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Special Education, MA

Overview: 

The Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies (DPS) offers five (5) programs leading to a Master’s Degree in Special Education. These include:

  • Cross Categorical Special Education Program
  • Severe and Multiple Special Education Program
  • Visual Impairment Special Education Program
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Special Education Program
  • Online Special Education Program

These programs (with the exception of the Online Special Education Program) lead to eligibility for teacher certification in each specialization area. All programs leading to eligibility for teacher certification are accredited through the Arizona Department of Education and conform to Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Professional Standards.

All Master’s Degree programs in Special Education require a minimum of 38 units of coursework, though additional coursework may be required for certification and specialization requirements.

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

The DPS MA program coordinators have agreed to a set of shared learning outcomes to promote a focus on quality across the range of MA programs. These outcomes are aligned with the CEC Professional Standards.

MA Special Education Program Outcomes:

Outcome 1:    Select and administer assessment procedures.

Outcome 2:    Select and lead evidence based activities.

Outcome 3:    Work collaboratively with professionals, families and communities.

Outcome 4:    Demonstrate compliance with laws, polices, and procedures.

Outcome 5:    Critically analyze relevant research

Assessment Activities: 

In addition to sharing learning outcomes, the DPS MA program coordinators have also agreed to use a common set of assessment activities and grading rubrics. While activities are in some cases embedded in courses focused on different specializations, similar activities are linked to the same learning outcomes and evaluated using identical four (4) point rubrics. The rubric for each assessment activity can be found among the attachments.

 

Learning Outcomes

 

 

 

 

Assessment Activities

Outcome 1

Select and administer assessment procedures.

Outcome 2

Select and lead evidence-based activities.

Outcome 3

Work collaboratively with professionals, families and communities.

Outcome 4

Demonstrate compliance with laws, policies, and procedures.

Outcome 5

Critically analyze relevant research.

Assessment Report

 

 

 

 

Lesson Planning and Delivery

 

 

 

 

Individualized Education Plan

 

 

 

 

Cooperating Teacher Evaluation

 

Research Paper

 

 

 

 

Student Exit Survey

DPS MA program coordinators are responsible for collecting and summarizing rubric data from courses and exit surveys pertaining to students in their programs. The data from all programs is sent to the Lead DPS MA program coordinator (a rotating position) for summarization across programs. At a meeting in late spring or early fall, the DPS MA program coordinators meet to review data within and across the DPS MA programs.

 

Assessment Findings: 

 

Outcome 1

Outcome 2

Outcome 3

Outcome 4

Outcome 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Select and administer assessment procedures.

Select and lead evidence-based activities.

Work collaboratively with professionals, families and communities.

Demonstrate compliance with laws, policies, and procedures.

Critically analyze relevant research.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assessment Activities

 

 

 

 

 

Assessment Report (N=14)

3.68

 

 

 

 

Lesson Planning and Delivery (N=9)

 

3.68

 

 

 

Individualized Education Plan (N=7)

 

 

 

3.68

 

Cooperating Teacher Evaluation (N=4)

3.63

3.50

4.00

4.00

 

Research Paper (N=21)

 

 

 

 

3.39

Student Exit Survey

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

SUMMARY

3.65

3.59

4.00

3.93

3.39

2014-2015

Students in their student teaching experience performed well in working collaboratively with professionals and families (Outcome 3) and demonstrating compliance with special education law, policy and procedures (Outcome 4). Faculty and cooperating teachers noted difficulties in selecting and administering assessments (Outcome 1) with respect to writing learning objectives based on assessment results. The overall score of 3.59 for leading instruction (Outcome 2) is not indicative of the overall performance of student teachers, but related to difficulties experienced by two student teachers. The score of 3.39 for critical analysis of research (Outcome 5) was directly related to overall low scores on the research paper rubric item of “Mechanics”. Student Exit Survey data were not available.

Change in Response to Findings: 

2014-2015

The MA degree program coordinators and course faculty provided three suggestions for improvement in student performance outcome measures. First, syllabi are being reviewed to ensure all students are exposed to writing learning objectives in multiple courses to provide more opportunities for practice. Second, faculty who teach the writing of learning objectives in their courses will be asked to use a case study approach in which students base learning objectives on actual assessment results. Third, faculty will be asked to provide students with writing resources, peer review procedures, and additional instruction in APA style to improve their performance in writing mechanics.

Masters program coordinators, faculty, and staff plan to refine data collection instruments and ensure common usage across courses that include assessment activities vital to evaluating student outcomes. In particular, they plan to revise the Student Exit Survey to ensure collection of data that is relevant to assessing and improving student outcomes.

Updated date: Sat, 05/30/2015 - 09:30