Online Master of Education in Special Education – Teacher Certification

Do you want to become a certified K–12 special education teacher? Aspiring educators can earn a special education master’s degree that leads to teacher certification from a top-ranked college of education. You’ll prepare for an in-demand role as a high-quality, well-prepared teacher for K–12 students.

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Quick facts

Next start date: 08/19/2021


Total classes: 19

Weeks per class: 7.5

Total credit hours: 46

Degree questions, answered.

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What is a special education teacher certification?

This master's degree program leading to special education teacher certification enables aspiring educators to become certified K–12 special education teachers. You’ll prepare to work with K–12 students who have disabilities and/or special needs.

This program is for students who have a bachelor's degree in any field and want to further their knowledge in mild/moderate disabilities special education for grades K–12. Those employed as emergency certified teachers, paraprofessionals, after-school program aides or other personnel working with children, as well as non-education professionals looking to change careers, may also benefit from this master’s in special education, which leads to formal teaching certification.

This flexible program offers two routes for certification:

  • Traditional certification: In this route, you’ll take courses online while conducting internships and residencies on site in local schools. You’ll earn dual certification in both K-8 elementary education and K–12 mild-moderate disabilities special education.
  • Alternative pathways certification: This route provides certification for individuals working as a teacher of record on an Arizona Alternative Teaching Certificate (or equivalent in other states). You must secure a full-time teaching position before starting the program, which allows you to immediately put coursework into practice. Students in this route only earn one certification: K–12 mild-moderate disabilities.

What will I learn in a master’s in special education?

 

In the master’s in special education program, you’ll connect theory and practice through quality instruction from Arizona State University faculty, who are actively engaged in the educational research community. Plus, you’ll develop the specialized skills necessary to succeed in this high-demand teaching role.

As a student pursuing a special education teacher certification, you’ll participate in carefully designed internships and residencies in diverse school settings. These professional experiences provide you with the skills needed to be successful in today’s rapidly evolving educational environment. These skills include how to do the following:

  • Develop educational and instructional programs.
  • Develop strategies or programs for students with special needs.
  • Evaluate student performance.
  • Modify teaching methods or materials to accommodate student needs.
  • Plan esteem building activities for children.
  • Plan experiential learning activities.

Is a special education teacher certification worth it?

 

Yes! It’s absolutely worth it to earn this teaching certification if you want to work in K–12 special education. Additionally, formal certification is required in order to become a teacher in a public school district (licensure requirements vary by state).

If you enroll in a program leading to initial teacher certification and commit to teaching in Arizona after graduation, you may be eligible for the Arizona Teachers Academy at ASU tuition scholarship.

Professional licensure and certification

ASU offers programs that lead to professional licensure with the state of Arizona and may allow graduates to be eligible for licensure in other states. Please check the professional licensure list for Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College to determine if this program meets requirements in your state. Note that not all programs within Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College lead to professional licensure. Contact our enrollment team for more information: ASUeducation@asu.edu.

Special education teacher certification courses

The special education curriculum combines core coursework aligned with teacher certification requirements with professional experiences in K–12 classroom settings. You'll take a range of courses and electives, and you’ll engage in research with peers that will deepen your conceptual understanding of key topics and improve your practice as an educator. To complete the program, you’ll work on a final applied research project in which you’ll have the opportunity to evaluate and identify an education challenge and design an intervention within your own classroom.


Required

Instructional Design, Planning and Assessment


Required

Research and Evaluation in Education


Required

Creating Equitable Learning Environment: Decision-Making and Action


Required

Educator Scholar Community III


Concentration

Integrated Humanities Methods and Assessment


Concentration

K-8 Mathematics Methods and Assessment


Concentration

Special Education Foundations: Law, IEP’s, Assessment and Ethics


Concentration

Instruction and Assessment for Learners with Exceptionalities I


What jobs will I get with a special education teacher certification?

This master’s degree leading to teacher certification in special education prepares students to start a career as a certified K–12 special education teacher. The successful completion of this program can lead to a variety of educational careers, such as:

Educator in public, charter or private schools

Educator working in non-school settings

K–8 general education teacher

K–12 special education teacher

Study with teachers who specialize in family and human development

The faculty of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College draws from a range of academic disciplines – including cognitive science, psychology and economics – to gain insight into important questions about the process of learning, the practice of teaching and the effects of education policy. The faculty is committed to connecting research to schools and other learning environments. Our teacher and leadership preparation programs combine scholarly rigor with practical application.

Study with teachers who specialize in family and human development

The faculty of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College draws from a range of academic disciplines – including cognitive science, psychology and economics – to gain insight into important questions about the process of learning, the practice of teaching and the effects of education policy. The faculty is committed to connecting research to schools and other learning environments. Our teacher and leadership preparation programs combine scholarly rigor with practical application.

Special education master’s degree and teacher certification admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. View the graduate program’s application deadlines.

Please note: This program has an earlier application deadline than other online degrees offered by Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

Application requirements

Additional application information

Study at one of the top colleges for teaching and education

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College brings people and ideas together to increase the capabilities of individual educators and the performance of education systems. ASU is ranked #17 in the world in the subject area of education, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities. According to U.S. News & World Report, 2021, our college ranks in the top 15 best online graduate programs in the nation. Our programmatic honors include:

#1


best online master’s in curriculum and instruction.

#1


best online master’s in instructional media.

#1


best online master’s in educational administration programs.

#1


best online master's in instructional media programs for the MEd in learning design and technologies.

Tuition calculator

Our tuition calculator can help you estimate full-time tuition fees for this program without financial aid. Keep in mind: More than 80% of our students receive financial aid.

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