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Special Education

Master of Arts

Special education is about more than providing services. It's about providing a better future.

The M.A. in Special Education includes Autism Spectrum Disorders, Academic Behavioral Strategist, and Emotional Behavioral Disorders concentrations. Our program will help you become a skilled professional in a high-demand profession. You’ll learn to customize programs to meet individual needs and serve with compassion. While supporting kids and their families, you’ll motivate students to meet their goals and live a meaningful life. This program will build your knowledge base and refine your skills to assess and educate students with mild to moderate disabilities in several areas, including Learning Disabilities, Emotional Behavioral Disorders, Other Health Disabilities, Developmental Concentration Disabilities, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Program Option(s)

Special Education: Academic Behavioral Strategist Concentration

Our Academic Behavioral Strategist concentration prepares you to serve K-12 students in a variety of mild to moderate disability categories, including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Emotional Behavioral Disorders, Learning Disabilities, Other Health Disabilities, and Developmental Concentration Disabilities. You’ll be equipped to work in resource rooms and inclusive K-12 settings within public schools.

Delivery Mostly Online
Locations Anderson Center, and Online
Credits 41
Cost per Credit $535

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Special Education: Autism Spectrum Disorders Concentration

This concentration will prepare you to serve students in birth to age 21 settings who have been identified with autism spectrum disorders.

Delivery Mostly Online
Locations Anderson Center, and Online
Credits 41
Cost per Credit $535

See full details

Special Education: Developmental Disabilities Concentration

With our Developmental Disabilities License, you’ll become adept at implementing and adapting evidence-based instruction methods that will meet the needs of your students and help them succeed.

Delivery Mostly Online
Locations Anderson Center, and Online
Credits 41
Cost per Credit $535

See full details

Special Education: Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Concentration

Our Emotional and Behavioral Disorders concentration prepares you to serve K-12 students who have been identified with emotional and behavior disorders ranging from mild to severe.

Delivery Mostly Online
Locations Anderson Center, and Online
Credits 41
Cost per Credit $535

See full details

* These costs are estimated and subject to change.

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Upcoming Events

SEPT 13 2017

Exploring Finnish Education

6 p.m. CT Online

Join us to hear more from Dr. Katie Bonawitz!

SEPT 21 2017

Special Education M.A. and Licensing Online Info Session

6 p.m. CT Online

Learn more about our Special Education M.A. and licenses!

Preparing Compassionate, Competent Educational Leaders.

Here, we recognize that teaching children with special needs is a high calling. Our 20 faculty members—who are both recognized researchers and practitioners in multiple specialties within the field—train special education teachers to serve students, teachers, and families from a mindset of Christian values. With this frame, you’ll help create a positive environment that will keep your students engaged in learning and your work rewarding. Our multiple licensure options will help you lead in the largest growing field in education.

Teachers describe Bethel's education master's students as “the best they see from the preparation programs.”

-Interviews from national accreditation process

0% Students who pass the MTLE Pedagogy exam

Program Highlights

Experienced professors

Bethel’s special education professors are leading researchers and practitioners in the field with experience in multiple specialties, bringing personal experience to your learning to make coursework relevant to the real-world classroom.

Practical experience

During your program, you’ll have 4 opportunities to practice what you’re learning through clinical experiences so upon graduation you can make a real difference in the K-12 educational setting.

Student success

We’re committed to helping you succeed from admission to graduation. Rather than focusing on the results of one entrance exam for admission, we look for well-rounded people with work experience who can bring diverse perspectives into the classroom. And once you’re here, you’ll be supported by advisors and professors who are caring and ensure that you have everything you need.


We know many of our students work full time, have families, and are involved in their community while in graduate school. Our schedules make it easier for you to earn your degree by having limited in-class time so you can complete your assignments when it works best for you.

Christian environment

In our courses, we integrate Christian faith into ideas and practices. In this way, we model how your values and beliefs influence your teaching and scholarship.


Our M.A. in Special Education program will help you gain the skills and knowledge you need to be a confident, compassionate, successful teacher serving kids, families, and communities.


Learn how to:

  • Effectively teach students with mild, moderate, and severe disabilities
  • Develop strategies for managing academic and behavioral problems
  • Ethically carry out legal requirements of special education
  • Collaborate with parents and colleagues
  • Engage with students from culturally and ethnically diverse backgrounds
  • Use a range of technology tools to interpret, evaluate, and apply information


Our graduates become:

  • Special education teachers in public, private, and charter schools
  • Directors of Special Education
  • Principals
  • Superintendents

Areas of Study

Our graduates go on to obtain additional licenses in the following areas:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders, birth to age 21
  • Emotional Behavioral Disorders, K-12
  • Developmental Disorders, K-12
  • Work-based Learning, Technology, and Literacy

Program Distinctives

Approved by Minnesota Board of Teaching

The Board of Teaching governs the teacher licensing requirements for the state of Minnesota. The graduate Special Education program at Bethel meets these requirements.

Accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)

Bethel’s graduate Special Education program is accredited under the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) Quality Principles through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Accreditation System for a period of 7 years, from October 2015 through December 2022. Our teacher education program will seek accreditation under the CAEP Standards in fall of 2022. Formed in 2013, CAEP is the single specialized accreditor for educator preparation, and administers TEAC accreditation. See our candidate performance data (pdf).

Premier Paraprofessional Partnership with Anoka-Hennepin

We partner with the Anoka-Hennepin School District to offer you opportunities to work as a full-time float para in area schools while you earn your master’s in special education. This program is a chance to gain first hand experience, get full-time pay and benefits while you work towards your degree, and make connections that will help you build a successful career.

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