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Special Education Concentration

Master of Arts

In our Special Education concentration, you’ll grow in your ability to effectively meet the needs of special education students in your general education classroom.


Fully Online

You'll complete 100% of your coursework online.

Location: Online

Start Dates: Summer 2024

Total Credits


Finish in as Few as

18 months (plus thesis)


  • Teacher as Leader (TEAC606)

    Analysis of the critical impact of the teacher in the educational process. Examination of a variety of information and formal ways in which teachers are leaders. Provision of a framework for thoughtful interaction with the changing image of teachers and the challenges of teacher leadership. Development of reflective practice and goals for leadership and professional growth are addressed.

    3 credits

  • Content Research in Practice (TEAC610)

    Use of evidence based research to inform instructional practice is a critical skill for practicing teachers. The ability to locate, curate, analyze and apply educational research will be mastered. Creation of unique applications of research from specific k-12 content is the primary focus of this course.

    2 credits

  • Improving Instruction (TEAC616)

    Examination of a variety of theories, approaches and instructional strategies that build on the experience of practicing teachers. 21st century skills and the study of model schools known for their innovative practices based on strong rationales and underlying theories. Intention of the course is to renew teachers’ current knowledge base, craft of teaching, and new models of “doing school.”

    3 credits

  • Applied Classroom Assessment (TEAC635)

    Examination of the core principles of how assessment can accelerate student learning when applied systematically. Development of thinking habits that lead to consistent and purposeful implementation of practices that motivate, inspire, and empower students to take ownership of their learning.

    3 credits

  • Introduction to Differentiation and Responsive Teaching (TEAC730)

    Overview of the theory and research of differentiated instruction as a model for acquiring content, processing ideas and developing products to effectively address varying student needs in the K-12 classroom. Focus is on instructional strategies and the practical application of differentiation in the teacher-learner's classroom. Attention to the needs of students with disabilities will be emphasized.

    3 credits

  • Responsive Pedagogy for English Language Learners (TEAC731)

    An overview of second language acquisition theories as the foundation for understanding learning processes of a second language learner. Focus is on differentiation for language proficiency levels and levels of former schooling while keeping the rigor of the grade-level content. Strategies for intentional academic language teaching within each content area will drive the lesson planning approach in this course. Crucial factors that influence the acquisition of the second language such as linguistic and cultural identity negotiation will also be addressed.

    3 credits

  • Culturally Responsive Instruction (TEAC732)

    Examination of multicultural research, theory and practice as a foundation to cultural understanding in the classroom. Exploration of their role as teacher in a culturally changing learning environment as they develop instructional strategies based on research‑based best practice to continually improve as culturally responsive practitioners.

    3 credits

  • Preparing to Write the Thesis/Collaborative Research Project (TEAC756)

    Preparation for the process of designing and writing a master's level thesis or collaborative research project. Exploration of the selection and refinement of a research topic; the nature and scope of master's thesis; APA style; and preparation for the oral examination process.

    1 credits

  • Thesis Writing Studio (TEAC790)

    Exploration of a significant educational issue relevant to the student’s professional involvement through an independent or collaborative, step by step, individually supervised process to develop a thesis or project. Defense of student’s thesis or project following collaboration with thesis advisor to ensure guidelines have been followed and requirements have been met as noted in the Bethel University Graduate Education Thesis Handbook.

    3 credits

  • Select 3 from:

    • Characteristics of Mild-Moderate Disabilities (SPED600)

      Exploration of the five disability categories represented under Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS). Identification of strategies that support stakeholders of children with mild-moderate needs. Explanation of topics that form the basis for special education practice for students with mild-moderate disabilities. Identification of the impact culture and linguistics has on special education.

      4 credits

    • Reading Foundations (SPED620)

      Identification of relationships among reading, writing, and oral language, comprehension processes, and instructional strategies. Description of the structure of the English language and word identification strategies, and the role of vocabulary knowledge in language. Analysis of different texts for K-12 classrooms. Assessment strategies for reading and writing needs. Recognition of characteristics and instructional strategies for the specific learning disability: dyslexia.

      4 credits

    • Responsive Instruction, Intervention, and Assessment (SPED631)

      Identification of assessment measures for instructional decisions, professional organizations and publications related to interventions, and the historical context and educational movements. Interpretation of assessment data. Designing of instruction and modifications and analysis of progress monitoring data. Description of students’ assessment results and progress understandable to all stakeholders.

      4 credits

    • Introduction to Behavioral Methods & Mental Health for Mild to Moderate Special Needs (SPED641)

      Introduction to behavior methods and mental health for students with mild/moderate

      4 credits