Grand Valley State University's Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education features programs in 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. 

Listen to the M.Ed. in special education podcast to learn more about the program.

Listen to the Podcast


CAREER OUTLOOK AND OPPORTUNITIES

8% JOB GROWTH
8% JOB GROWTH
2016-2026
$63,000-$85,000 AVERAGE WAGE
$63,000-$85,000 AVERAGE WAGE
IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN
HIGHEST 10% EARNED MORE THAN $95,000
HIGHEST 10% EARNED MORE THAN $95,000

The median annual wage for special education teachers was $58,980 in May 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest 10 percent earned more than $95,320. The state of Michigan pays what is among the highest annual mean wage of $63,000-$85,000. The overall employment of special education teachers was projected to grow eight percent from 2016 to 2026. The employment growth of special education teachers vary by type of institution. However, overall demand was driven by school enrollment and the need for special education services. M.Ed. in Special Education graduates hold the following job titles:

  • Teacher
  • Instructor
  • Professor

WHY STUDY SPECIAL EDUCATION AT GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY?

  • 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 33 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). 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). 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 (063). 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


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.

Early application is strongly encouraged. Applicants will be admitted on the basis of program approval. When all application materials have been received, Admissions will forward the complete portfolio for consideration to the College of Education – Student Information and Services Center. Once an application is complete, candidates should allow 4-6 weeks for written notification of their admission status.

  • May 15 — Fall Semester Application Intake
  • September 15 — Winter Semester Application Intake
  • February 15 — Spring/Summer Semester Application Intake

View the Admissions Requirements for Special Education


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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