MA, Special Education, Option I, Content Strategies

Master of Arts in Special Education, Content Strategies

Special education teachers are an exceptional group of educators that serve as advocates for social justice and seek to uphold the dignity of all people including those with disabilities. The Master of Arts in Special Education degree provides you with advanced knowledge to address educational learning problems and improve teaching strategies to enhance student performance. The Content Strategies emphasis area explores teaching a wide range of topics including English literacy, history, social science, visual performing arts, math and science. It is part of option I for completing the program and is geared toward students that hold a valid teaching credential or that complete education and special education prerequisites. In addition to Content Strategies alternative emphasis areas include:

The alternative option II for completing the degree is available for students that currently hold a Preliminary Education Specialist (Level I) Credential and need to advance to the next level. The MA in Special Education program does not meet the preliminary credential requirements for you to teach in California public schools.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Collaboration: Integrate skills and knowledge related to understanding appropriate collaborative partnerships with multidisciplinary teams that include families/guardians/caregivers, community members, and educational personnel.
  • Diversity: Demonstrate professional practices and attitudes that reflect value of and knowledge about children and families from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Instruction: Implement and promote evidence-based and multifaceted teaching methodologies and strategies, including those incorporating appropriate technology to meet students’ individualized needs.
  • Assessment: Critically analyze, select, and use formal and informal assessments that are appropriate for each child’s culture, language and unique learning needs. Candidates will incorporate assessment results for IEP/IFSP/ITP development, Response to Intervention (RTI), instruction, and interventions.
  • Behavioral Strategies: Implement Positive Behavior Supports, social skills instruction, and environmental arrangement to support developmentally appropriate social and educational behaviors.

Applicants must complete the formal application process and all required documents, which include:

  1. Two Letters of recommendation along with Two Waivers from individuals who are familiar with the applicants academic/professional ability to undertake graduate studies. 
  2. Must hold a valid Education Specialist Credential or successfully complete the prerequisite courses.

You must satisfactorily fulfilling one of the following admission options:

Option One
A 3.0 GPA calculated over the most recent 30 graded semester (45 quarter) credits completed in either a baccalaureate or post baccalaureate program, including credits earned toward a credential.

Option Two
A GPA between 2.5 and 2.99 (MAE/MAT requires 2.75-2.99) calculated over the most recent graded 30 semester (45 quarter) credits completed in either a baccalaureate or post baccalaureate program, including credits earned toward a credential. In addition, a satisfactory score on an accepted graduate admissions exam (GRE, GMAT, CSET, or MAT).

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE): achieve the required minimum scores on two out of three of the subsections of the GRE. (Minimum score for Quantitative: 141, minimum score for Verbal: 150, minimum score for Analytic Writing: 4.5)
  • Miller Analogies Test (MAT): achieve a minimum scaled score of 400.
  • Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT): fulfill the formula GMAT + (GPA X 200) > 1000.
  • Subject Matter Competency Examinations: successfully complete all subtests of the appropriate California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET). Exceptions are Foundational Level General Math where only subtests I and II are required and Foundational Level General Science where only subtests I and II are required.

Option Three
An earned master's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution.

Option Four
A GPA below 2.5, submission of a portfolio of evidence that shows adequate preparation for graduate studies. The portfolio will contain: writing samples that show graduate level communications and analytical skills; a detailed resume showing professional development and achievements; awards; professional recognition; letters of reference from persons who can attest to the applicant’s ability to do graduate level work; and a letter of explanation detailing the reasons the student believes he or she is a good candidate for graduate study in the discipline requested.

Core Requirements (18 credits)

EDUU 630 Leadership and Policy in Special Education 3
EDUU 631 Program Development and Organization in Special Education 3
EDUU 632 Advanced Assessment and Program Evaluation in Special Education 3
EDUU 600 Research and Evaluation Methods 3
EDUU 661 Collaboration and Cooperative Teaching 3
EDUU 633 Special Education Capstone 3


Advanced Electives (24 credits)

Students admitting into MA Special Education with an emphasis of Content Strategies must be decided with an advisor and communicated to the Teacher Accreditation Department so the credits can be added to the students's official program.

Content Strategies: EDMU 520, EDMU 521, EDMU 523, EDMU 524, EDMU 525, EDSU 530, EDSU 531, EDSU 532, EDSU 533, EDSU 534 OR any appropriate graduate level course in general education as approved by a special education faculty or associate dean

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