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Factors to Consider When Selecting a Special Education School

Higher Education Articles August 16, 2015

This article talks about factors to think about before you select a special education school.

Selecting a Special Education School

Techniques and tools devised to teach special needs individuals are in special education master’s degree programs; they often include considerations for vocalizing or hearing difficulties, communication disorders, and social or mental disabilities. Four-year universities offer the majority of these programs through their education colleges. In this article, we take a look at some important factors you must consider when you select a special education school.

Types of Degrees Offered

Schools offer graduate programs in special education as Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Education (M.Ed.) or Master of Science (M.S.) programs. In every graduate-level special education community and leadership program, coursework incorporates research in education methods, experiences in diagnostic and analytical techniques, leadership courses, and seminars in current trends within the special education community. However, a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education program could be the most suitable alternative for students who seek careers in leadership positions in professional teaching environments.

Certification Options

Students should select programs that can help them qualify for state teacher certification. Students seeking specialization in one area of special education teaching may prefer a program with degrees offered in certain disability areas, such as behavior problems, physical disabilities, or autism.

Practical Training

Master’s degree programs in special education commonly include internships, thesis projects, and seminars. A strong educational foundation may be available through a curriculum that incorporates all three, augmented by hands-on experiences where students work with special learners.


Some schools offer online programs to suit the needs of current teachers seeking a graduate degree, whereby these teachers can enjoy the flexibility and convenience of continuing to work while earning a degree. Evening or weekend classes may be available through other programs.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Programs in Special Education

The emphasis of courses incorporated in the core coursework of many Master of Arts (M.A.) in Special Education degree programs is on research aimed at exploring new teaching techniques devised to help students with special needs. Many offer various specializations for concentration in working with individuals with a certain type of learning disability, such as physical, mental or behavioral. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Language instruction
•Student management
•Assessment and diagnosis techniques
•Special education trends

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Special Education

Master of Science (M.S.) in Special Education programs commonly offer courses that cover leadership skills, research, and educational psychology. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Classroom management
•Instruction for teaching special learners
•Behavioral problems
•Educational psychology

Master of Education (M.Ed.) Programs in Special Education

Students enrolled in a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education are prepared for leadership positions in the special education field. The emphasis of coursework is typically on evaluation, research and interpersonal skills, whereby program graduates can diagnose special learners’ needs and devise individual teaching plans. Core coursework covers topic areas such as:

•Cultural issues in the classroom
•Educational technologies in special education settings
•Teaching autistic children

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