Special education

Special Education

Meeting diverse learning needs of students.

As an educator, you recognize the potential in all students. You know the positive impact that a quality education can make, especially to those students who need a little extra care. At Marian, we share your passion for education and inspiring bright young minds. Leading to a Master of Arts in Education (M.A.E.) degree, our special education program will help you provide exceptional instruction to your students and take your career to impressive new heights.

The Program
The special education program provides a framework that will empower you to enhance the classroom experience and learning capabilities for students with disabilities. Our program will position you to be a leader that acknowledges the equal right of every learner to an appropriate and challenging education. As a student in the program, you’ll complete your courses online and apply that knowledge in field experiences and full-time clinical practice on-ground in schools. You’ll gain knowledge of and use evidence-based practices, curriculum and assessments that target strengths and needs of individual learners. The program leads you to earn your licensure in Special Education for Cross Categorical (801) or Specific Learning Disabilities (811), or a master’s degree, or both.

The Convenience
Designed to meet the academic and professional needs of working adults looking to advance their careers, the special education program will deliver to you the kind of powerful preparation and convenience that is hard to match. Courses are offered in a 100% online format, providing you the flexibility to earn your degree without sacrificing your current position and other responsibilities. By taking two courses every 11 weeks, you can complete the licensure only in 5 semesters and the master’s degree plus licensure in 7 semesters.

The Marian Reputation
At Marian, we’ve been educating adult learners for nearly 80 years. We know education because our faculty, students and graduates have helped shape the educational landscape. It's who we are. And it's who you are. As a student pursuing your M.A.E. degree, you’ll find the relevancy and quality that comes from a faculty comprised of leading education experts. And you'll be prepared to continue your lifelong journey of learning and spark the passion for discovery in your students.

Program Information

Special Education Program Mission
The mission of the Special Education Program is to develop teacher leaders who acknowledge that every learner has an equal right to an appropriate and challenging education and that every child will develop and learn. Our program emphasizes an equal responsibility for learning shared between the teacher and student. Paramount to the successful growth of a child are positive teacher/student relationships and knowledge and use of evidence-based practices, curriculum and assessments that target strengths and needs of individual learners.

Program Learning Outcomes
After completion of this program, candidates will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of research-based literacy and other academic instruction, including the role of curriculum and assessment, and apply this understanding when designing lessons and teaching students with special needs.
  2. Develop an appreciation for diversity of student learning needs and ways to accommodate for them in the regular education classroom.
  3. Know and apply the essential processes needed for effective co-teaching experiences.
  4. Define the characteristics, causes, and ways of diagnosing special education disabilities/disorders.
  5. Develop the professional writing skills required for documentation of Individual Education Plans, Behavioral Intervention Plans, academic intervention plans (tier II) and Transition Plans for students in pre-referral and formal stages of placement in special education programming.
  6. Apply appropriate collaboration and consultation strategies to lead, support, and teach other professional educators, parents and the local community about special education law, intervention planning, state and federal initiatives, transition opportunities and other essential information impacting students with special needs.

Special Education candidates who earn the MAE will achieve all of the above outcomes plus:

  1. Be able to identify educational questions or problems, review the literature, plan a research strategy, collect and analyze data, take action based on results, and share their findings.

29-38 credits:
SPE 600 Orientation to the Program, 0 cr.
SPE 621 Reading Instruction for Students with Disabilities, 3 cr.
SPE 624 Collaboration and Consultation in Special Education Programs, 3 cr.
SPE 626 Curriculum and Instruction for Students with Disabilities, 3 cr.
SPE 634 Diagnosis and Assessment of Students with Disabilities, 3 cr.
SPE 637 Classroom Management Applications, 3 cr.
SPE 644 Special Education Law: Families and Students, 3 cr.
SPE 655* Clinical Practice and Seminar (required for WI Code 801 - CC), 4 cr.
SPE 665* Clinical Practice and Seminar (required for WI Code 811 - SLD), 4 cr.
SPE 674 Learning with Technology: Effective Strategies for Students with Disabilities, 3 cr.
SPE 697* Field Experience Seminar, 1 cr.
TDE 612** Action Research in Education, 3 cr.
TDE 613** Action Research in Education: Reporting the Findings, 2 cr.
TDE 618 Advanced Educational Psychology, 3 cr.

* Field experiences and clinical practice are not required for special education teachers who are already licensed and seeking a master's degree only.
** Students seeking licensure only do not need to take TDE 612 and TDE 613.

For more details regarding this program, view Marian’s Academic Bulletin.


Fun Fact

In comparison to colleges in the area, the average GPA of incoming first year students at Marian is 3.11 (Source: Marian University Office of Institutional Research, Incoming Class of 2013-14).

Campus Info

Marian University
45 S. National Ave.
Fond du Lac, WI 54935-4699


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