Special Education, MA Ed

Master of Arts in Education Degree in Special Education

University of Nebraska at Kearney

  • Fully Online
  • 36
  • $315.00
  • $444.00

Program Overview

The online Special Education Master of Arts in Education (MA Ed), Special Education Generalist degree program is designed for teachers in grade school through high school who have a passion for working with learning impairments. 

Why chose this program?

  • Become prepared to address learning and behavioral challenges special education students face in regular classroom settings.
  • Gain a knowledge base and competencies necessary to teach individuals with disabilities.
  • Obtain certification in special education in the state of Nebraska.
  • Learn from supportive faculty who will work with you to meet your state requirements.
  • Graduate coursework is offered online and is flexible to fit your schedule.

Students pursuing certification in other states must check with their State Department of Education for certification requirements.

This program offers an emphasis in the following areas:

  • K-6 Special Education
  • 7-12 Special Education

Career Outlook: Special education teachers engage with children and youth that have a wide variety of disabilities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the need for special education teachers will grow by about 8% from 2016-2026. Although most special education teachers work in public schools, some find jobs in the private sector taking care of special needs children in childcare services and other institutions.

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A Bachelor's degree

  2. 2.75 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Completed coursework

    Students should have TESE 330/830 a consultation course and TESE 437/837P Medical Aspects of Individuals with Disabilities. These courses may be taken at UNK if not already completed.

  4. A license/certificate required

    Standard teaching certificate

  5. Official transcripts from all previous schools

  6. A professional biography

NOTE: If you reside in state(s) KY contact a program adviser before applying.

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete and submit the online application for admissions.
  2. Pay the $45 non-refundable application fee.

Courses You’ll Take

Course Information

Emphasis Option Courses: K-6 Emphasis courses: TESE 872 and 873, 7-12. Emphasis courses: TESE 875P and 876P. This program does not result in initial teacher certification. The process of gaining special education certification involves meeting additional requirements. Call or request information to speak with an adviser for more information.

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
TE 800Educational Research3
This introductory online course in educational research focuses on evaluating and interpreting educational research and applying its findings to educational practice.
TE 805POverview of Assistive Technology3
This course examines the applications of assistive technology for individuals with disabilities as it relates to teaching and learning. Existing research with students with special needs will be reviewed and new applications of existing and developing technology will be explored.
TE 804Curriculum Development in Multiculutural Education3
Students learn to evaluate, create, and implement multicultural lesson plans, unit plans, textbooks, curriculum guides, classroom rules and regulations, and school policies. In addition, students study diverse learning and teaching styles as well as explore the meaning and the reality of creating an environment that is conducive to and supportive of infused multicultural education.
TE 803Philosophy of Education3
Survey of the philosophical foundations of western culture and their relation to the development of earlier and contemporary educational philosophies.
TESE 879PTeaching Social Skills to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder3
This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to teach Social and Personal Skills for students with disabilities. Students will be exposed to various Social and Personal Skills programs and strategies that are presently available that have been designed for students with special needs. The development of role play, problem solving, social story, and social script techniques will be emphasized. In addition, students will be able to develop individualized instruction for students based on needs assessment data. Students will also apply their knowledge of age appropriateness in the development of social and personal skills lessons.
TESE 867Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Intervention Planning3
This course is designed for graduate level students to examine function-based behavior intervention strategies individuals with disabilities who engage in challenging behavior. Students will be taught basic elements of functional analysis that includes: defining, observing, and recording behaviors as well as the creation of graphic displays for analysis. Ethical standards for behavior management, crisis intervention, and positive behavioral support will be highlighted. This course contains a functional assessment/intervention field component.
TESE 863Research Based Instructional Strategies for Students with Disabilities3
This course is designed to address the wide range of instructional needs of students with disabilities. Students will learn to synthesize and evaluate research on instructional techniques for classroom application. Academic instructional interventions will be emphasized. Students will apply their knowledge of lesson development and classroom management strategies. Contains a field component.
TESE 861Legal Issues in Special Education3
This course provides students with the competencies needed to develop individualized programming for children with exceptionalities. Verification criteria, parent's rights, IEP development and implementation, goal and objective development, placement procedures and IEP monitoring will be emphasized.
TESE 862Formal and Informal Assessment in Special Education3
This course is designed to introduce students to the assessment process in special education by addressing procedural safeguards; data collection via informal and standardized procedures; issues in assessment; psychometric properties of standardized tests; and administration, scoring, and interpretation of selected instruments.
TESE 816DPracticum in Special Education (TESE 816D)3 - 6
This course is designed to provide student teaching experience in the specific areas of Assistive Technology, Behaviorally Impaired, Early Childhood Special Education, Mild/Moderate Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, and Secondary/transition. Student teachers are directly supervised by their cooperating teachers and university faculty. The required minimum number of weeks of full-time teaching is as follows: 3 weeks for 3 credit hours and 7 weeks for 6 credit hours. The supervised teaching may continue for up to one semester.

Elective Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
TESE 873Teaching Students with Multiple Disabilities3
The course is designed to prepare future educators to provide services for individuals with multiple disabilities. Emphasis will be placed on interventions for life skills, communication, and academics. In addition, future educators will gain knowledge on issues of mobility and positioning which will enhance a child's ability to reach their full potential. Accommodations and modifications to allow the child to be included in the general education curriculum will also be explored.
TESE 875PPreparing Adolescents for the Post-Secondary World3
This course is designed to address the instructional needs of secondary students with disabilities to prepare them for life after high school graduation. Alternative secondary placements will be discussed as well as post-secondary options such as Technical Schools and College. Students also learn how to develop self-advocacy skills and post-secondary accommodation plans.
TESE 876PTransitional Issues for Individuals with Disabilities3
Assessment planning and instruction to facilitate educational and employment post-school outcomes will be emphasized. Federal and state laws governing minimum transition practices will be covered. Assessment, transition planning, services, interagency collaboration, resources, and instruction will be discussed to facilitate a successful transition.
TESE 872Strategies for Teaching Students with Intellectual Disabilities3
The course is designed to prepare future educators to provide services for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Emphasis will be placed on interventions for life skills, communication, vocational and functional academics. Additional interventions will include community-based instruction, study skills and assessment of alternate curriculum. Accommodations and modifications to allow the child to be included in the general education curriculum will also be explored.

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours

About Faculty

University of Nebraska online courses are taught by expert faculty who embody the qualities resulting from research experience and professional/field experience. Students learn from faculty with a variety of backgrounds, many of whom are published researchers in their fields. NU faculty who teach online do so in a way that optimizes learning within the online modality and because technology enables students to access education they may otherwise may not be able to pursue.

Application Deadlines
  • Fall SemesterJul 10
  • Spring SemesterNov 10
  • Summer SessionsApr 10