Special Education Master of Education Programs California

Special Education MEd with Education Specialist Credential

Prepare to Teach Students with Special Needs

If you want a career teaching students with disabilities and special learning needs, the Special Education MEd graduate program at UC-Riverside will equip you with the skills, teaching credentials, and knowledge you need to work in this exciting and challenging field. By the end of your first year in the graduate program, you will have earned two teaching credentials--one in mild/moderate disabilities and a second credential in moderate/severe disabilities—and be ready to teach students in public or private schools with special needs ranging from mild/moderate to moderate/severe. In the fifth quarter, you will complete your master’s degree by taking one to two elective courses.

The MEd in Special Education provides many opportunities to work directly with special needs students. You’ll start out spending just a few days a week in the classroom while completing a quarter of field experience. Then, under the guidance of a master teacher mentor, you will spend two quarters teaching in a situation serving those with special needs. By the end of your first year in the Special Education master’s program, you will be ready to competently teach in a special needs classroom, clinical setting, group home, or other such setting. In the fifth quarter, you will take the 1-2 courses needed to complete the M.Ed.

Highlights of the Special Education MEd

  • In five quarters of study, complete a Special Education credential and a M.Ed. graduate degree at the same time. Begin in the summer and complete your M.Ed. the following fall.
  • Earn two teaching credentials: one for mild/moderate learning disabilities and one for moderate/severe special needs.
  • Gain exceptional teaching skills that equip you to work in a variety of settings with children and adults with special learning needs.
  • Be able to critically evaluate research and stay abreast of the best and latest thinking in the Special Education field.
  • Earn your Education Specialist credential by the end of the fourth quarter and M.Ed. the fifth quarter of study.
  • In your fifth quarter of study, develop an analytical case study centered on one special needs student.
  • Internship and early completer options may be available. Meet with an advisor to determine your eligibility.

Career Prospects for Special Education MEd Graduates

Because our ability to diagnose disabilities at an early age has greatly improved in recent years, there is a growing need for highly qualified Special Education teachers to serve the increasing number of students identified with special needs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, special education teachers can anticipate 6% growth in job opportunities between 2012 - 2022. Median pay for a Special Education teacher is $55,060. There are also opportunities for Special Education MEd graduates to work as supervisors or school administrators.

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