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 36 graduate credit hours plus an exit exam/Electronic Portfolio. Candidates must start Fall (not Spring and Summer), but 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

    Newnan

    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: 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

    CURR 6575 Curriculum Trends and Issues

    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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-6723 - Ecological Development of Exceptional Learners

      This course focuses on the development of typical and exceptional children in the areas of linguistic, perceptual motor, cognitive, social, personality, emotional and psychological development. There is a strong focus on the ecological development of children and adolescents in the context of family, culture, disability, ethnicity and society. School/home collaboration strategies will be examined.

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    • SPED-6761 - Classroom Behavior Management

      Theoretical formulation and practical applications of behavioral techniques, especially as they apply to management and control of behavior in the school.

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    • SPED-6766 - Basic Curriculum and Methods: General Curriculum

      This course focuses on matching learner characteristics and needs to appropriate research-based learning strategies and enabling teachers to use research-based content enhancement routines to facilitate learning, particularly for students with mild disabilities who are included in the general curriculum. Emphasis will be placed on planning, teaching, and assessing strategy usage as well as planning, implementing, and assessing content enhancement routines.

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    • SPED-6767 - ADVANCED CURRICULUM AND METHODS: GENERAL CURRICULUM

      This course assists in preparing educators to enter educational settings ready to operate within the new paradigm of differentiation of instruction and collaboration within school. There is a strong focus on respecting the roles various persons play, whether it is professional, family member or student, and how these roles support each other in the process of designing effective programs for students, particularly those with disabilities. Much of the discussion will center on inclusive settings.

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    • SPED-6791 - Practicum: Interrelated

      Practicum experience in an approved setting in which students identified as having disabilities such as specific learning disabilities, emotional behavioral disorders, mild intellectual disabilities are being served. Includes outside readings/assignments as well as field-based activities. Application for field experience required in advance. Should be taken during the last 6 credit hours in the program.

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    • SPED-6793 - Practicum II: Special Education

      Supervised practicum in an approved setting in which students identified as having disabilities appropriate to area of certification in Special Education are being served. Course includes seminars and outside readings/assignments as well as in-program activities. Course is designed to be taken toward/at the end of the student’s program. SPED 6767 or SPED 6777 should be completed or taken concurrently with this course.

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    • SPED-7702 - Technology in Special Education

      An examination of instructional and assistive technology designed to enhance service delivery to students with disabilities, with an emphasis on students participating in general education content. Use of technology for support of service delivery (e.g. data management and IEP software) also will be addressed.

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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-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-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-7766 - Direct Instruction Methodology for Reading and Mathematics

      Enrollment requires SPED 6706 and SPED 6715 and SPED 6766; or permission of instructor. This course is designed to give teachers knowledge in providing instruction using a research-based instructional methodology called Direct Instruction to ensure that a diverse student population at risk of or having deficits in, reading and mathematics can reach high achievement in these areas. Teachers also became knowledgeable in evaluating and modifying commercially developed programs to ensure the guidelines of validated research based practices have been met.

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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 Admissions Office.

    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

    General admissions deadlines are typically:

    • Fall - July 21

    * Application, app fee, and document deadline; Dates may vary for Readmit, Transfer, and Transient students.

    See The Scoop for more specific deadlines.

    Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines are available via the Graduate School

    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 Admissions (Undergraduate Only), 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

  • Objectives

    Teachers are committed to students and their learning.

    Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.

    Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.

    Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.

    Teachers are members of learning communities.