As a teacher, you want every child to develop his potential to the fullest. Children with cognitive differences or learning disabilities need specially trained educators in order to thrive. Gwynedd Mercy University offers Pennsylvania educators a Master of Science in Special Education (MSSPE).
This fully-online program features an accelerated course format, with classes scheduled one at a time in seven-week blocks. It is designed to help teachers meet the needs of children from pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade. It integrates theory and research-based understanding with practical knowledge, preparing graduates for special education certification in Pennsylvania.
We also offer the option to pursue additional specialized coursework related to autism spectrum disorders, leading to an Autism Endorsement.
Core Special Education Curriculum
The goal of our 30-credit MSSPE program is to produce educators who are:
- Research-driven: Graduates should understand current research methods and have the independent skills necessary to seek out and evaluate new research on an ongoing basis.
- Reflective: Graduates should be able to assess the impact of their efforts in relation to a child’s progress and current accepted research or practice.
- Holistic: Special Education graduates should be capable of choosing strategies that benefit the development of the whole child—academic, social, and spiritual.
Core courses in the online special education master’s program include:
- Educational Research
- Effective Communication for Teachers
- Teaching and Learning Process
- Multi-cultural & Diversity Issues in Education
- Special Education Law & Ethics
- Diagnosis, Assessment, Prescriptive & Intervention Techniques for the Special Learner
- Research-based Learning Methods & Materials for the Special Learner
- Seminar on Current Issues in Special Education
- Behavior Management Skills for the Special Learner
- Action Research
- Special Education Master’s with Autism Endorsement
For educators who want to help children on the autistic spectrum, Gwynedd Mercy University offers the option to take an additional 12 credits (for a total of 42) focused on reaching autistic learners:
- Foundations of Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Assessment/Program Development for the Student on the Spectrum
- Scientifically-Based Best Practices for the Student on the Autism Spectrum
- Communication and Behavioral Issues and Social Competence for Students on the Autism Spectrum
Who Can Apply
College has designed this online master’s in special education for Pennsylvania teachers who hold an Instructional I Certification. In addition, we require proof of a bachelor’s degree and a GPA of at least 2.0.
Applicants who already have a master’s degree in an education or counseling related field and wish to earn special education certification only may apply to our SPE Certification Only program.