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Earn an online M.Ed. in Special Education in less than a year

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Accelerating an online M.Ed. in Special Education

Teacher shortages in the field of special education have existed for decades, so graduates who earn an online M.Ed. in Special Education may have their choice of employment opportunities. The reasons for teacher shortages in special education revolve around the growing demands of the occupation along with the need for new teachers to replace those who are retiring. As a result, the profession is in need of special educators with the motivation and leadership skills to work with and advocate for exceptional needs students at all levels in public and private educational settings.

Qualifications for special education teachers

States require that special education teachers hold at least a bachelor’s degree in the field from an accredited college or university. Beyond that, some employers may request their educators hold master’s degrees, especially if working with high-risk populations. Suitable candidates to earn these credentials include current special education or classroom teachers who desire to work with all types of exceptional students. In view of this, accredited schools have initiated programs that offer certified teaching professionals the opportunity to earn an online master’s in special education in less than a year. These programs often tap into resources such as the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant sponsored by the Federal Student Aid program, which provides tuition assistance for teachers who commit to working with high-risk student populations.

Earning an M.Ed. in Special Education online in less than a year

Master’s programs in special education typically involve completing a minimum of 30 credit hours. Online programs facilitating completion in less than 12 months entail taking one to two classes approximately every seven weeks. The online format assists degree completion by allowing candidates to work around professional and personal obligations in order to participate in online lectures, interactive lessons and cohort discussion groups. Additionally, experiential learning opportunities can often be arranged within the school setting where the candidate currently works. In this way, candidates can earn a master’s in education with an emphasis in special education in less than one year. Examples of anticipated topics of study include:

  • Individual learning differences
  • Types of disorders and disabilities
  • Evidence-based practices and instructional strategies
  • Legal protocols for special education teachers

The documented demand for special education teachers means that certified teachers with a passion for educating students with learning differences can enjoy a meaningful career with competitive job opportunities. Motivated candidates can earn an online M.Ed. in Special Education through programs at accredited schools in as little as 10 months. Furthermore, qualified students may receive tuition assistance through Federal grant programs.

Learn about University of Texas Rio Grande Valley online M.Ed. in Special Education program.


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