Special Education M.A. and/or Certification

January 7, 2019
Next Start Date
$594
Per Credit Hour

Overview

There is a high demand for special education teachers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026. The College of Education and Human Services offers educators a variety of options in order to get the credentials they need. The program is delivered online, with live synchronous class meetings. Students are required to complete field/clinical experience(s) in their home community.

 

The program offers these online options:

  • Master of Arts Degree
  • Master of Arts Degree with certification (initial certification or additional endorsement)

Students can choose from one of three specializations:

  • Applied Behavioral Analyst
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Multicategorical Special Education



Accreditation

West Virginia University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. This program meets the professional standards of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). West Virginia University’s Professional Education Preparation Unit is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).



Admissions

Applicants are required to submit both the WVU Application for Graduate Admission and the Department of Special Education application which can be obtained at sped@mail.wvu.edu or by calling (304) 293-3450.

Application Requirements

Regular admission is granted only when these criteria are met:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Standardized Graduate Admissions Test score of 850 (old scoring system) and 280 (new scoring system) or better on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), OR 400 or better on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), OR a passing score on the Praxis Core (see below)
    OR
    a Master’s degree in education or a closely related area from a regionally accredited institution with minimum GPA of 3.25
  • Recommendation for Graduate Study (see Program Application Form) completed by a previous course instructor
  • Permission for Field/Clinical Experiences (see Program Application Form) completed by a school administrator (degree programs only)
  • Passing scores on the Praxis Core* within a 10 year period—156 on 5712 (Reading), 162 on 5722 (Writing), 150 on 5732 (Math); if GRE or MAT scores are provided as national test scores (see above); PPST may be WAIVED IF evidence is provided of prior certification in some area of education OR a Master’s degree from an accredited institution OR a composite score of 25 (26 if enhanced) on the American College Test (ACT) OR a score of 1035 (1125 if re-centered) on the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) OR SAT combined Critical Reading and Math scores of 1170. Other tests may be substituted if documentation is provided and content is substantially equivalent to core.
  • Request official transcripts from all institutions attended for undergraduate and graduate study be sent to:
    WVU Office of Graduate Admissions
    P.O. Box 6510
    Morgantown, WV 26506-6510

    or

    electronically sent to GraduateAdmissions@mail.wvu.edu.

Prior certification required for the following::

  • Prior certification in early childhood (K-4) or elementary education (K-6 or K-8) is required for K-6 option only
  • Prior certification in early childhood or elementary education OR secondary education in biology, chemistry, English, general science, mathematics, physics, reading education/specialist, and/or social studies is required for Gifted Education K-12 only

OTHER special requirements for INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS only.:

  • TOEFL score: 550 or higher (paper); 215 or higher (computer); 80 or higher (Internet) for non-native English speakers ONLY
    OR
    IELTS score: 6.5 or higher; the English language testing requirement will NOT be waived even for individuals enrolled in the WVU Intensive English Program
  • Personal interview (by phone or in person) to verify proficiency in English for non-native English speakers ONLY
  • NOTE: SCHOOL SYSTEMS MAY REQUIRE CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS AND FORMAL BOARD APPROVAL PRIOR TO PLACEMENT

Application Deadlines

Fall: August 1

Spring: January 1

Summer: May 1



Cost

Residents Non-Residents
Tuition and Fees

for academic year 2018-2019

$594

Per Credit Hour

$594

Per Credit Hour

Financial aid is available. Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827.



Curriculum

This is a general overview of what students can expect to gain from each specialization. Prospective students can find more details on the departmental website.

 

View Curriculum

 

 

The curriculum consists of the following courses:

 

Master’s Degree in Special Education with concentration in Applied Behavioral Analysis

This online graduate program prepares educators and professionals to plan, implement and evaluate interventions using applied behavior analytic techniques. Anyone can enroll, but to be eligible for the BCBA® credential, individuals must already hold a Master’s degree or complete the coursework in conjunction with a Master’s degree in an approved area: behavior analysis or other natural science such as psychology, education (including special education), human services, health sciences, or another field related to behavior analysis approved by the board. Students have the following options:

Master’s Degree in Special Education with an area of concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis
Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (18-credit hours). Note: Only individuals who document that they have already earned a Master’s degree in an approved area or are currently enrolled at WVU or another university may be admitted to the Coursework Only program option. 
 

Master’s Degree or Master’s with Certification in Early Childhood Special Education

This online graduate program prepares educators who can provide quality early childhood special education services to young children with special needs and their families under the auspices of public schools and other community agencies. Students have these options:

Master’s Degree in Special Education plus Certification in Preschool Special Needs Grades Pre-K
Master’s Degree in Special Education with area of concentration in Early Childhood Special Education
 

Master’s Degree or Master’s with Certification in Gifted Education

This online graduate program prepares special education teachers to engage in current research-based practices related to acceleration and enrichment programs for high-achieving students. Students have these options:

Master’s Degree in Special Education plus Certification in Gifted Education Grades 1-12
Master’s Degree only in Special Education with area of concentration in Gifted Education
 

Master’s Degree or Master’s with Certification in Multicategorical Special Education

This online graduate program prepares educators who can work with children and adults with special needs across the areas of mild/moderate mental impairments, specific learning disabilities, and emotional/behavioral disorders. Students have the following options:

 
Master’s Degree plus Certification in Multicategorical Special Education Grades K-6 or 5-Adult
Master’s Degree only in Special Education with area of concentration in Multicategorical Special Education
 

Master’s Degree or Master’s with Certification in Severe/Multiple Disabilities

This online graduate program prepares educators who can provide quality educational programs and habilitation services to children, adolescents, and adults with severe or multiple disabilities in a variety of settings, including elementary and secondary schools, residential facilities, vocational training settings, and community habilitation programs. Students have these options:

Master’s Degree in Special Education plus Certification in Severe Disabilities Grades K-Adult
Master’s Degree only in Special Education with area of concentration in Severe/Multiple Disabilities



Career Information

Students who graduate from WVU Online with the Special Education M.A. and/or Certification degree may be prepared for the following careers. These are only a few examples of some of the many opportunities that will be open to you with this degree. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for some positions.

 

Kindergarten Teacher

Projected Growth: 5-9%

Elementary School Teacher

Projected Growth: 5-9%

Secondary School Teacher

Projected Growth: 5-9%

Postsecondary School Teacher

Projected Growth: 10-14% *Bright Outlook

Special Education Teacher

Projected Growth: 5-9%

Special Education Teacher - Preschool

Projected Growth: 10-14% *Bright Outlook

Health Educator

Projected Growth: 15% or higher *Bright Outlook

Education Administrator

Projected Growth: 5-9%
 
Information about careers on this list comes from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).