Graduate Academic Catalog 2019 - 2020 
    Jun 01, 2023  
Graduate Academic Catalog 2019 - 2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Education, M.A.

Program Director: Lisa Keith, Psy.D.


The Master of Arts in Special Education prepares candidates to be leaders in their respective positions. Candidates learn how to utilize research to foster change based upon best practices. A minimum of 32 semester units of coursework is required for a Master of Arts in Special Education. The Special Education Division offers two pathways for obtaining a master's degree:

  1. Applicants currently pursuing a Preliminary Education Specialist Credential.
  2. Applicants seeking a MA in Special Education only.

All candidates must receive advisement and an education plan from the Master of Arts in Special Education Program Director prior to admission to the program. Fourteen (14) core units must be completed along with a minimum of eighteen elective units. Candidates may apply selected credential course work as elective units. Up to nine units may be transferred from another university.

Admissions Requirements

  • Official transcripts verifying bachelor's degree
  • Minimum GPA 3.0
  • Letter of explanation if GPA is under 3.0
  • Three current reference forms
  • Education plan completed by the MA Program Director
  • All official transcripts from colleges/universities attended
  • Academic writing sample
  • Copy of valid certificate of clearance
  • Verification of negative TB test (within last 12 months)

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Candidates will demonstrate knowledge of theology regarding God's intention for disability and suffering.
  2. Candidates will demonstrate knowledge of historical, legal, ethical, theoretical and philosophical foundations of special education.
  3. Candidates will implement legal and ethical practices within the learning community.
  4. Candidates will demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and understanding of characteristics and needs of individuals with exceptionality and their families.
  5. Candidates will demonstrate cultural awareness of exceptionality and its implications within the family system.
  6. Candidates will implement ethical principles and evidence-based practice for assessment and evaluation to determine individual needs, develop programs of service and measure progress.
  7. Candidates will apply a breadth of knowledge of general education curricula to provide equitable access within the learning community.
  8. Candidates will apply evidence-based practice for curriculum selection, instructional strategies, and adaptations.
  9. Candidates will apply a working knowledge of assistive technology and augmentative communication systems within the learning community.
  10. Candidates will demonstrate evidence-based practice for development of positive learning environments and behavioral adaptations and interventions.
  11. Candidates will demonstrate effective communication and team building through consultation and collaboration with individuals with exceptionalities, families, education personnel, and the greater community.
  12. Candidates will implement transitional services for individuals with exceptionalities for education, employment, and individualized living objectives.
  13. Candidates will demonstrate proficient written communication by synthesizing and articulating information in standard formats to inform practice.

Locations Offered

Main Campus Fresno, Merced, Visalia, Bakersfield, Online

Required Courses

Applicants Seeking a M.A in Special Education only take the following coursework to meet the eighteen elective minimum unit. These courses are offered online only.