Master of Education in Special Education

Master of Education in Special Education

“Instructors are very experienced and knowledgeable in your discipline and offer great support. Instructors are in the classroom teaching during the day, in addition to them teaching at TCSJ. ”

-Veronica Jordan, M.Ed. Special Education student
TCSJ’s M.Ed. in Special Education Program is designed for you if:
  • Are a special education educator
  • Want to advance your knowledge of how to address the needs of students with specialized disorders
  • Are ok with being challenged to reflect on your leadership roles and how they might influence innovation and reform to increase your educational effectiveness for your students.
  • Want to explore innovative teaching and leadership practices
  • Desire to be a master in your research area and be an informed agent to lead change within your school community/place of practice


Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university to apply for TCSJ’s Master of Education Program. If you received a bachelor’s degree or higher from outside of the United States, we would need to see a foreign transcript evaluation stating that you have an equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in the United States.

M.Ed. Special Education Coursework (32 units*):

*If you have completed an Education Specialist Preliminary Teaching Credential Program within 7 years, you may be eligible to transfer up to eight units of coursework.

CURR301 Foundations (1 unit) – As a result of this foundational course, students understand how the elements of the masters program will contribute to their development as a transformational leader. Students will gain the preliminary skills needed to successfully navigate all courses and be prepared for scholarly research and writing.

CURR302 Big Picture: Preparing Students for College, Career, and Community (3 units) – Exploration of equitable learning environments are researched, observed, and discussed. Students examine reforms and innovations in PK-12 education, especially focusing on college and career readiness initiatives and its implications to teaching and learning. Students utilize the Design Thinking model to reimagine solutions to complex educational issues and invent innovative models of schools and classrooms. What would a truly innovative, reform-oriented classroom look like? What changes are needed in the school system? How does an educational leader change the system? What are the implications to teachers who need to prepare students to be engaged in their community through civics and global awareness? These issues are among the topics and questions considered in this course.

CURR303 Innovative Curriculum Development and Assessment (3 units) -Students extend their understanding of how to transition from conventional teaching practices to identifying strategies necessary to design innovative research-based learning environments that will best prepare students for their future. Students will create a Project Based learning unit that incorporates authentic assessments, universal design for learning, real-life applications, and opportunities for reflection. Over the duration of the course, students are challenged to critically reflect on current assessment practices and establish equitable and accurate progress monitoring methods.

CURR304 Applied Research Methodology (5 units) – Students enrolled in this course will deepen their understanding of research design techniques including, but not limited to, empirical research constructs, review of evaluation research and policy analysis, how to read quantitative and qualitative research reports, descriptive and inferential statistics, and basic understandings of the scientific method (problem, hypothesis, data collection, and data analysis). Students will develop, implement, and analyze a teacher action research project that includes the essential elements of effective research methodologies. The focus of the action research project will be defined by the student and will follow guidelines related to the teaching and learning process, be within an appropriate scope of influence, and with a purpose of initiating action to understand or solve a problem.

CURR305 Writing a Literature Review (2 units) – Analysis and synthesis of relevant scholarly research will be employed by the student regarding their topics for the development of the literature review. Specific attention will be paid to topic development, adequate sources, writing style, creation of an outline, and correct citing of research in accordance with the American Psychological Association (APA) Manual for the completion of a final literature review.

SPED310 Advanced Topics in Special Education (2) – This course provides an in-depth understanding in positive behavior supports and data collection, collaboration, and application of special education law, including the most recent rulings surrounding case law. The focus of this class will be to critically analyze data reports, personality profiles for collaborating, design research-based strategies for positive behavior support, and identify key legal aspects of special education which affect students with special needs in the classroom.

SPED312 Specialized Disorders of Students with Special Needs (3) – This course provides a deeper understanding of the variety of mental, physical, communication, and health disorders affecting students with special needs. Some examples include, but are not limited to: anxiety, apraxia, autism, bipolar depression, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, seizures, and spina bifida. The focus of this class will be to research the complexity of these disorders and develop curriculum and / or strategies for working with students with these specialized needs and collaborating with others who are a part of their IEP team.

SPED385a Masters Project in Special Education – 1st Semester (1)
This is the capstone course for the Master’s degree. As such, candidates will work with their advisor to design and execute a project that demonstrates inquiry, incorporates content from coursework, contributes to the body of knowledge for their focus topic, and makes a real world difference to school, kids, and/or community. The project must be suitable for publication and presentation.

*Candidates are allotted two semesters to complete the project. SPED385a indicates completion of 1 unit of the project.

SPED385b Masters Project in Special Education – 2nd Semester (3)
This is the capstone course for the Master’s degree. As such, candidates will work with their advisor to design and execute a project that demonstrates inquiry, incorporates content from coursework, contributes to the body of knowledge for their focus topic, and makes a real world difference to school, kids, and/or community. The project must be suitable for publication and presentation.

*Candidates are allotted two semesters to complete the project. SPED385b indicates completion of 3 units of the project.

Curriculum Electives (1-9 Units) Special Education M.Ed. students will work with an advisor to determine a course of study that matches the candidate’s goals.

TCSJ’s Master of Education program offers students the flexibility to create their own schedule and learn at their own pace. Click on one of the buttons below to view upcoming M.Ed. courses.

Do you want to chat with a current M.Ed. SPED student? Reach out to a student ambassador!

Current IMPACT Candidates

Coursework completed by students currently enrolled in the IMPACT Program are directly transferable to TCSJ for identical required coursework in the M.Ed. program. Courses have been aligned and carry the same course codes.

IMPACT Graduates

Students who have graduated from the IMPACT Program within the last five years will be awarded transfer credit as described for current candidates above. IMPACT students who graduated more than five years prior to enrollment in the graduate school must submit transcripts for evaluation. Equivalencies will be granted for coursework as appropriate to current standards.

Students Transferring from other Teacher/Administrator Preparation Programs

Coursework completed from a regionally accredited college or university is eligible to be evaluated for transfer credit work with the following restrictions:

  • Only 8 units or less can be transferred.
  • Only courses completed within the last 7 years will be considered.
  • Only courses that qualify for graduate credit by an accredited institution can be transferred. *Exception: Integrated credential coursework completed as an undergraduate may be considered pending review of transcripts and course descriptions.
  • Only courses in which a grade of C or better can be transferred.

Enrolled candidates must receive pre-approval prior to taking a course at another regionally accredited institution in order to have credits be considered as transferrable.

Candidates may submit transcripts and other requested documentation to the program director for review. Transfer credit will be granted on an individual basis and the program director will assign equivalencies (“E” grade, no units) for approved coursework only.

If needed, the program director shall consult with the President of TCSJ or an academic designee regarding granting equivalencies. The President has the authority to overrule policy.

Note: No transfer credit/equivalencies will be granted for any course in the Masters Core. All students must complete a minimum of 17 units at TCSJ to be eligible for a Masters in Education.

Students earning an M.Ed. in Special Education are required to complete a Masters Project as their capstone assignment for the program.

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