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M.S. in Education: Special Education K-12

MSEd: Special Education curriculum overview:

The Special Educator initial endorsement program prepares teachers to work with students with mild disabilities and students with severe disabilities. The Oregon Teachers Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) requires each student to be authorized to teach at one of two age-level authorizations: (1) early childhood/elementary or (2) middle school/high school. All endorsement course work taken at the 500 level can be included in the M.S. in Education: Special Education degree.

The Special Educator I program is designed for teachers who hold or are eligible to hold a valid initial teaching license. Six quarters of full-time training are required to complete the program.

The Special Educator II program is designed for students who do not hold a teaching license. Six quarters of full-time training are required to complete this program.

Your plan of study:

Once admitted to Master of Science in Education: Special Education, you will work with an advisor to plan the courses you will take and how you will complete the academic requirements of the program. By filing this Program Plan (PDF form), you have a road map for completing your degree and clarity on what to expect.

Course of Study Options

MS in Education: Special Education – 45 credits

  • Special Educator I:
    • Early Childhood/Elementary Authorization
    • Middle School/High School Authorization
  • Special Educator II:
    • Early Childhood/Elementary Authorization
    • Middle School/High School Authorization
  • Common Core (Special Educator I and II): 30 credits
    • SPED 518 Survey of Special Education (3 credits)
    • SPED 620 Content Reading and Instructional Planning (3 credits)
    • SPED 622 Reading Remediation (3 credits)
    • SPED 623 Behavior Support (3 credits)
    • SPED 625 Assessment for Instruction (3 credits)
    • SPED 628 Mathematics Remediation (3 credits)
    • SPED 634 Medical Aspects & Low Incidence Methods (3 credits)
    • SPED 636 Managing Communication Systems (3 credits)
    • SPED 642 Standardized Assessment (3 credits)
    • SPED 646 Law and Special Education (3 credits)

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If you haven’t found the information you need or are still not sure where to direct your question, contact Jennifer Keen, Program Assistant: keenj@wou.edu or 503-838-8471

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"The WOU SpEd program provided me the experience and knowledge to become the best teacher I could be. The program provided me with opportunities to grow and expand in my teaching skills. The support and encouragement from my professors, helped foster the strength and determination to grow in my leadership skills. The small cohort sizes helped create an environment of collaboration and diversity, to impact my future students for the better. Everyone within the SpEd program have a similar vision. This vision is: to provide students with opportunities to grow their minds, hearts and independence skills; in order for students to have a positive impact on the community and world in which they live."

Katelyn Coburn

M.S. in Ed. Special Education

"When I joined the Special Educator program at WOU, I could not have been more pleased with how well it prepared me for a professional career as a teacher. Everything in our preservice training was about high performance and gaining an honest familiarity with this discipline, and yet it was blended with a freedom to be connected to our own individualism. Every lecture, every teaching strategy presented, was ultimately about the goal of equipping us to transform the lives of students and meet their needs in profound ways. Western Oregon respects the diversity and autonomy of its students, but also equips each person to become an expert in their chosen field. Through exposure to cutting edge best practices, growth opportunities in student teaching, and guidance from some of the nation’s top professors, WOU has truly found a way to send out the best of the best."

Jake Dorr

M.S. in Ed. Special Education

"I could not be happier with the decision to earn my bachelor's and master's degrees from WOU's teaching and special education programs. While I am no longer teaching special education, I continue to utilize the skills and knowledge I gained at Western in my position as Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Dallas High School. I am thrilled with the level of instruction, dedication and support I received from every instructor at WOU."​

Tim Larson

M.S. in Ed. Special Education

"Being a student in the M.S. in SpEd program at Western Oregon University gave me the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills that equipped me to become an effective teacher. The professors in this program provide both challenge and motivation in the classroom setting through the support, knowledge, and enthusiasm that they exhibit in their teaching practices. Aside from establishing positive relationships with the professors, I also had the opportunity to build relationships with mentors in a nearby school district, while completing my field experience requirements. Receiving mentorship and guidance in the special education field before beginning my teaching career, helped me apply the knowledge that I had gained in my classes to support students in their academic and/or functional development. Overall, this program helped me grow so much as a person and a teacher, and I know it will do the same for you."

Nicolette Wise

M.S. in Ed. Special Education