M.A. Degree in Special Education: Program Details

Program Outcomes

Students will specifically develop skills to:

1) Understand the diverse characteristics of students with disabilities;

2) Assess students' strengths and needs to develop and evaluate an individualized plan of study;

3) Create lesson plans utilizing the principles of the Universal Design for Learning and other research-based methods;

4) Conduct a functional behavioral assessment to assist in meeting the behavioral needs of students;

5) Collaborate and consult with other professionals to provide a wrap-around approach to care;

6) Identify the impact of culture and diversity on the identification and education of students with disabilities; and

7) Advocate for the rights of people with disabilities.

Internship Experiences

Every student will be required to complete two internships, during the masters program. Students will provide input to determine the location and grade level of their internships. Alternative placements will also be considered. Current teachers may complete their internships within their own placement if the placement meets certain requirements. 

One-Year Program Option

The JSC M.A. Degree in Special Education program provides an opportunity for students to finish their master’s degree in one year. This requires a strong commitment to rigorous study and should only be considered by students who can dedicate their time to this effort. Students will also have the option to complete the program in two years or develop a plan for completion approved by the program coordinator. It is highly recommended that students with full-time jobs consider the part-time program.


Portfolio Development

 All students will be required to assemble a comprehensive portfolio throughout the program. Each portfolio entry will be aligned with the Vermont Special Education Teacher Competencies and will be assigned in individual classes throughout the program. Submission of a final portfolio is a requirement for completion of the master’s degree.

Action Research Project 

As a final project, for completion of the Master’s Degree in Special Education program, students will be responsible for submitting a paper and developing a presentation on a relevant action research project conducted throughout the program. The project will be planned and approved in the first semester research course. Students will be required to submit a professional paper and give a presentation of their findings.