Eastern Michigan University
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Special Education (Learning Disabilities)

The Department of Special Education offers a Master of Arts Degree that encompasses the range and depth required to accommodate contemporary programs and service delivery systems. The program is designed to allow maximum flexibility in meeting the needs of individual students while maintaining the basic academic integrity implicit in a graduate program.

Eastern Michigan University’s advanced professional education programs develop leaders who demonstrate reflective thought and scholarship within the context of a culturally diverse society. In addition, the master’s-level programs in the Department of Special Education produce professionals with the comprehensive knowledge, skills and attitudes to deliver a continuum of habilitative/rehabilitative services to persons with special needs, and to their families, within a diverse society.

Admission Requirements
The graduate student seeking admission to the Master of Arts degree program in the Special Education Department is required to:

  1. Meet the Graduate School admission requirements;

  2. Present a valid teaching certificate. Students who do not have a teaching certificate must complete requirements as outlined in the SEM-T program.

  3. Achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 as an undergraduate (including “last-half GPA”) or achieve a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 but less than 3.0 and receive acceptable scores on the Graduation Record Examination (GRE) or achieve a GPA of 3.0 in 6-9 credit hours of relevant graduate level coursework (degree or non-degree) as determined by the Graduate Coordinator;

  4. Submit two outside letters of recommendation regarding professional competence for admission to the program;

  5. Be recommended for acceptance by a faculty member (this may involve a personal interview); and

  6. In the case of international students, provide a score of 90 on the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB).

  7. Personal statement from the applicant;

  8. MTTC Basic Skills Test

Admissions and program requirements for Master of Arts programs in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Learning Disabilities and Speech-Language Pathology are described separately.

Program Requirements
The graduate student seeking a Master of Arts degree through the Department of Special Education must:

  1. Complete a minimum of 33 to 37 hours of approved graduate credit with a minimum 3.0 GPA;

  2. Complete an approved master’s degree program that has been planned with a special education graduate advisor;

  3. Complete the degree requirements within six years of enrolling for the first course applicable to the degree program;

  4. Receive a recommendation from the area faculty committee for continuance in the program. This is done upon completion of 12 to 15 hours of courses, and before the internship/practicum. The committee will consider GPA, faculty recommendations, demonstrated competence in academic and professional work, and rate of progress in the program.

  5. Meet all other requirements of the Graduate School.

Exit Criteria
Exit criteria involve achievement of the objectives for graduate study in special education listed previously, as demonstrated by:

  1. Successful completion of all course work on program (minimum GPA of 3.0);

  2. Successful completion of required practica/internship; and

  3. Successful completion of thesis, if pursuing the thesis option, or other culminating experience, which may include but not be limited to comprehensive oral or written examination, portfolio or other product, performance or exhibit.

Special Education Graduate Core Courses: 11 Hours

  • SPGN 525 - Classroom Management and the Development of Social Competence in Students with Special Needs 2 hrs
  • SPGN 621 - Law and Public Policy for Individuals with Disabilities 3 hrs
  • SPGN 632 - Models and Skills for Special and General Education Collaboration 2 hrs
  • SPLI 678 - Assessment and Advanced Diagnostic Prescriptive Programming for Students with Learning Disabilities 4 hrs

Methods Courses: 6 hours

  • SPGN 630 - Integrated Curriculum in Special Education: Math and Motor Skills Development 3 hrs
  • SPLI 672 - Integrated Curriculum in Special Education: Linguistics and Language Arts 3 hrs

Research: 8-9 hours

Select from either Option I or Option II:

Option I: Independent Study:

  • EDPS 667 - Principles of Educational Research 3 hrs
  • SPGN 699 - Independent Study 3 hrs

One course from the following:

  • SPEI 694 - Seminar: Students with Emotional Impairment 3 hrs
  • SPGN 694 - Seminar: Interdisciplinary Special Education 3 hrs

Option II: Thesis option

  • SPGN 692 - Master’s Thesis 3 hrs

One course from the following:

  • EDPS 621 - Statistical Applications in Educational Research 2 hrs
  • EDPS 667 - Principles of Educational Research 3 hrs
  • PSY 600 - Psychological Statistics I 3 hrs

One course from the following:

  • SPEI 694 - Seminar: Students with Emotional Impairment 3 hrs
  • SPGN 694 - Seminar: Interdisciplinary Special Education 3 hrs

Concentration: 8-11 hours

Program Total: 33-37 hours

Students choosing to complete an independent study as part of the master of arts program must complete EDPS 667 - Principles of Educational Research , SPGN 699 - Independent Study  and SPEI /SPGN 694 - Seminar: Interdisciplinary Special Education . Students may elect to write a thesis as part of the master of arts program. If pursuing the thesis option, students must complete SPGN /SPEI 694 - Seminar: Students with Emotional Impairment  and SPGN 692 - Master’s Thesis . Additionally, students must complete cognates EDPS 667 - Principles of Educational Research , PSY 600 - Psychological Statistics I , or EDPS 621 - Statistical Applications in Educational Research .

Programs within the Department of Special Education include Emotional Impairment, Cognitive Impairment, Physical Impairment and other Health Impairment, Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment and General Special Education (this last program does not result in any special education endorsement from the State of Michigan). If endorsement in any area of special education is being sought, the appropriate endorsement sequence must be completed.

Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit: Special Education

The following courses may be elected for graduate credit. A maximum of nine hours of approved 400-level course work may be permitted in the earning of any graduate degree.

If you intend to enroll in any of the following undergraduate courses for graduate credit, you must submit a request form to the Graduate School to receive permission before enrolling in the course; otherwise, you will receive undergraduate credit.

  • SPCI 429 - Education for Teachers of Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment in Inclusive Settings 4 hrs
  • SPCI 483 - Education of Students in Programs for Moderate or Severe Cognitive Impairment 4 hrs
  • SPEI 401L - Programming, Methods and Curriculum for Elementary Students with Emotional Impairment 4 hrs
  • SPGN 401 - International Teaching I 6 hrs
  • SPGN 402 - International Teaching II 6 hrs
  • SPGN 461 - Classroom Management and Intervention Strategies for Students with Disabilities 3 hrs
  • SPGN 471 - Curriculum and Transitions for Secondary Special Education 3 hrs
  • SPGN 481 - Assistive and Instructional Technology in Special Education 3 hrs
  • SPGN 491 - Special Education Student Teaching and Seminar 12 hrs
  • SPHI 436 - Speech Methods for Students with Hearing Impairment 3 hrs
  • SPHI 437 - Adaptive Curriculum for Students with Hearing Impairment 3 hrs
  • SPLI 468 - Education of Children with Learning Disabilities 2 hrs
  • SPPI 412 - Ancillary Services and Health Procedures for Teachers of Physically Impaired 2 hrs
  • SPPI 414 - Educational Strategies for Teachers of the Physically Impaired 4 hrs
  • SPVI 464 - Methods of Teaching Children who are Blind 3 hrs
  • SPVI 465 - Braille II: Nemeth Code 3 hrs
  • SPVI 467 - Education of Children with Visual Impairment 2 hrs
  • SPVI 469 - Technology for Persons with Visual Impairment 2 hrs