grad_com

 

An electronic newsletter from the BSU School of Graduate Studies

Vol. 4, No. 9

March 2008

 

The Process

Registration: Grad classes

Starting the count of seven years to complete a degree

Form 1: Applying for admission to graduate studies

Completing 13-16 graduate credits after admission

Form 2: Applying for candidacy in a graduate degree program

Taking the written exam at the end of course work

Form 3: Proposing a research paper or thesis

Doing the work and writing the results

Form 4: Applying for graduation

Submitting the research paper or thesis for review

Form 5: Scheduling the oral examination

Defending your graduate work

Diploma

 

This month . . .

·      Ins and Outs: Investigating Grad Programs

               The Special Education Programs

·      Licensures for Special Education

·      Additional Information from the Professional Education Department

·      Q&A: Question of the Month?

 

 

Investigating Programs in Special Education

 

 

Master of Science in Special Education (M.S.)

The Degree

The Master of Science - Special Education is a research-based degree that emphasizes a scholarly understanding of either specific learning disabilities (SLD) or emotional behavioral disorder (EBD). Coursework for the degree parallels the coursework for the SLD and EBD licensure programs, but is not exactly the same. For the most part, students who have completed a licensure program may complete the Master of Science in Special Education by completing the scholarly requirement.

The degree provides students with a broad base of knowledge about learners with special needs and programming strategies for those learners. As a foundation for the program, BSU emphasizes performance-based standards for teacher preparation established by the Minnesota Board of Teaching and the Council for Exceptional Children. 

NOTE: We encourage students to apply for admission to either the MSPED or MS in Special Education when they begin the EBD or SLD licenses.

Preparation Requirements

Students should have an undergraduate degree in education, with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better, and a valid teaching license for admission to the Master of Science--Special Education program. Applicants who are not licensed teachers may be admitted into the program with the consent of the Coordinator of Special Education.  A special education teaching license may also be incorporated into the program; however, this is not the primary focus of the program.

Program of Study

The M.S. in Special Education program of study includes 21-23 credits of core (required) courses, a minimum of 3-6 elective credits, and 7-9 research credits including a formal paper or thesis.  Minimum credits required: 35 semester credits.

NOTE: A minimum of 50% of the courses in the Master of Science--Special Education must be at the 6000 level. Students are advised to work with an advisor in planning coursework.

Written Exam

Students must pass the PRAXIS-II Education of the Exceptional Student, Core Content as part of the degree.

Thesis/Research Paper

Students must complete either a thesis or research paper upon the completion of their course work in order to finish their degree.  Whether a student completes a research paper or thesis is dependent upon the interest of the student, the student’s academic goals, and the guidance of the student’s advisor. 

 

Master of Special Education (M.SpEd.)

The Degree

The Master of Special Education is an application degree designed for practicing teachers seeking licensure in either specific learning disabilities (SLD) or emotional behavioral disorders (EBD). Components of the degree emphasize theory to practice in practicum settings, development and modification of curriculum for students with special needs, and an understanding of relevant literature and research within the field.

This degree leads to a MN license in special education (either EBD or SLD). As a foundation for the program, BSU emphasizes performance-based standards for teacher preparation established by the Minnesota Board of Teaching and the Council for Exceptional Children. 

NOTE: We encourage students to apply for admission to either the MSPED or MS in Special Education when they begin the EBD or SLD licenses.

Preparation Requirements

Students should have an undergraduate degree in education, with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better, and a valid teaching license for admission to the Master of Special Education program. Applicants who are not licensed teachers may be admitted into the program with the consent of the Coordinator of Special Education.  A special education teaching license may also be incorporated into the program; however, this is not the primary focus of the program.

Program of Study

The M.SpEd. program of study includes 37 credits of core (required) courses and a portfolio of the student’s work during the program.

Written Exam

Students must pass the PRAXIS-II Education of the Exceptional Student, Core Content as part of the degree.

Portfolio

Students completing a M.SpEd. degree are required to complete a Portfolio in lieu of a thesis or research paper.  The portfolio is created from work and projects completed within the student’s courses and is determined with the aid of the student’s project advisor. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q&A: M.SpEd. and M.S. in Special Education – the difference?

Q: What’s the difference between a M.SpEd. and a M.S. degree in Special Education?

A: First, the similarities:

·    Same core courses

Now the differences:

M.S. in Special Education

a research-based degree that emphasizes a scholarly understanding of the field; parallels the coursework for the SLD and EBD licensure programs; requires a thesis or research paper.

MSpD. – applied degree designed for practicing teachers seeking licensure in either specific learning disabilities or emotional behavioral disorders; requires a portfolio rather than a thesis or research paper.

Speak to your advisor to determine which program best fits your future plans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Licensures for Special Education

 

 

Licensure Programs

The Department of Professional Education at Bemidji State University offers three special education licensure programs.

·    Developmental/Adapted Physical Education (D/APE) – combined with a Physical Education program that qualifies the student to teach adapted physical education in the State of Minnesota to fulfill the licensure requirements of the State of Minnesota for Developmental Adapted Physical Education.

·    Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (EBD) – qualifies a teacher to provide instruction for students with emotional/behavioral disorders in grades K-12 in the State of Minnesota. Courses in the licensure program provide the skills necessary to design and implement individualized education program plans for students with emotional/behavioral disorders. (Available Online)

·    Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) – qualifies teachers to provide specially designed instruction in reading, mathematics, written and oral expression, and listening comprehension for students with learning disabilities and learning disorders in grades K-12 in the State of Minnesota.  (Available Online)

Two additional licensure programs are available through MN Statewide system:

·    Visual Impairment (VI) – jointly developed and cooperatively delivered by the seven Minnesota institutions. In order to be recommended to the State of Minnesota for a VI license, an individual will need to complete both the Core Skills for Teachers of Special Education and the Subject Matter Skills for Visual Impairment.  Contact one of the faculty in special education for more information about this license.

·    Deaf/Hard of Hearing (D/HH) – Students pursuing this license have access to the University of Minnesota program. Individuals may take their core special education courses at BSU and complete the Deaf/Hard of Hearing license requirements at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities over two summers.

These programs provide in-service teachers with a broad base of knowledge about disabilities and programming strategies to use with students with disabilities. As a foundation for the program, BSU emphasizes performance-based standards for teacher preparation established by the Minnesota Board of Teaching and the Council for Exceptional Children.

Preparation Requirements

An undergraduate degree in education and a valid teaching license are required to be admitted to the special education licensure programs. Applicants who are not licensed teachers or the equivalent may be admitted into the program with the consent of the Coordinator of Special Education.

Courses over ten years old can not be applied to a licensure program. If a student feels she/he has kept current with the course content, a petition may be made to the special education faculty for an exception. The student will be required to document how he/she has stayed current with course content.

Students do not need to be admitted into the graduate program to take graduate level classes; however, it is recommended that they are. For information on admission to graduate education at Bemidji State University, contact the Graduate Studies Office.

Completing Licensure

Before being granted a Minnesota teaching license in special education, students are required to pass the Praxis II Test 0353, Education on Exceptional Students: Core Content Knowledge. This is a State of Minnesota requirement and BSU is not responsible for its implementation. Questions should be directed to Jody Witte, SPED Licensing Specialist (651-582-1696).

Upon completion of the program, students need to complete a Minnesota Licensure Application and submit the application to their advisor. The material will then be forwarded to the BSU Registrar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Information about the Education Degrees

 

Eight of the 10 required classes for the licenses require a clinical experience in a special education classroom or with students with special needs. For students holding a valid license, this experience takes the place of a cumulative student teaching experience.

Interested students who do not hold a valid teaching license may complete the Standards of Effective teaching through FasTrack. Contact Sue Cutler at scutler@bemidjistate.edu (218-755-3745) or Chad Schmidt, Coordinator of FasTrack, at cschmidt@bemidjistate.edu for more information.

 

 

 

For more information about the M.S. in Special Education or M.SpEd. degree programs, please contact:  Dr. Hal Gritzmacher at hgritzmacher@bemidjistate.edu or Dr. Sue Cutler at scutler@bemidjistate.edu.  You may also contact the Professional Education Department (218-755-3734).

 

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