M.Ed., Special Education

Prepares K-12 special educators at the graduate level with specific training in the areas of disabilities, assessment, interventions strategies, current law and the implementation of programs including development of legally defensible documents related to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Graduates will have mastery of the Council for Exceptional Children standards for special education teachers: learner development and individual learning differences, learning environments, curricular content knowledge, assessment, instructional planning and strategies, professional learning, and ethical practice and collaboration.

The program will provide individuals who already possess, or are eligible for, a current Alaska teaching certificate or a bachelor’s degree and the necessary prerequisites with specific training in the area of special education. The program prepares K-12 special education teachers who can effectively understand state and national education issues and respond appropriately. Special education candidates will progress through a series of developmentally sequenced field experiences for all ages, types and levels of abilities including collaborative opportunities.

An option is available for individuals who are already certified special education teachers or individuals who want the special education knowledge and master's degree to perform professional duties that do not include being a special education classroom instructor. These individuals will not complete special education clinical practice, and no institutional recommendation for special education teacher certification will be issued.

The Master of Education in special education provides development in collaboration/consultation models and program development in multicultural settings. Completion of this program meets requirements for Alaska licensure as a K-12 special education teacher.

The School of Education offers Master of Education degrees in counseling, special education and education. Students in the education major may earn a degree in these areas of specialization: people, place and pedagogy, second language acquisition, bilingual education, and literacy, and online innovation and design. Students completing postbaccalaureate certification in elementary or secondary education may earn an M.Ed. in the respective area. For elementary education, secondary education, special education and counseling majors, refer to specific admission and program requirements listed in the respective sections.

Admission Requirements

Applications will be reviewed on March 1 and Oct. 1 for admission in the following semester. Faculty may vote to admit, not admit or admit with stipulations. Stipulations are specified when additional development in particular areas is needed before beginning a graduate degree program.

Minimum requirements for admission to the M.Ed. program are:

  1. Bachelor’s degree and a 3.0 GPA.
  2. One year of satisfactory teaching or administrative experience. Alternative experience may be accepted.

Complete the following application procedures for the UAF Graduate School:

  1. Submit a graduate application form to the UAF Office of Admissions.
  2. Submit scores on the general GRE if undergraduate GPA is below 3.0.

  3. Submit a four- to five-page essay that describes your career goals and educational philosophy, and how those goals and philosophy are relevant to the School of Education’s mission and education graduate degree program.
  4. Submit official transcripts.
  5. Submit three letters of reference.
  6. Submit a resume.

For Certified Teachers

Complete the following admission requirements:

  • Current Alaska teaching certificate or equivalent course work towards an Alaska teaching certificate.

Prerequisite or corequisite: EDSE F482 or comparable transfer course from another institution.

For Initial Certification

Complete the following admission requirements:

  1. Submit ACT, SAT or GRE scores.
  2. Baccalaureate degree along with the following prerequisites:
    1. Documented recent experience (minimum of 12 hours) in an educational setting with children experiencing disabilities.
    2. UAF prerequisite or corequisite courses or comparable transfer courses. Courses may be completed prior to admission or during the program:
      ED F245Child Development3
      Select one from the following:3
      Introduction to Education
      Introduction to Secondary Education
      Foundations of Modern Educational Practice
      Foundations of Education in Alaska: From Segregation to Standards
      EDSE F482Inclusive Classrooms for All Children3
    3. Passing scores on the Praxis Academic Skills for Educators text (or Praxis I) or another test acceptable to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development before or during the first semester of classes. Current test numbers and minimum scores can be found at http://www.eed.state.ak.us/teacherscertification/prof.html.
    4. Passing scores on the appropriate Praxis II Exam(s) required before entering EDSE F678. Current test numbers and minimum scores can be found at http://www.eed.state.ak.us/teacherscertification/prof.html. Candidates should consult the employing school district to determine preferred tests based on teaching assignment.

Recommended prior to admission or during the program, not required for the degree but for Alaska teacher certification:

  1. An Alaska studies course approved by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. See http://education.alaska.gov/teachercertification/
  2. A multicultural education/cross-cultural communication course approved by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. See http://education.alaska.gov/teachercertification/

All prerequisite courses must be completed with a minimum final grade of B. 

Program Requirements for Certified Teachers

Minimum Requirements for Degree: 36 credits

General University Requirements
Complete the general university requirements.
M.Ed. Degree Requirements
Complete the Master of Education degree requirements.
Corequisite Requirements 1
Inclusive Classrooms for All Children
Program Requirements
ED F601Introduction to Applied Social Science Research3
EDSE F610Assessment of Students with Exceptionalities3
EDSE F612Curriculum, Management and Strategies I: Low Incidence3
EDSE F622Curriculum, Management and Strategies II: High Incidence3
EDSE F625Teaching Mathematics to Special Learners3
EDSE F632Special Education Law: Principles and Practices3
EDSE F677English Language Arts Assessment, Curriculum and Strategies for Special Learners3
EDSE F680Special Education Clinical Practice 2,33
Complete four from the following elective courses as approved by the candidate’s graduate committee:12
Field Study Research Methods
Documenting Indigenous Knowledge
Early Childhood Special Education
Social/Emotional Development, Assessment and Intervention
Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities: Communication and Social Interventions
Culturally Responsive Collaboration: Working with Parents, Colleagues and Paraprofessionals
Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Developmental Disabilities: Sensory and Behavioral Interventions
Understanding FASD: Diagnosis, Intervention and Strategies
Complete comprehensive examination 4

Program Requirements for Initial Certification

Minimum Requirements for Degree: 39 credits

General University Requirements
Complete the general university requirements.
Master of Education Degree Requirements
Complete the Master of Education degree requirements.
Corequisite Requirements 1
Child Development
Inclusive Classrooms for All Children
Complete one of the following:
Introduction to Education
Foundations of Education in Alaska: From Segregation to Standards
Introduction to Secondary Education
Foundations of Modern Educational Practice
Program Requirements
ED F601Introduction to Applied Social Science Research3
EDSE F610Assessment of Students with Exceptionalities3
EDSE F612Curriculum, Management and Strategies I: Low Incidence3
EDSE F622Curriculum, Management and Strategies II: High Incidence3
EDSE F625Teaching Mathematics to Special Learners3
EDSE F632Special Education Law: Principles and Practices3
EDSE F677English Language Arts Assessment, Curriculum and Strategies for Special Learners3
EDSE F678Special Education Clinical Practice: Initial3
EDSE F680Special Education Clinical Practice 2,33
Complete four from the following elective courses as approved by the candidate’s graduate committee:12
Field Study Research Methods
Documenting Indigenous Knowledge
Early Childhood Special Education
Social/Emotional Development, Assessment and Intervention
Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities: Communication and Social Interventions
Culturally Responsive Collaboration: Working with Parents, Colleagues and Paraprofessionals
Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Developmental Disabilities: Sensory and Behavioral Interventions
Understanding FASD: Diagnosis, Intervention and Strategies
Complete comprehensive examination 4

Program Requirements for M.Ed. Degree Without Certification

Minimum Requirements for Degree: 36 credits

General University Requirements
Complete the general university requirements.
Master of Education Degree Requirements
Complete the Master of Education degree requirements.
Corequisite Requirements 1
Inclusive Classrooms for All Children
Program Requirements
ED F601Introduction to Applied Social Science Research3
EDSE F610Assessment of Students with Exceptionalities3
EDSE F612Curriculum, Management and Strategies I: Low Incidence3
EDSE F622Curriculum, Management and Strategies II: High Incidence3
EDSE F625Teaching Mathematics to Special Learners3
EDSE F632Special Education Law: Principles and Practices3
EDSE F677English Language Arts Assessment, Curriculum and Strategies for Special Learners3
Complete five from the following elective courses as approved by the candidate’s graduate committee:15
Field Study Research Methods
Documenting Indigenous Knowledge
Early Childhood Special Education
Social/Emotional Development, Assessment and Intervention
Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities: Communication and Social Interventions
Culturally Responsive Collaboration: Working with Parents, Colleagues and Paraprofessionals
Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Developmental Disabilities: Sensory and Behavioral Interventions
Understanding FASD: Diagnosis, Intervention and Strategies
Complete comprehensive examination 2