Master of Arts (M.A.) in Special Education (Extended Certification - Online Format)
An online program format allows you the flexibility you need to complete your degree as it fits your schedule. The certification portion of the program is 28 credits* and can be completed in 18 months, including student teaching. Courses are offered in an online format. Course curriculum is enhanced through field work experiences. These field experiences are conducted either in your current
classroom (if it meets the requirements for student teaching) or in a
special education classroom. Students will also have several face-to-face meetings scheduled throughout the program that complement the online experience.
*Please note: One developmental literacy course focusing on how children learn to read is required for this certification program. If you have not already taken a developmental literacy course, you will have the opportunity to complete this requirement as part of the certification portion of the program, making the total number of credits required for certification 28 credits. Students who have already taken a developmental literacy course will complete the program with 25 credits.
Student teaching can be completed either on the job or in a traditional student teacher placement.
On the Job Student Teaching
If you are currently an elementary, middle or secondary regular
education certified teacher and are teaching in a regular education
classroom, you may be able to earn certification while working in the
regular education classroom. If you teach at the elementary level, you
must have four or more students identified with special education needs
in your classroom at least 60% of the day. If you teach at the middle or
secondary level, you will need to work with four or more students
identified with special education needs for 60% of the classes you teach
Traditional Student Teaching
If you currently have regular education certification and are not
teaching in a regular education classroom, you can earn certification by
completing your student teaching in a special education classroom with a
cooperating teacher. Student teaching placements will be made in
cooperation with Stritch's College of Education and Leadership.
Students enrolling in the program become part of a cohort, a group of
students who learn together and move through the program at the same
pace. Aside from receiving the support of professional colleagues in the
cohort, you will have the usual faculty, staff and technical support
for which Stritch is known. The online coordinator is your primary
contact for content questions. A graduate admissions counselor
specifically trained to work with online students will answer your
admission, financial aid, and other general questions. A technical
support staff member is available for computer and technological issues.
You will be assigned to an action research advisor who will guide you
through the research writing project.