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Master's in High Incidence Disabilities Online

The online Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) in Special Education and an emphasis on High Incidence Disabilities prepares you to engage compassionately and expertly with students who have mild-to-moderate special education needs, including learning disabilities, behavior disorders, intellectual disabilities, and autism. This high-incidence disabilities program is designed to prepare graduates to work in classrooms designated as cross-categorical, multi-categorical, mild/moderate and/or adaptive. Led by faculty who are demonstrated leaders in the field, this practitioner-focused program will equip you to apply current best practices and methodologies directly to real-world situations.

Program Tracks

We offer three tracks for this program:

Master’s: Teacher Track includes practica for classroom educators who intend to acquire an endorsement or license to teach special education in a cross-categorical, multi-categorical, mild/moderate or adaptive classroom. The teaching track of this program is designed to prepare graduates to teach special education. To teach that subject matter in certain states, qualified special educators may need an initial general education teaching license, to which they add an endorsement in special education. This program, which meets Kansas endorsement standards, may qualify graduates to obtain a special education endorsement in other states as well. In addition, in states that accept a special education credential as a basis to issue an initial teaching license, this program may qualify graduates to petition for initial teaching licensure. This depends on the particular requirements of the state.

  • For those seeking master’s-level knowledge and skills to apply in a classroom setting
  • Includes two practica designed to be completed within your existing school environment
  • Best for educators looking to transition to, or start a career in, special education

Master’s: Non-Teacher Track substitutes coursework for practicum requirement with the expectation that participants want to gain knowledge about high-incidence special education, but are not pursuing a teaching license.

  • For those seeking master’s-level knowledge and skills to apply outside of a classroom setting
  • Best for consultants, advocates and administrative or government positions within the field of special education
  • Substitutes two courses in place of the practicum requirement: Foundations of Curriculum & Instruction (C&T 709) and Multicultural Education (C&T 807)

Endorsement-Only Track includes the coursework for licensed educators who intend to add a subject-matter endorsement to their credentials, but does not include the graduate course requirements of a master's degree. Disclosure information about the U.S. Department of Education Gainful Employment Program can be seen here.

  • For those seeking master’s-level knowledge and skills, but who already have, or do not require a master’s degree
  • Best for currently licensed teachers in states where additional endorsement in Special Education is required
  • Removes one course (EPSY 715) and Master’s Project (SPED 898)
Program Benefits
  • Top 10 Best Education School (among public universities)1
  • Top 30 Best Online Education Graduate Program2
  • Accredited under NCATE standards through CAEP
  • Learn from world-renowned faculty who have set the standard in the practice of special education for over 50 years
  • Practice collaborating effectively with co-teachers, family and other service providers
  • Experience multiple perspectives through case studies, simulations and reflective exercises
  • Complete your course work anytime, anywhere through our innovative online format
  • Graduate in as few as two years
  • Submit your application with no GRE requirement for admission into the program
Program Structure
  • 11 courses, 8 weeks per course, 33 credits
  • Time to completion: as few as two years

Note: The Endorsement-only track consists of 27 credits.

Admissions Requirements

Our Admissions Advisors are here to help answer your questions regarding admission requirements and licensure. If you have questions, please email us at onlineinfo@ku.edu or call us at 855-639-7799.

To be considered for admission, prospective students must have completed a bachelor’s degree with a GPA greater than 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 should contact an admission advisor for information about provisional admissions.

To apply to the Master’s in High Incidence Disabilities, your first step is completing the online application form. Prior to starting the form we recommend that you review our admissions guide. You will also need to include a Letter of Introduction, and the requirements are located here.

International applicants must meet English language proficiency requirements. These requirements are located here.

For more information about our admission requirements, visit the Department of Special Education website.

What You Will Learn

At the University of Kansas, we recognize that special education is an evolving field with a complex history. This graduate program encompasses a big-picture view while giving you current best practices and methodologies that you can apply as early as your first semester. You will deepen your historical, legal and social understanding of the field through course work that emphasizes case studies, simulations and reflection for a broad perspective. Through practice and application in real-world settings, you will increase your competence and confidence in such areas as:

  • The Universal Design for Learning framework
  • Implementing and participating in multi-tiered systems of support for special needs students
  • Applying research and evidence-based practices for students with disabilities in the classroom
  • Collaborating effectively with family, paraeducators and other service providers through Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings
  • Knowledge of evidence-based practices
  • Effective instructional and behavioral intervention strategies

View Course Descriptions

Faculty

The University of Kansas brings a rich academic tradition into the online environment. The KU School of Education is equally committed to KU’s mission of educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world. Our special education faculty is at the leading edge of research and practice to improve the lives of children with special needs. They have:

  • Served as leaders of and received recognition from key organizations such as the The Arc, the American Education Research Association (AERA), the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), TASH, and the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
  • Authored dozens of books and over 1,000 academic articles that guide research and practice worldwide
  • Directed tens of millions in federal grant dollars dedicated to the field of special education
After Graduation

In 49 of 50 states, special education is listed as a field with a shortage of qualified educators by the U.S. Department of Education. As a qualified special education educator, you’ll be able to make a difference in the lives of some of the over six million children participating in federally-supported special education programs.

This Special Education graduate program, with master’s and endorsement-only options, equips students to meet the challenges of being a special education educator by building skills to assist both at-risk students and those with identified disabilities. Graduates of this program work as specialists, teachers, consultants and resource teachers who help classroom teachers adapt content and conditions to better meet the educational needs of students with special needs.

The teaching track of this program is designed to prepare graduates to teach special education. To teach that subject matter in certain states, qualified special educators may need an INITIAL, general education teaching license, to which they add an endorsement in special education. This program, which meets Kansas endorsement standards, may qualify graduates to obtain a special education endorsement in other states as well. In addition, in states that accept a special education credential as a basis to issue an INITIAL teaching license, this program may qualify graduates to petition for initial teaching licensure. This depends on the particular requirements of the state.

No program can guarantee licensure. It is each student’s responsibility to determine the licensure requirements in his or her state and to apply for the licenses or endorsements necessary to his or her career goals. Our department staff and Licensure Officer can provide individual support during the application process to help you understand your state’s requirements.

Important Dates

Dec
28
Application Deadline

December 28
Spring 2019 Term

Jan
14
Next Start

January 14
Spring 2019 Term

Apr
26
Application Deadline

April 26
Summer 2019 Term

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Sources:
  1. Retrieved on October 19, 2017, from usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/university-of-kansas-155317/overall-rankings
  2. Retrieved on January 9, 2018, from usnews.com/education/online-education/university-of-kansas-155317