Specialist Program Details

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Credit Hours: 27

The Department of Learning and Teaching in the College of Education at the University of West Georgia (COE-UWG) offers the Education Specialist program in Special Education (EdS-SPED). The EdS-SPED degree prepares candidates to refine their professional knowledge, skills and dispositions for improving practice through the application of research constructs and the communication of new knowledge. Individuals with a variety of backgrounds and interests in special education can benefit from this program since it is not restricted to a single group or certification area within the field of special education. Candidates who successfully complete this program and other requirements of the state certification agency (PSC) will be eligible for Georgia Level 6 certification.

Program Description

The EdS-SPED degree is designed to meet the needs of teachers certified in Special Education who have completed a Master of Education degree (or the equivalent) in special education or a related field. The program consists of a minimum of 27 graduate credit hours plus an exit examination/Research Project. In this program, candidates will be required to read, write, and research the major topics in Special Education. Candidates enroll in 15 hours of 7000 and 8000 level special education Content Specialization courses, 6 hours of 8000 level special education research, and 6 hours of electives at the 7000/8000 level. Most of the required courses include a designated artifact that is utilized as part of the assessment plan for each candidate. Students may begin the program either Summer or Fall semester. During the initial advising session, a projected sequence of courses is developed for each student. Any changes in the projected sequence need to be determined jointly between student and advisor in order for the student to be able to complete the program in a timely manner. Program website and contacts: The Department of Clinical and Professional Studies web site includes other relevant information. Dr. Jessica Bucholz Special Education Program Coordinator jbucholz@westga.edu 678-839-6161

Method of Delivery

100% online*. Some elective* courses may require campus visits.

Accreditation

NCATE

Credit & Transfer

Total semester hours required to earn a degree: 27
Maximum Hours Transferable into program: 6

Tuition & Fees

The Value of Online Learning

Save money.
Online courses and programs can mean a huge cost-savings in many ways. No more high gas charges. No childcare needed. The flexibility can allow one to maintain a job while attending school. Out-of-state students are not charged non-resident tuition rates.

Earn more.
The completion of an accredited online degree also increases your earning potential.

The bottom line - value.
Our online courses are as affordable as you will find among accredited schools.


Financial Information and Assistance
For the most up-to-date and accurate cost information, see the Bursar's Office. (Fully online courses appear as NET charges on the bottom of the Bursar's spreadsheets.)

There is a variety of financial assistance options for graduate students, including scholarships and fellowships. Visit the links below for more information.  
Office of Financial Aid
College of Education Scholarships Information
Financial Information for Veterans and Families

TK20 - Electronic Portfolio Assessment System
Students in the College of Education are required to purchase a subscription to an electronic portfolio assessment system called TK20.  For more information about TK20, visit the COE About TK20 Page.  (Note: do not buy a subscription to TK20 until you are enrolled in your program and instructed to do so.)

Coursework

The Education Specialist in Special Education is a minimum of 27 graduate credit hours plus an exit examination/Research Project. In this program, candidates will be required to read, write, and research the major topics in Special Education. Candidates enroll in 15 hours of 7000 and 8000 level special education Content Specialization courses, 6 hours of 8000 level special education research, and 6 hours of electives at the 7000/8000 level. Most of the required courses include a designated artifact that is utilized as part of the assessment plan for each candidate.

All required courses for the degree will be offered over the next year. Some elective courses may require campus visits.  Students may begin the program either Summer or Fall semester. During the initial advising session, a projected sequence of courses is developed for each student. Any changes in the projected sequence need to be determined jointly between student and advisor in order for the student to be able to complete the program in a timely manner. The following is a list of the 7 required courses. Additionally, 6 graduate hours (usually, 2 courses) is selected by the candidate with advisor approval.

Program Planning and Evaluation - SPED-7701
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course is designed to assist the educator in developing and maintaining an appropriate service delivery model for exceptional students. Strategies used to assess program effectiveness are discussed.

Technology in Special Education - SPED-7702
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: An examination of instructional and assistive technology designed to enhance service delivery to students with disabilities, with an emphasis on students participating in general education content. Use of technology for support of service delivery (e.g. data management and IEP software) also will be addressed.

Administration of Special Education Programs - SPED-7704
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: Federal, state, and local organizational and administrative provisions for exceptional children; screening, identification, placement and ancillary services within educational settings. Teacher training and evaluation patterns. Field experience required.

Urban and Multicultural Issues in Special Education - SPED-7705
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: Historical and current influences on and effects of cultural and ethnic diversity in the special education classroom will be examined. Activities will focus on strategies that can be employed in P-12 settings to increase achievement of students with and without disabilities.

Special Education Law - SPED-7729
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course provides public school administrators and teachers the opportunity to examine the statutory and case law requirements of educating special populations.

Direct Instruction Methodology for Reading and Mathematics - SPED-7766
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: Enrollment requires SPED 6706 and SPED 6715 and SPED 6766; or permission of instructor. This course is designed to give teachers knowledge in providing instruction using a research-based instructional methodology called Direct Instruction to ensure that a diverse student population at risk of or having deficits in, reading and mathematics can reach high achievement in these areas. Teachers also became knowledgeable in evaluating and modifying commercially developed programs to ensure the guidelines of validated research based practices have been met.

Issues in Special Education - SPED-8704
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: In-depth study of new issues in special education, their implementation, and evaluation.

Curriculum Design and Implementation - SPED-8771
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: An in depth examination of curriculum development and implementation will be conducted. Students will examine research pertinent to the types of individuals they serve and design and modify educational programs based upon recent research findings and best practice literature.

Research Project - SPED-8783
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: The design and implementation of a research project in special education.

Research Seminar - SPED-8784
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: A study of special education research design, reference sources, computer service, and the compilation of a review of literature on a specific topic.

Faculty

This describes the general information about faculty for this program.

Guidelines for Admittance

  • All graduate applicants must complete the online Grad Application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.
  • Applicants should also review the Graduate Studies Website for individual program specific requirements and tasks that must be completed prior to admission. See Graduate Studies Application Process.
  • International applicants are subject to additional requirements and application deadlines. See Procedures for International Students.
  • Official transcripts from a regionally or nationally accredited institution are required and should be sent directly to the UWG Admissions Office.

Program-specific Admittance Guidelines

  • Master of Education degree (or the equivalent) in Special Education OR in a related field if the individual also holds a clear, renewable, professional certificate (or the equivalent) in Special Education
  • minimum GPA of 3.0 based on the most recent graduate degree program completed

Application Deadlines

Fall deadlines are typically the third week of July.

Summer deadlines are typically the third week of April.

This program does not admit new students in Spring term.

For specific deadlines check the graduate studies home page. The link for important deadlines is on the right hand side of the page. 

Admission Process Checklist

The Graduate Studies Application Process checklist is available here: http://www.westga.edu/gradstudies/apply-now.php

One exception: If you will not ever be traveling to a UWG campus or site, you may apply for an Immunization Exemption. Contact the Immunization Clerk with your request.

Contact

College of Education Office of Graduate Studies 

Ciara Tompkins
Phone: 678-839-6125
Fax: 678-839-6174
Email: ctompkin@westga.edu

Professional Studies web site includes other relevant information.

Contact

Dr. Jessica Bucholz
Special Education Program Coordinator
jbucholz@westga.edu
678-839-6161

Dates

Specific graduate deadlines are listed here: http://www.westga.edu/gradstudies/important-dates.php

* Application, app fee, and document deadline; Dates may vary for Readmit, Transfer, and Transient students.

Specific dates for Admissions (Undergraduate Only), Financial Aid, Fee Payment, Registration, Start/End of Term Dates, Final Exams, etc. are available in THE SCOOP at http://www.westga.edu/registrar/766.php.

Learning Objectives

  • LO1-Candidates demonstrate knowledge and skills related to Leadership and Policy (CEC Advanced Special Education Content Standard 1). (Artifacts also address NBPTS-EN standards II, IV, & XIV.)
  • LO2-Candidates demonstrate knowledge and skills related to Program Development & Organization (CEC Advanced Special Education Content Standard 2). (Artifacts also address NBPTS Core Proposition 3 and NBPTS-EN standards VI, VIII, IX, X, & XIV.)
  • LO3-Candidates demonstrate knowledge and skills related to Research & Inquiry (CEC Advanced Special Education Content Standard 3). (Artifacts also address NBPTS Core Propositions 1 & 5 and NBPTS-EN standards I & XIV.)
  • LO4-Candidates demonstrate knowledge and skills related to Student and Program Evaluation (CEC Advanced Special Education Content Standard 4). (Artifacts also address NBPTS Core Proposition 2 and NBPTS-EN standards V, VII, XI, & XIV.)
  • LO5-Candidates demonstrate knowledge and skills related to Professional Development and Ethical Practice (CEC Advanced Special Education Standard 5). (Artifacts also address NBPTS-EN standards III, XII, and XIV.)
  • LO6-Candidates demonstrate knowledge and skills related to Collaboration (CEC Advanced Special Education Standard 6). (Artifact also address NBPTS Core Proposition 4 and NBPTS-EN standards II, XIII, and XIV.)
  • LO7-Candidates demonstrate appropriate professional dispositions.