Masters in Special Ed

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by tiki7719, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 21, 2010

    Hi Everyone,

    I was accepted into the Masters in Special Education program at my alumni school. To be honest, I'm nervous about starting my masters, yet, excited at the same time :) It is a program where I will obtain my teaching license and masters.

    I am looking for some insight as to what your Masters in Special Ed program experience was like. Was there any particular focus (i.e. writing IEP's, certain curriculum, etc.). Do you have any tips/advice that one going into a Masters in Special Ed should know about?
     
  2.  
  3. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,186
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 21, 2010

    I doubt I'll be getting my MA. But congratulations for getting accepted!
     
  4. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,872
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 21, 2010

    I'm 2 classes away from getting my M.Ed. In Special education.

    I'm in a "generic" special Ed program- so it didn't focus on any one thing (curriculum, testing, instruction, IEPs, etc.)

    I do wish my school offered an autism masters degree, because I totally would have done that.

    I will say that I've been a little bored with my program, as it seems to be geared towards those who haven't taught before (even though it's not a dual program where you get your teacher cert with the degree...)

    There's an autism class I'll take in the Fall and I bet I'll enjoy that. Overall, I've learned a lot and been challenged in my program.

    A piece of advice I would give is to always be looking for the real world application of what youre learning, just like we try to do with our students. That helps it all make sense. I hope you get to student teach and get classroom experience. To be honest, I've learned more from my classroom than I could ever learn in grad school!

    Good luck to you--- it will be worth it!
     
  5. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 22, 2010

    Thanks for the responses :)

    Teachersk--I don't know where you are located, but the college I will be attending (Cleveland State University) either has or will be working on an autism certificate at the master's level. The program is online. I took a couple autism classes as part of my undergrad. I loved the classes and curriculum.

    I can't wait for the classroom experience. Unfortunately, with the Masters program, there is limited classroom experience. I will have student teaching and an assessment class. The rest is on your own work.

    A good friend of mine teaches special ed and I'm sure he'll let me observe his class for assignments, etc.
     
  6. Leatherette

    Leatherette Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 22, 2010

    Hi,

    I am very glad to have a Masters in Special Ed., but I have to say that the program I was in was less than inspiring. There were a few good professors (IEP writing, Behavior Management), but most of them had never been in a real classroom. The director of the program was pushing her phonics program that she had written 20 years before over all else. I feel that I was given no information about curriculum.

    My mental retardation course was about kids with very rare and extremely cognitively limiting syndromes, not about the kids with mild MR, who comprise most of the students I have worked with. And my program was for an LD/ED/MR PK-12 generic license.

    Best things? Connecting with others who want to teach special ed.
    The focus of my program was "Transition", geared toward high school. I taught high school my first two years, but have been with elementary kids ever since.

    I graduated in 95, and I wish I had been a more informed consumer of higher education back then. I basically chose the school because they offered me full scholarship, and I had no money. Since the two people running my program have since retired, I am sure that the program is much better now.
     
  7. Leatherette

    Leatherette Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 22, 2010

    Oh yeah, and there was barely a whisper about autism.
     
  8. JustJim

    JustJim Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 23, 2010

    Generally, my program has seemed to focus on political correctness to the exclusion of best practices, so it probably isn't a good example. In any event, much of the time has been spent on lesson plans and how to write them (9 different methods, each "the best"), paperwork--IDEA requirements, etc--a lot of exposure to general concepts, but not as much application as one might like.

    In areas of learning about particular disabilities, I had excellent classes dealing with cognitive impairments, behavior disorders, and assessment--those classes provided the tools to help me get what I wanted out of what was offered in some of the other classes and find the material I needed that wasn't offered.

    You'll probably get at least one class dealing with remedial reading instruction; with any luck you'll get an excellent class with actual practical instruction.

    My school puts us in classrooms a fair amount. I had the opportunity to observe some terrific teachers and get some really good ideas, as well as to pick the brains of the teachers I was observing. I went to IEPs as part of the team, not just as an observer (or as in my volunteer work, as an advocate). Real-world IEP meetings are not much like they are presented in class, and the opportunity to see things from a teacher-perspective was invaluable.

    The best advice I can think of is to use the program as a springboard--don't settle for just learning what they are teaching you or for just meeting your instructor's expectations. Use the time and professors and resources to dig into the areas that are of particular interest to you, learn the tools that will help you learn what you need to learn after you are back in the schools.

    Good luck!
    Jim
     
  9. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    11

    Jun 23, 2010

    Ijust finished my Master's. In my program, one needed to be working in the Special Education Environment either teaching or as an education assistant/para. It was a program based on an internship model, so I think I was lucky. It was very practical.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Brett Moorfoot
Total: 224 (members: 2, guests: 197, robots: 25)
test