Special Education

[1] Objectives

The main purpose of the MSE program in Special Education is to prepare collaborative special education teachers skilled in providing quality instruction to students representing a broad scope of abilities. Candidates will gain expertise in the area of special education including foundations, development and characteristics of learners, individual learning differences, instructional strategies and planning, learning environments, guidance and behavior management, communication, working with families, assessment, and professional and ethical practice. The program recognizes the changing and complex role of the special educator and as such prepares the graduate candidates to

  1. provide support and instruction to students with cognitive, physical, behavior, multiple, and/or health disabilities from kindergarten through 12th grade;
  2. work in different educational settings such as self-contained, resource, and regular classrooms;
  3. access the general education curriculum demonstrating a strong knowledge and skill set in academic content areas; and
  4. effectively collaborate and work closely with general education teachers, related service personnel, administrators, and families to ensure all students are given every opportunity to reach their full potential.

The graduate program is designed to provide candidates with current information and experience with research based best practices in special education to assist candidates in learning about research based practices, how to research and stay current in their personal practices with students, and well versed in best practices that will keep candidates at the top of their field.

The MSE is a 30-graduate credit hour, program developed to meet the performance standards of Arkansas Competencies for Special Education K–12 Teachers, Arkansas Teaching Standards (InTASC), and Council for Exceptional Children Standards, while providing advanced studies in the discipline of special education. Included in the program is a 21-hour core of classes which comprise the Endorsement Program of Study. For candidates holding an Arkansas teaching license in a general education area (elementary, middle-level, or secondary content), successful completion of the Endorsement Program of Study and Praxis II exams will result in the candidate being eligible for an Arkansas Special Education K–12 license.

Program delivery is distance education with courses offered in an asynchronous online setting which will include compressed video, access to online videos and trainings, and Blackboard. For some assignments, students may have to meet online or face-to-face in groups.

[2] Guidelines for MSE in Special Education

  1. Admission into the MSE program will be selective and competitive. Contact the Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education or visit the department’s website (http://uca.edu/else/) for program details and course rotation. In addition to the general application and GPA requirements of the UCA Graduate School, applicants seeking an Arkansas Special Education K–12 license must hold a valid standard Arkansas educator license. For individuals who have an out-of-state educator license and wish to hold an Arkansas Special Education K–12 license, contact the department at (501) 450-3172 for assistance. While individuals not holding a teaching license are eligible for admission into the MSE program, they will not be eligible for Arkansas Special Education K-12 license as the license is considered an endorsement to an Arkansas teaching license in a general education area.
  2. With approval, a maximum of six hours may be transferred from another institution of higher education. These six hours must be approved by the department chair.
  3. Participation in the Comprehensive Examination can only take place during the final semester of study.
  4. Programs in the College of Education that lead to licensure relating to K–12 schools require satisfactory completion of all key assessments identified by the program area.
  5. Candidates have two options regarding the exit assessment: satisfactory completion (as determined by the state) of the state-mandated licensure test for special education or satisfactory completion of the alternative assessment as identified by the program faculty.

[2.1] Continuous Enrollment Requirement

College of Education graduate students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment throughout their program of study until achieving program completion. Specifically, College of Education graduate students are expected to be enrolled in at least two of the three semesters in a given calendar year (Spring, Summer, and Fall). If a student must take a time-out, the student is expected to notify his/her home department. If a student fails to register for more than one semester out of three in a given calendar year, he/she may be ineligible for readmission unless granted by the home department.

[3.1] Required Courses for the MSE in Special Education K–12

Courses comprising the 21-hour core are designated by an asterisk (*).

ELSE 6300 Philosophical, Historical, and Legal Aspects of Special Education *
ELSE 6304 Behavior Management and Analysis in Special Education *
ELSE 6308 Educational Assessment in Special Education *
ECSE 6347 Foundations of Dyslexia and the Language *
ELSE 6366 Educational Programming for Students with Mild Disabilities K-12 *
ELSE 6367 Educational Programming for Students with Significant Disabilities K-12 *
ELSE 6333 Math and Science for Diverse Learners *
ELSE 6384 Research and Best Practices in Special Education
ELSE 6309 Solution-Focused Learning
ASTL 6380 Research Methods

Graduate candidates pursuing the MSE in Special Education who also wish to complete the Gifted and Talented certificate program (15 credit hours) may substitute six hours of gifted and talented (GATE) coursework for ELSE 6384 Research and Best Practices in Special Education and ELSE 6309 Solution-Focused Learning.

[3.2] Required Courses for the Special Education K–12 Endorsement and Graduate Certificate

The 21-hour graduate level program is designed to provide knowledge and skills in the discipline of special education to licensed general education teachers. Candidates will gain expertise in the area of special education including foundations, development and characteristics of learners, individual learning differences, instructional strategies and planning (for teaching content areas such as literacy, math, and science), learning environments, guidance and behavior management, communication, working with families, assessment, and professional and ethical practice. Upon the successful completion of the proposed curriculum and Arkansas state licensure test, candidates will be eligible for an Arkansas teaching license in Special Education K–12. Beginning in Spring 2016, a graduate certificate is available for this program of study.

ELSE 6300 Philosophical, Historical, and Legal Aspects of Special Education
ELSE 6304 Behavior Management and Analysis in Special Education
ELSE 6308 Educational Assessment in Special Education
ELSE 6333 Math and Science for Diverse Learners
ELSE 6347 Foundations of Dyslexia and the Language
ELSE 6366 Educational Programming for Students with Mild Disabilities K-12
ELSE 6367 Educational Programming for Students with Significant Disabilities K-12

 → Gainful Employment Information – Graduate Certificate in Special Education K–12: 2017-18 | 2016-17 

[3.3] Requirements for the B–K Endorsement and the Graduate Certificate in Integrated Early Childhood Education (B–K)

The 15-hour graduate-level program of study is designed to prepare licensed teachers who desire to work with typical and atypical children from birth through 5 years of age. With completion of the program and Praxis Licensure Test, candidates will be eligible for the Arkansas Licensure Endorsement in Early Childhood/Special Education Integrated B-K. Prerequisite: Candidates must have instruction in reading pedagogy which includes theories and strategies for teaching reading, diagnosis of reading difficulties, intervention strategies for struggling readers, and disciplinary literacy. Instruction in the area of reading will be determined by an audit of the candidate’s transcript and/or current areas of license. Candidates who do not have instruction in this area will be required to complete ELSE 6347 Foundations of Dyslexia and the Language.

ELSE 6300 Philosophical, Historical, and Legal Aspects of Special Education
ELSE 6309 Solution-Focused Learning
ELSE 6327 Educational Programming for Young Children
ELSE 6336 Advanced Studies in the Guidance and Management of Young Children
ELSE 6338 Instructional Strategies and Assessment of Young Children

 → Gainful Employment Information – Graduate Certificate in Integrated Early Childhood Education (B–K): 2017-18 | 2016-17 

For further information about Special Education licensure coursework, visit the Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education webpage (http://uca.edu/else/) or phone (501) 450-3172.

[4] Graduate Course Links

Follow this link for ELSE course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link for ASTL course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link for GATE course descriptions: course link.