Department of Special Education Programs

The Department of Special Education prepares students for challenging and extremely rewarding careers as special education teachers, who will make a significant, life-long difference in the lives of individuals with exceptionalities.  Several undergraduate and graduate programs that are nationally certified are available.

The Special Education Comprehensive Program prepares students to teach K-12 learners with a broad range of exceptionalities, including learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, emotional and behavioral disorders, physical and sensory disabilities, and other health impairments. Special education majors are trained to develop and implement effective individualized educational programs that enable K-12 learners with disabilities to develop essential competencies to succeed in areas of academics, socialization, behavior and communication, independent living, employment, and community participation. Special education teachers use their expertise to provide specialized instruction and behavioral support in collaboration with other school professionals and families. Students gain invaluable experience through multiple fieldwork opportunities incorporated into the program coursework. The department supports a student chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children and provides additional opportunities for students to build instructional and leadership skills through participation in local, state and national conferences and volunteer experiences to support individuals with exceptionalities on campus and local special education communities.  Students complete two full-time student teaching experiences at the elementary and secondary levels in their final semester of the program. 

The M.S. in ABA prepares students to meet the coursework requirements to sit for the exam to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Professionals with certification in ABA are highly sought after in many fields including education, special education, and business.

There are three ABA program options – a Master of Science, a Sixth Year Diploma Program, and a Certificate Program. All programs prepare students to take and pass the BCBA exam and to use ABA in applied settings, such as with individuals with or without disabilities in educational or therapeutic environments. The ABA courses will be particularly relevant for special educators, school psychologists, and other educational professionals. Supervised Independent Fieldwork is available as a program option.

Verified Course Sequence (VCS) first time pass rate data for the BCBA exam can be found at the BACB website here. Please note pass-rate data are not published for sequences with fewer than six first-time candidates in a single year or for sequences within their first four years of operation.

Applicaton Deadline

One month before the start of new cohort. *New cohorts begin every 3 semesters (not including summer).

The ABA program currently runs on a cohort system (subject to change), with a new cohort beginning every 3 semesters (e.g., Spring 2020, Fall 2021, etc.). Applicants are encouraged to contact the Special Education department to verify next cohort start dates, application timeline and more information regarding the application process.

All Master’s degrees in special education require 30 credits, as well as a culminating experience. Some graduate courses may require field experiences. Courses should not be taken without an adviser’s approval.

Admission and Program Requirements Are As Follows:

  • 3.0 minimum undergraduate GPA
  • An interview, essay and two letters of recommendation are required for admission. However, additional materials may be required. Please contact an adviser for more information.
  • The program includes a culminating requirement such as a comprehensive exam or a thesis. Contact the Special Education Office for information on acceptance to the program.
  • The program must include 30 credits at the 500 level or above.

Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis— 30 Credits

Verified Course Sequence:

SED 641: Ethics and Professional Conduct (3 Credits)
SED 642: Organizational Behavior Management and Supervision (2 Credits)
SED 689: Philosophical Underpinnings of ABA (1 Credit)
SED 690: Principles of ABA (3 Credits)
SED 691: Single Subject Research Methods (3 Credits)
SED 692: Advanced ABA (3 Credits)
SED 693: Assessment in ABA (3 Credits)
SED 694: Intervention in ABA (3 Credits)

Total: 21 credits
 

Other required courses:

SED 514: Transition within Disability Services (3 Credits)

SED 531: Research in Special Education (3 Credits)

Total: 6 credits

Elective

One 500-level elective is required (3 credits) to reach the 30-credit requirement. Graduate electives may be chosen from special education or related courses with advisor approval, but these may not be credits that have been applied to a previous degree. These courses may be any 500-level graduate level course in the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, or School of Health and Human Services.

-Or-

Student may enroll in SED 695 (1 credit) to be taken once per-semester, across three semesters (for a total of 3 credits). SED 695 is an option for those students who would like Southern to provide support for BACB required supervision. At this time, student must arrange the location of supervision, where they are employed for 30+ hours per week (e.g., at the school where they currently work).

Capstone

Comprehensive exam in Applied Behavior Analysis is required.

Special Education Comprehensive Examination Schedule:

  • Fall — Study Session: to be announced (see website). Comprehensive Examination: Typically given on the third Saturday in November, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Spring — Study Session: to be announced (see website). Comprehensive Examination: Typically given on the first Saturday in April, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

The major purpose of the Master's degree is to extend professional knowledge of practitioners in school programs for exceptional children. Corollary objectives provide for advanced professional preparation in special education, expansion of knowledge concerning other areas of exceptionality, and creating an awareness of the problems concerned with special education administration and supervision.

The major purpose of the Master's degree is to extend professional knowledge of practitioners in school programs for exceptional children. Corollary objectives provide for advanced professional preparation in special education, expansion of knowledge concerning other areas of exceptionality, and creating an awareness of the problems concerned with special education administration and supervision.

The major purpose of the Master's degree is to extend professional knowledge of practitioners in school programs for exceptional children. Corollary objectives provide for advanced professional preparation in special education, expansion of knowledge concerning other areas of exceptionality, and creating an awareness of the problems concerned with special education administration and supervision.

The major purpose of the Master's degree is to extend professional knowledge of practitioners in school programs for exceptional children. Corollary objectives provide for advanced professional preparation in special education, expansion of knowledge concerning other areas of exceptionality, and creating an awareness of the problems concerned with special education administration and supervision.

Post-Baccalaureate: A route to certification for future educators with a Bachelor's degree

The Post- Baccalaureate in Special Education is for future educators with a Bachelor's degree. This is a 36.5 credit (non-degree seeking) program offered at the undergraduate level. This program prepares students for special education certification. This program culminates in a semester of student teaching experience in special education settings in CT. 

Applicaton Deadline

One month before the start of new cohort.
*New cohorts begin every 3 semesters (not including summer).

 

The major purpose of the sixth year professional program is to extend professional knowledge of practitioners in school programs for exceptional children. Corollary objectives provide for advanced professional preparation in special education, expansion of knowledge concerning other areas of exceptionality, and creating an awareness of the problems concerned with special education administration and supervision. The program is open to candidates who hold a master’s degree. Admission requirements include a departmental interview, submission of an essay, and two letters of recommendation.

Individual programs are planned by the adviser and are based upon the applicant’s background, training, and educational experience. Up to nine graduate credits of transfer credits are allowed only if the courses transferred are commensurate with those required for the sixth year program.

Sixth Year Certificate —courses will be planned with student individually. The program will include a minimum of 15 credits at the 600 level.

Inclusion and student diversity are changing the way in which educational services are delivered. Teachers and support staff increasingly collaborate in the classroom to individualize and enhance instruction for students with special needs. This course of study prepares educators in a wide range of collaborative approaches, including teamwork, co-teaching, coaching, and consultation, and includes core courses, guided application projects, and participation in a collaboration/consultation practicum. The five courses in collaboration/consultation may be taken with the courses required for certification in Educational Leadership as an Intermediate Administrator.

Verified Course Sequence (VCS) first time pass rate data for the BCBA exam can be found at the BACB website here.  Please note pass-rate data are not published for sequences with fewer than six first-time candidates in a single year or for sequences within their first four years of operation.

Applied Behavior Analysis — Sixth Year Certificate —30 Credits in Specialization

  • SED 641 - Ethical and Professional Conduct — 3 credits
  • SED 642 - Organizational Behavior Management and Supervision - 2 credits
  • SED 689 - Philosophical Underpinnings of ABA - 1 credit
  • SED 690 - Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis — 3 credits
  • SED 691 - Single Subject Research Methods — 3 credits
  • SED 693 - Assessment in Applied Behavior Analysis — 3 credits
  • SED 694 - Intervention in Applied Behavior Analysis — 3 credits
  • SED 692 - Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis — 3 credits

 Electives

          * SED 695 — Supervised Independent Fieldwork in ABA — 1 credit

9 electives needed to reach the 30 credit requirement. These electives may be any graduate level course in the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, or the College of Health and Human Services. Up to 6 credits of graduate level coursework may be applied to the 6th Year Certificate only if those credits have not been previously applied towards another degree.

*SED 695 may be taken up to three times and is an option for those students who would like Southern to provide support for BACB required supervision. At this time, student must arrange the location of supervision, where they are employed for 30+ hours per week (e.g., at the school where they currently work).

The 6th Year Certificate in Special Education with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis currently runs on a cohort system (subject to change), with a new cohort beginning every three semesters. (e.g., Fall 2016, Spring 2018, etc). Applicants are encouraged to contact the Special Education and Reading department to verify next cohort start dates and application timelines. Please contact the Special Education and Reading department on the application to the program. 

The major purpose of the sixth year professional program is to extend professional knowledge of practitioners in school programs for exceptional children. Corollary objectives provide for advanced professional preparation in special education, expansion of knowledge concerning other areas of exceptionality, and creating an awareness of the problems concerned with special education administration and supervision. The program is open to candidates who hold a master’s degree. Admission requirements include a departmental interview, submission of an essay, and two letters of recommendation.

The Collaborative Special Education/Elementary Education program is a unique program that prepares students for dual certification in Special Education, grades K-12 and Elementary Education, grades 1-6. The program provides students with a competitive advantage when searching for jobs and more flexibility throughout their careers as they are prepared to work with a wide variety of students. Students have multiple fieldwork opportunities to interact and instruct learners with and without disabilities in individual, in small group and whole classroom educational settings. Students in this program also complete two student teaching experiences – one in a special education setting and one in general education setting. Students in this program are required to have a second major, usually interdisciplinary studies (IDS), to expand general education content knowledge and fulfill state teaching requirements for elementary education.