and field experiences, culminating in 150 hour practicum experience in a school setting. In accordance with the Pennsylvania State Department of Education (PDE) requirements, candidates must satisfy all regulations pertaining to teacher training contained in the Pennsylvania School Code. These regulations are subject to change by the State. Students will be required to comply with any such regulations that are instituted before they can apply for certification through PDE. In addition, students must have a valid (less than one year old) Child Abuse, Pennsylvania Criminal History and Federal Criminal History Record to enter a school for any and all field work. A P.P.D Tuberculin (TB) Test and a physical exam may also be required to complete field work.

This 30-credit graduate program addresses all required content and competencies for Special Education certification by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. As with all PA Special Ed certification programs, this is an “add-on” program, built on the student’s existing certification in another area, such as PreK-4, middle grades, or a subject area in secondary education.

Admission Requirements

Admission Deadlines

  • Fall Recommended Deadline – July 1*
  • *Rolling admission for Fall entry until August 1
  • Summer Recommended Deadline – April 1

Pre-requisites

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum of a 3.0 GPA - Probationary admission may be granted for applicants with a GPA of less than a 3.0 who show promise through their other achievements
  • The Master of Education in Special Education requires that students already be certified in another area (Pre-K through 4, middle grades, or a secondary area such as English, science, history, etc.)

Application Requirements

Applicants to the MEd Special Education program must submit the following information to the Office of Admissions for review:

  • Completed online application - resume and essay can be uploaded to the application but can also be sent independently.
  • Official Transcripts (must be sent from the school's Registrar’s Office) from all colleges and universities you have attended including those in which you may have transfer credits, attended a community college, received AP credits from a college while in high school, enrolled in a summer course, participated in a study abroad, etc.
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Two (2) Academic or Professional Letters of Recommendation
  • Admissions essay - In approximately 500 words, please explain why you are interested in pursuing this degree.  How will the degree impact your future personal and career goals? 
  • Provide proof of teaching certification

Admission Process

After verifying that the minimum academic requirements are met, the program utilizes a holistic approach in reviewing the candidate's entire application. This process is intended to seek talented and qualified individuals of all backgrounds. Taking multiple factors into consideration during our admissions process positively achieves the educational benefits of a student body that is both diverse and academically excellent. This approach includes an evaluation of each candidate’s academic achievement as well as their personal characteristics, attributes and experiences. As part of the holistic review, Chatham reserves the right to request a background check prior to offer of admission.

Applicants will be informed by the Office of Admissions about whether or not they have been accepted into the MEd Special Education program.

PDE Clearances

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires all individuals who interact with children in Pennsylvania schools to obtain three types of clearances: Act 34(PA Criminal), Act 151(Child Abuse), and FBI Criminal History Report. Form PDE 6004 also must be completed for any person entering a school. These are required for all Chatham field placements including observations and student teaching.

More information regarding these clearances is available on the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.

International Applicants

International Applicants to the Master of Education in Special Education program must submit additional documentation to the Office of Admissions.

A list of these documents can be found on the International Admission web pages.

Integrated Degree Program

Chatham University undergraduates applying through the Integrated Degree Program (IDP) must complete all requirements outlined on their respective admission or track tab on the IDP Portal Site. All IDP applicants should work closely with their academic advisor to ensure they are meeting all requirements according to their IDP course of study.

Learning Outcomes

Students who have completed the Master of Education in Special Education will be able to:

  • Explain the processes, practices, and purposes of effective leadership qualities, styles, and skills.
  • Describe the processes for assessing training and development needs, the different approaches in designing development programs, and how to evaluate the success of training and development.
  • Differentiate the major theories and perspectives used to examine organizational communication and the key strategies for effective communication within and between organizations.
  • Integrate effective collaboration skills, analyze group dynamics, and implement effective communication strategies.
  • Adapt the tools necessary to plan, design, and develop a special education curriculum and how to use assessment data to improve instruction and student achievement.

Curriculum

+Degree Requirements for PreK-8

30 credits, including:

30 credits, including:
EDU531 Assessment and Adaptation

Students investigate the assessment of individuals with mild to moderate disabilities. Topics include the fundamental principles of assessment tools and the social responsibility of professionals to exercise fairness and accuracy in the assessment process.

3
EDU510 Differentiated Reading and Writing

This course provides the regular and special education teacher with specific data-based knowledge and skills to teach reading and writing in content areas to students with disabilities.

3
EDU605 Instructing Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders

This course is designed to focus on pertinent issues and topics that concern students with autism. Spectrum disorders. This course provides an overview of evidenced-based instructional strategies used to teach students with autism as well as ways to collaborate with individuals in the home, school, and community. Topics will cover specific instructional strategies, family/community relations, behavior, inclusion and transition.

3
EDU634 Inclusion: Issues and Strategies

This course surveys practices of inclusion in education. It encompasses the historical precedents, underlying philosophy, education theory, instructional strategies, and practical implications of it implementation. Students participate in a variety of learning experiences throughout the course.

3
EDU661 High Incidence Disabilities: Instructional Strategies Birth-Grade 8

This course focuses on the design and implementation of an individualized education program for a child with mild learning needs and the selection, design, and adaptation of curriculum and instructional techniques in the areas of reading, language arts, and mathematics.

3
EDU664 Behavior Management in the Classroom

Students investigate the principles and systematic approaches used to identify and analyze problem management techniques, individual behavior and affective intervention strategies, and community-based support programs designed to address problem behaviors. Crisis intervention and conflict resolution are explored as strategies for confronting challenging behaviors.

3
EDU668 Low Incidence Disabilities: Birth-8th Grade

This course focuses on the design of a comprehensive educational program for students having low incidence disabilities in PREK-8. Teacher Candidates are exposed to the curriculum of students with low incidence disabilities, define various low-incidence disabilities, as well as develop and implement lesson plans, curriculum and assistive technologies.

3
EDU671 Collaboration, Consultation, and Teamwork

This course focuses on developing effective collaboration skills with members of the school community, as well as the community at large, to provide a realistic and integrated program for all children. Students engage in a variety of group activities that call for the need to analyze group dynamics and implement effective communication strategies.

3
EDU690 Practicum in Special Education

This course is designed for students who hold a Pennsylvania certification and are seeking certification in special education. Students demonstrate their ability to plan for and deliver a minimum of 15 lessons to special needs students enrolled in regular education or resource rooms.

6
For students who have not had at least three credits in Instructional Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners are required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to take this as one elective.

+Degree Requirements for 7-12:

30 credits, including:

30 credits including:
EDU531 Assessment and Adaptation

Students investigate the assessment of individuals with mild to moderate disabilities. Topics include the fundamental principles of assessment tools and the social responsibility of professionals to exercise fairness and accuracy in the assessment process.

3
EDU510 Differentiated Reading and Writing

This course provides the regular and special education teacher with specific data-based knowledge and skills to teach reading and writing in content areas to students with disabilities.

3
EDU605 Instructing Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders

This course is designed to focus on pertinent issues and topics that concern students with autism. Spectrum disorders. This course provides an overview of evidenced-based instructional strategies used to teach students with autism as well as ways to collaborate with individuals in the home, school, and community. Topics will cover specific instructional strategies, family/community relations, behavior, inclusion and transition.

3
EDU634 Inclusion: Issues and Strategies

This course surveys practices of inclusion in education. It encompasses the historical precedents, underlying philosophy, education theory, instructional strategies, and practical implications of it implementation. Students participate in a variety of learning experiences throughout the course.

3
EDU662 Advanced Instructional Interventions 7-12

This course provides an advanced application of recent research and reviews of interventions for individuals with high incidence disabilities in the 7-12 grades. Topics will include: recent research on interventions in reading, writing and math, effective instructional practices, learning strategies, reading, writing and math instructional strategies, content area accommodations, testing accommodations and transition.

3
EDU664 Behavior Management in the Classroom

Students investigate the principles and systematic approaches used to identify and analyze problem management techniques, individual behavior and affective intervention strategies, and community-based support programs designed to address problem behaviors. Crisis intervention and conflict resolution are explored as strategies for confronting challenging behaviors.

3
EDU669 Low Incidence Disabilities 7-12

This course focuses on the design of a comprehensive educational program for students having low incidence disabilities in 7-12.Teacher/Teacher candidates will be exposed to the curriculum of students with low incidence disabilities such as life, vocational, and social skills, and functional academics.  In addition, student will be able to identify and define various low-incidence disabilities as well as develop and implement lesson plans, curriculum and assistive technologies. Student will learn how to consult and research available journals and resources for teaching students with low-incidence disabilities. * This course requires an embedded 10 hours of field placement. Students must have valid federal FBI, PA Criminal and PA Child Abuse clearances to complete the field placement.

3
EDU671 Collaboration, Consultation, and Teamwork

This course focuses on developing effective collaboration skills with members of the school community, as well as the community at large, to provide a realistic and integrated program for all children. Students engage in a variety of group activities that call for the need to analyze group dynamics and implement effective communication strategies.

3
EDU690 Practicum in Special Education

This course is designed for students who hold a Pennsylvania certification and are seeking certification in special education. Students demonstrate their ability to plan for and deliver a minimum of 15 lessons to special needs students enrolled in regular education or resource rooms.

6
For students who have not had at least three credits in Instructional Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners are required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to take this as one elective.

Contact

Kristin Harty

Program Director/Department Chair

kharty@chatham.edu

(412) 365 - 2769

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