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Master of Education: Special Education

Our graduate programs at Clemson University build on the rich experiences and expertise of faculty and students to provide an educational environment in which both groups share in research, exploration and inquiry. The result of this synergy is impact — on our community and beyond.

Specialty Concentrations

  • Overview

    The Master of Education degree in special education is designed to ensure that students are knowledgeable in the field of special education. The degree program prepares students in at least one of the following areas: learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders or intellectual disabilities. Courses are designed to meet both national and state standards, and all certification areas have been approved by the National Council of Accreditation for Teacher Education and the Council for Exceptional Children. The prescribed program of study enables students to identify important legal and policy issues in special education, demonstrate knowledge of the research processes within the field of special education, demonstrate knowledge of specific characteristics of individuals with mild disabilities and implement scientifically based interventions for students with disabilities in a variety of settings.

    The program faculty strive to meet the ever-changing needs of the field through modifications and enhancements in the curriculum and practicum settings. Successful graduates will evaluate critically special education literature, recognize and evaluate current issues and problems in special education and identify potential solutions for these problems.

    Special education faculty provide the majority of field supervision, so students receive critical as well as supportive feedback that is tied directly to program goals. Three faculty members have been certified as Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Professional Teaching (ADEPT) Team Members. Consequently, course work and field experiences also are designed carefully to enable students to meet the current state standards for professional teaching.

  • Program Goals

    The degree requires 36 semester hours. Specific objectives include the following:

    • Demonstrate knowledge of theories, characteristics and educational needs of students with learning disabilities (LD), emotional/behavioral disabilities (E/BD) and/or intellectual disabilities (ID).
    • Design and administer formal and informal instruments to assess the abilities and disabilities of students.
    • Design an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) for students with disabilities according to federal and state regulations.
    • Serve as a team member with parents, school psychologists, social workers, medical personnel, general education teachers, school administrators, vocational counselors and community agencies in providing appropriate services to students with disabilities.
    • Implement individualized teaching strategies, using appropriate materials, which will facilitate the development of students with LD, ID and/or E/BD.
    • Interpret and/or conduct research in the area of special education and use the findings to develop more effective practices for students with disabilities.
    • Provide educational assistance in terms of recommendations of procedures and materials to general education teachers for including students with disabilities in general education settings.

    *Please note that the program is currently only offering a specialization in LD (not E/BD or MR) at this time.

  • Admission Requirements

  • Program Requirements

    Download Program Handbook.

    Required Courses (24 hours):
    EDF 8770 Exp. and Non-exp. Methods Research I
    EDSP 8200 Literacy Instruction for Individuals with Disabilities
    EDSP 8210 Educational Assessment of Individuals with Disabilities
    EDSP 8230 Teaching Individuals with Disabilities in Integrated Settings
    EDSP 8410 Instructional Strategies for Individuals with Disabilities in Secondary School Setting
    EDSP 8530 Legal and Policy Issues in Special Education
    EDSP 8540 Applied Behavior Analysis
    EDSP 8220 Teaching Mathematics to Individuals with Disabilities

    Area of Emphasis (9-12 hours):
    Students choose from one of three areas of emphasis. Courses in each area partially fulfill requirements for S.C. certification in that area.

    Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities Disorders:
    EDSP 8130 Characteristics of Individuals with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
    EDSP 8140 Educational Procedures for Individuals with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
    EDSP 8150 Practicum in Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

    Learning Disabilities:
    EDSP 8100 Characteristics of Individuals with Learning Disabilities
    *EDSP 8110 Educational Procedures for Individuals with Learning Disabilities
    EDSP 8120 Practicum in Learning Disabilities

    Mental Retardation:
    EDSP 8160 Characteristics of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism
    EDSP 8170 Educational Procedures for Individuals with Disabilities and Autism
    EDSP 8180 Practicum in Mental Retardation

    *This course is required for South Carolina certification in Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities and should be included in the program of studies in lieu of three hours of electives unless it has been taken previously.

    Electives (three hours):
    READ 8650 Evaluation and Remediation of Reading Problems (recommended for elementary emphasis)
    EDSP 8410 Instructional Strategies for Individuals with Disabilities in Secondary School Settings

    NOTE 1: It is the students’ responsibility to remain current on the specific requirements for South Carolina certification. Students should spend time carefully planning their programs with their advisers.
    For further details on state-required courses and electives, see South Carolina State Department of Education.
    Students entering the special education programs need to understand South Carolina statutes as they apply to the field of teaching.

    NOTE 2: If the student has not completed the following three courses at the undergraduate level, (Courses may have different numbers on the undergraduate transcript, therefore, look for content. Course titles may need to be examined for content.), he/she may be required by South Carolina to complete them for certification.
    EDSP 3700 Introduction to the Exceptional Child (state requires as part of MR & E/BD; elective for LD)
    EDF 3340/3350 Child Growth and Development/Adolescent Growth and Development (state requires for MR & LD)
    READ 4590/4600 Teaching Reading in the Early/Intermediate Grades

    NOTE 3: Students must declare degree-seeking status in the graduate school prior to the completion of 12 semester hours toward an M.Ed. In addition to the required course work, certification sequence and electives, all candidates for an M.Ed. in special education are required to pass a comprehensive examination. Comprehensive examinations are administered following the completion or near completion of an approved program of study.

    NOTE 4: Students must take the Specialty Area PRAXIS Examination required by S.C. for certification in their area. Scores must be submitted to the Office of Field Experience to meet graduation requirements.

  • Faculty

    Abby Allen - Special Education

    Jennie Farmer - Learning Disabilities

    Shanna Eisner Hirsch - Special Education

    Janie Hodge - Learning Disabilities

    Antonis Katsiyannis - Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

    W. Kent Parker - Special Education

    Beverly Romansky - Special Education

    Joseph Ryan - Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

    Pamela Stecker - Learning Disabilities

  • Find Out More

    For more information, please fill out this form or visit the Clemson University Graduate School website. If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact Julie Jones.