Master of Science in Special Education – Mild to Moderate Disabilities

Earn your Master of Science in Special Education and become a certified special education teacher. 

For the 2018-2019 Academic year, tuition for the Special Education accelerated program has decreased from the previous year. It is now the same as the flexible program.

We offer the MS in Special Education with a flexible schedule of late afternoon and evening classes only and candidates complete their course of study across 2 to 5 years. The internships can be completed during the summer months or during the school year in your school setting with advisor approval.

The Course of Study is the same whether you complete on an expedited schedule or a more flexible “at your own pace” schedule. The courses and field based experiences are designed for those individuals who want to work with students who have mild/moderate disabilities including learning, emotional, or mild intellectual disabilities, but lack the necessary special educator certification credentials to enter the world of elementary or secondary special education.

Our program will prepare you to be a highly effective special educator prepared to work in challenging urban school environments. A 39-credit program—a program you can complete in four semesters or across 5 years—you will learn to integrate high leverage research and practices to:

  •  Understand how the law and special education intersect;
  •  Implement the latest educational assessment tools to formally and informally measure and monitor student success;
  •  Implement effective and Innovative individualized instructional programming using evidence based practices across all content areas including math and literacy;
  •  Understand applied behavioral analysis and positive behavior supports to manage challenging behaviors;
  • Master effective collaborative practices with general and special educators, parents, community members and students;
  • Demonstrate reflective and ethical behavior with individuals, families, and colleagues, in accordance with professional, state, and national standards.

In addition to your coursework, you will complete two supervised field experiences with guidance from university supervisors, mentor teachers and faculty advisors (i.e., 150 – 300 hours of hands-on experience within urban school settings).

In addition to passing all required courses, graduate students are required to:

  •      Pass Praxis Exam II in special education
  •      Complete a comprehensive examination
  •      Conduct a graduate student project and present the findings

When you earn your MS in Special Education from the Johns Hopkins School of Education, not only will you have earned your degree from one of the top schools of education in the world, but you’ll also be prepared to put your skills and knowledge to work right away as a certified special educator.

Please take a few moments to browse the specifics of our programs on this page or view an online information session conducted by Professor Laurie deBettencourt, renowned scholar, accomplished educator, and leader of the Special Education master’s program at the Johns Hopkins School of Education.

Contact Us

Faculty Contact
Dr. Laurie deBettencourt

Academic Coordinator
Camilla Mika-Simms
410-516-9760

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

Completion of online application

  • Submission of application fee
  • Submission of official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended (Cumulative GPA must be 3.0 or better)
  • An essay describing your goals and how the program will assist in meeting those goals uploaded
  • A current resume or CV uploaded
  • Two (for part-time program options) or three (for the full-time program) letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to your work with children with disabilities sent to admissions office
  • Passing Praxis I Core, SAT, ACT, or GRE scores  (For more information on passing score requirements, refer to the Maryland State Department of Education website)

Applicants invited for interview will be asked to provide a written response to a prompt and will be asked to “audition” by responding to classroom scenarios provided by faculty interviewers.

For more information on the application process, please view the SOE admissions page.

PRE- OR CO-REQUISITE COURSES

Elementary/Middle Concentration: (5 courses-15 Credits)

Secondary/Adult Concentration: (4 courses-12 Credits)

871.501 Introduction to Children and Youth with Exceptionalities
Students investigate the major areas of exceptionality addressing the characteristics and educational needs of students with a broad range of special instructional needs. Students review incidence and etiology, diagnostic and instructional services, educational continuum of programs, and findings of recent research. (3 credits)

882.511 Human Growth and Development: A Lifespan Perspective
Students consider an overview of the physical, social, and emotional aspects of human development throughout a person’s lifespan. The course considers developmental theory and reviews current areas of research. (3 credits)

884.500 Introductory Processes and Acquisition of Reading
This course is intended for students seeking initial teacher certification at early childhood and elementary levels. Participants examine the processes of language and reading development, including the impact of phonemic awareness and how the brain responds to reading acquisition. This course provides an introductory foundation for further study of specific strategies, materials, and assessment techniques in reading instruction. (3 credits)

884.502 Diagnosis/Assessment for Reading Instruction
Students in this course learn approaches for assessing and addressing the reading abilities and needs of children. Course activities include the examination of learner characteristics and implications for appropriate reading instruction. Students study and analyze a broad selection of formal and informal assessment techniques and instruments, their application to reading instruction and classroom practice, and strategies for effectively communicating relevant information to parents, educators, and other professionals about children’s reading performances. (3 credits)

884.505 Materials for Teaching Reading (Elementary/Middle only)
Students in this class develop ways to evaluate and select appropriate materials for classroom reading instruction. Course activities include reviews of commercially produced reading programs, children’s literature, remedial materials, and the use of appropriate and culturally sensitive instructional approaches for teaching diverse student learners. Materials are evaluated in relation to current research, developmental and cultural appropriateness, and student interest and motivation. (3 credits)

MMD- ELEMENTARY/MIDDLE (39 credits)

871.510 Legal Aspects, Service Systems, and Current Issues in Special Education
This survey course reviews litigated and legislated standards for special education and related services for persons with disabilities. Students explore current issues in the provision of services for persons with disabilities, including inclusion, the response to intervention (RTI), and regulations for eligibility. (3 credits)

871.511 Instructional Planning and Management in Special Education
Students focus on the instructional and organizational skills necessary for teaching students who receive special education services. Topics of primary emphasis include developing effective individualized education plans; preparing and delivering exemplary lesson plans; and identifying instructional best practice strategies that promote effective classroom organization and instruction. Students create lesson plans using best practice strategies. (3 credits)

871.512 Collaborative Programming in Special Education
This course focuses on collaboration themes common to various educational settings: interpersonal communication, problem solving, cultural diversity, teamwork, and family systems theory. Students examine techniques that promote effective communication between teachers, school administrators and related professionals, and families of students with special needs. Co-teaching models that work effectively are also discussed. (3 credits)

871.513 Applied Behavioral Programming
This course will focus on the methodology of applied behavior analysis including how the principles of behavior can be used to make changes and improvements in classroom behavior. Observational methods, single-subject designs, behavior promotion and reduction, and generalization strategies are reviewed in relation to the needs of students with disabilities. Students assess and develop individual behavior projects that demonstrate their ability to design, implement, and evaluate behavioral support programs in an ethically responsive manner. (3 credits)

874.512 Characteristics of Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities: Learning Disabilities, Behavioral Disorders, and Intellectual Disabilities
Students examine the incidence, etiology, and characteristics of students with learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, and intellectual disabilities, and review major theoretical models and instructional practices associated with each. (3 credits)

874.513 Educational Assessment of Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities: Elementary/Middle
Students explore assessment instruments and procedures for diagnosing elementary and middle school students who are experiencing learning and behavior problems. Participants administer and interpret norm-referenced, criterion-referenced, and curriculum-based instruments that assess academic achievement, social behavior, and emotional functioning. (3 credits)

874.524 Spoken and Written Language: Methods for Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities
Students learn teaching strategies that can be used by teachers with students who have difficulty with oral and written expressive language. Instructional methods include both curriculum modifications and teacher-devised tasks. (3 credits)

874.525 Mathematics: Methods for Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities
Students examine effective instructional strategies for the remediation of problems frequently found in the mathematics performance of students with mild to moderate disabilities.

874.526 Classroom Management: Methods for Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities
This course reviews the theoretical foundations for developing practical interventions and management strategies to deal with inappropriate classroom behaviors, as well as strategies for individualized education program (IEP) development and implementation. Behavior modification, therapeutic strategies, social skills instruction, and communication principles are applied to the design and implementation of structured classroom management programs.

874.541 Reading: Methods for Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities
Students learn to apply strategies designed to improve the reading performance of elementary/middle school students with mild to moderate disabilities. Highlighted are strategies related to word identification and paraphrasing and methods such as progress monitoring and self-evaluation. During the course, students apply a strategy with a student who is experiencing reading difficulties. (3 credits)

874.860 Mild to Moderate Disabilities Internship: Induction – Elementary/Middle

Designed for students seeking Maryland generic special education certification at the elementary/middle level, this internship, scheduled approximately midpoint in a student’s program, provides supervised experiences in the education of children and youth in grades one through eight who require special education services. The internship sites and activities are assigned according to each student’s interest and training needs. The participant implements foundational knowledge, skills, and dispositions gained in course work in the areas of assessment, instruction, classroom management, and individual behavior intervention appropriate for the learning characteristics of elementary and middle school age students with disabilities. (3 credits)874.861 Mild to Moderate Disabilities Internship: Culmination – Elementary/Middle
Designed for students seeking Maryland generic special education certification at the elementary/middle level, this internship, scheduled near the completion of a student’s program, provides supervised experiences in the education of children and youth in grades one through eight who require special education services. The internship sites and activities are assigned according to each student’s interest and training needs. The participant continues professional development begun during the induction internship by implementing content specific knowledge, skills, and dispositions gained in subsequent course work, with a focus on evaluating, selecting, and using reading materials and instructional methods appropriate for the learning characteristics of elementary and middle school age students with disabilities. This course incorporates goals and objectives that correspond to the MSDE required course, Materials for Teaching Reading. (3 credits)892.562 Access to General Education Curriculum with Technology Accommodations
(Lab Class) Class members investigate student characteristics, the collaborative role of educators, and strategies for differentiating instruction for students with learning disabilities within the general education environment. Participants examine universal design for learning strategies and technologies to enhance student participation in educational programs.
MMD- SECONDARY/ ADULT (39 Credits)

871.510 Legal Aspects, Service Systems, and Current Issues in Special Education
This online course reviews litigated and legislated standards for special education and related services for persons with disabilities. Students explore current issues in the provision of services for persons with disabilities, including inclusion, the response to intervention (RTI), and regulations for eligibility. (3 credits)

871.511 Instructional Planning and Management in Special Education
Students focus on the instructional and organizational skills necessary for teaching students who receive special education services. Topics of primary emphasis include developing effective individualized education plans; preparing and delivering exemplary lesson plans; and identifying instructional best practice strategies that promote effective classroom organization and instruction. Students create lesson plans using best practice strategies. (3 credits)

871.512 Collaborative Programming in Special Education
This course focuses on collaboration themes common to various educational settings: interpersonal communication, problem solving, cultural diversity, teamwork, and family systems theory. Students examine techniques that promote effective communication between teachers, school administrators and related professionals, and families of students with special needs. Co-teaching models that work effectively are also discussed. (3 credits)

871.513 Applied Behavioral Programming
This course will focus on the methodology of applied behavior analysis, including how the principles of behavior can be used to make changes and improvements in classroom behavior. Observational methods, single-subject designs, behavior promotion and reduction, and generalization strategies are reviewed in relation to the needs of students with disabilities. Students assess and develop individual behavior projects that demonstrate their ability to design, implement, and evaluate behavioral support programs in an ethically responsive manner. (3 credits)

874.512 Characteristics of Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities: Learning Disabilities, Behavioral Disorders, and Intellectual Disabilities
Students examine the incidence, etiology, and characteristics of students with learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, and intellectual disabilities, and review major theoretical models and instructional practices associated with each. (3 credits)

874.513 Educational Assessment of Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities: Elementary/Middle
Students explore assessment instruments and procedures for diagnosing elementary and middle school students who are experiencing learning and behavior problems. Participants administer and interpret norm-referenced, criterion-referenced, and curriculum-based instruments that assess academic achievement, social behavior, and emotional functioning. (3 credits)

874.524 Spoken and Written Language: Methods for Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities
Students learn teaching strategies that can be used by teachers with students who have difficulty with oral and written expressive language. Instructional methods include both curriculum modifications and teacher-devised tasks. (3 credits)

874.525 Mathematics: Methods for Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities
Students examine effective instructional strategies for the remediation of problems frequently found in the mathematics performance of students with mild-to-moderate disabilities. (3 credits)

874.526 Classroom Management: Methods for Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities
This course reviews the theoretical foundations for developing practical interventions and management strategies to deal with inappropriate classroom behaviors, as well as strategies for individualized education program (IEP) development and implementation. Behavior modification, therapeutic strategies, social skills instruction, and communication principles are applied to the design and implementation of structured classroom management programs.(3 credits)

874.541 Reading: Methods for Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities
Students learn to apply strategies designed to improve the reading performance of elementary/middle school students with mild-to-moderate disabilities. Highlighted are strategies related to word identification and paraphrasing and methods such as progress monitoring and self-evaluation. During the course, students apply a strategy with a student who is experiencing reading difficulties. (3 credits)

874.860 Mild to Moderate Disabilities Internship: Induction – Elementary/Middle
This internship, scheduled approximately midpoint in a student’s program, and provides supervised experiences in the education of children and youth in grades one through eight who require special education services. The internship sites and activities are assigned according to each student’s interest and training needs. The student implements foundational knowledge, skills, and dispositions gained in coursework in the areas of assessment, instruction, classroom management, and individual behavior intervention appropriate for the learning characteristics of elementary- and middle-school-age students with disabilities. (3 credits)

874.861 Mild-to-Moderate Disabilities Internship: Culmination – Elementary/Middle
This internship, scheduled near the completion of a student’s program, provides supervised experiences in the education of children and youth in grades one through eight who require special education services. The internship sites and activities are assigned according to each student’s interest and training needs. The student continues professional development begun during the induction internship by implementing content specific knowledge, skills, and dispositions gained in subsequent coursework, with a focus on evaluating, selecting, and using reading materials and instructional methods appropriate for the learning characteristics of elementary- and middle-school-age students with disabilities. (3 credits)

892.562 Access to General Education Curriculum with Technology Accommodations
(Online Class) Class members investigate student characteristics, the collaborative role of educators, and strategies for differentiating instruction for students with learning disabilities within the general education environment. Participants examine universal design for learning strategies and technologies to enhance student participation in educational programs. (3 credits)

DANIELLE ORCHANT ‘15

“I have benefited greatly from my experience in the Master of Science in Special Education program at Johns Hopkins School of Education. I have learned to differentiate instruction, monitor students’ progress, and select appropriate classroom management strategies.”