The Department of Learning and Teaching in the College of Education at the University of West Georgia (COE-UWG) offers the Master of Education program in Special Education (MEd-SPED). Candidates who successfully complete this program and other requirements of the state certification agency (PSC) may be eligible for Georgia Level 5 certification. Teachers with certification in this area are infield to teach students in grades P-12 with disabilities who receive instruction using the general education curriculum and participate in the general statewide assessment, as well as students in special education preschool (ages 3-5 years). 

For more information, please see the Academic Catalog.

  • Overview
  • Cost
  • Courses
  • Faculty
  • Admissions
  • Dates
  • Objectives
  • Overview

    The Department of Learning and Teaching in the College of Education at the University of West Georgia (COE-UWG) offers the Master of Education program in Special Education (MEd-SPED). The program in Special Education prepares candidates to expand their professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions for enhancing effective practice through the exploration of new knowledge and the comprehension of research constructs. Candidates who successfully complete this program and other requirements of the state certification agency (PSC) may be eligible for Georgia Level 5 certification.

    Teachers with certification in this area are infield to teach students in grades P-12 with disabilities who receive instruction using the general education curriculum and participate in the general statewide assessment, as well as students in special education preschool (ages 3-5 years). The Master of Education program in Special Education is a minimum of 30-36 graduate credit hours plus an exit exam/Electronic Portfolio. Candidates need to work closely with their advisor for most effective scheduling of classes. Most of the SPED MEd classes are offered twice per year. Advance application for the practicum experience is required.

    Program Location

    Carrollton Campus

    Method of Delivery

    Fully online.

    Accreditation

    The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    This program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

    Credit and transfer

    Total semester hours required: 30-36
    A transfer credit evaluation will be completed by the UWG Transfer Team (transfer@westga.edu). Course application to a program is subject to review by the department.

  • Cost

    This program is offered entirely online. Though a student may choose to sign-up for a face-to-face elective or core course, one can earn this degree completely online.

    Save money

    UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited university of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen. In addition, online courses and programs can mean a huge cost-savings in many non-evident ways: No more high gas charges. No childcare needed. The flexibility can allow one to maintain a job while attending school. Regardless of state residency, out-of-state non-resident students are not charged non-resident tuition for online course credit hours.

    Details

    • Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
    • The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
    • Face-to-Face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
    • Fully or entirely online courses are charged at the general tuition rate plus an eTuition rate BUT with fewer fees and no extra charges to non-Residents.
    • Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
    • One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, they will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
    • For the cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Bursar's Office website

    There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

  • Courses

    Coursework

    The Master of Education program in Special Education is a minimum of 36 graduate credit hours plus an exit exam/Electronic Portfolio. 

    General

    Program Sheet

    • EDRS-6301 - Research in Education

      The study of the general principles of qualitative and quantitative research designs with an emphasis on students becoming consumers of educational research.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • SPED-6709 - Regulations and Requirements in Special Education

      An examination of laws and official policies influencing practice in special education, particularly those applicable to service providers. Includes coverage of federal and Georgia rules, as well as recommendations, policies, and practices related to IEPs and ITPs. Also includes attention to relevant codes of ethics for teachers.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • SPED-6715 - Educational Characteristics of Learners: Mild Disabilities

      This course focuses on characteristics of students with mild disabilities who are included in the general education curriculum, as well as preschoolers with disabilities (disabilities covered by certification in Special Education-General Curriculum). It emphasizes knowledge of state and federal disability definitions; key characteristics, including developmental aspects and basic needs across the lifespan; and the impact of diversity on individuals, families, and communities. Support systems and resources to assist students with disabilities are reviewed.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • SPED-6721 - Professional Seminar

      This course introduces M.Ed. program requirements, as well as professional and ethical issues encountered in the field. It also encourages students to become critical consumers of research by examining educational journals and by using the Internet to gather information. Professional writing skills and requirements of APA format also are covered.

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    • SPED-6795 - Comprehensive Exam for the Master of Education: Special Education

      A comprehensive final examination is administered during the semester immediately preceding graduation to all candidates seeking a Master of Education degree. The exam is administered on the UWG campus in a computer lab or at a proctored site. Should be taken during the last semester in the program.

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    • SPED-7705 - Urban and Multicultural Issues in Special Education

      Historical and current influences on and effects of cultural and ethnic diversity in the special education classroom will be examined. Activities will focus on strategies that can be employed in P-12 settings to increase achievement of students with and without disabilities.

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    • SPED-7716 - Autism: Theories and Characteristics

      This class focuses on persons with autism. Topics to be addressed include features of specific conditions seen in this group; historical and philosophical issues related to autism spectrum disorders; theories of intelligence, executive function, and their impact on definition and identification of autism spectrum disorders; and patterns of normal development and patterns of exceptional development in major developmental areas.

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    • SPED-7721 - Assessment in Special Education

      A comprehensive study of diagnosis and assessment, emphasizing test and measurements, formal and informal assessment, test administration, and use of diagnostic results in educational intervention for students identified as having emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD), specific learning disabilities (SLD), and mild intellectual disability (MID).

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    • SPED-7724 - Collaboration and Inclusion: Severe Disabilities

      Covers various collaborative roles required of teachers of students with severe disabilities, with emphasis on support of inclusion programs. Specific topics include consultation and collaboration with other service providers, trans-disciplinary team and integrated programming models, working with paraeducators, and collaboration with parents and families. Issues related to cultural and language diversity that impact collaboration also will be discussed.

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    • SPED-7726 - Autism: Collaboration and Instruction

      The goal of this course is to connect foundational and research information to current educational practice in order to best serve students with autism in various educational settings. Topics include classroom assessment practices, collaboration with families and service providers, considerations related to cultural diversity, curricular approaches and resources, instructional interventions, communication approaches, and organizations and legal supports to help students with autism.

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    • SPED-7765 - Advanced Differentiated Instruction

      This course will focus on advanced concepts related to differentiation of instruction for use by experienced special educators, primarily within inclusive settings. Needs of students with disabilities who are academic learners (those covered by Special Education-General Curriculum certification) will be emphasized. Collaboration within school settings and with community members will be included, as will attention to specialized curricula and instructional methods.

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    • SPED-7767 - Strategies for Challenging Behaviors

      This course focuses on intervention strategies for students with challenging behaviors. These intervention strategies will be based on positive behavioral supports, functional behavior assessment, and functional analysis procedures. Strategies for enhancing the learning environment and development of positive alternative behaviors also will be addressed.

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  • Faculty
  • Admissions

    Guidelines for Admittance

    • All graduate applicants must complete the online Grad Application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.
    • Applicants should also review the Graduate Studies Website for individual program specific requirements and tasks that must be completed prior to admission. See Graduate Studies Application Process.
    • International applicants are subject to additional requirements and application deadlines. See Procedures for International Students.
    • Official transcripts from a regionally or nationally accredited institution are required and should be sent directly to the UWG Graduate Admissions Office. Official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended are required.

    Program Specific Admittance Guidelines

    • Complete requirements for a Bachelors degree from an accredited institution
    • Present a cumulative 3.0 (4.0 scale) grade point average or higher on all undergraduate work
    • Present a current renewable certificate in Special Education
    • Submit a personal statement of purpose, not to exceed 200 words, that identifies the applicant's reasons for pursuing graduate study

    Application Deadlines

    Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines are available via the Graduate School.

    The MED in Special Education admits only for Spring and Summer semester, beginning Spring 2019.

    Admission Process Checklist

    The Graduate Studies Application Process checklist is available here

    One exception: If you will not ever be traveling to a UWG campus or site, you may apply for an Immunization Exemption. Contact the Immunization Clerk with your request.

    Contact

    Graduate Admissions
    Phone: 678-839-1394
    Email: graduate@westga.edu


    Dr. Katy Green
    Pre-enrollment Advisor
    kbgreen@westga.edu 
    678-839-6068

  • Dates

    Specific dates for Financial Aid, Fee Payment, Registration, Start/End of Term Dates, Final Exams, etc. are available in THE SCOOP.

    Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines are available via the Graduate School

    The MED in Special Education admits only for Spring and Summer semesters, beginning Spring 2019.

  • Objectives
    Council for Exceptional Children Advanced Preparation Standards
    • Special education specialists use valid and reliable assessment practices to minimize bias.
    • Special education specialists use their knowledge of general and specialized curricula to improve programs, supports, and services at classroom, school, community, and system levels.
    • Special education specialists facilitate the continuous improvement of general and special education programs, supports, and services at the classroom, school, and system levels for individuals with exceptionalities.
    • Special education specialists conduct, evaluate, and use inquiry to guide professional practice.
    • Special education specialists provide leadership to formulate goals, set and meet high professional expectations, advocate for effective policies and evidence-based practices, and create positive and productive work environments.
    • Special education specialists use foundational knowledge of the field and professional ethical principles and practice standards to inform special education practice, engage in lifelong learning, advance the profession, and perform leadership responsibilities to promote the success of professional colleagues and individuals with exceptionalities.
    • Special education specialists collaborate with stakeholders to improve programs, services, and outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities and their families.