Child at desk

The M.Ed. in special education offers five concentrations. See program details on each of the concentrations below.

Concentrations

Program Coordinator:
Beth McBride Pinheiro
401-456-8599
bpinheiro@ric.edu

Educators who are licensed to teach special education not only increase their employment opportunities they increase their fulfillment by meeting the needs of all students in an inclusive classroom. From simple improvements to huge leaps, the impact a special education teacher has on a child can truly be life-changing. At Rhode Island College, we offer an intensive one-year M.Ed. program that leads to licensure in early childhood special education. If you are a practicing early childhood teacher or teacher candidate, you are eligible to apply.

Admission and Course Information

Click below for information on admission requirements, course requirements and course descriptions.

Admission and Course Requirements

Course Descriptions

Program/Learning Goals

Upon completion of this program, students will have:

  1. Developed knowledge of the unique learning needs of young children with special needs.
  2. Developed knowledge of instruction, assessment, and curriculum that support young children with special learning needs.
  3. Developed knowledge of the role of families in supporting young children.
  4. Integrated their knowledge into effective collaboration and teaching practice.

Program Coordinator:
Marie Lynch
401-456-8763
mlynch@ric.edu

In school systems across the country, there has been an increased demand for teachers in the challenging and richly rewarding field of special education. The M.Ed. in elementary or secondary special education results in licensure as an elementary (grades 1-6) or secondary (grades 7-12) special education teacher. Program courses are led by faculty with significant expertise in the field and coursework is offered both synchronously and asynchronously to accommodate those who work full time. You will leave prepared for field work and clinical practice, inclusive settings and settings with multilingual learners.

Admission and Course Information

Click below for information on admission requirements, course requirements and course descriptions.

Admission and Course Requirements

Course Descriptions

Program/Learning Goals

Upon completion of this program, students will have:

  1. Utilized multiple sources of information to develop a comprehensive understanding of students’ strengths and needs. 
  2. Applied their understanding of standards-based instruction, assessment data and curriculum demands to ensure student academic success. 
  3. Designed and adapted instruction to best address students’ learning goals, with particular emphasis on literacy, STEM and blended/personalized approaches.
  4. Identified students’ social/emotional learning strengths/needs in order to design supportive and inclusive classrooms. 
  5. Applied culturally and linguistically responsive practices as part of processes that include Multi-tiered Systems of Support, special education evaluation, and IEP development. 
  6. Collaborated with families, educational personnel and community agencies to advocate for elementary or secondary students and their families.

Program Coordinator:
Paul LaCava
401-456-9703
placava@ric.edu

If you are already a certified special education teacher, Rhode Island College’s M.Ed. in exceptional learning needs will allow you to add value to your organization and advance your teaching career. This program is led by faculty with significant expertise in the field and courses are aligned with the advanced Council for Exceptional Children’s standards. To apply, you must hold Rhode Island certification in special education or be eligible for Rhode Island certification if you hold a valid special education license from another state.

Admission and Course Information

Click below for information on admission requirements, course requirements and course descriptions.

Admission and Course Requirements

Course Descriptions

Program/Learning Goals

Upon completion of this program, students will have:

  1. Developed knowledge of the learning needs of children with disabilities. 
  2. Developed specialized knowledge in a chosen area of study.
  3. Integrated their knowledge into effective teaching practice.

Program Coordinator:
Susan Dell
401-456-8557
sdell@ric.edu

If you are certified to teach early childhood, elementary or secondary education or can demonstrate concurrent enrollment in one of these teacher preparation programs, you are eligible to enroll in the M.Ed. program in severe intellectual disabilities. You will be taught the unique learning needs of this population by faculty with significant expertise in the field. Our faculty offer the most advanced, evidence-based practices and maintain strong relationships with practicing teachers in both public and private schools who support students with severe intellectual disabilities. Individuals who apply for the M.Ed. in Severe Intellectual Disabilities must hold a Rhode Island teacher certification in early childhood, elementary or secondary education or must demonstrate concurrent enrollment in one of these teacher preparation programs.

Admission and Course Information

Click below for information on admission requirements, course requirements and course descriptions.

Admission and Course Requirements

Course Descriptions

Program/Learning Goals

Upon completion of this program, students will have:

  1. Developed knowledge of the unique learning needs of students with severe intellectual disabilities (SID) and complex learning needs.
  2. Developed knowledge of standards-based instruction, assessment, and curriculum that support students with SID  in academic and functional areas of learning.
  3. Integrated knowledge into effective teaching practice.
  4. The ability to provide culturally and linguistically responsive practices in special education evaluation and IEP development.
  5. Collaborated with families, educational personnel and community agencies
  6. Advocated for best practices for students and their families as each student transitions from preschool on to adult life.

Program Coordinator:
Ying Hui-Michael
401-456-8604
yhui@ric.edu

Rhode Island College’s M.Ed. in urban multicultural special education is one of the few well-established programs in the nation that focuses on preparing special education teachers to work with multilingual learners. This program is designed for practicing K-12 special education teachers who work with multilingual learners and for teacher candidates in RIC’s B.S. in elementary special education program who wish to work with multilingual exceptional children. Program participants will explore the unique needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students with disabilities and apply theory in their field experiences.

Admission and Course Information

Click below for information on admission requirements, course requirements and course descriptions.

Admission and Course Requirements

Course Descriptions

Program/Learning Goals

Upon completion of this program, students will have developed:

  1. Knowledge of the structure and acquisition of language and of the socio-cultural contexts in which English is learned as an additional language.
  2. Knowledge of the nature and role of culture and cultural groups, and ability the to create positive learning environments for MLLs.
  3. The ability to provide culturally and linguistically responsive practices in RTI, special education evaluation and IEP development.
  4. The ability to design and deliver standards-based ESL, literacy and content instruction.
  5. The ability to collaborate with families, educational personnel and community agencies.
  6. The disposition to advocate for best practices for ELs and their families.
ESL Certification Cohort for Special Education Teachers

You can complete a Rhode Island ESL certificate and M.ED. in special education in four semesters, conduct meaningful classroom-related course projects to apply to your learning, get peer support from other practicing teachers, study with a nationally-recognized TESOL teacher education program and work with full-time faculty and seasoned ESL/SPED professionals.

ESL certification course requirements are as follows:

SPED 551: Introduction to Urban Multicultural Special Education (3 credits) 
SPED 552: Dual Language Development and Intervention (3 credits) 
SPED 553: Content-Based ESL Instruction for Exceptional Students (3 credits) 
SPED 554: Applied Linguistics for Exceptional MLLs (3 credits) 
SPED 555: Literacy for MLLs with Special Needs (4 credits) 
SPED 557: Assessing MLLs with Special Needs (3 credits) 
SPED 654: Internship in Urban Multicultural Special Education (3 credits) 

Additional requirements to complete the M.Ed. in special education:

SPED 648: Interpreting and Developing Research in Special Education (3 credits) 
SPED 534: Involvement of Families in Special Education (3 credits) 
SPED 655: Capstone Study in Urban Multicultural Special Education (2 credits)

Program Details

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development (FSEHD) master’s-level programs is determined by the quality of the total application. Applicants must submit the following to the FSEHD Office of Graduate Programs as a measure of their potential for success in graduate-level studies:

  1. A completed application along with a $50 nonrefundable fee.
  2. One copy of all official transcripts of each undergraduate and graduate record.
  3. A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) in all undergraduate course work. Applicants with undergraduate GPAs less than 3.00 may be admitted to degree candidacy upon submission of other evidence of academic potential.
  4. Three candidate reference forms with 3 accompanying letters of recommendation.
  5. Professional goals essay - application essay describing candidate’s commitment to special education, cultural awareness, collaboration and lifelong learning.
  6. Performance-based evaluation.
  7. An interview.
  8. Teaching certification
  • The M.Ed. in early childhood special education requires eligibility for Rhode Island certification in early childhood education.
  • The M.Ed. in elementary or secondary special education requires Rhode Island certification in elementary or secondary education or concurrent enrollment.
  • The M.Ed. in exceptional learning needs (strands: autism, specialized study in special education) requires Rhode Island certification in special education.
  • The M.Ed. in severe intellectual disabilities requires Rhode Island certification in early childhood, elementary or secondary education or concurrent enrollment in these programs.
  • The M.Ed. in urban multicultural special education requires Rhode Island certification in special education or concurrent enrollment in a special education certification program.