Online Special Education Degree Graduate Programs
Online special education degree graduate programs cater to current and future special education teachers, scholars and administrators. Many students pursuing a doctorate or masters in special education online are busy licensed teachers who can appreciate the convenience of learning via web-based technology. Traditional residential programs sometimes offer courses during hours which are incompatible with an educator’s schedule. On the other hand, working towards a graduate-level special education degree online may allow balance between work, family and study, enabling learners to achieve their academic goals.
Online Special Education Degree Graduate Programs: Basics
Online special education degree graduate programs are offered as graduate certificates, masters and doctorate degrees. You can find both general special education degree programs or look for one that entails choosing a concentration area. The common prerequisite for an online Master’s in special education is a Bachelor’s degree; this may need to be in education or a related field (early childhood education, special education or human services). The common prerequisite for an online doctoral programs in special education is a Master’s degree. Note that each school may have its own specific prerequisites and enrollment procedures.
FACT: 22% of Severe/Profound Mental Handicaps Special Education Teachers hold a master’s degree; 6% a Post-master’s certificate.[i]
Why Earn a Special Education Graduate Degree?
You may either be required to earn a special education graduate degree or it may be in your favor to do so.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, earning a graduate degree in this field can lead to greater wage premiums[ii]. Furthermore, special education teachers must be licensed by the state in which they work. Most states require students to have a Bachelor’s degree in
Online Special Education Degree: General vs Specific
Learners come to online special education degree graduate programs with different needs. For those that want to understand the needs of students with varying disabilities, a general special education graduate curriculum could include:
- Mastering technologies used for special education learning
- Understanding basic characteristics and categories of disabilities
- Methods of assessment
- Adaptation of Curriculum
- Teaching specific skills to students with disabilities
Within general programs, sometimes one can choose a concentration area, although students who have a background in special education might choose a graduate program that addresses a niche group. Some possible areas of concentration within special education could include:
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Hearing impaired students
- Visually impaired students
- Learning disabilities
- Emotional/behavioral disorders
- Leadership/organizational behavior
- Education policy
Choosing an Online Schools for Special Education
Many accredited colleges and universities offer accredited online special education degree graduate programs in addition to their residential ones. Choosing an online school for special education, consider three things:
- Degree type and level (certificate, masters, doctorate)
- Unique features of an online program that stand out to you
Online Graduate Certificates in Special Education
Typically, shorter term than a full degree, an online graduate certificate in special education may be an asset to current educators seeking specific skills and/or professional development. Also, since you can often transfer the credits to a Master’s degree program, you are leaving yourself open for continued education. If this interests you, browse our sponsored program listings such as online Graduate Teaching Certificate-Exceptional Learners Mild Intervention; online Supervisor of Special Education Certificate; online Graduate Certificate in Special Education.
Online Masters in Special Education Degree Programs
Students interested in a Masters in special education online degree program have many options, depending on academic and professional goals, and whether they are seeking initial licensure, are already licensed teachers working towards a master’s or are special education professionals seeking advanced credentials. Browse our sponsored program listings that might include online Master of Arts in Special Education; online Master of Science in Special Education; online Master of Education in Special Education; Master of Arts in Teaching & Special Education Credential (online).
Online Doctoral Programs in Special Education
Online Doctoral programs in special education may be offered as an online Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or an online Doctor of Education (EdD). Along with online coursework, students in an online EdD in special education degree program may be required to complete a residency, research apprenticeship and coursework. Browse our sponsored listings to find possibilities such as Online Doctorate in Education-Leadership in Special Education Concentration; EdD Specialist in Special Education online.
Earn Your Special Education Degree Online: Potential Unique Features
Since universities and colleges format their own Online Special Education Degree Graduate programs, you may find unique features between them that help to attract you to their school (a good thing!). Earning your degree online means several things:
- There are no geographical restrictions between you and your online graduate school
- You have access to online digital tools for communication with your educators
- You may be communicating with your classmates through online discussion boards or live streaming webinars where everyone logs in at the same time to a lecture that is held live on the main campus
- You may have the same faculty as a residential program or not
- Your courses may or may not be identical to the residential programs
- Educational technology varies but you do need a computer and Internet; some schools have had online programs for many years while others have not
- Field and practicum experiences may be arranged within appropriate public schools in your home community
- You may have all pre-recorded lectures which you can access via computer anytime
- You may have some scheduled meetings or classes which may be online or if partially online, then in person
Accreditation provides a framework for quality control and ensures that educator programs meet specific standards. Check with the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation for a list of regionally accredited higher learning institutions. In terms of program specific accreditation, you can check with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).[v]
Take the Next Step
While employment growth for special education teachers varies by type (preschool, kindergarten, middle school, secondary school), it is favorable, with an average of 6% increase between 2014 and 2024[vi]. Learn more about online special education graduate degree programs by requesting information from prospective online schools for special education. Find a degree, find a school, take the next step.
sources:[i] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-2052.00 |[ii] bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm#Education |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm |[iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm |[v] caepnet.org/ |[vi] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm
The Education Specialist degree with a specialization in Special Education will prepare you to face the challenging legal issues confronting current administrators of special education programs.
George Mason University
George Mason University's online Master's Degree in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) equips students to identify, address, and overcome complex learning challenges to influence the educational potential for pe...
Winthrop University's M.Ed. in Special Education Intervention program prepares licensed teachers to build, lead and participate in intervention programs that build self-confidence in students through a near-seamless connection between classroom i...
The George Washington University
The online Master’s in Secondary Special Education and Transition Services is designed for passionate educators who are ready to take a step forward in their careers with a challenging, practice-based Master’s degree.
"Do you aspire to drive transformative educational change in your institution and community? Designed for practitioners and administrators from P-12 to higher education, Walden University’s online Doctor of Education (EdD) program...
St. John's University
What They’re Known For Based in New York City, St. John’s University is a diverse institution with a globally focused curriculum.Founded in 1870, it today gives students the opportunity to learn from top-ranked&...
Purdue University Calumet is one of five campuses that make up the Purdue University system.
Grand Canyon University
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Learn the skills you need to improve special students’ lives with an online Master of Arts in Special Education degree from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
Indiana Wesleyan University
The Indiana Special Education Certificate: Exceptional Needs - Mild Intervention program provides an 18 credit hour post-baccalaureate course of study for teachers seeking to obtain an initial Indiana Exceptional Needs - Mild Intervention (i.e., spec...
University of Hartford
The online master's program in special education prepares students to be highly competent teaching professionals - deeply knowledgeable in a range of disciplines and proficient in sensitively collaborating with families and other educational spe...
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
One of the best online graduate education programs in the country, according to the 2013 U.S. News and World Report survey.
Emporia State University
Master of Science - Special Education (concentrations in High Incidence and Gifted, Talented, and Creative).
Old Dominion University
Old Dominion is recognized as an international leader in telecommunications with the creation of TELETECHNET, a distance learning network in partnersh...
The M.Ed. in Special Education prepares certified teachers with the skills, knowledge, and experience to advance in their...
The Master of Education in Special Education program focuses on the broader concepts of exceptionality.
Seton Hill University
Today, all teachers have to be prepared to meet the needs of students with special learning abilities.
Southwestern College - Kansas
The Master of Education in Special Education is designed for those who wish to earn a license in teaching special education.
Bemidji State University
EBD, LD, DAPE licensures are included...