Special Education

Chair: Trinka Messenheimer
Contact: Brenda Joy
451 Education
Phone: 419-372-7278
Program Web Page

Degrees Offered
Master of Education

Programs Offered
Assistive Technology
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Secondary Transition

Accreditation
The School of Intervention Services (SIS) in the College of Education and Human Development offers graduate programs in special education leading to the Master of Education (M.Ed.), eligibility for Ohio educator licensure, and university certificates. The M.Ed. in Special Education has five specializations: Assistive Technology, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Mild-Moderate Intervention Specialist, Moderate-Intensive Intervention Specialist, and Secondary Transition. Program graduates are prepared to assist individuals with disabilities access a quality education and assume roles as valued, contributing members of their communities.  The program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and through program review by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

Prerequisites to Graduate Work
Prerequisites for the M.Ed. and certificate programs include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.

Admission Procedure
Applicants seeking admission to the graduate programs in special education should follow the instructions outlined in the Graduate Admission section of this catalog and should contact the coordinator of the graduate special education program directly for supplemental application materials.  Degree applicants seeking funding must complete a separate assistantship application. To receive fullest consideration for an assistantship, the completed application must be submitted by February 1 prior to the fall semester a student wishes to enter the program.

Degree Requirements

Master of Education
Candidates must complete a minimum of 33 semester hours of graduate credit. The following nine semester hours of coursework are required: EDFI 6410, EDFI 6420, and EDIS 6490. Candidates must also complete a thesis, final project, or comprehensive examination. Each area of specialization has additional requirements described in the paragraphs that follow.

Educator Licensure: Candidates who wish to become licensed in the State of Ohio as K-12 Intervention Specialists can choose to specialize in either the Mild/Moderate Intervention Specialist or the Moderate/Intensive Intervention Specialist program area. These licensure programs are designed to prepare candidates with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to meet the educational needs of students in grades K-12 (ages 5-21) with mild to moderate disabilities (e.g., learning disabilities, developmental disabilities) or moderate to intensive disabilities (e.g., developmental disabilities, multiple disabilities). Program coursework and field experiences are aligned with special educator preparation standards of the Council for Exceptional Children and integrate foundation knowledge and skills, theories, methods, and practices to work and advocate on behalf of learners with disabilities.

Individuals who enter the program without an initial teaching license are required to complete up to 60 credit hours of licensure coursework. Individuals who hold an initial teaching license can add an intervention specialist license with fewer credit hours of coursework. Upon completing the required licensure coursework and successfully passing state-approved teacher licensure exams and requirements, candidates may apply to the Ohio Department of Education for teacher licensure.

Assistive Technology: Students in the Assistive Technology Specialization program will develop the skills needed to work effectively with individuals with assistive technology needs, their parents, teachers, professionals, and school districts seeking to introduce assistive technologies into multiple environments. This fully online program can be completed in a minimum of 33 semester hours. Five core courses in assistive technology provide the foundation for the program. The Assistive Technology program does not lead to state teaching licensure or endorsement.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): The ASD Specialization program is intended for individuals who are interested in expanding their knowledge and skills for understanding, identifying, and working effectively with individuals on the autism spectrum. This fully online program can be completed in a minimum of 34 semester hours. The program includes five core autism courses. Each core course requires field experience hours with individuals on the autism spectrum. The ASD program does not lead to state teaching licensure or endorsement.

Secondary Transition: Students in the Secondary Transition Specialization program will develop the knowledge and performance skills to support youth with exceptional learning needs as they transition to adult life. Five online core courses in secondary transition provide the foundation for the program. Students can select from among online and face-to-face courses to complete the 33 semester hours required for the master’s degree.

Graduate Certificate Programs
Individuals who wish to receive specialized, graduate-level training in assistive technology, autism, or secondary transition without pursuing the master’s degree may enroll in one of three certificate programs offered through the School of Intervention Services. These certificate programs consist of 15 semester hours of coursework and are delivered online. Students accepted into a certificate program must satisfy a prerequisite, EDIS 5310 Teaching Students with Exceptional Learning Needs, or its equivalent. Students enter the program as part of an online cohort of learners that moves through the program coursework together. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in core courses to continue in the program and to receive the certificate.

Assistive Technology
The focus of this certificate program is on developing a knowledge base for working with Individuals with assistive technology needs, to help such individuals increase, maintain, or improve their functional abilities. Certificate core courses include EDIS 6400, 6410, 6420, 6430, and one course from a list of approved electives.

Autism Spectrum Disorders
The focus of this certificate program is on developing a knowledge base for working with individuals on the autism spectrum. The program is intended for educators (general and special), school psychologists, counselors, speech-language pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, medical personnel, and educational consultants. The program is comprised of the following five courses, which are taken in sequence: EDIS 6440, 6460, 6540, 6480, and 6690. Each course in the program requires clinical/field experience hours with individuals on the autism spectrum.

Secondary Transition
This certificate program prepares educators, rehabilitation professionals, and others with the knowledge and performance skills to support youth with exceptional learning needs as they transition to adult life. Students take five core courses: EDIS 6450, EDIS 6610, EDIS 6620, EDIS 6900 and either EDIS 5310 or EDWF 6010. Program completers who hold a current Intervention Specialist or Career-Technical teaching license will be recommended for the State of Ohio Transition-to-Work (TTW) Endorsement.

Graduate Courses
Please access graduate courses online at http://www.bgsu.edu/registration-records/courses-and-classes/class-course-information.html. Graduate courses in Special Education use the prefix: EDIS.