MEd in Curriculum & Instruction – Special Education

Curriculum and Instruction / Special Education (MEd) Online from SNHU

Focus on Students with Special Needs

Earn your master’s in education online and learn how to best meet the needs of a diverse cross-section of students. The Curriculum and Instruction MEd with a concentration in Special Education at Southern New Hampshire University provides you with a deep understanding of the issues related to teaching and learning conditions for children with mild to moderate disabilities.

Explore traditional, innovative and research-based approaches that support the instructional and transitional needs of children in inclusive classrooms from preschool through high school. The history and legislation of Special Education at the federal and state levels as they relate to the Education Secondary Education Act (ESEA) also are examined.

This online master’s in education degree, which also is available at our Manchester, N.H., campus, is ideal for licensed teachers seeking an additional endorsement. The Curriculum and Instruction MEd with a concentration in Special Education program does not lead to initial licensure. Students enrolled in this program may be eligible for New Hampshire certification as a curriculum administrator or may elect to not seek state certification. If you are interested in obtaining state certification outside of New Hampshire, check with your state’s Department of Education to ensure New Hampshire certification is recognized in your home state.

The campus-based and online Curriculum and Instruction MEd with a concentration in Special Education program includes 11 courses, three of which comprise the Special Education concentration.

Curriculum and Instruction (MEd) Required Courses

EDU-520: The Educator Researcher
This course provides an introduction to methods of educational research. These methods encourage educators to be action researchers in their own classrooms, school districts, and/or communities to improve teaching and learning practice. Students will become familiar with purposeful quantitative and qualitative research designs to develop an increased understanding of the issues, both theoretical and practical, arising through the research process. An emphasis will be placed on understanding, interpreting, and critiquing educational research and developing research proposals.
EDU-533: Learning through Technology
In this course, students will develop the knowledge and skills to use technology to enhance student learning and achievement. This course also introduces students to learning targets (standards/outcomes) and a general model of curriculum development, implementation and assessment.
EDU-547: Curriculum Development
This course is a comprehensive, practical basis for preparing school administrators and teachers to be knowledgeable, creative and effective curriculum designers. Readings will provide students information about the importance and relevance of good curriculum design. The primary focus of the course will be on the study and use of UBD (Understanding by Design). Students will develop a working model of a curriculum unit using the UBD framework.
EDU-550: Educational Assessment
This course builds assessment competency by analyzing recent trends in assessment for evaluating and documenting student performance and progress toward desired outcomes. Students examine the uses of assessment at the individual, class and school levels; including New England Common Assessment Data. Students will select and design assessments suitable for instructional decisions that support planning develo9ping curriculum, and making recommendations for instructional improvement. Students will interpret and communicate the results of both externally produced and teacher-produced assessment for a variety of audiences. Students will describe valid grading procedures and discuss ethical issues linked to assessment methods and uses of assessment information.
EDU-555: Student Centered Curriculum/Instruction
The course will emphasize the teacher's critical role as a designer of student learning and will address how a curriculum built on the goal of student understanding using differentiated instruction can provide teachers with more specific teaching targets. The focus of this course is on the connections between Understanding by Design (UBD) and Differentiated Instruction (DI) as well as the use of standards of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the planning and delivery of curriculum for all types of learners.
EDU-582: Educational Factors of Diversity
This course examines a variety of factors that affect academic achievement for today's students from birth through the high school level. Students will examine diversity through the lens of race/ethnicity, language, economics, and academics. Culturally responsive teaching practices, including issues such as gender, ability, class, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and cultural pluralism will be examined.
EDU-610: Ethics and School Law
The primary goal of this course is for the student to develop awareness of ethical, professional and legal issues pertinent to educational settings. These issues include, ethical decision making processes, legal mandates related to education and special education, professional relationships, confidentiality, supervision, conflict of interest, boundaries and diversity. Additionally, we will discuss obstacles that relate to the provision of educational services in the school and with children and their parents in general.
EDU-775: Practicum in Curriculum and Instruction
Students are required to develop and implement two products and/or experiences and document a leadership role in the area of curriculum. Students complete a detailed proposal or plan of study on their goals, product(s), audience, follow-up, etc. for this practicum. The purpose of this practicum is to encourage the teacher as researcher and leader in curriculum development and encourage the integration and application of course work. The practicum is completed during the semester under the supervision of a school district administrator and the student's advisor.

Special Education Concentration

SPED-521: Effective Learning Environments
This course examines teaching strategies and techniques for early childhood, elementary education, middle school, and high school. Students will conduct an in-depth study of behavior theory and practical applications in the classroom environment. Students will learn to promote learning environments where students can set goals and accept responsibility for their own learning. Modification and accommodations will be researched at each level discussing the best approaches depending upon the developmental age of the child. Alignment with the regular education curriculum includes a review of the Grade Level Expectations and the Grade Span Expectations. Students will leave this class with a good understanding of the progression and development of students with disabilities K-12 personally, socially, physically and academically.
SPED-525: Critical Issues/Students with Disabilities
This course will analyze various disabilities and determine how they impact student learning within the general curriculum. Students will examine strategies and techniques (including assistive technology) to assist the student in the general education classroom. Tiered support systems will be discussed as a general education instructional framework that can serve the needs of all students. The role of the family and school as partners will be developed as a critical technique to serve the needs of students with disabilities, as well as the importance of facilitating effective meetings and communication efforts that must be part of the role of the special educator.
SPED-561: Consultation and Collaboration
This course presents the Assessment and IEP process from referral to completion. Students will be expected to clearly define roles and responsibilities within the school for the special education teacher, paraprofessional, and other personnel within the school. Additionally, students will examine and develop a process to meaningfully engage parents in the process preschool through age 21. Students will be able to write a formal evaluation report.

Admission Requirements

Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our five graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options.  Your counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application ($40 fee) and providing undergraduate transcripts.

Candidates must also submit an acknowledgement form and professional resume.

Licensure Information

This program is approved by the New Hampshire State Department of Education for Teacher Certification as leading to an endorsement in New Hampshire.  Please note that Southern New Hampshire University cannot guarantee licensure, certification, endorsement, or salary benefits.  View disclosure information.

University Accreditation

SNHU is a fully accredited university. Access our list of accreditations. More...

Contact Us

Phone: 888.387.0861