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Supervisor of Special Education, MA Ed

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Program Description

The role of special education in the U.S. demands oversight to ensure all students with learning disabilities and behavioral challenges have access to quality education.

This online program prepares educators to provide administrative oversight for special education programs that meet the needs of students and comply with state and federal regulations.

The master's degree meets the requirements for an added Supervisor of Special Education Endorsement or Administrative Certificate.

Special Accreditation

In addition to the Higher Learning Commission accreditation carried by all University of Nebraska degrees, this program is also accredited by:

  • Teacher Education Accreditation Council
  • National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • Nebraska Department of Education

Nebraska Department of Education logo, TEAC logo, NCATE logo

Delivery Format

Home Campus: University of Nebraska at Kearney

Method of Delivery: 100% Online - what's this?Program can be completed fully at a distance. Courses are asynchronous, meaning students and instructor may access content at any time and do not have to be connected to the Internet at the same time. If your program includes an internship or practicum, experiences may be completed in the student's local area.

All online courses are accessed via the Internet and use a learning management system. Technology requirements may vary by program and course, but all campuses have basic recommended requirements. High-speed Internet is required.

Interaction with professors and other students may include:

  • E-mail
  • Online discussion boards
  • Phone or video conferencing
  • Other forms of electronic and print communication

Supplemental materials for some courses may include:

  • Printed material and scanned documents
  • Digital resources accessed through university libraries
  • Videos accessed via the Internet, CDs or DVDs
  • Other media

To be successful, students taking online classes should be reasonably comfortable using a computer and the Internet. Learn more about online student tips for success.

Academic Year 2015 - 2016

Tuition rates are effective for the academic year listed.  Tuition is subject to change.

Nebraska Resident:

 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$278.00$25.00$11.00$4.00$318.00
3 credit hour$834.00$75.00$33.00$12.00$954.00


 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$405.00$25.00$11.00$4.00$445.00
3 credit hour$1,215.00$75.00$33.00$12.00$1,335.00

Note: A $4.00 student records fee will be assessed each semester for both resident and non-resident students.

Completion of the Master of Arts in Education - Supervisor of Special Education leads to an Administrative and Supervisory Certificate designed to provide the necessary background to serve as a Supervisor of Special Education.

The online MAE in Supervisor of Special Education degree requires 36 credit hours.

Program of Study

Foundations Courses  6 credit hours EDAD 831 and TE 800
Educational Administration 30 credit hours EDAD 833, 842P, 848, 851, 854, 855, 940, 956, 998, and CSP 800 

Note: The following prerequisites are required for this degree program : TE 805P Overview of Assistive Technology (3 cr hours), and TESE 876P Transitional Issues for Individuals with Disabilities (3 cr hours)


Course Name
Course #
Core Courses

Advanced Educational Psychology

CSP 800
This course focuses on school learning, its assessment and factors that are related to it. These factors include, for example, learner's development and characteristics (biological, psychological, cultural and social), learner's exceptionalities, teacher's instructional and behavior management techniques, and social influences. Current issues and problems will be studied and discussed in a seminar setting. There will also be opportunity to study topics of individual concern.

Social Foundations of Education

EDAD 831
Sample Syllabus This course provides insight into the relationship of education to the social order, a rationale for the underlying philosophy of education, and an understanding of how political theory and social forces provide for school organization and authority.

Assessment Leadership

EDAD 833

This course provides educators with the knowledge base and skills required to provide leadership with regards to assessment issues which include but are not exclusive to analysis of data to improve instruction; utilization of assessment instruments for guiding instruction to determine best practices for improved student learning; engagement in continuous evaluation of curriculum and instruction; development of criteria for evaluating data. Using basic knowledge, students will identify an assessment issue of individual significance and develop background information, data, and materials needed to provide leadership with regards to this topic.

Prerequisites: enrollment in a Master's or Educational Specialist degree program

Administration of Special Education


The purpose of this course is to provide the school administrator information concerning legal aspects of special education, identification of special needs students, and options available in programming for handicapped students.

Curriculum Planning

EDAD 848
The current arena in which principals function is constantly being impacted by societal forces and conditions. The class is designed to assist students to understand major curriculum design models, to interpret school district curricula, and to adjust content as needs and conditions change. The course is designed to prepare individuals for positions in educational administration, particularly those who are interested in the school principalship. Students will study the basic principles of curriculum planning as they relate to curriculum design, implementation, and evaluation.

Human Resource Management

EDAD 851
This course deals with aspects of human resource management, including recruitment, selection, orientation, evaluation, staff development, affirmative action, contract management, and collective negotiations. Course emphasis remains on the function of personnel actions on behalf of quality classroom instruction.

Introduction to Educational Administration

EDAD 854
The course is designed to provide an overview of the function of educational administration in school district organizations. Students will explore the role of the school principal as an instructional leader and a change agent. In addition to the comprehensive coverage of theory and research, there will be a focus on practical applications that are designed to help students implement their acquired knowledge.

Supervision of Instruction

EDAD 855
This course is designed to assist students in obtaining entry-level understandings and skills relating to the supervision of instruction.

Administrative Theory

EDAD 940
This course introduces students to aspects of current administrative theory by treating the school district as a social system in need of organization, leadership, and change. Styles and effects of human behavior in organizations are explored.

School/Community Relations

EDAD 956
This course is designed to provide the student with an analysis of principles, practices and materials that facilitate the adjustment and interpretation of schools to their internal and external publics, along with an examination of the function of the media and the roles of schools and community groups in an effective school public relations program.


EDAD 998
Internships are designed to provide administrative experience for students having limited administrative background and to strengthen skills of those who have served as administrators. This course is required for all Specialist Degree candidates.

Educational Research

TE 800
This introductory online course in educational research focuses on evaluating and interpreting educational research and applying its findings to educational practice.
Coursework for Educational Administration degrees must be completed within a period of 10 years.

Patricia Hoehner, Ed.D., Associate Professor

Tom Jacobson, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Richard C. Meyer Ed D, Chair, Assoc. Professor

Ken Nelson, Ed.D., Associate Professor

Guidelines for Admittance

To participate in the master’s program the student must have:

  • Currently valid Special Education endorsement
  • Two years experience as a Special Education teacher
  • Bachelor's degree in education from an accredited college or university
  • Standard teaching certificate
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale to be unconditionally admitted.
  • Have satisfactory score on the Praxis I Test if the applicant has not taught for three consecutive years in the same school system.
    • Passing scores are established by the State Board of Education.


Note: In order to be eligible for an endorsement as superintendent in the State of Nebraska, one must have earned a Master's degree as principal, or have completed an endorsement program as principal in an accredited Nebraska college or university.

    • Out-of-state students who apply for the Educational Specialist degree and complete the degree program will need to check with their respective state certification officers.
    • Out-of-state students who apply for the Educational Specialist degree and complete the degree program will not be recommended for endorsement as superintendent unless deemed otherwise by the Nebraska Department of Education.


Application Checklist

  1. Submit online application to Graduate Admissions at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
  2. Submit the non-refundable application fee.
  3. Request official transcripts from all college/universities attended.  Transcripts should be sent to:

    Graduate Admissions
    University of Nebraska at Kearney
    2504 9th Avenue, FDHL Room 2131
    Kearney NE 68849
  4. Within the online graduate application the applicant will:
    • Upload a resume and an essay on why you wish to pursue a career in school administration.
    • Request three written recommendations from two school administrators plus one other individual who can comment on applicant's potential to do graduate study and for educational leadership.
      • One of the recommendations must come from an immediate supervisor in special education.
      • The online application requires e-mail addresses for these individuals.  an online form will automatically be sent to the recommenders upon submission of the application.
    • Once application, application fee and transcripts are received, the Graduate Admissions Office will forward applicant's file to the department for review.
    • Once review is complete, the department will notify the Graduate Admissions Office of the their recommendation.
    • Official notification of admission will be sent to the applicant from the Graduate Admissions Office via postal mail.  Students may view the receipt of materials via their To-Do list and also the status of their application via the Student Center in their MyBlue account.


Application Deadlines

Fall Semester June 15
Spring Semester October 15
Summer Sessions March 15



Online Worldwide Educational Representative

Program Contact
Holly Peterson
Phone: 308.865.8512

Military/Veteran Student Adviser
Mary Sommers
Phone: 308.865.8520

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