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Special Education

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

                           Important Additional Information

Academic Standards and Professional Dispositions

Fieldwork Leading to Student Teaching

Student Teaching and the Practicum

Capstone Intervention Project


Academic Standards and Professional Dispositions

The following are the Professional Knowledge and Disposition criteria to which all Graduate School of Education students are held accountable.  Students will be evaluated as they progress in their program, based upon:

Content Knowledge

Knowledge of Learning and Development

Instructional Planning, Practice, and Student Assessment

Professional Behavior and Growth


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Fieldwork Leading to Student Teaching

To fulfill the spirit of the fieldwork requirement, each semester of enrollment, full-time students must commit to a minimum of one full day per week of fieldwork in a classroom setting while part-time students must commit to a minimum of  one half day per week in a classroom setting. Fieldwork must be completed in a classroom setting that serves students with disabilities within the appropriate age group for the certification.

During fieldwork, students are expected to maximize opportunities to work with children/adolescents of varied ages and abilities, apply strategies and approaches discussed in coursework, and experience roles and responsibilities of special education teachers. Some courses may specify a number of hours of fieldwork that should be devoted to completing assignments for that course; make sure to discuss these course assignments with your cooperating teacher early in the semester and arrange your schedule accordingly. Students maintain a Fieldwork Log to record general involvement in fieldwork and the hours each week devoted to completion of course assignments.

Student Teaching and the Practicum

The Special Education program faculty recognizes the importance of working with students with disabilities over a sustained period to build trusting relationships, to see progress, and to make appropriate adjustments when objectives are achieved or progress does not occur. To meet all these requirements, graduate students spend an entire semester practicing the many roles and responsibilities of a special educator during the student teaching experience. See Student Teaching Handbook for more information.

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Special Education Capstone Intervention Project (CIP)

Students completing the Master's degree in Special Education will demonstrate meeting the competencies required of a novice special education teacher by completing a Capstone Intervention Project (CIP) during their Practicum Placement. The CIP provides a dynamic, authentic method for demonstrating necessary skills, such as:

Students will share their findings in a research paper and through a poster presentation at the semi-annual Research Forum in Special Education.

Research Paper

Practicum Students will describe the process of identifying an intervention, the data collection, and the results in a research paper. The research paper should follow APA guidelines for manuscript writing and should include internal citations, a reference page, and graphs.

Poster Presentation

As a culminating event, Practicum Students will prepare a poster that describes the intervention and graphically represents the data collected. The posters will be made available for viewing at an annual Special Education Program Research Forum at which cooperating teachers, school and district administrators, and university faculty are invited to attend.

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RETURN TO Special Education Main Program Page


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Last Updated: 3/20/14