The Master of Education degree in special education is designed to ensure that students are knowledgeable in the field of special education. The degree program prepares students in at least one of the following areas: learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders or mental disabilities. Courses are designed to meet both national and state standards, and all certification areas have been approved by the National Council of Accreditation for Teacher Education and the Council for Exceptional Children. The prescribed program of study enables students to identify important legal and policy issues in special education, demonstrate knowledge of the research processes within the field of special education, demonstrate knowledge of specific characteristics of individuals with mild disabilities and implement scientifically based interventions for students with disabilities in a variety of settings.
The program faculty strive to meet the ever-changing needs of the field through modifications and enhancements in the curriculum and practicum settings. Successful graduates will evaluate critically special education literature, recognize and evaluate current issues and problems in special education and identify potential solutions for these problems.
Special education faculty provide the majority of field supervision, so students receive critical as well as supportive feedback that is tied directly to program goals. Moreover, part-time instructors hired to assist with supervision are closely monitored by special education faculty. Three faculty members have been certified as Assisting, Developing and Evaluating Professional Teaching (ADEPT) Team Members. Consequently, coursework and field experiences also are designed carefully to enable students to meet the current state standards for professional teaching.
The degree requires 36 semester hours. Specific objectives include:
•Demonstrate knowledge of theories, characteristics and educational needs of students with learning disabilities (LD), emotional/behavioral disabilities (E/BD) and/or mental retardation (MR).
•Design and administer formal and informal instruments to assess the abilities and disabilities of students.
•Design an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) for students with disabilities according to federal and state regulations.
•Serve as a team member with parents, school psychologists, social workers, medical personnel, general education teachers, school administrators, vocational counselors and community agencies in providing appropriate services to students with disabilities.
•Implement individualized teaching strategies, using appropriate materials, which will facilitate the development of students with LD, MR and/or EBD.
•Interpret and/or conduct research in the area of special education and use the findings to develop more effective practices for students with disabilities.
•Provide educational assistance in terms of recommendations of procedures and materials to general education teachers for including students with disabilities in general education settings.
Clemson is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a Doctoral/Research University-Extensive, a category comprising less than 4 percent of all universities in America.
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