The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education degree program is offered in the School of Education and Social Sciences.
The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Special Education is designed to meet the needs and interests of teachers and administrators who have the desire to increase their knowledge in working with students with a disability or a desire to become a special educator.
To view a video on the program click here.
Successful completion of the 30-credit Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Special Education provides the content certified teacher with an additional certification in Special Education (grades PreK-8 or grades 7-12), granted by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).
Successful completion of the 30-credit Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Special Education provides already certified special educators with the additional Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement granted by the PDE.
This program provides learning opportunities for classroom teachers to better manage resources for students with disabilities. For the general educator, program components offer problem-solving strategies in key areas of curriculum and technology. Finally, the program provides a diverse yet highly specialized background in special education, which can help both current teachers and school administrators.
Graduate degree candidates enrolled in the program receive one-on-one advising, attend small classes, collaborate with practitioners and administrators in local school districts, and develop close relationships with faculty who have diverse experiences in K-12 schools. Degree candidates are engaged in innovative programs, partnerships within the school communities, and student organizations and volunteer opportunities.
A unique component of the RMU program leading to the M.Ed. degree in Special Education is the practicum requirement. For students seeking advanced studies in special education, their practicum involves a research project in special education. For those seeking special education certification, their practicum is designed to engage students in 90 hours of field-based, directed study experiences under the supervision of a mentor.
Special education teacher candidates will:
- gain the skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary to meet the needs of students with disabilities in multiple settings.
- utilize research-based effective instructional strategies and diagnostic tools to enable candidates to develop a thorough understanding of child development and appropriate diagnostic and instructionally adaptive strategies for all learners.
- demonstrate knowledge and competence in the areas of academic, social, and emotional growth and implement that knowledge to maximize a student's capabilities.
The M.Ed. degree in Special Education is comprised of ten 3-credit graduate special education courses. The traditionally delivered RMU graduate courses are held one night a week from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. during the Fall and Spring semesters at the Moon Township Campus. Each semester consists of two 8-week sessions. Students can complete the degree in one year by attending classes two evenings per week, or can complete the degree in two years by attending class only one evening per week. Students may also opt to attend courses during the summer semester.
In addition to the course requirements, there are other Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and RMU degree program requirements that each student must fulfill for certification. The PDE requires that each degree candidate complete a minimum number of field hours working with students with a disability, and these hours may be completed in a variety of instructional settings. For secondary content teachers, field hours are completed working with students with a disability in grades 7-12 and in transition services. For elementary, early childhood, or middle level certified teachers, field hours are completed working with students with a disability in grades PreK-8. In addition, all applicants for special education certification must meet qualifying scores on the Pennsylvania Education Certification Test
(PECT) for special education (for either grades PreK-8 or for grades 7-12, based on content area certification).
Comprehensive, continuous academic advising is crucial for success. Each graduate student in the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Special Education is assigned Dr. Vicki Donne
as his or her academic advisor. Dr. Donne is the M.Ed. in Special Education Coordinator, and degree candidates meet with her at least once per semester from the time they enter Robert Morris University to the time they complete all degree program requirements.
The faculty and students of the MEd Special Education program developed an online wiki. This wiki is a collaborative environment which disseminates information about the graduate programs, provides a means of sharing resources for the classroom, and continues to serve as a support system for students once they graduate the program (as part of their induction support). Once students are enrolled in the master program, they can access the wiki at http://sites.google.com/site/sessspecialed
. To login, students enter their email login and their student ID serves as their password.
Candidates for the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Special Education must hold a current teacher certification in a general education content subject, have a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA, submit two letters of recommendation, provide a copy of all transcripts and current clearances, and complete an RMU graduate application.
to apply for the RMU graduate program that leads to the Master of Education degree in Special Education. You can complete the application online with no application fee. Alternatively, you can download the required graduate application PDF form, and then mail in the completed form with required documentation and $35 application fee.
This master's degree program is offered at the RMU Moon Township Campus only.
To find out more about either the PDE requirements for Special Education certification or to find out more about the academic requirements for the RMU program leading to a Master of Education degree in Special Education, please contact Dr. Vicki Donne
to visit the RMU Office of Graduate Admissions website to find out about tuition and fees, financial aid, and how to apply for the M.Ed. degree program in Special Education; or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions directly at 800-762-0097.