Seattle University’s College of Education Master Degree in Special Education is designed for you, the professional educator striving to lead in your field and driven by a passion to meet the needs of students with learning, behavioral and physical disabilities. With our small class sizes and unique offerings of various learning environments—online and off—our special education master’s program is designed to fit your learning style and busy personal schedule.
Our program combines the convenience of online courses with lower cost pricing for graduate credits—as well as the ability to apply any available retooling funds—into an effective and affordable important solution dedicated to meeting the increased demand for trained special education teachers. As a student in our premier Special Education graduate studies program, you will be able to apply your gained knowledge to your current classroom in real time. Upon graduation you will find your new skills in very high demand throughout Washington state.
The Master of Education program in Special Education is designed for experienced, certificated teachers who will take one or two courses a quarter during the academic year and one or two courses during the summer.
The Educational Specialist in Special Education is designed for teachers who already hold a master's degree, but who want to earn the endorsement in special education.
The Endorsement Only Program in Special Education is designed for teachers who want to earn the endorsement in special education with or without the master's degree.
Dr. Cinda Johnson, EdD, is a nationally recognized leader in the study of transitions from high school to post-high for young people with disabilities. As the Principal Investigator of our College of Education’s Center for Change in Transition Services—a Washington State Needs Project funded with resources from OSPI—Dr. Johnson continues to lead and inform national practice and policies in research focused on secondary special education and the post-school outcomes of young people with disabilities.
Special education professionals have knowledge of the foundations of special education law, characteristics of learners and disability, and individual learning differences. Special education professionals must be well-grounded in current research and established theories of disability. Such foundational knowledge should be based on a comprehensive model of legal aspects of disability and special education, research-based learning processes and impact of disability on learning differences taking into account cultural, linguistic and socio-economic diversity.
Special education professionals use a wide range of instructional practices, approaches, methods and curricula materials to support learning by students with disabilities. These strategies and curriculum are research- based, involve a thorough knowledge of the learner’s individual differences, and various teaching approaches, materials and organizational models. Special education professionals must understand and actively address the moral, ethical and values dimensions of disability that affect instruction and students’ equitable access to effective materials and instruction.
Special education professionals create and support an environment that fosters learning through careful planning, content and practice and managing the teaching and learning environment. Communication and collaborative partnership with other professionals, families and the students are critical to the work of the special education professional.
Special education professionals commit to knowing, understanding, and applying the highest professional standards which include developing and demonstrating positive relationships with students, colleagues, program faculty and educational professionals.
With the overall goal of preparing you as a knowledgeable, ethical and reflective special educator for quality service in diverse communities, our following program competencies guide the preparation of all students:
Washington state has made PESB retooling funds available for high need areas that include Special Education. Also, many school districts are offering financial support to teachers obtaining high need endorsements. Be sure to explore tuition reimbursement with your employing district and follow these links to determine what support is available to you.
Learn more how we provide you multiple pathways, fit to your learning style, to an endorsement in Special Education.