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Master of Arts Degree in Teaching

7-12 Special Education

Our master of arts in teaching degree is designed for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education. College of Saint Mary offers master’s degrees in elementary, middle and secondary education as well as high-demand endorsement areas allowing you to strengthen your ability to serve students.

College of Saint Mary students experience fieldwork in schools upon starting their education courses to apply what they are learning and to see their impact on children’s lives. This opportunity, combined with the career-relevant endorsements we offer, prepares you to lead and enjoy a fulfilling, fruitful career in education.

One of the highest compliments we receive is from school districts that tell us our graduates “hit the classroom” running because they have had excellent preparation in our classrooms and excel through the fieldwork we provide.

Endorsements for 7-12 Special Education

Reading and Writing 7-12 is offered as a Supplemental endorsement tha can be added to secondary certification.

Teacher Education - Mission Statement 

As an inclusive, compassionate, and supportive environment, the CSM Teacher Education Department provides pre-service teachers the opportunity to  acquire knowledge, skills, and dispositions to become highly qualified teacher leaders within a strategic, intentional, rigorous curriculum that promotes lifelong excellence.

Teacher Education Diversify Statement

As an inclusive, compassionate, and supportive environment, the CSM Teacher Education Department strives to provide students with,

  • faculty and course materials representing a wide range of perspectives,
  • experiences to develop culturally responsive teaching strategies to meet the needs of diverse learners,
  • and a global understanding with which to work toward equity and social justice inside and outside of the classroom.

Master of Arts Degree in Teaching

7-12 Special Education

Master of Arts in Teaching core classes required for all endorsements. Additional requirements must be met for an endorsement. Select from the list below to view requirements.

Master of Arts in Teaching — Core Courses

Lifespan Development

Study physical, cognitive, social and emotional development from conception through old age.

Introduction to Special Education

Survey various areas of exceptionality — high ability learners, mental disability, behaviorally impaired, visually impaired, hearing impaired, learning disabled, orthopedically impaired, speech language impairments, autistic, Asperger’s, traumatic brain injury, multiple and severely handicapped, physically disabled and health impaired. You will discuss the history, philosophy and future trends of special education as they are relevant to educational implications.

Technology in the Classroom

Learn strategies for integrating instructional technology in curriculum planning and implementation. After receiving instruction in their use, you will plan learning activities that include instructional media, the Internet, web page construction, production and organizational software and multimedia programs in classrooms. In addition to computers, you will use video equipment, digital cameras and scanners in preparing your lessons.

Educational Psychology and Measurement

Study teaching and learning processes to learn the nature of educational psychology and applications of major learning theories.

History, Philosophy and Trends in Education

Compare philosophical foundations of historical and contemporary education and consider current issues using an informed discussion-centered approach. You will also assess political and social trends, laws, proper conduct and penalties for teachers and changes related to contemporary and future educational planning.

Human Relations in a Multicultural Society

Identify characteristics of various ethnic groups that relate to learning, working and living and develop strategies for assisting people in living jointly in our pluralistic society.

Guidance and Classroom Management

Learn techniques, models and psychological theories related to managing individual and small and large group learning activities including practical methods that enhance self-control and provide healthy classroom environments. You will learn the common behavior problems for pre-K through grade 12 students and exceptional children, along with assessment techniques.

Student Teaching — Secondary

Supervised teaching experience under the direction of a college faculty member and a classroom art teacher. 

Student Teaching Seminar

You will have an opportunity to share and discuss problems, success, teaching methods and innovations of mutual interest with fellow student teachers and your college faculty. You will learn strategies for career planning and seeking professional employment with an emphasis on professionalism, organizational skills and ethical behaviors for a successful teaching career. 

 

Required for 7-12 Special Education

Learners with Mildly-Moderately Handicapping Conditions

You will examine learning and analyze strategies used in I.E.P.s of mildly and moderately mentally handicapped students, specifically learning disabled, behaviorally impaired, orthopedically impaired, autistic, other health impairments, speech language impaired and traumatic brain injured, with an emphasis on assisting learners in making healthy transitions between special education and regular classrooms. You will also learn about recent legislation and its impact on the classroom.

Assessment Techniques for Diverse Learners

You will examine techniques and methods of administering formal and informal assessments and analyze learning tasks in visual, auditory, motor, language and behavioral areas. You will examine and practice tying individualized education programs/individualized education service program (I.E.P/I.E.S.P.) process to assessment and will write appropriate instructional strategies, goals and materials to implement I.E.P./I.E.S.P. objectives or gifted program objectives based on analysis of learning tasks and instructional needs.

Legal and Ethical Issues in Special Education

You will examine processes and use skills necessary to identify and verify special needs, the I.E.P./I.E.S.P process, plan for transitions, and organize and maintain student special education records. You will become familiar with state and local resources for improving and strengthening educational programs for special populations with an emphasis on national, state and local laws, policies and procedures affecting special populations.

Critical Issues in Special Education

You will observe and implement effective approaches for remediation through supervised practicum experience in self-contained classrooms, resource rooms or inclusive settings. You will investigate, discuss and present critical issues, including current research and appropriate remediation techniques.

Inclusive Practices

You will examine and practice tying I.E.P/I.E.S.P. process to instruction through modification of curricula, design curricula for various areas of exceptionality for special needs populations, and plan strategies for student transitions and training paraeducators.

Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading

You will learn assessment procedures and effective instructional and diagnostic techniques in reading. You will participate in formal and informal testing including achievement, criterion references, observational and portfolio strategies. You will implement your knowledge with a directed reading practicum in a partner school.

Transitions and Life Skills

This course will provide you with extensive study in preparing students with disabilities to make transitions throughout their educational experience and into adulthood. You will learn strategies that will enable you to prepare students and work with families to provide successful transitions throughout the educational experience to include postsecondary training, employment and independent living.

Critical Issues II in Secondary Alternative Program

You will observe and implement effective approaches for remediation, through supervised practicum experiences in self-contained classrooms, resources rooms or inclusive settings. We will investigate, discuss and present critical issues in special education including topics such as roles of the special education teacher, program design, assessment, legal issues, school reform, transition issues, inclusion placement controversies, bullying and many others. 

 

Required for 7-12 Reading and Writing
 
Critical Issues in Literacy

You will research current theories, strategies and evaluative techniques included in reading literature. Selected experiences direct students to explore individual needs and areas of interest.

Linguistics for Teachers

You will study the structure of the English language, including lexicography, semantics, and dialects.

Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading

You will learn assessment procedures for students on an achievement spectrum from below grade level to above grade level and effective instructional and diagnostic techniques in reading. Instruction is provided in a self-directed portfolio mode featuring acquisition of theory, teaching strategies, and assessment procedures. You will participate in formal and informal testing including achievement, criterion references, observational, and portfolio strategies. Implementation of the teacher's knowledge of this curriculum is achieved within a directed reading practicum in a partnership school.

 Literature for Young Adults for Teachers

You will study traditional and contemporary works written for or about young adults. The works studied will be evaluated for their artistic merit and for their insights into the adolescent development. You will will design strategies to encourage appreciation of literature and motivation for becoming life-long readers. Topics include the nature of teen-age readers, genres and use of young adult literature in the classroom. Students create an extensive teaching unit using young adult literature.

 

Requirements for Graduation from College of Saint Mary

7-12 Special Education Subject 

  • 18 credit hours in core education program courses
  • 39 credit hours in special education for the 7-12 education requirements
  • 3 credit hours of student teaching
  • Content area course work as required by state rule
     

Teaching Certification

Completion of the education program does not guarantee certification. Students who successfully meet state required competencies may qualify for a Nebraska Teaching Certificate. Continuous growth in knowledge, pedagogy and professionalism, as well as satisfactory performance during student teaching and completion of Praxis II for each content area as required by Nebraska Rule is in the recommendation for certification. 

Failure to apply for Nebraska Teacher Certification at the time of program completion/graduation may result in your program not meeting Rule 20 or 24 changes in interim between application and program completion.  Rule changes in effect at the time of application will need to be made up as deficiencies.

Since certification requirements of various states differ, a student planning to teach in a state other than Nebraska should inquire about specific requirements for that state.

The Assurance of Accreditation

The assurance of regional accreditation means that our degrees have been evaluated for their outcomes — including how well they prepare you to meet the needs of your employers, yourself and our global society. College of Saint Mary is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

The University is approved to offer work leading to teacher certification in elementary and secondary education by the Nebraska Department of Education, 888-285-2556.

Requirements for Admission to College of Saint Mary

Admissions Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA of at least 2.75
  • Official transcripts from previous institutions
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Demonstrate professionalism throughout application process
  • Submit application fee

 

Additional Requirements for MAT Program

  • Completion of background check prior to both field experiences (practicum and student teaching). If a student has felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions involving abuse, neglect or sexual misconduct as defined in state rule section 005.07A he/she will be rejected for admission to the program
  • Completion of the minimum number of field experience hours (at least 100 hours) and a passing score on the practicum portfolio
  • Demonstration of required professional dispositions throughout the course of the program

Academic Description

Master of Arts Degree in Teaching

7-12 Special Education

Our master of arts in teaching degree is designed for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education. College of Saint Mary offers master’s degrees in elementary, middle and secondary education as well as high-demand endorsement areas allowing you to strengthen your ability to serve students.

College of Saint Mary students experience fieldwork in schools upon starting their education courses to apply what they are learning and to see their impact on children’s lives. This opportunity, combined with the career-relevant endorsements we offer, prepares you to lead and enjoy a fulfilling, fruitful career in education.

One of the highest compliments we receive is from school districts that tell us our graduates “hit the classroom” running because they have had excellent preparation in our classrooms and excel through the fieldwork we provide.

Endorsements for 7-12 Special Education

Reading and Writing 7-12 is offered as a Supplemental endorsement tha can be added to secondary certification.

Teacher Education - Mission Statement 

As an inclusive, compassionate, and supportive environment, the CSM Teacher Education Department provides pre-service teachers the opportunity to  acquire knowledge, skills, and dispositions to become highly qualified teacher leaders within a strategic, intentional, rigorous curriculum that promotes lifelong excellence.

Teacher Education Diversify Statement

As an inclusive, compassionate, and supportive environment, the CSM Teacher Education Department strives to provide students with,

  • faculty and course materials representing a wide range of perspectives,
  • experiences to develop culturally responsive teaching strategies to meet the needs of diverse learners,
  • and a global understanding with which to work toward equity and social justice inside and outside of the classroom.

Accreditation

The Assurance of Accreditation

The assurance of regional accreditation means that our degrees have been evaluated for their outcomes — including how well they prepare you to meet the needs of your employers, yourself and our global society. College of Saint Mary is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

The University is approved to offer work leading to teacher certification in elementary and secondary education by the Nebraska Department of Education, 888-285-2556.

Admissions Requirements

Requirements for Admission to College of Saint Mary

Admissions Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA of at least 2.75
  • Official transcripts from previous institutions
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Demonstrate professionalism throughout application process
  • Submit application fee

 

Additional Requirements for MAT Program

  • Completion of background check prior to both field experiences (practicum and student teaching). If a student has felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions involving abuse, neglect or sexual misconduct as defined in state rule section 005.07A he/she will be rejected for admission to the program
  • Completion of the minimum number of field experience hours (at least 100 hours) and a passing score on the practicum portfolio
  • Demonstration of required professional dispositions throughout the course of the program

Curriculum

Master of Arts Degree in Teaching

7-12 Special Education

Master of Arts in Teaching core classes required for all endorsements. Additional requirements must be met for an endorsement. Select from the list below to view requirements.

Master of Arts in Teaching — Core Courses

Lifespan Development

Study physical, cognitive, social and emotional development from conception through old age.

Introduction to Special Education

Survey various areas of exceptionality — high ability learners, mental disability, behaviorally impaired, visually impaired, hearing impaired, learning disabled, orthopedically impaired, speech language impairments, autistic, Asperger’s, traumatic brain injury, multiple and severely handicapped, physically disabled and health impaired. You will discuss the history, philosophy and future trends of special education as they are relevant to educational implications.

Technology in the Classroom

Learn strategies for integrating instructional technology in curriculum planning and implementation. After receiving instruction in their use, you will plan learning activities that include instructional media, the Internet, web page construction, production and organizational software and multimedia programs in classrooms. In addition to computers, you will use video equipment, digital cameras and scanners in preparing your lessons.

Educational Psychology and Measurement

Study teaching and learning processes to learn the nature of educational psychology and applications of major learning theories.

History, Philosophy and Trends in Education

Compare philosophical foundations of historical and contemporary education and consider current issues using an informed discussion-centered approach. You will also assess political and social trends, laws, proper conduct and penalties for teachers and changes related to contemporary and future educational planning.

Human Relations in a Multicultural Society

Identify characteristics of various ethnic groups that relate to learning, working and living and develop strategies for assisting people in living jointly in our pluralistic society.

Guidance and Classroom Management

Learn techniques, models and psychological theories related to managing individual and small and large group learning activities including practical methods that enhance self-control and provide healthy classroom environments. You will learn the common behavior problems for pre-K through grade 12 students and exceptional children, along with assessment techniques.

Student Teaching — Secondary

Supervised teaching experience under the direction of a college faculty member and a classroom art teacher. 

Student Teaching Seminar

You will have an opportunity to share and discuss problems, success, teaching methods and innovations of mutual interest with fellow student teachers and your college faculty. You will learn strategies for career planning and seeking professional employment with an emphasis on professionalism, organizational skills and ethical behaviors for a successful teaching career. 

 

Required for 7-12 Special Education

Learners with Mildly-Moderately Handicapping Conditions

You will examine learning and analyze strategies used in I.E.P.s of mildly and moderately mentally handicapped students, specifically learning disabled, behaviorally impaired, orthopedically impaired, autistic, other health impairments, speech language impaired and traumatic brain injured, with an emphasis on assisting learners in making healthy transitions between special education and regular classrooms. You will also learn about recent legislation and its impact on the classroom.

Assessment Techniques for Diverse Learners

You will examine techniques and methods of administering formal and informal assessments and analyze learning tasks in visual, auditory, motor, language and behavioral areas. You will examine and practice tying individualized education programs/individualized education service program (I.E.P/I.E.S.P.) process to assessment and will write appropriate instructional strategies, goals and materials to implement I.E.P./I.E.S.P. objectives or gifted program objectives based on analysis of learning tasks and instructional needs.

Legal and Ethical Issues in Special Education

You will examine processes and use skills necessary to identify and verify special needs, the I.E.P./I.E.S.P process, plan for transitions, and organize and maintain student special education records. You will become familiar with state and local resources for improving and strengthening educational programs for special populations with an emphasis on national, state and local laws, policies and procedures affecting special populations.

Critical Issues in Special Education

You will observe and implement effective approaches for remediation through supervised practicum experience in self-contained classrooms, resource rooms or inclusive settings. You will investigate, discuss and present critical issues, including current research and appropriate remediation techniques.

Inclusive Practices

You will examine and practice tying I.E.P/I.E.S.P. process to instruction through modification of curricula, design curricula for various areas of exceptionality for special needs populations, and plan strategies for student transitions and training paraeducators.

Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading

You will learn assessment procedures and effective instructional and diagnostic techniques in reading. You will participate in formal and informal testing including achievement, criterion references, observational and portfolio strategies. You will implement your knowledge with a directed reading practicum in a partner school.

Transitions and Life Skills

This course will provide you with extensive study in preparing students with disabilities to make transitions throughout their educational experience and into adulthood. You will learn strategies that will enable you to prepare students and work with families to provide successful transitions throughout the educational experience to include postsecondary training, employment and independent living.

Critical Issues II in Secondary Alternative Program

You will observe and implement effective approaches for remediation, through supervised practicum experiences in self-contained classrooms, resources rooms or inclusive settings. We will investigate, discuss and present critical issues in special education including topics such as roles of the special education teacher, program design, assessment, legal issues, school reform, transition issues, inclusion placement controversies, bullying and many others. 

 

Required for 7-12 Reading and Writing
 
Critical Issues in Literacy

You will research current theories, strategies and evaluative techniques included in reading literature. Selected experiences direct students to explore individual needs and areas of interest.

Linguistics for Teachers

You will study the structure of the English language, including lexicography, semantics, and dialects.

Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading

You will learn assessment procedures for students on an achievement spectrum from below grade level to above grade level and effective instructional and diagnostic techniques in reading. Instruction is provided in a self-directed portfolio mode featuring acquisition of theory, teaching strategies, and assessment procedures. You will participate in formal and informal testing including achievement, criterion references, observational, and portfolio strategies. Implementation of the teacher's knowledge of this curriculum is achieved within a directed reading practicum in a partnership school.

 Literature for Young Adults for Teachers

You will study traditional and contemporary works written for or about young adults. The works studied will be evaluated for their artistic merit and for their insights into the adolescent development. You will will design strategies to encourage appreciation of literature and motivation for becoming life-long readers. Topics include the nature of teen-age readers, genres and use of young adult literature in the classroom. Students create an extensive teaching unit using young adult literature.

 

Degree Requirements

Requirements for Graduation from College of Saint Mary

7-12 Special Education Subject 

  • 18 credit hours in core education program courses
  • 39 credit hours in special education for the 7-12 education requirements
  • 3 credit hours of student teaching
  • Content area course work as required by state rule
     

Teaching Certification

Completion of the education program does not guarantee certification. Students who successfully meet state required competencies may qualify for a Nebraska Teaching Certificate. Continuous growth in knowledge, pedagogy and professionalism, as well as satisfactory performance during student teaching and completion of Praxis II for each content area as required by Nebraska Rule is in the recommendation for certification. 

Failure to apply for Nebraska Teacher Certification at the time of program completion/graduation may result in your program not meeting Rule 20 or 24 changes in interim between application and program completion.  Rule changes in effect at the time of application will need to be made up as deficiencies.

Since certification requirements of various states differ, a student planning to teach in a state other than Nebraska should inquire about specific requirements for that state.