Oct 19, 2021  
2021-2022 General Catalog [Current] 
2021-2022 General Catalog [Current]

Master of Education - Special Education Emphasis (M.Ed.)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: All Programs at SUU

Person IconDirector of Special Education
Jennifer McKenzie – ED 314 – (435) 865-8209
Website IconWebsite

Program Overview

The emphasis in Special Education has been designed to prepare quality, entry-level candidates for teaching students with mild to moderate disabilities in special education programs grades K-12. Students successfully completing the emphasis and M.Ed. requirements will receive a Master of Education and a Level I Utah professional teaching license in mild/moderate disabilities K-12.

Note: Students will not be receiving a Master of Special Education. This is merely an emphasis that helps lead to a Special Education (K-12) license along with a Master of Education.

Praxis State Licensure Requirement Exam

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) adopted a series of content tests for initial teacher licensure. Candidates seeking to license in Special Education are required to take the Special Education Knowledge-Based Core Principles test.

Program Learning Outcomes


  • Creates developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences based on each student’s strengths, interests and needs.
  • Collaborates with families, colleagues and other professionals to promote student growth and development.


  • Is responsible for compliance with federal and state laws, State Board of Education administrative rules, state assessment policies, local board policies, and supervisory directives.
  • Avoids actions which may adversely affect ability to perform assigned duties and carry out the responsibilities of the profession, including role-model responsibilities.
  • Takes responsibility to understand professional requirements, to maintain a current Utah Educator License, and to complete license upgrades, renewals, and additional requirements in a timely way.
  • Maintains integrity and confidentiality in matters concerning student records and collegial consultation.
  • Develops appropriate student-teacher relationships as defined in rule, law, and policy.
  • Maintains professional demeanor and appearance as defined by their local education agency (LEA).


  • Understands individual learner differences and holds high expectations of students.
  • Designs, adapts and delivers instruction to address each student’s diverse learning strengths and needs.
  • Allows students different ways to demonstrate learning sensitive to multiple experiences and diversity.
  • Creates a learning culture that encourages individual learners to persevere and advance.
  • Incorporates tools of language development into planning and instruction for English language learners, and supports development of English proficiency.


  • Develops learning experiences that engage and support students as self-directed learners who internalize classroom routines, expectations and procedures.
  • Collaborates with students to establish a positive learning climate of openness, respectful interactions, support, and inquiry.
  • Uses a variety of classroom management strategies to effectively maintain a positive learning environment.
  • Equitably engages students in learning by organizing, allocating, and managing the resources of time, space, and attention.
  • Extends the learning environment using technology, media, and local and global resources.
  • Encourages students to use speaking, listening, reading, writing, analysis, synthesis, and decision-making skills in various real-world contexts.


  • Knows the content of the discipline and conveys accurate information and concepts.
  • Demonstrates an awareness of the Utah Core Standards and references it in short- and long-term planning.
  • Engages students in applying methods of inquiry and standards of evidence of the discipline.
  • Uses multiple representations of concepts that capture key ideas.
  • Supports students in learning and using academic language accurately and meaningfully.


  • Designs or selects pre-assessments, formative, and summative assessments in a variety of formats that match learning objectives and engages the learner in demonstrating knowledge and skills.
  • Engages students in understanding and identifying the elements of quality work and provides them with timely and descriptive feedback to guide their progress in producing that work.
  • Adjusts assessment methods and makes appropriate accommodations for English language learners, students with disabilities, advanced students, and students who are not meeting learning goals.
  • Uses data to assess the effectiveness of instruction and to make adjustments in planning and instruction.
  • Documents student progress and provides descriptive feedback to students, parents, guardians, and other stakeholders in a variety of ways.
  • Understands and practices appropriate and ethical assessment principles and procedures.


  • Plans instruction based on the Utah Core Standards.
  • Individually and collaboratively selects and creates learning experiences that are appropriate for reaching content standards relevant to learners, and based on principles of effective instruction.
  • Differentiates instruction for individuals and groups of students by choosing appropriate strategies, accommodations, resources, materials, sequencing, technical tools, and demonstrations of learning.
  • Creates opportunities for students to generate and evaluate new ideas, seek inventive solutions to problems, and create original work.
  • Integrates cross-disciplinary skills into instruction to purposefully engage learners in applying content knowledge.


  • Understands and practices a range of developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate instructional strategies.
  • Uses appropriate strategies and resources to adapt instruction and vary his or her role to meet the needs individual and groups of learners.
  • Analyzes student errors and misconceptions in order to redirect, focus, and deepen learning.
  • Uses a variety of instructional strategies to support and expand each learners’ communication skills.
  • Provides multiple opportunities for students to develop higher-order and meta-cognitive skills.
  • Provides opportunities for students to understand, question, and analyze information from multiple and diverse sources and perspectives to answer questions and solve real-world problems.
  • Supports content and skill development by using multiple media and technology resources and knows how to evaluate these resources for quality, accuracy, and effectiveness.
  • Uses a variety of questioning strategies to promote engagement and learning.


  • Independently and in collaboration with colleagues, uses a variety of data to evaluate the outcomes of teaching and learning and to reflect on and adapt planning and practice.
  • Actively seeks professional, community, and technological learning experiences within and outside the school as supports for reflection and problem-solving.
  • Recognizes and reflects on personal and professional biases and accesses resources to deepen understanding of differences to build stronger relationships and create more relevant learning experiences.
  • Actively investigates and considers new ideas that improve teaching and learning and draws on current education policy and research as sources of reflection.
  • Develops a professional learning plan based on individual needs and the needs of learners, schools, and educational communities.


  • Prepares for and participates actively as a team member in decision-making processes and building a shared culture that affects the school and larger educational community.
  • Participates actively as part of the learning community, sharing responsibility for decision-making and accountability for each student’s learning, and giving and receiving feedback.
  • Advocates for the learners, the school, the community, and the profession.
  • Works with other school professionals to plan and jointly facilitate learning to meet diverse needs of learners.
  • Engages in professional learning to enhance knowledge and skill, to contribute to the knowledge and skill of others and to work collaboratively to advance professional practice.

Program Information

  • Graduate students must complete their program within six (6) years of matriculation.
  • All required courses must be passed with a “B” (3.0) or better to be counted in the degree. If a student earns a “B-” (2.7) or below in a course, the course must be retaken. NO OTHER courses may be taken (even concurrently) until the grade has been raised to the minimum “B.” Failure to raise the grade in two (2) subsequent attempts will result in the student being dropped from the program. Students dropped from the program may apply for readmission after a period of five (5) years has passed.
  • Graduate students must earn a 3.0 GPA each semester. If the overall GPA falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on probation for one (1) semester. At the end of the probationary semester, if the GPA is not at or above 3.0, the student will be dropped from the program.

Education - Special Education Curriculum (33 Credits)

Total Credits, M.Ed. Degree: 33


Please note that some students may ultimately earn more credits than listed above for the master’s degree. If the capstone cannot be completed within one (1) semester, students must be enrolled continuously in EDUC 6931 - Capstone Master of Education Seminar  until completion.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: All Programs at SUU