Skip to content

Master of Science in Special Education with a Concentration in Effective Instruction and Assessment for Students with Suspected and Identified Disabilities

Help students achieve their academic and behavioral potential.

Get Started!

calendar icon
Apply by:
calendar icon
Start term:

Program Overview

Enhance the lives and abilities of exceptional students with the Master of Science in Special Education with a Concentration in Effective Instruction and Assessment for Students with Suspected and Identified Disabilities from the University of Southern Maine (USM).

This online program is designed to equip educators with the fundamental skills, knowledge, and competencies to meet the needs of students with disabilities—in multiple settings. Prepare to effectively apply theory to practice and learn ways to implement specialized teaching, build effective curricula, and collaborate with other professionals to reach the best outcomes for exceptional students. Our curriculum promotes a multi-tiered system of support for students and incorporates standards from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

money icon $12,900 Total Tuition
calendar icon as few as 12 months Program Duration
hourglass icon 30 Credit Hours
money icon $12,900 Total Tuition
calendar ico as few as 12 months Program Duration
hourglass icon 30 Credit Hours

The University of Southern Maine is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), 1140 19th St. NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20036. Phone: 202-223-0077.

Have questions or need more information about online programs?

View full overview [+]

Learning Outcomes

  • Collaborate in culturally responsive ways to address the needs of individuals with exceptionalities across a range of learning experiences
  • Understand how exceptionalities may interact with development and learning and use this knowledge to provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences
  • Create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments so that individuals with exceptionalities become active and effective learners
  • Use knowledge of general and specialized curricula to personalize learning for individuals with exceptionalities
  • Proficient in the CEC standards of Learner Development and Individual Learning Differences, Learning Environments, Curricular Content Knowledge, Assessment, Instructional Planning and Strategies, Professional Learning and Ethical Practice, and Collaboration

Career Opportunities

K-12 Special Education Teacher

Behavior Intervention Specialist

Clinical Services

State Agencies

Have questions or need more information about online programs?

Tuition

Our goal is for you to earn a high-quality degree that will help improve your career and income without taking on considerable financial debt.

money icon
$12,900 Total Tuition
money icon
$430 Per Credit Hour

Calendar

The MS in Special Education online program offers convenient multiple start dates each year to accommodate your professional and personal schedules.

calendar icon
Apply By:
calendar icon
Start class:

View full calendar [+]

Ready to take the next step toward earning your graduate degree online from the University of Southern Maine?

Admissions

The MS in Special Education online program has specific requirements that applicants must meet to enroll. Please read the admission guidelines to ensure you qualify.

checkbox icon
Bachelor’s Degree
checkbox icon
2.5 Minimum GPA
checkbox icon
Letter of Recommendation
checkbox icon
3 Professional References

View full admission requirements [+]

  • Online application
  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Official transcripts (submitted directly from the granting institution) from all colleges/universities attended
  • Letter of recommendation
  • 3 professional references (in the online application)
  • Resume
  • Statement of purpose/essay (in the online application)

Official transcripts (submitted directly from the granting institution) and other supporting documents may be mailed or emailed.

Mailing Address:
Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412

Email Address:
edocs@maine.edu

Courses

For the MS in Special Education online program, you will complete a total of 10 courses equaling 30 credit hours.

Expand All [+]

SED 604: Behavioral Principles to Analyze Learning, Teaching, and Assessment

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This introductory course introduces principles of teaching and learning demonstrated to be effective in improving student success in academics, behavior, and social skills. Included in the course are preparing learning objectives, designing direct and explicit instruction to address the objectives, defining assessment data gathering and analyzing procedures, and determining student progress and instructional adjustments. The course provides fundamental knowledge and skills used in several courses throughout the program focused on the multi-tier system of student support for academics and behavior, including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and Progress Monitoring in reading and mathematics.

SED 682: Special Education Regulations, Procedures, and the IEP Team

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course is for educators working directly with students with suspected and identified disabilities. The course focuses on the role of special education in both a multitiered system of student support (MTSS) and the process for developing and implementing Individualized Education Programs (IEP).

SED 615: Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS)

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course examines the foundations (data, systems, and practices) and essential features of Positive Behavioral Support at all three tiers: class wide, targeted, and individual. Students will gain an understanding of basic principles and measurement of behavior and conduct applied projects that include creating, implementing, and evaluating data-driven intervention plans.

SED 653: Assessment in Special Education

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course is designed to prepare special educators and other professionals who work in schools to select, administer, score, and interpret measures of academic achievement. Numerous measures of academic achievement, including published norm-referenced tests, criterion-referenced tests, curriculum-based assessment and measurement, and performance-based assessments will be studied.

SED 518: Targeted and Individualized Instructional Strategies for Students with Disabilities

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

The primary purpose of this course is to learn and analyze principles and skills of teaching and learning which are effective with students who need more intensive and individualized teaching (students with IEPs or who are currently being served on Tier Two or Three of the continuum of multitiered systems of student support).

SED 627: Advanced Response to Intervention Instruction and Assessment for Reading

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course includes lectures, discussions, guided practice and applied learning experiences in the scope and sequence of progressively more intensive reading instruction and assessment for students with reading difficulties in kindergarten through grade 12, including students with diverse abilities and backgrounds. Starting with the five foundations of reading instruction (e.g., phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension), the course describes the features of universal (e.g., Tier 1) core reading instruction then provides guided practice and applied learning experiences to prepare teachers to use progressively more intensive reading instruction and assessment based on student learning needs. Participants will learn how to select and use scientifically validated reading instruction and assessment practices for students needing supplemental (e.g., Tier 2), intensive (e.g., Tier 3), and special education reading instruction and assessment. Special attention will be paid to the research supporting this instruction and assessment.

SED 625: Advanced Response to Intervention Instruction and Assessment for Mathematics

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course includes lectures, discussions, guided practice and applied learning experiences in the scope and sequence of progressively more intensive mathematics instruction and assessment for students with mathematics difficulties in kindergarten through grade 12, including students with diverse abilities and backgrounds. Starting with the five foundations of math instruction (e.g., conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic competence, adaptive reasoning, productive disposition), the course describes the features of universal (e.g., Tier 1) core math instruction then provides guided practice and applied learning experiences to prepare teachers to use progressively more intensive math instruction based on student learning needs. Participants will learn how to select and use scientifically validated mathematics instruction and assessment practices for students needing supplemental (e.g., Tier 2) and intensive (e.g., Tier 3), and special education mathematics instruction and assessment. Special attention will be paid to the research supporting this instruction and assessment.

SED 687: Technology for Communicating and Learning

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course introduces students to the use of technology, including assistive technology, with all students, including those individuals with special learning and communication needs. A range of technologies will be examined, from low-tech devices such as simple switches to computers, adaptive devices, and software appropriate for individuals with disabilities.

EDU 600: Research Methods and Techniques

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course studies the concepts, principles, and techniques of educational research with an emphasis on scientific inquiry and problem-solving, designed for both the producer and consumer of educational research. Individual critiques and research reviews are completed.

SED 699: Special Education Research Capstone

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course is an opportunity to gain, apply, and integrate knowledge and skill in exceptionality by planning and conducting a project. The project must be intellectually sound, have direct applicability to the student, and produce a high-quality product. Specific content and methods of evaluation are determined in conjunction with instructor. Prerequisites: EDU 600, matriculated students only, and program permission.

Need more info?

Submit the form below, and a representative will contact you to answer any questions.

*All fields required
or call  888-728-7054 888-728-7054
By submitting this form, I am providing my digital signature agreeing that University of Southern Maine (USM) may email me or contact me regarding educational services by telephone and/or text message utilizing automated technology at the telephone number(s) provided above. I understand this consent is not a condition to attend USM or to purchase any other goods or services.

Ready to Get Started?

Start your application today!

Apply Now