Massachusetts Masters in Special Education Programs and Degrees in Gifted Education
For the educational professional who is looking to pursue their teaching niche, or to potentially give a jumpstart to their career by learning new modalities, a masters in special education and gifted education graduate program could be a rewarding option.
GradSchools.com makes looking into special education masters programs very straightforward. You can search for programs by location; use the tabs to enter a city, state or country and determine where you can study. Refine this search by looking into different degree types and concentrations, and by choosing the learning format that works best for you. Do you want to study on a college campus, earn your masters in special education online, or look into a combination program, called hybrid?
Masters in Special Educaiton programs are typically designed to help provide learners with a broad comprehension of the diverse needs of students who have special needs, how to adapt curriculums to suit these needs, and how to collaborate with parents, other teachers, counselors and administrators. In the case of teaching gifted students, or talented students, these are students who have high abilities and need an enriched classroom setting with an accelerated program so that they can continue to progress.
Some programs are specifically geared towards an understanding of how to address the requirements of a particular group of students, such as the visually impaired, those with severe or moderate disabilities, students who are on the autistic spectrum, or deaf students. Other programs may emphasize administration. These choices may help students to further refine their teaching skills and knowledge, and could potentially refine their job search.
Some special and gifted education graduate programs may help provide students with the techniques and knowledge needed to jumpstart careers as classroom teachers of students with special needs, and some may help prepare teachers of general classes how to include students who are either special needs or gifted in their classrooms. Historically, most students with special needs have been excluded from school[i] however, as school districts continue to use inclusive classrooms, special education teachers will be needed to assist the general education teachers with students who have disabilities[ii].
Why earn a masters in special education?
Earning a master’s in special education online could potentially help graduates in their job search. According to the BLS, all states require that special education teachers in the public school setting have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some states require special education teachers to complete a master’s degree in special education to become fully certified[iii].
Becoming a Special Education Professional
Special education teachers work with students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional or physical disabilities. Some of the industries with the highest levels of employment include elementary and secondary schools, individual and family services, educational support services, government, and residential intellectual and developmental disability and substance abuse facilities[iv].
Teachers who want to pursue careers in special education should check into certification requirements. A few factors that the Bureau of Labor Statistics report include[iii]:
- Many states offer general licenses in special education that allow teachers to work with a variety of disabilities, while others offer licenses or endorsements based on a specific category such as autism or behavior disorders
- Although private school teachers are not required to be licensed, all states require teachers in public schools to be certified, though requirements for certification vary from state to state
- Some states allow special education teachers from another state to transfer their license, while others require teachers to pass their state’s licensing requirements
Special education teachers have various responsibilities depending on where they work, who they are teaching, and their teaching specialty[v]. Some of these duties could include[v]:
- Assessment of students’ needs
- Designing and adapting curriculums
- Developing and implementing individualized lesson programs (IEPs)
- Teaching different subjects
- Discussing students progress with parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators
What is the projected job outlook for special education professionals?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of special education teachers is projected to grow 6% from 2012 to 2022[ii]. More and more children with disabilities are being identified earlier and are being enrolled into special education programs, which increases the demand for special education teachers in preschool and kindergarten grades[ii].
Masters in special and gifted education graduate programs potential coursework
The actual curriculums of each program, whether Master of Education, Master of Arts, or Master of Science, in special education can vary from school to school, and depend on whether there is a concentration in any one area. Students may have to complete a period of fieldwork; called ‘student teaching and could typically expect to study topics such as[iii]:
- Development and characteristics of learners
- Managing behaviors
- Delivering instruction
- Individual learning differences
- Instructional strategies
- Social and language development
- Lesson planning
- Professional and Ethical Practices
Potential career paths for graduates with master’s degree in special education
Graduates who earn a master’s degree in special education can potentially leveraging their knowledge and skill-sets into different career paths, some of which might include:
- Childcare Workers: care for children when parents and other family members are unavailable[vi]
- High School teachers: prepare students for life after graduation[vii]
- Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers: prepare younger students for future schooling by teaching them basic subjects[viii]
- Middle School teachers: educate students from grade 6-12[ix]
- Preschool teachers: care for children from ages 3-5 who have not yet entered kindergarten[x]
Ready to pursue a Masters in special and gifted education?
The special and gifted education teacher cultivates important qualities, such as learning to be resourceful, a good communicator, and critical thinker as they guide students who have mild, moderate or severe learning disabilities, behavioral issues, autism, are deaf or visually impaired. If this sounds like a rewarding path for you, pursuing a master’s degree in special and gifted education may be a rewarding career path with potentially new job opportunities arising each year from the need to replace teachers who leave the occupation[ii].
Begin your search through the special and gifted education graduate program listings on GradSchools.com to find the one that can potentially fulfill your vocational or professional goals.
Sources: [i] simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_education | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm#tab-6 | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm#tab-4 | [iv] bls.gov/oes/current/oes252059.htm | [v] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm#tab-2 | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/childcare-workers.htm | [vii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm | [viii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm | [ix] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/middle-school-teachers.htm | [x] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm
- Weston, MAWeston, MA
In an effort to address the universal need for special education teachers, this program strongly focuses on classroom inclusion. During this one-year accelerated program, students learn the skills to develop innovative methods and sound educationa...
- Framingham, MAFramingham, MA
Framingham State University
- Beverly, MABeverly, MA
M.Ed. in Special Education
p>The program in Special Needs prepares professionals to work with children.
- Milton, MAMilton, MA
Curry College is an independent liberal arts college located on 120 rolling wooded acres in suburban Milton, Massachusetts. The College's main campus is situated about seven miles from downtown Boston. There is also a branch campus in Plymouth MA. T...
- Boston, MABoston, MA
- Westfield, MAWestfield, MA
Westfield State College
- Salem, MASalem, MA
Salem State College
- Minot, MAMinot, MA
Minot State University
Students earn the M.S. degree with an emphasis in Education of the Deaf, Learning Disabilities, Early Childhood Special Education, or Severe Multiple...
- Bridgewater, MABridgewater, MA
Bridgewater State University
The Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders offers several programs designed to meet the needs of graduate students. The department offers programs leading to licensure, graduate degrees, and coursework to meet professional developme...
- Northampton, MANorthampton, MA
A one-year program that prepares certified auditory/oral teaching specialists to work with deaf children including those with cochlear implants.
- East Longmeadow, MAEast Longmeadow, MA
Bay Path University
Our relevant courses and exceptional practicum placements will enable you to take your place in this fast-growing profession. Your MSEd/EdS in Special Education from Bay Path will make it clear that you are the right person for the job...
- Concord, MA
- Sturbridge, MA
- North Andover, MANorth Andover, MA
The graduate program in Elementary Education prepares candidates to work in grades 1-6.
- North Andover, MA
- Newton, MANewton, MA
The mission of the Lasell College Master of Education degree programs is to provide new and experienced teachers with: A broad understanding of practice and theory related to curriculum and instruction; Familiarity with the needs of diverse learne...
- Newton, MA
- Boston, MABoston, MA
The Special Education Program prepares students for careers with individuals with disabilities. Graduates bring their specific skills to many roles, serving as teachers, as clinicians in social service agencies, and in day or residential group facilitie...
- Boston, MA
- Fitchburg, MAFitchburg, MA
Fitchburg State College
The MEd in Special Education is designed to prepare students for careers in teaching children with disabilities.
- Cambridge, MACambridge, MA
Choose classes from the entire university, develop your own study plan, follow a flexible road map toward degree completion.
- Cambridge, MA
- Quincy, MAQuincy, MA
Eastern Nazarene College
Eastern Nazarene College provides the opportunity for graduate study to qualified and motivated students who demonstrate the potential to become dedic...
- Springfield, MASpringfield, MA
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction is offering a M.Ed. Vision Studies (Teachers of Students with Visual Impairment) that leads to state licensure as "Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments". The 37-credit online graduate curr...