Aug 21, 2018  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog

Special Education, MEd (Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities, Successive Licensures)

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For those seeking both initial licensure and professional licensure in moderate disabilities within a master’s degree, we offer a 39-credit graduate program which meets the academic requirements for both licenses. This program focuses on using data-based teaching practices to develop academic and social skills in a range of learners, emphasizing strategies to combat disproportional representation. The core courses emphasize cross-disciplinary instruction informed by assessment and adapted for a range of learners, including those whose first language is other than English. In the capstone project, students implement units they have developed and evaluate the impact of this instruction on their own students.

Note: Students who completed the 27-credit Graduate Certificate Leading to Initial Licensure in Moderate Disabilities Program can continue in this master’s program. They are only required to take four additional courses, which fulfill the academic requirements for both professional licensure in moderate disabilities and a master’s degree in special education.

State Licensure Requirements

The licensure of educational personnel requires a bachelor’s degree and the completion of a program that has been approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, with course and field work that includes at least 75 hours of pre-practicum field observations and a supervised student teaching experience or internship. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires satisfactory performance on a test of proficiency in written and spoken English, and on competency examinations in a field of knowledge. For individuals seeking licensure in Moderate Disabilities at the elementary level, the field of knowledge is covered in the General Curriculum Test, which addresses the range of subjects covered in the elementary curriculum.

Individuals seeking licensure in Moderate Disabilities at the secondary level may take either the General Curriculum Test or a subject area test in a specific discipline taught at that level. Candidates must also pass a Foundations of Reading Test. Individuals who have completed such a program and have passed the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) will be granted “Initial Licensure” and are eligible to teach in a public school.

Those holding initial licensure have up to five years from the time they are first employed to complete the additional requirements for “Professional Licensure.” These include a master’s degree and successful teaching experience. Professional Licensure is renewable every five years; re-licensure requires the accumulation of “Professional Development Points” and the payment of a fee. More details concerning licensure and re-licensure are available in a booklet available from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 350 Main Street, Malden, Massachusetts 02148-5023, or at

Special Ed. Admission Requirements

The Special Education Program will recommend admission for those applicants who present evidence of their ability to do graduate work with distinction. Such evidence will include:

  1. A letter of intent, clearly explaining the applicant’s reasons for pursuing graduate study in the field of moderate disabilities.
  2. A curriculum vitae
  3. A distinguished undergraduate transcript, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
  4. Scores on the communications and literacy portion of Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL). Out-of-state applicants may submit scores from either the Miller Analogies Test or the Graduate Record Examination. Please note: While MTEL scores are required, the MAT and/or GRE is waived if the student already holds a graduate degree in a related field.
  5. Three letters of recommendation submitted by persons who are knowledgeable about teaching students with disabilities, who have worked closely with the applicant, and who have direct knowledge of the applicant’s teaching skills and academic performance.
  6. A writing sample indicating the applicant’s ability to write in a clear, concise, and professional manner. This sample may be in the form of a recent term paper. Applicants should not submit an Individualized Education Program (IEP), an evaluation report, a lesson plan, or curriculum unit. The College of Education and Human Development has as its basic goal that the students who graduate are thoughtful and responsive educators, committed to change for social justice. Please ensure that your writing sample demonstrates how you and your work match such a description. Your writing sample should also exemplify the experiences or values in your life that match this philosophy. NOTE: This writing sample is in addition to the statement of intent requirement for moderate disabilities.

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