Introduction

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education degree program is offered in the School of Education and Social Sciences.

Overview

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.  

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).

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. The practicum is designed to engage students in 90 hours of field-based, directed study experiences under the supervision of a mentor.

Goals

Special education teacher candidates will:

  1. gain the skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary to meet the needs of students with disabilities in multiple settings.
  2. 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.
  3. demonstrate knowledge and competence in the areas of academic, social, and emotional growth and implement that knowledge to maximize a student's capabilities.

Course Requirements

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.

Additional Certification Requirements

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).

Academic Advising

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.

SESS Graduate Special Education Wiki

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.

Admission Requirements

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 complete an RMU graduate application.

Click to visit the RMU Office of Graduate Admissions website to find out about tuition and fees, financial aid, and how to apply for the program; or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions directly at graduateadmissions@rmu.edu or 800-762-0097.

Click here 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.

Location

This master's degree program is offered at the RMU Moon Township Campus only.

Find out more

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.

Click here 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.

Concentrations