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Positive adult life outcomes for youth with disabilities start here. The University of Kansas School of Education will prepare you to provide effective transition services through the online master's in secondary special education and transition.*
The end of high school is an important period of transition for all students, as they enter adulthood and decide whether to continue with education, search for a job or forge a meaningful life in some other way in their community. For students with disabilities, choosing a fulfilling path after high school is made easier with guidance from transition specialists and coordinators who help these students determine their personal goals and work with them to make and execute a plan to promote their achievement. Compared to students without disabilities, students with disabilities have:
Fortunately, this reality can be altered by special educators with the skills and insight to ensure that students with disabilities can begin to plan for their adult lives as early as elementary school. Students with disabilities are more likely to graduate high school as college- and career-ready young adults when they have access to specialists who can help them understand and prepare for adult roles and responsibilities from an early age. Effective implementation of evidence-based secondary transition practices and interagency collaboration can ensure that these students have the skills, experiences and supports in place to transition seamlessly to positive post-school outcomes.
The University of Kansas Department of Special Education was the first program to develop an online master's degree in secondary special education and transition, beginning a tradition of excellence that continues today. The program's faculty is internationally known for its leadership in the field of transition and for innovative field-based research, and the university itself is acclaimed for its commitment to high-quality education for children and youth with disabilities.
Graduates of the online master's in secondary special education and transition go on to become highly effective researchers, teacher educators, transition specialists, state and federal transition professionals, and policy specialists. In this program you'll explore different career development options for students with disabilities, including work-based learning and school and community vocational training models, as well as family partnerships, the impact of cultural and linguistic diversity on transition planning, interagency collaboration, transition assessment, school and community engagement, transition leadership, and policies impacting transition services and support. You'll learn about the agencies and services available to help youth with disabilities in the transition process, and when you graduate, you'll be prepared to put the theory, methods and context you've studied into practice.
KU's excellence and expertise in transition is reflected in the on-campus Beach Center on Disability, an internationally acclaimed research and support center that hosts the Transition Coalition. For nearly two decades, the Transition Coalition has provided training and support to practitioners who support students in transition. Faculty members who teach in the online master’s in secondary special education and transition program are actively involved with both the center and the coalition.
The KU online Master's in Secondary Special Education and Transition equips education professionals with the skills to transition students and young adults to adult life. If this interests you, please read the topics and course descriptions available to you below. All courses listed are worth 3 credits.
Please note: Course list and sequence are subject to change.
The purpose of this course is to provide a background in career development and transition education for persons with disabilities from middle school through adulthood. Emphasis is placed on IDEA requirements for transition services, career development and transition processes, transition services assessment, secondary special education curricular implications, career development and transition service needs, collaborative services in schools and communities to promote quality transition services, and issues and trends in transition education and services.
The purpose of this course is to provide students in the secondary/transition personnel preparation program a background and foundation for understanding and using assessment information. Emphasis is placed on understanding the various types of assessment alternatives in secondary special education assessment and programming (cognitive, personality, interests/preferences, aptitude, life skills and self-determination) and awareness of specific examples of each. Formal and informal assessment approaches are presented with advantages and disadvantages of each applied for various populations or individuals. Curriculum-based assessment is a major emphasis for ongoing instructional and transition planning. The knowledge base for the course content comes out of the areas of measurement in educational psychology, measurement of exceptionality, special education curriculum and instruction, and vocational rehabilitation.
This course introduces the concepts and skills involved in understanding and analyzing research in education and related areas. The course provides an overview of basic, general knowledge of various research methodologies. Students should expect to study much of this material in greater depth through additional course work before being fully prepared to conduct independent research. However, this course should enhance their ability to locate, read, comprehend and critically analyze research articles and reports. Topics in the course include quantitative and qualitative methods and designs, historical and descriptive research and program evaluation.
The purpose of this course is to provide graduate students in special education and related areas who are specializing in secondary school/transition programs with an overview of career development for youth with disabilities. Emphasis is placed upon theory and practice related to career development, work-based learning, and school and community vocational training models.
The purpose of this course is to provide graduate students with research evidence of each of the components of universal design for learning within access to the general academic curriculum: multiple means of representation, expression and engagement.
The purpose of this course is to provide graduate students with models and strategies to develop and coordinate meaningful work experiences for youth with disabilities. Emphasis is placed on practical strategies for engaging with community businesses, developing and customizing jobs and supporting youth in the workplace.
The purpose of this course is to provide graduate students in special education and related areas who are specializing in secondary school/transition programs with an overview of models and issues pertaining to school and community engagement for secondary age youth.
The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of interagency and community services and systems for adolescents and young adults with disabilities. Emphasis is placed on theory and practice related to interagency collaboration, systems change efforts in transition services, and state-of-the-art practices regarding supporting individuals with disabilities in community employment, living, socialization, community participation, and other areas of adult life.
Choose an elective from available courses that term.
The purpose of this independent study course is to provide students in the secondary/transition personnel preparation program an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of transition-related literature, resources and practices. Students will present a synthesis of empirical literature about a transition-related issue or topic (e.g. self-determination, interagency collaboration, etc.) and their unique online program portfolio. The online portfolio will document their mastery of specific competencies for secondary special educators/transition specialists.
*This program is an online Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) degree in special education with an emphasis in secondary special education and transition. It does not lead to initial nor advanced licensure in special education in the state of Kansas.
Note: In order to enroll in this program, a bachelor's degree is required. 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.