Master of Arts in Teaching: Special Education


As a result of the current teacher shortage in Arkansas, the Arkansas Department of Education approved Special Education as a non-traditional licensure program area, creating the option for institutions to offer Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degrees in Special Education. The MAT program is designed for individuals without teaching credentials but who have successfully completed a baccalaureate degree and wish to become a teacher.

Out of State Candidates: While we welcome any out of state candidates, completion of any program, other than an initial licensure program, may not lead to licensure or endorsement in Arkansas or in the state in which you reside. It is your responsibility to check with your state’s department of education to determine if the license or endorsement requirements are met through the program of study. If you are a potential out of state candidate, please contact the program coordinator directly. The site below provides the contact information for the Departments of Education in each U.S. state and territory.  Contact your state’s department of education for specific licensing requirements for your

Non-U.S. Citizens: If you are a non-U.S. citizen residing out of country, you are not eligible for the MAT program. If you are living in the U.S., you must meet the qualifications found on the DESE site, in order to be eligible for licensure in the state of AR.


Master of Arts in Special Education: Program Coordinator: Interim Department Chair:
Mashburn 104Mr. Steve WardSunny Styles-Foster
University of Central ArkansasPhone: 501.450.5848Phone: 501.450.5441
201 Donaghey Avenue
Conway, AR 72035

Information for Prospective Students

The MAT in Special Education K-12 is a 36 hour program delivered 100% online, and designed to ensure candidates will gain expertise in learner development and individual learning differences, learning environments, curricular content knowledge, assessment, instructional planning and strategies, professional learning and ethical practices, and collaboration. Recognizing the changing and complex role of the special educator, the MAT program prepares candidates to:

  • provide support and instruction to students with cognitive, physical, behavior, multiple, and/or health disabilities from kindergarten through 12th grade;
  • work in different educational settings such as self-contained, resource, and regular classrooms;
  • access the general education curriculum, demonstrating a strong knowledge and skill set in academic content areas; and
  • 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.
  • ELSE Faculty and Staff

Graduate School Information Request Form: