Special Education Undergraduate B.A.

In Massachusetts, there is a significant shortage of  teachers for Moderate Disabilities. The UMass Special Education Concentration is a 45-credit program that strives to prepare individuals to fulfill this educational need through an innovative evidence-based teacher training program with an accompanying Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) approved license for PreK-8 or 5-12. In this program, you will learn to be a catalyst for change, helping to increase educational opportunities and outcomes for children with disabilities and their families.

The Special Education Concentration Program was developed in alignment with the DESE special education licensure requirements, and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) standards which guide the licensing component of the special education teacher training program.

 The Special Education Undergraduate program handbook is being updated and will be added shortly. 

Course of Study
 

Search education courses being offered

Program of Study

Course Description Credits
  Fall Semester Year 1 (Junior Year)  
EDUC 320 Collaboration 3
EDUC 326 Assessment for Instructional Decision Making 3
EDUC 327 Research Methods and Evidence Based Practices 3
EDUC 370 Writing for Education and Human Development Majors 3
  Spring Semester Year 1 (Junior Year)  
EDUC 329 Reading Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities I 3
EDUC 430 Evidence-based Behavior Management in a Multi-Tier System of Support 3
EDUC 431 Explicit Instruction Math Methods 3
EDUC 494RI Educational Issues in Real World Contexts (Integrative Learning Experience) 3
  Fall Semester Year 2 (Senior Year)  
EDUC 328 Writing Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities 3
EDUC 330 Reading Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities II 3
EDUC 398 Practicum 3
  Spring Semester Year 2 (Senior Year)  
EDUC 429 Universal Design for Learning in Special Education 3
EDUC 500 Student Teaching 6
EDUC 503 Sheltered English Immersion 3

 

EDUC 320 Collaboration

This course introduces students to school personnel and community organizations that special education teachers collaborate with.  The focus is on understanding resources that support students with disabilities to be successful.

EDUC 326 Assessment for Instructional Decision Making

This course provides an overview of the fundamentals of using assessment data to make instructional planning decision that pre-service educators will need in their advanced coursework and classrooms.

EDUC 327 Research Methods and Evidence-Based Practices

This course provides an introduction to research methods in education and a focus on identifying and evaluating evidence-based practices.

EDUC 328 Writing Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities

This course covers empirically validated instructional procedures in writing and spelling for students with mild/moderate disabilities.  The focus is assessing, planning and implementing appropriate instructional procedures, and monitoring students' progress.

EDUC 329 Reading Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities I

This course covers empirically validated instructional procedures in reading for students with mild/moderate disabilities.  The focus will be on assessing, planning and implementing appropriate instructional procedures, and monitoring students? progress.

EDUC 330 Reading Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities II

This course covers empirically validated reading instruction for secondary students with mild/moderate disabilities.  The focus will be on assessing, planning and implementing appropriate instructional procedures, and monitoring students? progress.

EDUC 370 Writing for Education & Human Development Majors

This is a writing-intensive course that fulfills the University's Junior Writing requirement.  The course will provide students with an opportunity to explore critical perspectives of early childhood education and serve as an introduction to the profession.  Through the writing assignments, students will become acquainted with and practice writing required by professional teachers.

EDUC 398 Practicum

This course gives candidates the opportunity to apply their knowledge of behavioral, reading/writing, or mathematics interventions in an applied setting with ongoing support and feedback from supervising faculty.

EDUC 429 Universal Design for Learning in Special Education

This course will focus on teaching content to students with disabilities through the Universal Design for Learning Framework.

EDUC 430 Evidence-Based Behavior Management in a Multi-Tiered System of Support

This class prepares teachers to understand the characteristics of students with behavior disabilities, to develop effective interventions, and to conduct a functional behavior assessment (FBA).

EDUC 431 Explicit Instruction Math Methods

This course provides an introduction to teaching numeracy and math using the principles of explicit instruction.  The focus is data-based decision making for instruction with students who struggle with math.

EDUC 494RI Educational Issues in Real World Contexts

Students will be challenged to reflect on and apply prior learning experiences to newer/current educational issues in order to gain a deeper perspective on those issues and develop possible solutions to problems.  This course will utilize reflection, inquiry, and action that lead to the development of an action-based research project aiming to study educational issues in real world contexts.  Working with their peers, students will develop an action research project which will culminate in a poster session to share results.  Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Educ majors and BA- or BS-Psych majors seeking an Educ minor.

EDUC 500 Student Teaching

The purpose of student teaching is to provide actual classroom experience to develop teaching competencies in context and in collaboration with a Supervising Practitioner and the Program Supervisor.

EDUC 503 Sheltered English Immersion

This course introduces and assesses the 11 Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Standards fulfilling the SEI Endorsement requirement for teacher licensure in Massachusetts.  Course content prepares PK-12 preservice teachers with the theoretical, cultural, political, linguistic, and instructional tools for effectively promoting the language development of English language learners.

Academic and Advising forms

For information on academic and advising forms, please click here

Admissions

Special Education concentration students complete a primary major in education with a concentration in special education and a secondary major of their choice.

Application Process 

The deadline to apply is typically January 15 of sophomore or junior year.  The application to apply to the Special Education program is now closed.  The application will reopen in November 2022. (Juniors will require an additional year to complete the program.)

 

Undergraduate Admissions Timeline:

Application due: TBD

Applicant Interviews: Week of February 15th

Notify Applicants about Acceptance: Week of March 1st

Commitment to the Program: By Mid March

Prerequisites

  • MATH 113, MATH 114, HUMDEV 270, and EDUC 325
  • A passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills portion of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) (if scores will not be available before the application deadline, please note this in your application with the date you took, or are scheduled to take, the test)
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0

Interested applicants who have yet to complete the prerequisites should contact the Education Advising Center (education@umass.edu or 413-545-2231) for consultation on submitting an application.

Required Materials

  • Completed online application
  • Personal statement (based on the prompt in the online application)
  • Unofficial transcripts from undergraduate institutions attended (available in Spire)
  • Communication and Literacy Skills MTEL Score Reports

Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL):
For the Special Education program, and state-level educator licensure requirements, you must complete the following MTEL exams – Communication and Literacy Skills (Reading and Writing Subtests)*, General Curriculum (Mathematics and Multi-Subject Subtests), and Foundations of Reading

*The Communication and Literacy Skills MTEL (Reading and Writing Subtests) is the only test required prior to admission to the program.

MTEL Preparation Workshops


The College offers MTEL preparation workshops that help students develop skills and provide strategies to help manage your time and test anxiety.  MTEL workshops are free for UMass Amherst, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College.   Click here for registration information. 

Please contact the Education Advising Center (education@umass.edu or 413-545-2231) for more information about the Education Major. 

Licensure

This program leads to initial teacher licensure in Massachusetts. Because of reciprocity agreements between states, you may be able to transfer your license to another state. However, the College of Education at UMass Amherst makes no guarantees that this program meets teacher licensure requirements in any state other than Massachusetts. If you are seeking licensure in another state, you should contact Beverley Bell, Assistant Dean of Educator Preparation, bjbell@umass.edu, (413)545-2701 for more information about how to determine whether this program will be appropriate for you. Access to your state’s licensing agency is available on the Teacher Licensure Agency Directory