Online MS in Special Education (Instruction)

This biblically integrated program equips educators with expert knowledge and best practices to competently engage students with special needs in enriched and meaningful skill development and growth in all areas of life. Professionals with special education certification are in high demand in both inclusive and more restrictive classrooms. This program is designed for individuals already holding or pursuing teaching certification.

Select either the 42-credit non-certification track or the 48-credit PA Special Education Certification track. Candidates who meet additional requirements by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) are also eligible to apply for ACSI Certification in Special Education.

Program Distinctives

  • Program can be started in any semester and completed in as few as 8 semesters
  • 50% tuition discount for educators working in Christian schools
  • Field experience integrated into multiple courses
  • Advance standing may be granted for Bible/theology credits
  • Option to complete practicums and preservice teaching in school chosen by student in his or her local region (with University approval)
  • Two tracks as follows:
    • Special Education Certification Track (48 credits)
      • Must complete SPE 791 (1 credit) and SPE 792 (2 credits) practicum courses to fulfill three elective credits.
      • Must add EDU 781 Teaching Practicum (6 credits) to the program, resulting in a total of 48 credits.
      • Special Education certification eligibility limited to US citizens or individuals intending to become US citizens.
    • Non-Special Education Certification Track (42 credits)
      • Select SPE 683 or SPE 684 to fulfill 3 elective credits.
  • Option to fulfill coursework requirements for the Pennsylvania Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) endorsement and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) credential
    • For Special Education Certification Track: Add 2 remaining ABA courses not already selected as electives.
    • For Non-Special Education Certification Track: Add 1 remaining ABA course not already selected as elective.
    • See ASD Endorsement (ABA) Program for more information on these additional credentials.

For more information about the online Special Education Certification, contact Luke Gibson, Admissions Counselor, at lgibson@cairn.edu.

Program Curriculum

Semester 42 TOTAL CREDITS:
33 Credits of Required Courses + 3 Elective Credits + 6 Bible/Theology Credits
Special Education Certification Track must add EDU 781 (6 credits) for a total of 48 credits
Fall #1

SPE 681 Behavioral Analysis & Autism Assessment
SPE 682 Behavioral Intervention in Autism

Spring #1

SPE 661 Foundations of Special Education
SPE 761 Inclusionary Practices*

Summer #1

SPE 714 Diagnosis & Evaluation of the Exceptional Learner
Special Education Elective**

 Fall #2

SPE 762 Developmental & Diagnostic Reading Interventions
SPE 763 Teaching Children with Higher Incidence Disabilities

Spring #2

SPE 764 Teaching Children with Lower Incidence Disabilities
EDU 712 Curriculum Theory/Design/Assessment

Summer #2

EDU 781 Teaching Practicum (6 credits; 4 weeks; for Special Education Certification Track only)
THE 601 Overview of Christian Theology

Spring #3

SPE 782 Behavior Measurement & Experimental Design***
BIB 621 Biblical Integration for Educators

Summer #3

SPE 793 Special Education Research Project***

*Or SPE 664 Issues in Special Education for School Leaders
**For non-certification track, select either SPE 683 or SPE 684. For certification track, must select SPE 791 Delivery Systems in Least Restrictive Environment (2-wk practicum) and SPE 792 Delivery Systems in More Restrictive Environment (3-wk practicum).
***Requires access to classroom/clinical setting with at least one or more clients who are potential research participants.

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