Graduate Programs - Special Education
Master of Education (M.Ed.)
High Incidence Disabilities
Low Incidence Disabilities
Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.)
A comprehensive, research-based approach to Special Education
“The quality of teaching within the Special Education program is exceptional. Not only do the professors explicitly teach all of the skills needed to be successful in and out of the classroom, they also take the time to listen to student’s questions, concerns, and ideas. The professors strive to enhance each student’s knowledge in a variety of educational subjects while managing to develop personal, long lasting relationships that students can always rely on and will never forget.”
Brooke L. Ridley
M.Ed in Special Education, 2009
Graduate programs in Special Education at the University of Maine prepare educators to support students and youth with disabilities in attaining their highest levels of achievement. Programs and experiences are designed to prepare professionals who:
- Meet national standards of excellence in communication skills, professional knowledge and teaching competencies
- Understand and apply research-based instructional strategies and behavioral interventions
- Are effective advocates for students and families
- Are committed to inclusion of students with disabilities in all aspects of school and society
- Fully accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education
- Flexible course schedules designed to meet the needs of working professionals; classes offered evenings, during the summer, and some through distance education
- Excellent professional employment prospects throughout Maine and the nation
- Opportunities to participate in Special Education research and policy analyses
- Teacher of Students with High Incidence Disabilities (M.Ed)
- Educational Specialist for Students with Low Incidence Disabilities (M.Ed.)
- Individually designed (M.Ed. or C.A.S.)
Programs of Study
Special Education (M.Ed., C.A.S.)
Graduate programs in Special Education prepare educators to meet national standards of excellence in communication skills, professional knowledge and teaching competence. Programs of study are offered for both entry-level and experienced professionals and include certification and individually designed options.
Teacher of Students with High Incidence Disabilities (M.Ed.)
This 36 credit hour program leads to state certification as Teacher of Students with Disabilities (K-8 or 7-12). It is designed for students who have a background in elementary or secondary education or have experience working with students with disabilities, and who can document competency and prior coursework in child/adolescent development and adapting instruction for students with disabilities (SED 402 or the equivalent).
Applicants who have not met these prerequisites may be admitted for part-time study if they are currently employed in work with students with disabilities. Prerequisite course work (child/adolescent development and SED 402 or the equivalent) should be taken prior to enrolling in courses for the M.Ed.
Educational Specialist for Students with Low Incidence Disabilities (M.Ed.)
This 36 credit hour program leads to state certification as an Educational Specialist for Students with Severe Disabilities. It is designed for students who have a background in elementary or secondary education, but may be appropriate for students with undergraduate majors in related fields such as child development, psychology, communication disorders, occupational and physical therapy, and nursing.
Individually Designed Options (M.Ed. or C.A.S.)
Individually designed programs are for professionals who already hold certification in special education or are not interested in certification in special education. Potential candidates for the program include:
- Experienced special educators who want to pursue more advanced study of a particular exceptionality (e.g., learning disabilities, emotional & behavioral disabilities) or domain (e.g., special education administration, reading intervention, behavioral intervention);
- General education teachers who want to increase their expertise in working with students with disabilities in general education classrooms; and related services personnel who want to increase their understanding of educational policies and practices pertaining to students with disabilities (e.g., instructional strategies, educational assessments).
With a faculty advisor, students select courses around their unique needs and interests. Courses are drawn from Special Education and other areas in the College of Education and Human Development, although at least 50 percent of the student’s course work for the degree must be in Special Education. M.Ed. programs are structured around a common core (research, seminar, and practicum) and require a minimum of 36 credit hours of study. C.A.S. programs require a minimum of 30 credits beyond the M.Ed. and are also structured around a common core (research, seminar, and practicum).
Individually designed programs typically comprise a 9-credit core, 12-15 credit hour concentration and 12-15 hours of electives, selected with advisor’s approval. Examples of concentrations within the individually designed option include:
- Early Intervention
- Behavioral Intervention
- Reading Intervention
- Special Education Administration
Field Work and Internships
Field work and internships are an important component of all graduate programs in Special Education. Faculty and students are an integral part of the social and educational service community in Maine, and close relationships are maintained with public schools and community agencies. Faculty and students also have the opportunity to participate in projects sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Students At Risk, the Center for Research and Evaluation, and the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (Maine’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research & Service).
“A wealth of information that I can actually use in my job!”
– Former student
Special Education Offerings
- Introduction to Students with Severe Disabilities
- Adapting Instruction for Students with Disabilities
- Curriculum Development for Students with Severe Disabilities
- Law and Policy in Special Education
- Behavior Management and Intervention
- Educational Strategies for Students with Severe Disabilities
- Program Planning and Curriculum Access for Students with Disabilities
- Math Methods in Special Education
- Intervention for Reading Difficulties
- Working with Families of Students with Disabilities
- Assessment in Special Education I
- Assessment in Special Education II
- Transition Services for Students with Disabilities
- Severe Disabilities: Assessment I
- Educational Strategies for Students with Autism
- Positive Supports for Challenging Behavior
- Technology for Individuals with Disabilities
- Educational Needs of Students with Physical and Medical Disabilities
- Consultation, Collaboration and Teamwork in Special Education
- Introduction to Behavior Disorders
- Seminar in Special Education
- Internship in Special Education Teaching
- Practicum in Special Education
- Internship in Special Education Administration
- Seminar in Learning Disabilities
- Seminar in Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities
|Faculty||Areas of Program Involvement/Professional Interest|
“Faculty teaching style, flexibility and feedback are enjoyable and meaningful.” – Former student
For admission to a graduate program in Special Education, students must meet basic standards of the Graduate School and special eligibility requirements of the program. In addition, applicants seeking admission to programs that lead to certification must submit Praxis I scores with their applications. Candidates who are already certified in Maine and have taken Praxis I previously may submit a copy of their certificates to document that they have met state standards on the test. Applicants may be invited for a personal interview with the Special Education faculty. Students should request financial aid information from the University’s Student Financial Aid Office. Special Education scholarships are sometimes available for candidates with documented financial needs. To be eligible, applicants must have applied for financial aid through the University’s Office of Student Financial Aid (www.umaine.edu/stuaid/main.html).
Prospective students must meet all requirements established by the University of Maine Graduate School (www2.umaine.edu/graduate). All formal application materials should be forwarded to:
Dean of the Graduate School
University of Maine
5782 Winslow Hall
Orono, ME 04469-5782
Final determination regarding admission to the Special Education program rests with the Graduate School. While potential students are responsible for becoming familiar with requirements and regulations contained in the Graduate School Catalog, the following guidelines provide some assistance:
1. Request application forms and catalog from the Graduate School
2. Complete application forms and submit to the Graduate School
a. Application form (in duplicate). Available on-line at www2.umaine.edu/graduate/
b. GRE or MAT scores
c. Evidence of passing scores on the Praxis I exam
d. Official transcripts
e. Nonrefundable, one-time application fee
3. Once the Graduate School receives the fully completed application, it is forwarded to the Special Education faculty for review and evaluation. If the applicant meets all the prerequisites for admission, the faculty will “recommend admission” to the Dean of the College, who then reviews the decision and formally recommends admission to the Graduate School. In some situations, a personal interview with the applicant may be conducted prior to the final decision. As soon as the evaluation process is completed, the applicant will be notified of acceptance (regular, provisional or conditional) or rejection via a formal letter from the Graduate School.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I obtain information about the Graduate Record Exam or Miller Analogies Test, and Praxis I?
Applicants must take either the GRE (no advanced test required) or the MAT. As a faculty, we have no particular preference. However, arrangement to take the MAT can be made by contacting the Office of Student Records (207-581-1317) and normally can be made on relatively short notice, and the results are quickly available. Students who choose to enroll in a thesis program must take the GRE. You can register at the Educational Testing Service website (www.ets.org). Information about Praxis I is available on the Educational Testing Service website (www.ets.org/praxis).
2. Does the M.Ed. program in Special Education require a thesis?
A thesis is not required, but the option is available.
3.What about certification?
Teacher certification is granted by the Maine Department of Education, not by the University of Maine. Students who successfully complete ALL the requirements of our NCATE-approved, professional preparation programs (Teacher of Students with High Incidence Disabilities, Educational Specialist for Students with Low Incidence Disabilities) including documentation of passing scores on Praxis II in Special Education will be eligible for certification. Specific information regarding certification is available from the Maine Department of Education, Certification Services, State House Station 23, Augusta, ME 04333 (www.maine.gov/education/cert/index.html).
4. If I have taken graduate courses at another university, can they be transferred to my program at UMaine?
A maximum of 12 credit hours (typically four courses) of previous graduate coursework can be transferred into the student’s program. In order to be transferred, courses must be approved by the Special Education faculty. Determination of transfer acceptability depends on factors such as how recently the course was taken and whether it is judged equivalent to an established course in the program. Decisions on transfer of courses are made during the application/interview process. Graduate courses taken as part of one’s undergraduate program can not be transferred into the M.Ed. program.
5. How do I obtain a faculty advisor?
A Special Education faculty member is assigned to serve as a student’s advisor during the final stages of the application process. The advisor’s name will be included in the Graduate School’s letter of acceptance to the student. Students may request a particular advisor or request a change of advisors by contacting the college’s Graduate Records Office.
Call the College’s Graduate Records Office (207) 581-2444