Endicott students and faculty in class

Special Needs - Moderate Disabilities (M.Ed.)

The program in Special Needs prepares professionals to work with children with moderate disabilities at the PreK–8 and 5–12 levels who participate in integrated or self-contained classrooms. These programs lead to Initial or Professional Licensure in Moderate Disabilities (PreK–8, 5–12).

Links and Contacts

Program Overview

The program in Special Needs prepares professionals to work with children with moderate disabilities at the PreK–8 and 5–12 levels who participate in integrated or self-contained classrooms. These programs lead to Initial or Professional Licensure in Moderate Disabilities (PreK–8, 5–12).

The Moderate Disabilities programs (PreK–8 and 5–12) are designed in two different tracks: 1) a 21-credit post-baccalaureate program that leads to Initial Licensure and an optional 15 additional credit program to obtain a Master’s degree in Special Needs, and 2) a 36-credit Appropriate Master’s Degree program for a Professional License.

The distinction between the different grade level licensures (i.e., PreK–8 and 5–12) lies in:

  • The entrance requirements (e.g., prior course work);
  • The number of clock hours and the grade level for the practicum experience (300 hours for PreK–8
    and 150 hours for 5–12); and
  • Assignments within courses that address the grade level at which the student is pursuing licensure.
The entrance requirements (e.g., prior course work);

Moderate Disabilities: Initial Licensure (PreK–8, 5–12)

The curriculum for the Special Needs programs leading to licensure in Moderate Disabilities addresses theories of language development, including differences between first and second language acquisition and the effects of disabilities on learning and vocabulary development. The program explores diagnosis and assessment of that development; theories, concepts, and
methods of assessment; educational terminology for students with mild to moderate disabilities; study of individualized Education Programs; curriculum development for students with mild to moderate disabilities; behavioral management principles; innovative practices emphasizing students with special needs; and the required pre-practicum and practicum experiences as described below.

Initial Licensure Program of Study

ED 581 Technology in Education 3 cr.
ED 582 Research Methods 3 cr.
EDC 570 Understanding the Dynamics of Student Aspirations 3 cr.
SPN 500
* Special Education Service Delivery and the
Inclusion Model for Students with Special Needs
3 cr.
SPN 501
* Methods and Materials for Curriculum Development
of Special Needs Program (Practicum)
3 cr.
SPN 502
* Curriculum Development for Learners with
Special Needs
3 cr.
SPN 504 * Assessment and Educational Planning 3 cr.
SPN 505 * Reflective Seminar: Teacher of Special Needs 3 cr.
SPN 506 * Nature and Needs of Students with Moderate
Disabilities
3 cr.
SPN 510 * Practicum Experience: Teacher of
Special Needs **
3 cr.
SPN 564 English, Language Arts, and Social Science for
Diverse Learners
3 cr.
SPN 567 Mathematics and Science for Diverse Learners 3 cr.
Plus Comprehensive Examination
Total degree requirements 36 cr.

* Courses required for obtaining Initial Licensure in Moderate Disabilities
(PreK–8, 5–12).
** Practicum placements will be appropriate to the level of the license sought,
PreK–8 or 5–12 and will meet the required clock hours for those levels.

Completion Requirements

To exit from the Special Needs program for Initial Licensure in Moderate Disabilities, students must successfully complete all of the required courses and fieldwork. Prior to entering the practicum, teachers seeking a license as a teacher of students with moderate disabilities for PreK–8 must pass the General Curriculum test in addition to passing the Communication and Literacy and the Foundations of Readings tests. Those seeking this license for 5–12 must pass either the General Curriculum test or a subject matter test in one of the core academic subjects taught in 5–8 or 8–12 (such as history) in addition to passing the Communication and Literacy and the Foundations of Reading Tests. Students may be advised to take additional subject matter courses for meeting the above Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requirements.

Moderate Disabilities: Professional Licensure (PreK–8, 5–12)

The 36-credit program satisfies the requirements for the Appropriate Master’s Degree in Moderate Disabilities and prepares special needs teachers who already possess an Initial License in the field with a program of study that prepares them to be eligible for Professional Licensure in the state of Massachusetts at both the PreK–8 and 5–12 levels. The Appropriate Master’s Degree focuses on:

  • The study of advanced level subject matter and teaching methods focused on the assessment and support of the students with moderate disabilities; and
  • An in-depth examination of research methods, policy analysis, leadership, the social history of American education, and the foundations of student aspirations. Preparing practicing teachers to build a deeper understanding of the field in which they teach, the Appropriate Master’s Degree also provides educators with an opportunity to understand the trends in 21st century American education that have an impact on their students, schools, and lives as teachers.

    Prerequisite: Possession of an Initial Licensure in Moderate Disabilities for the appropriate grade level (PreK–8 or 5–12)

    Distinction Between PreK–8 and 5–12 Levels:
    The content covered in HST 531, MTH 579, and SCN 571 in the curriculum outlined below have been designed to delineate PreK–8 and 5–12 grade levels.

Professional Licensure Program of Study

Common Core
ED 582  Research Methods 3 cr.
ED 581  Technology in Education 3 cr.
ECE500 Child Development 3 cr.
SPN 523 Advance Assessment Strategies: Psycho-Educational Evaluation 3 cr.
EXM 699 Comprehensive Exam 0 cr.

Professional License Core

SPN513 Consultation and Collaboration in Education 3 cr.
SPN523 Advanced Assessment Strategies: Psycho-educational Evaluation 3 cr.
SPN515 Strategies for Classroom Management 3 cr.
SPN 533 Adapting and Differentiating Instruction 3 cr.

Reading and Literacy Electives (Choose Two):
RDG504 Literacy Connections 3 cr.
IED530  Linguistics and Language Acquisition 3 cr.
RDG506 Emergence of Literacy 3 cr.
RDG507 Writing Across the Curriculum 3 cr.

General Curriculum Electives (Choose Two):
MTH578 Developing Math Ideas 3 cr.
SCN571  Methods of Teaching Science to Children 3 cr.
EDC525  Social Contexts in American Education 3 cr.
ED 502   Effective Classroom Strategies 3 cr.

Completion Requirements

To exit from the Appropriate Master’s Degree program, students must successfully complete all of the required courses and, where relevant, the required field work and the comprehensive examination.

Eligibility for Professional Licensure

According to Department of Elementary and Secondary regulations, a Professional License is granted to individuals who possess an Initial License, have completed an Appropriate Master’s Degree in an Education school, have completed a one-year induction program with a mentor, and have completed at least three years of employment in the role of license. Students completing the Master’s degree who have not met the other requirements for the Professional License, including a one-year induction program with a mentor, and at least three years of employment in the role of the license, i.e., moderate disabilities for PreK–8 or 5–12, will be advised to apply for the Professional License when they have met these requirements. Students who have met the induction and employment requirements will be advised to apply for their Professional License with the DESE after completion of the program.

Other Options for Obtaining Professional Licensure in Moderate Disabilities

Please refer to the program of study for Master of Education in Initial Licensure in Reading and Literacy as another option for obtaining Professional Licensure in Moderate Disabilities (PreK–8, 5–12).

Moderate Disabilities: Non-Licensure Program *

* Please Note: This program does not include a reflective seminar or practicum and does NOT lead to Massachusetts teacher licensure.

Program of Study

ED 580 Innovative Methods in Education 3 cr.
ED 581 Technology in Education 3 cr.
ED 582 Research Methods 3 cr.
EDC 510 Policy Analysis, Leadership, and Change Processes 3 cr.
EDC 570 Understanding the Dynamics of Student Aspirations 3 cr.
SPN 500
Special Education Service Delivery and the Inclusion
Model for Students with Special Needs

3 cr.

SPN 501
Methods and Materials for Curriculum Development
of Special Needs Program
3 cr.
SPN 502
Curriculum Development for Learners with Special
Needs
3 cr.
SPN 504 Assessment and Educational Planning 3 cr.
SPN 506
Nature and Needs of Students with Moderate
Disabilities
3 cr.
SPN 564 English, Language Arts, and Social Science for
Diverse Learners
3 cr.
SPN 567 Mathematics and Science for Diverse Learners 3 cr.
Plus Comprehensive Examination
Total degree requirements 36 cr.

Completion Requirements

To exit from the Master of Education in Special Needs in Moderate Disabilities program, students must successfully complete all of the required courses and field work plus the comprehensive examination. There are no licensure-related requirements with this program of studies

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate skill in planning curriculum and instruction, delivering effective instruction, managing classroom climate, promoting equity and meeting professional standards.
  2. Demonstrate ability to collect, analyze, synthesize, and apply measurement data.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of and approach to subject matter.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of typical child development and exceptionalities
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