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Applicants seeking a master’s degree in special education are typically already licensed teachers or individuals with bachelor’s degrees in areas other than education. Xavier University recognizes that the goals of special education teachers are as diverse as the students in their classrooms, which is why we offer two distinct master’s programs – the Master of Education in Special Education and the Master of Science in Special Education.
The M.Ed. in Special Education is designed for:
The goal of the M.S. in Special Education program is to prepare students to advocate for improvements in laws, regulations, and policies that will better serve special education populations. This program is designed for:
Note: If you are seeking an endorsement in addition to a master’s degree, you can complete the master’s core classes online and then complete the endorsement courses on campus face to face.
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Both the M.Ed. and the M.S. in Special Education programs provide students with advanced knowledge in the special education field, as well as a breadth of elective choices that allow students to design their own degrees in order to support their careers. Students in either program can choose from courses related to understanding special education laws, following best practices in disability services, teaching gifted students, addressing behavior disorders, utilizing assistive technology, and facilitating the transition to work, among others.
Students complete 30 credit hours, including four foundational courses and seven electives, which will vary based on which program you have chosen. Courses are conducted with a Jesuit mindset, taking into consideration the ethic involved in working with special needs populations. Course assignments include applied work that can bring about real, immediate impact in both classrooms and communities.
Relationships of the federal, the state and the local government to public and private education. Administrative functions as operable in the elementary, middle and secondary school. Multicultural implications.
Methodology of educational research. Statistics in research. Locating educational research.
Co-requisite: EDFD 508
This course is taken in conjunction with EDFD 507 and requires a research project and paper.
Co-requisite: EDFD 507
This course is designed to incorporate administrative theory and practice as it relates to the role of the school administration partnering with special education staff to implement special education mandates. Aligned with standards of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), this course details strategies to develop a collaborative partnership between special education staff and the school administration to facilitate the implementation of special education services.
This course is designed to provide an overview of educational research with an emphasis on special education. The examples provided within current research and the assignments required are specifically designed to teach methodology using specific course material from special education pedagogy. The research process is approached from qualitative and quantative designs. The course includes methodology and appropriate statistics. The research paper, to be completed in conjunction with the course, requires students to implement selected methods from this course and to become familiar with on area (of their interest) of the research literature in the field of special education.
The course is designed to provide an overview of educational research with an emphasis on special education. The research process is approached from both qualitative and quantitative design. The course includes methodology and appropriate statistics. The research paper, to be completed in conjunction with the EDSP 618, requires students to implement selected methods from this course and to become familiar with one area (of their interest) of the research literature in the field of special education.
A graduate-level introduction to statistical thinking and its applications to a wide variety of areas. Topics include: statistical and visual methods for summarizing data, basic principles of probability, regression and fundamentals of hypothesis testing and confidence intervals. Critical examinations of the results of a statistical analysis in SAS are emphasized.
The student taking this course will demonstrate the ability to administer non-biased formal assessments. They will be able to make the connection between assessment and instruction, use assessment information in eligibility program and placement decisions for individuals with mild/moderate learning needs, including those from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds. Students will also demonstrate the ability to select, adapt and modify assessments to accommodate the unique abilities and needs of individuals with mild/moderate and at-risk disabilities. This is a LAB class that requires administering, scoring and explaining test results. Students will keep a test log to document the field hours.
Prerequisites: Graduate level EDSP560, minimum grade of B
University students taking this class will demonstrate the ability to administer non-biased formal and informal assessments. They will be able to make the connection between assessment and instruction. Students will also demonstrate the ability to select, adapt and modify assessments to accommodate the unique abilities and needs of individuals either mild/moderate and at-risk for disabilities (including functional assessments, task analysis and alternate assessments). Students will demonstrate the procedures for assessing and reporting both appropriate and problematic social behaviors of individuals with disabilities. Students demonstrate the reliable methods of response of individuals who lack typical communication and performance behaviors.
Prerequisites: Graduate level EDSP570, minimum grade of C
This is a seminar course for K-12 teacher preparation. Topics covered include laws, policies and ethical principles regarding behavior management, planning and implementation; establishing and maintaining positive classroom management; effective teaching/learning conditions and adaptations necessary for a healthy learning environment; useful and practical organizational procedures; problem solving/decision-making techniques and strategies; communication skills necessary for classroom management and management practices concerning diverse classroom population and individualized learning. Required field experiences in diverse settings – 10 field hours.
Students in this course will have knowledge of and demonstrated skills with special resources materials and technologies for the gifted/talented. In addition, students will hone their skills in technology-assisted lessons; use technology for planning and managing the teaching and learning environment; conduct independent/research activities; develop problem solving and critical thinking skills; evaluate learner products and portfolios; create and maintain records and incorporate resource materials and technology resources for gifted/talented instructional planning. Lab time required.
To be considered for admission in the Special Education program, applicants should submit:
One official transcript directly from all colleges or universities that you have attended for any undergraduate and graduate course work. Applicants must have a degree from a regionally accredited university. Send transcripts to:
ATTN: Admission Processing Center
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45207-5131
For electronic transcripts, send to:
A brief personal statement, including:
I. Career Objectives: Include reasons and motivation for selecting education as a profession and how this program will fit your future career goals.
II. Self-Assessment: Include areas of strength and areas needing growth in order to enhance your objectives and skills that relate to these long-range objectives.
Official test scores from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). (If you already have a master’s degree, you do not need to take either test.)
Test may be waived under one of the following conditions:
Xavier University is authorized to offer this fully-online program in most states.
View the complete list of approved states on the State Authorization page.
Victoria Zascavage is an Associate Professor of Special Education in the School of Education at Xavier University. She has worked for Texas A&M in Commerce and in the public schools of Texas and West Virginia. She currently teaches courses in Human Development, Research in Education, Special Education and Disability Construct. Within the last ten years, she has published in journals such as International Journal of Special Education, Teacher Education Quarterly, The Middle School Journal, Higher Education Research and Development, The College Student Journal and the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. She has been active in immersion experiences that have taken her to Peru, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and into four Alternative Breaks in the USA. Her research interests focus upon issues of transition, equity and educational best practices for students with disabilities.
Kathleen G. Winterman, Ed.D has over 30 years of experience working in the field of special education. Her experience includes teaching as an intervention specialist serving children ages 3-10 in inclusive settings, serving as an Elementary Principal and as an Associate Professor at Xavier University and holds seven licenses from the State of Ohio. She is a published author where her areas of research interests include teacher preparation, IEP preparation, early childhood special education, Autism, educational leadership, the use of instructional technology and services for students with mental illnesses.
Renee Mattson has worked in the field of Special Education for over 23 years in a variety of capacities including: working as a special educator within a Montessori setting, inclusive settings, resource rooms, as an educational evaluator and as a parent coach. Renee has been a faculty member in the School of Education at Xavier University since 2005. Renee’s most recent position at in the School of Education is as a Teaching Professor, Field Director for Special Education and Liaison for Gifted and TTW endorsements. Her interests within the field of education include: Meeting the needs of all learners through differentiation, understanding executive function needs for children in the classroom, raising and teaching the gifted child, positive behavior interventions and supports for parents and educators, and Supporting Catholic Educators as They Meet the Needs of all Students in the General Education Setting.
No, the degree is from Xavier University and is awarded on meeting coursework standards that are independent of course delivery.
The tuition rate for the M.Ed. Special Ed degree online and the M.S. Special Ed online program is $570 per credit hour. The total cost of the special ed degree online program will vary, depending upon transfer credits awarded, additional fees, and the cost of textbooks/materials. See the Tuition page for more information.
No, online courses charge the same rate as all other courses regardless of if they are on or off campus.
Some students believe that online courses will be easier than a face-to-face course located on campus. However, that is not true. Each online course at Xavier University will have the same academic standards and content as a face-to-face course on campus. You may find online learning to be easier because it suits your learning style, but the course content, the expectations for how much you will learn and the assessment of what you have learned will be just as rigorous as in a face-to-face class.
Students may find that they can get to know their professor/instructor and other students better in an online course or program when compared to a traditional face-to-face course or program. There are many options for interacting with your instructors and classmates in your online course, including discussion boards, video or audio files from your instructor, email and video conferencing. There may be additional opportunities for interaction available based on the course and instructor.
You will need to review the syllabus for your course to determine how to obtain materials (print and digital) you will need for your course. The Xavier Bookstore and/or Library will be happy to assist you in finding course materials. Some readings or media lessons may be posted digitally within the online course itself or in Xavier University’s E-Reserves system.
If you are new to online learning at Xavier University, we encourage you to go through the student orientation for online courses.
The Technology Services website offers great resources to support online students.
We encourage you to take advantage of the library’s online resources.
Students must complete 30 credit hours and the program takes 1.5 years to complete.
HLC (High learning commission) is a regional accreditor that provides accreditation to graduate education institutions in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Regional accreditation validates the quality of the institution as a whole and specific aspects including programs offered, governance, administration, mission, finances and resources. The accreditation process is based on a system of peer reviews and evaluations.
Professionals and Educators who have expertise in the special education field, come from all walks of life and are a diverse group. Graduates with a masters degree in special education have ample opportunities to expand their professional career path to new horizons. Possible Careers include:
Each state has its own certification and licensing requirements for teachers and other professionals in the special education field. While many opportunities in this field of work only require a bachelor’s in special education, quite a few now require candidates to have a master’s degree or earn one in the first five years of teaching. A master’s degree in special education is worth the investment because it allows you to qualify for a higher level of licensure, provides more job placement opportunities, and allows you to teach a wider variety of students.