Coursework

Master's Credential Cohort Program: Special Education

Department of Learning and Teaching

Program of Study

Overview

The Master's Credential Cohort Education Specialist Program is designed to prepare effective special education teachers. The program emphasizes the connection between theory and practice, weaving together university-based coursework and thoughtfully designed field experiences. Candidates in the program develop the knowledge, skills and strategies needed to flourish in their own classrooms, as well as the critical habits of mind and reflective practice that will allow them to grow as educators throughout their careers. Faculty and students in the program are committed to teaching for social justice and promoting educational excellence and equity in all school settings.

The SOLES faculty enrich all programs and course offerings with the values, concepts and themes that we all believe will help students become ethical, civic-minded and committed leaders in their chosen fields.

The Master’s Credential Cohort Program for Special Education consists of 45 units taken in a prescribed sequence over two years, beginning with the fall semester. Students who wish to add a multiple subject credential to their course of study may do so by adding summer coursework.

International Experience

At SOLES, all masters and doctoral students participate in an international experience designed to support the growth of cultural competency. Our goal is to inform best practices in working with culturally diverse populations locally, nationally and globally.

For many students, this experience will include a one- to two-week, faculty-led course abroad. For students who prefer to stay in southern California, this experience may be fulfilled through research or coursework on international issues. Service trips and site visits across the border in Tijuana are offered regularly.

Learning and Teaching courses with an international component include:

  • Cognition and Learning in Japan (Summer 2014)
  • International & Comparative Education at St. Clare's Oxford, UK (Summer 2014)
  • Cognition and Learning in Japan (Summer 2013)
  • Research Design and Methodology in Japan (Summer 2012)
  • Exploring the Underground Railroad (Summer 2012)

Curriculum

Fall I (9 units and 3 CEUs)

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE GRADUATE UNITS
EDSP 571 Positive Behavior and Instruction Management in Special Education 3
EDUC 575P Inclusive Curricula for Learners 5-22
3
EDSP 589 Healthy Environments and Inclusive Education 3
COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS
EDU 558XB* First and Second Language Development for the Classroom Teacher 3

* EDU 558XB is a course offered through the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. Continuing Education courses are not eligible for financial aid. The cost for this course is typically several hundred dollars.

Field Experience: 

  • 75 hour practicum in an elementary school setting

Spring I (12 units)

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE GRADUATE UNITS
EDUC 583P Methods of Teaching Reading and Language Arts 3
EDUC 584C Methods of Teaching English Language and Academic Development 3
EDSP 574 Global Perspectives and Foundations in Special Education 3
EDSP 575P Evidence Based Inclusive Practices Mild/Moderate 5-22 2
EDSP 591P Student Teaching Mild to Moderate Disabilities/Secondary 1

Field Experience: 

  • Student teaching in secondary school setting (approximately 40% load)
  • Please note that student teaching placements follow the school district calendar and typically extend into June

Fall II (12 units)

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE GRADUATE UNITS
EDUC 557 MCC Action Research Seminar I
3
EDSP 570 Assessment Identification to Transition in Special Education 3
EDSP 590P Student Teaching Mild to Moderate Disabilities 5
EDSP 590S Student Teaching Mild to Moderate Disabilities Seminar 1

Field Experience: 

  • Student teaching in an elementary school setting (approximately 60% load)

Spring II (9 units)

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE GRADUATE UNITS
EDUC 5XX Elective Course in MEd 3
EDUC 558 MCC Action Research Seminar II
1
EDSP 573 Diverse Family Systems and Transitions
3
EDSP 579 Legal, Ethical and Professional Practices in a Diverse Society 2

 

Curriculum Additions for Multiple Subject Credential

Candidates who wish to add a Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential to their course of study may do so by completing the following coursework:

Summer I (6 units)

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE GRADUATE UNITS
EDUC 581C Multicultural and Philosophical Foundations of Education in a Global Society 3
EDUC 582 Psychological Foundations of Education in a Diverse Society 3

Field Experience: 

  • Summer Practicum

Summer II (6 units)

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE GRADUATE UNITS
EDUC 590P Student Teaching for the Multiple Subject Candidate 6

Field Experience: 

  • Full time student teaching with supervision
  • edTPA Performance Assessment

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the program take me?

Students begin their program in late August and are finished in the May of their second year (students starting in Fall 2014 will graduate in May 2016). This program of study does not include coursework in July, most of August, or Intersession, except for those students who wish to add a Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential to their course of study.

How much will the program cost me?

Tuition for the Master's Credential Cohort program is discounted by 44% for 2014-2015. See tuition and fees and information on financial aid.

What are the pros and cons of adding the Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential to my course of study?

Students who add this credential become authorized to teach in self-contained classrooms (typically at the Kindergarten through Grade 6 levels) that do not predominantly serve Special Education students. Because they also graduate with the Education Specialist Credential, students become dually credentialed which is often attractive to prospective employers. It qualifies graduates for teaching positions in both special education settings Kindergarten through age 22 and non-special education settings Kindergarten through grade 6.

The addition of the Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential prolongs students' program of study slightly by pushing their graduation date from May to August, though they may still walk at the graduation ceremony in May. It also requires that students complete coursework in July and most of August between their first and second years in the program, which would otherwise be a free period. Students must also budget for an additional 12 units of coursework.

Can I work while completing the program?

Students are discouraged from working during the Fall and Spring semesters, especially during student teaching, because each semester requires a full-time courseload. July, most of August, and Intersession do not include coursework or fieldwork (except for those students who choose to add the Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential to their course of study) and therefore are free for students to work if they wish.

Some students have been successful in holding part-time employment on-campus or off-campus during Fall and Spring semesters as long as their work hours do not conflict with their class times or fieldwork commitments.

When are classes scheduled?

Each class typically meets once per week at 4:30 p.m. or 7:20 p.m. for 2 hours and 50 minutes at a time. Summer and intersession classes are required for students who choose to add the Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential to their course of study, and these classes hold more frequent class meetings. The program includes two semesters of student teaching, which is completed during the K-12 district school day. Student teaching placements follow the school district calendar and typically extend into June.

How many units are included in the program?

The program includes 42 graduate units and 3 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Is this program offered online?

No, this program is offered on campus at the University of San Diego only. There is no online, hybrid, or distance learning option available.