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Special Education M.Ed. Online

credits   30 | cost/credit   $305 | completion 2 years (5 to 6 semesters)

Onlinen Masters in Special Education

Improve your ability to educate and inspire students with special learning needs with your M.Ed. in Special Education. Learn effective teaching strategies and methods for creating meaningful learning experiences for all students. An online Masters in Special Education will equip you for leadership roles in assessment, instructional strategies and evidence-based practices. Prepare for career opportunities as a specialist or consultant. Online convenience. Proven affordability. Christian foundation.

Take one online 8-week class at a time, completing two classes each semester, and you'll finish your degree in 2 years or less. The online Masters in Special Education also enable students to count credits toward their M.Ed from our endorsement in Instructional Strategist I or II or work on both at the same time.

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TEACH Grant

This master's program is approved for the TEACH Grant which can help you pay for your masters if you teach or plan to become a teacher in a high-need field in a low-income area. For more information visit the TEACH Grant website.

Requirements

Our online Masters in Special Education curriculum was developed in concert with the Iowa Board of Education (BOE).

Courses

Required Core (15 credits):

EDU 610 - Educational Research Methods & Design

(3 credits) This course will provide an overview of research methodology employed for studies in the field of education. Topics include basic research methodology, interpretation of findings, and application of research in educational settings. Students will develop their ability to critically evaluate educational research and to judiciously apply findings in their professional settings. By the conclusion of the course students will be able to identify a potential topic for future research and outline the basic methodology needed to conduct the study. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

(3 credits) This course will provide an overview of research methodology employed for studies in the field of education. Topics include basic research methodology, interpretation of findings, and application of research in educational settings. Students will develop their ability to critically evaluate educational research and to judiciously apply findings in their professional settings. By the conclusion of the course students will be able to identify a potential topic for future research and outline the basic methodology needed to conduct the study. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

EDU 555 - Trends and Issues in 21st Century Education

(3 credits) Teachers and schools must continually examine current practices in PreK-12 education in search of better solutions to increase student achievement and to thoroughly prepare children for the world in which they will live and work. In this course students will study current social, political and academic trends and issues affecting children, teachers and schools. Students will define their personal positions based on facts and experience, and will collaborate with others to advocate for solutions that improve education for PreK-12 grade students. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

(3 credits) Teachers and schools must continually examine current practices in PreK-12 education in search of better solutions to increase student achievement and to thoroughly prepare children for the world in which they will live and work. In this course students will study current social, political and academic trends and issues affecting children, teachers and schools. Students will define their personal positions based on facts and experience, and will collaborate with others to advocate for solutions that improve education for PreK-12 grade students. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

EDU 565 - Instructional Strategies for Diverse Students and Settings

(3 credits) This course is intended for experienced teachers, and will focus on building off of prior knowledge and experience to improve student learning. Research-based instructional strategies will be studied, with particular emphasis on adapting and employing strategies to fit students' cognitive abilities, motivation, interest, cultural background and other unique characteristics in diverse settings. Students in this class will apply new instructional strategies in their practice to positively impact learning in the PreK-12 classroom. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

(3 credits) This course is intended for experienced teachers, and will focus on building off of prior knowledge and experience to improve student learning. Research-based instructional strategies will be studied, with particular emphasis on adapting and employing strategies to fit students' cognitive abilities, motivation, interest, cultural background and other unique characteristics in diverse settings. Students in this class will apply new instructional strategies in their practice to positively impact learning in the PreK-12 classroom. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

EDU 570 - Teaching and Learning with Technology

(3 credits) Technology integration in the K-12 setting can enhance learning, improve motivation and engagement, increase accessibility, individualize instruction, differentiate assessment and improve communication with parents and stakeholders. In this course students will broaden their understanding of the technology available to them in the PreK-12 classroom and improve their ability to leverage specific technology to improve teaching and learning. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

(3 credits) Technology integration in the K-12 setting can enhance learning, improve motivation and engagement, increase accessibility, individualize instruction, differentiate assessment and improve communication with parents and stakeholders. In this course students will broaden their understanding of the technology available to them in the PreK-12 classroom and improve their ability to leverage specific technology to improve teaching and learning. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

EDU 635 - Master’s in Education Capstone

(3 credits) In this course students will apply the cumulative knowledge and skills learned in their master's program through an action research project. Research focus may be related to student learning, teacher effectiveness, school quality, school policy or other area by approval. The project will be proposed, approved, designed, implemented and presented prior to the student's graduation with a master's degree in education from Northwestern College. Students who do not have a finished capstone approved by the Education Department chair at the conclusion of EDU635 will repeat the course for credit. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

(3 credits) In this course students will apply the cumulative knowledge and skills learned in their master's program through an action research project. Research focus may be related to student learning, teacher effectiveness, school quality, school policy or other area by approval. The project will be proposed, approved, designed, implemented and presented prior to the student's graduation with a master's degree in education from Northwestern College. Students who do not have a finished capstone approved by the Education Department chair at the conclusion of EDU635 will repeat the course for credit. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

Special Education Emphasis (15 credits):

EDU 520 - Assessment Planning and Practice

This course will provide an in-depth presentation of the complex issue of assessment, including an examination of evaluation procedures, from pre-referral intervention, eligibility/placement/program decision-making to progress monitoring of research-based instructional interventions based on Response to Intervention (RTI). Students will examine a variety of formal and informal instruments and techniques used in assessing the strengths, needs, interests, and preferences of children and youth with exceptional learning needs. The focus is placed on providing students with knowledge and skills necessary for selecting, using, interpreting, and evaluating results from measurement and/or screening instruments and techniques commonly employed by professionals to facilitate special education placement, Individual Education Program (IEP) development and evaluation of the effectiveness of that instruction using progress-monitoring techniques. Issues in assessment and instruction concerning multicultural and bilingual special education will also be addressed. (3 credits)

This course will provide an in-depth presentation of the complex issue of assessment, including an examination of evaluation procedures, from pre-referral intervention, eligibility/placement/program decision-making to progress monitoring of research-based instructional interventions based on Response to Intervention (RTI). Students will examine a variety of formal and informal instruments and techniques used in assessing the strengths, needs, interests, and preferences of children and youth with exceptional learning needs. The focus is placed on providing students with knowledge and skills necessary for selecting, using, interpreting, and evaluating results from measurement and/or screening instruments and techniques commonly employed by professionals to facilitate special education placement, Individual Education Program (IEP) development and evaluation of the effectiveness of that instruction using progress-monitoring techniques. Issues in assessment and instruction concerning multicultural and bilingual special education will also be addressed. (3 credits)

EDU 605 - Instructional Decision Making and Leadership in Special Education

This course provides an introduction to theoretical and practical applications of data-driven decision making, assessments, and curriculum planning for educators. Students will explore the uses of qualitative and quantitative data by educational leaders for the purpose of improving student and organizational outcomes. This course will also focus on using a collaborative problem-solving approach and response to intervention processes to improve the learning rate of student. (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to theoretical and practical applications of data-driven decision making, assessments, and curriculum planning for educators. Students will explore the uses of qualitative and quantitative data by educational leaders for the purpose of improving student and organizational outcomes. This course will also focus on using a collaborative problem-solving approach and response to intervention processes to improve the learning rate of student. (3 credits)

EDU 612 - Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Special Education

This course is an intensive study of the legislation and litigation involved with individuals with disabilities specifically concentrating on those students between the ages of birth - 21 years. A historical as well as current study of legislation used as the basis for providing special education services on the federal and state level will be covered. The legal system on the federal and state level is covered as well as critical litigations that have influenced the field of special education. The student will become knowledgeable about the legal precedence for all that they do as a special educator. (3 credits)

This course is an intensive study of the legislation and litigation involved with individuals with disabilities specifically concentrating on those students between the ages of birth - 21 years. A historical as well as current study of legislation used as the basis for providing special education services on the federal and state level will be covered. The legal system on the federal and state level is covered as well as critical litigations that have influenced the field of special education. The student will become knowledgeable about the legal precedence for all that they do as a special educator. (3 credits)

EDU 550 - Communication and Collaborative Partnerships

This course will prepare special education personnel, classroom teachers, related services personnel, and other support staff for collaborative consultation, teamwork and transition in serving the educational needs of students and their families. Consideration of the role of home and parents in the educational programming for exceptional children, and practical to positive strategies that can be used in working with parents. The context, content, processes, practices, and support of collaborative school consultation will be addressed. (3 credits)

This course will prepare special education personnel, classroom teachers, related services personnel, and other support staff for collaborative consultation, teamwork and transition in serving the educational needs of students and their families. Consideration of the role of home and parents in the educational programming for exceptional children, and practical to positive strategies that can be used in working with parents. The context, content, processes, practices, and support of collaborative school consultation will be addressed. (3 credits)

EDU 545 - Behavior and Social Interventions of Learners

In this course students will learn about the basic principles of learning that govern human behavior as well as how these principles can be applied in the classroom to help individuals with exceptional learning needs reach their maximum potential. Students will also learn how to measure and analyze student behavior in order to evaluate student learning and make necessary adjustment to teaching strategies for individuals with exceptional learning needs. (3 credits)

In this course students will learn about the basic principles of learning that govern human behavior as well as how these principles can be applied in the classroom to help individuals with exceptional learning needs reach their maximum potential. Students will also learn how to measure and analyze student behavior in order to evaluate student learning and make necessary adjustment to teaching strategies for individuals with exceptional learning needs. (3 credits)

Total Credits: 30 credit hours

Special Education M.Ed. + Instructional Strategist Endorsement

credits  33 | cost/credit  $305 | completion  just over 2 years (6 to 7 semesters )

After earning your Instructional Strategist Endorsement I or II, you can easily complete your M.Ed. in Special Education with just 5 more courses (15 credits). 

You choose the endorsement emphasis that best fits your classroom and career goals:

Instructional Strategist I

Mild/Moderate Endorsement (K-8)
Mild/Moderate Endorsement (5-12) 

This endorsement prepares you to recognize and understand disabilities in students of various ages as well as the psychological factors that affect these students. You'll learn about transitional collaboration, effective teaching strategies, and ways to create meaningful learning experiences for students in grades K-8 or 5-12.

Instructional Strategist II

Behavior Disorders/Learning Disabilities Endorsement (K-12)
Intellectual Disabilities Endorsement (K-12) 

This endorsement prepares you to address the basic foundations of special needs, transition methods for students with behavior disorders and learning disabilities, communication between parents and teachers, assessment of learning problems, social and behavior interventions, decision-making/problem-solving techniques in education, and teaching students with exceptionalities in K-12 instructional setting.

If you'd like to earn your Instructional Strategist Endorsement without enrolling in the M.Ed. program, here's how.

 

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