Grand Valley State University's Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education features programs in autism spectrum disorder, cognitive impairment, emotional impairment, and learning disabilities. The program prepares teachers to work effectively with students with disabilities in a variety of educational settings and to effectively manage the classroom by developing the ability to adjust teaching practices according to individual student needs.

Grand Valley State University's College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). All of the Graduate Special Education program endorsement areas are nationally recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children. 

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An In-Demand Profession
An In-Demand Profession

Source: EMSI, 2020


CAREER OUTLOOK AND OPPORTUNITIES

According to 2020 EMSI data, special education employment is expected to grow 4% in the U.S. by 2024. Job growth for special education teachers at the pre-school level is expected to grow 8%. Special education teachers with a masters degree make a median annual wage of $61,156 but that varies by region and experience.

Source: EMSI, 2020


The Skills Employers Want

The M.Ed. in Special Education at GVSU will develop the skills you need to land the job you want. Whether the skills are advanced or general, you will build a resume of qualifications that are sure to attract employers. The following skills correlate with those pulled from actual job postings in the special education field.

Advanced Skills

  • Autism (Therapies)
  • Positive Behavior Support
  • Disabilities
  • Lesson Planning
  • Curriculum Development
  • Classroom Management
  • Learning Disabilities

Common Skills

  • Teaching
  • Management
  • Communications
  • Writing
  • Research
  • Decision Making
  • Social Skills
  • Coordinating

Source: EMSI, 2020


OTHER REASONS TO STUDY SPECIAL EDUCATION AT GVSU

  • Faculty. The program features highly trained faculty members, who have doctorates as well as practitioner experience. Faculty members value interaction with students and ensure they are available to help candidates be successful.
  • Career-oriented. The program opens up a number of career opportunities for professional educators. Robust clinical components and field placement opportunities are embedded throughout the program to allow candidates to practice what they have learned and receive timely feedback. Content is directly applicable to the K-12 classroom setting. 
  • Service. The College of Education Student Information and Services Center provides centralized services for advising, program planning, field placement, and certification.
  • Flexible. Classes are offered face-to-face, online and as hybrid options. A variety of courses are offered each semester, including during spring and summer semester when working educators may have more time.

COURSES OFFERED

The M.Ed. in Special Education program is a minimum of 36 credits. The M.Ed. includes the coursework required for endorsement eligibility in the relevant emphasis area. 

You can earn a M.Ed. in Special Education in one of the following three emphasis areas. Many of the courses for the Cognitive Impairment emphasis are available in an online format.

See PDF links below for the Planned Programs and the College of Education Course List page for full course descriptions. 

Cognitive Impairment Program Certification and Endorsement

  • Program Type: The Special Education program emphasis in Cognitive Impairment allows completers to work in K-12th grade settings.
  • MTTC Certification Test: To be certified in the state of Michigan, candidates must take and pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) for Cognitive Impairment (056- New test 115 beginning Summer 2020). Test information and registration is available on the MTTC website.
  • MDE Endorsement Code: The Special Education program emphasis in Cognitive Impairment leads to Michigan Department of Education (MDE) Cognitive Impairment certification (SA endorsement).
  • Student Outcomes for Special Education, M.Ed. - Cognitive Impairment Emphasis
Program Faculty Advising Contact
Program Faculty Advising Contact

Joe Fisher, Ph.D.

(616) 331-6189

fisherj@gvsu.edu


Emotional Impairment Program Certification and Endorsement

  • Program Type: The Special Education program emphasis in Emotional Impairment allows completers to work in K-12th grade settings.
  • MTTC Certification Test: To be certified in the state of Michigan, candidates must take and pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) for Emotional Impairment (059- New test 116 beginning Summer 2020). Test information and registration is available on the MTTC website.
  • MDE Endorsement Code: The Special Education program emphasis in Emotional Impairment leads to Michigan Department of Education (MDE) Emotional Impairment certification (SE endorsement).
  • Student Outcomes for Special Education, M.Ed. - Emotional Impairment Emphasis
Program Faculty Advising Contact
Program Faculty Advising Contact

Joe Fisher, Ph.D.

(616) 331-6189

fisherj@gvsu.edu

 

 


Learning Disabilities Program Certification and Endorsement

  • Program Type: The Special Education program emphasis in Learning Disabilities allows completers to work in K-12th grade settings.
  • MTTC Certification Test: To be certified in the state of Michigan, candidates must take and pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) for Learning Disabilities (114). Test information and registration is available on the MTTC website.
  • MDE Endorsement Code: The Special Education program emphasis in Learning Disabilities leads to Michigan Department of Education (MDE) Learning Disabilities certification (SM endorsement).
  • Student Outcomes for Special Education, M.Ed. - Learning Disabilities Emphasis
Program Faculty Advising Contacts
Program Faculty Advising Contacts

Joe Fisher, Ph.D.

(616) 331-6656

fisherj@gvsu.edu

James Grant, Ph.D.

(616) 331-6659

grantj@gvsu.edu


Autism Spectrum Disorder Program Certification and Endorsement

  • Program Type: The Special Education program emphasis in Autism Spectrum Disorder allows completers to work in K-12th grade settings.
  • MTTC Certification Test: To be certified in the state of Michigan, candidates must take and pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) for Autism Spectrum Disorder (064). Test information and registration is available on the MTTC website.
  • MDE Endorsement Code: The Special Education program emphasis in Autism Spectrum Disorder leads to Michigan Department of Education (MDE) Autism Spectrum Disorder certification (SV endorsement).
Program Faculty Advising Contacts
Program Faculty Advising Contacts

Joe Fisher, Ph.D.

(616) 331-6189

fisherj@gvsu.edu


Endorsement Only Option

Information on obtaining a Special Education endorsement only can be found under Graduate Endorsements.


Admissions

The M.Ed. in Special Education admission requirements and application for admission are available online. The $30 application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to Grand Valley State University.

Applications for the College of Education Graduate Studies programs are now being accepted for Spring/Summer 2020Fall 2020, and Winter 2021.  Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis, for a limited time.

View the Admissions Requirements for Special Education


ARE YOU A GVSU ALUM?

When you became a Laker, you opened up a lifetime of learning, and now alumni like you can use your Laker Lifetime Learning (L3) account for classes that provide greater knowledge and new skills. Your account is waiting for you to use for future classes at GVSU. All you have to do is click on the button below to find out more.

Find Out More About Your Laker Lifetime Learning Account (L3)


Cost

For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the costs portion of the GVSU Financial Aid website. For financial support, scholarship search, and filing for FAFSA, please visit the GVSU Financial Support website.

Note: Grand Valley does not charge a higher tuition rate based on residency. Tuition is based on the program in which you chose to enroll.


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