The Master of Education (M.Ed). Special Education: General Curriculum (Grades K-12) is a combined five year undergraduate-graduate degree program (bachelors + masters + teaching license) designed for students who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the College of Arts and Sciences and who also wish to obtain credentials to teach students who have disabilities and are following the general curriculum. These are students with milder disabilities and who are often placed in inclusion classes.
Candidates must complete general education requirements, a liberal arts or sciences major, and professional studies (education course work) requirements. Students complete education course work and field experiences at the undergraduate level; graduate with their class receiving their bachelor’s degree with a liberal arts or sciences major; and return for one more year during which they complete graduate education course work, an internship, and a research study.
Students must major in the same areas as Secondary Education: History and Social Sciences (History, Economics, Geography or Political Science) English, Mathematics or Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Geology).
Students in the Special Education: General Curriculum Program complete multiple practicum experiences during their undergraduate-graduate studies, aligned with education courses.
The culminating experience is the 14-week full-day internship with placements in both elementary and middle or secondary special education settings. Because the internship must be a supervised experience, placements are made in schools local to the university.
After formal acceptance in the program, each candidate is assigned a full-time Special Education faculty adviser in the College of Education. This is in addition to the College of Arts and Sciences advisor. The Special Education Program advisor will guide the process of each candidate through the five-year pathway to meet degree and licensure requirements.
Graduates of the Special Education: General Curriculum Program are well-prepared for the classroom. Our graduates are in high demand and enjoy an excellent reputation when applying for jobs. Graduates have gone on to teach in school districts throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and United States.
Program Course Sequence
The following professional studies courses are requires of all candidates in the Special Education: General Curriculum program:
General Education Courses:
- Math 200 Introduction to Statistics (3 credits) – Recommended
Required Undergraduate Courses:
- EDUC 203 Introduction to Learning and Teaching Elementary (3 credits)
- EDUC 371 Language Development and Literacy Instruction: Primary (3 credits)
- EDUC 351 Instructional Design and Assessment (4 credits)
- EDUC 373 Language and Development in Literacy Instruction: Intermediate (3 credits)
- EDUC 420D The Professional Teacher and Critical Issues in Education (3 credits)
- EDSE 390 Survey of Special Education: Characteristics and Legal Aspects (3 credits)
Methods Course (select one based on major course of study):
- EDUC 453 The Teaching of English and Theatre Arts (3 credits)
- EDUC 455 The Teaching of History and Social Sciences (3 credits)
- EDUC 456 The Teaching of Mathematics and Computer Science (3 credits)
- EDUC 458 The Teaching of Sciences (3 credits)
Required Graduate Courses:
- EDCI 500 Teaching and the Development of the Learner (3 credits)*
- EDSE 533 Positive Approaches to Behavior Management (online option) (3 credits)
- EDSE 534 Assessment, Evaluation and Instructional Planning (3 credits)*
- EDSE 535 Collaborative Consultation and Transition Planning (online option) (3 credits)
- EDSE 521 Language and Literacy for Special Populations (3 credits)
- EDSE 519 General and Special Education Goals and Practices: Elementary (3 credits)
- EDCI 589 Applied Research (3 credits)
- INDT 531 Emerging and Assistive Technologies – online (3 credits)
- EDSE 552 M.Ed. Internship for Special Education Initial Licensure Five Year Pathway (9 credits)**
*Courses taken during the final undergraduate year.
**Students must pass Reading for Virginia Educators Test (RVE) and Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA) prior to being accepted for EDSE 552
Teacher Education Program Admission & Licensure Testing Requirements
Admission to the initial licensure program requires passing scores on Praxis Core (reading, writing and mathematics) or the qualifying equivalent exam.
To become a fully licensed teacher in Virginia you must take and pass licensure tests. The tests required for Special Education General Curriculum are the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA) and the Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary and Special Education Exam.
Documents, Deadlines & Policies
Checksheet: M.Ed. Special Education: General Curriculum
Program Policies: Graduate Academic Catalog
Questions about the pathway, contact:
Dr. April Brecht
Director of Advising Center Services
Phone: (540) 286-8032
Dr. Victoria Russell
Program Director of Special Education
Phone: (540) 654-1349