Master of Arts in Education Focus in Special Education (With License) – Online

MPath – Marian’s engaging online education platform

MAE Area of Focus – Special Education

As a student in Marian’s MAE program, Special Education focus you will prepare to meet the diverse learning needs of students as a licensed special education teacher in grades K-12. Marian University shares your enthusiasm for education and inspiring bright minds. We are ready to help you connect your passion to a career that helps shape the education of children who need teachers like you.

Discover the benefits of earning your MAE, Area of Focus – Special Education through MPath, Marian’s engaging, accredited, flexible education platform. Marian has transformed the way you’ll learn new concepts. As a student you will be able to:

  • Move efficiently through your program with clear and measurable competencies.
  • Visually track your progress as you master new subject matter. 
  • Engage in personalized learning experiences facilitated by faculty and tailored to your needs.
  • Individualize your online program communication feed based on your preferences.
  • Actively communicate with faculty and peers each step of the way creating your own professional network.
  • Apply your learning through field experiences.

Start sharing your gift. Earn an MAE in Special Education from Marian University.

The MAE Special Education Focus is perfect for:


If you have a bachelor’s degree, whether in education or another concentration, the MAE Special Education Focus is a path to pursue the advanced education that will take you where you want to go in your career. If you have a passion for teaching, and particularly special education, connect that excitement to a career teaching special education students in grades K-12. Qualify for your license in Special Education for Cross Categorical (801) and Specific Learning Disabilities (811) from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Learn to be a Teacher with In-Classroom Experiences

Marian is proud to offer a high- level of personalized support and expertise in training future teachers.
As a student you’ll learn from both field experiences and student teaching.

To help develop your confidence in the classroom 90 hours of field teaching experiences and a semester of student teaching provide hands-on learning time.

SPE 613A Exceptional Education Etiology – 10 hr. field experience
SPE 621A Literacy Interventions: Basic Reading – 20 hr. field experience
SPE 634B Elements of IEPs and Transition Plans – 10 hr. field experience
SPE 637B Social Emotional Support and Mental Health – 10 hr. field experience
TCH 660B The Instructional Cycle: Teaching – 20 hr. field experience
TCH 660C The Instructional Cycle: Assessment – 20 hr. field experience

Student teaching = 1 semester

  • TCH 665 A Clinical Practice and Seminar – 1 full semester

MAE students receive support from the Education Department to identify locations for field experience hours and student teaching assignments. As an online student, your clinicals will be located in your community with no need to drive to campus.

You will work closely with the cooperating teacher from your practice site.  In addition, a Marian University supervisor will perform in-class observations.

Field experiences start with introductory tasks such as observing licensed teachers and studying their instructional decisions. Then you will progress into implementing approaches within the planning-teaching-assessment cycle, managing a classroom, and creating differentiation strategies.

The Path to Becoming a Teacher

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MPath Online Program Schedule: Flexible Program

The online Master of Arts in Education, focus Special Education (with license), is designed for professionals who are ready to make a difference in the lives of children. Further your education with the convenience of a program made to fit the lives of independent adult learners like yourself. The Flexible Program provides 6 convenient starts per year and non-sequential courses often without pre-requisites, making it easy to set your own pace and design your completion plan. 

As a Marian MPath student you’ll move through the Flexible Program with a clear path ahead to your MAE and the start of a new career in special education. Comprehensive distance learning support and a robust, interactive learning experience round out your education on your way to success. Marian recognizes where you’ve come from and what you need to move forward into the future you are envisioning. 

MAE in Education Focus in Special Education Curriculum

The special education focus provides a framework that will empower you to enhance the classroom experience and learning capabilities of students with disabilities. You’ll be positioned as 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.

Wisconsin DPI Licensure: Special Education for Cross Categorical (801) and Specific Learning Disabilities (811). 

Core Courses

Master of Arts in Special Education majors will take courses covering topics such as:

  • Exceptional education etiology
  • Collaboration and co-teaching
  • Literacy intervention
  • Social-emotional support and mental health
  • IEPs and transition plans

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

  1. Our graduates are knowledgeable of current best practice in instructional strategies for students with disabilities; including differentiation of content, literacy research, social emotional learning and developing intensive interventions. They are critical and creative thinkers capable of effectively planning, implementing, and teaching with Individual Education Plans to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities.
  2. Our graduates understand how children learn and grow. They are reflective practitioners who embrace social justice with the understanding that all children can learn when provided appropriate instruction.
  3. Our graduates are effective communicators, understanding the value of clear, effective, and compassionate interactions with students as well as effective collaboration with families, colleagues and the community.
  4. Our graduates are able to reason quantitatively and qualitatively, evaluating student learning via a broad range of assessment methodologies in order to analyze data and develop learning plans that will effectively support student social, emotional and academic growth to prepare students to become valued, contributing citizens in our communities.
  5. Our graduates are digitally literate and demonstrate their skills using current technology solutions to create, adapt, enhance and personalize learning for students which supports access to, participation in, and success with the general curriculum as well as increased social interaction with peers, teachers and families.

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.

Professional Standards

International Society for Technology in Education
ISTE Standards for Teachers
ISTE-T Standards

State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Wisconsin Teacher Standards
WI Teacher Standards

Admission to the Program

  1. Earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 of 4.00 upon completion baccalaureate degree.
  2. The student will meet one of the following criteria:

a) Reported passing scores on all components of the Praxis Core Test


Reading                  156
Writing                   162
Mathematics         150

b) ACT score of 23 or SAT score of 1030 (These scores must be less than 10 years old.)

c) Score of “Sufficient” or higher of all sections listed below of the Next-Generation Accuplacer Exam:

i) Writing 250
ii) Reading 250
iii) Arithmetic 276
iv) Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics 250

  1. Proficiency in Oral Communication course (grade of “C” or better). [This course will be used in GPA calculation for Demonstration of Content Knowledge: Oral Communication.]
  1. Proficiency in College English (writing) course (grade of “C” or better) [This course will be used in GPA calculation for Demonstration of Content Knowledge: Written Communication.  Literature courses will not be used to fulfill this requirement unless it is indicated on the student’s transcript that the course was “writing intensive”.]

Progression Requirements

  1. The student must meet one of the following:

a) A passing score on the standardized test(s) approved by the state superintendent related to the declared program that will result in licensure

b) A 3.0 GPA or higher in the content area to be licensed, based on a transcript review of undergraduate degree and required content-related methods courses.

For those teacher candidates who opt to use the Content Area GPA in lieu of the Praxis II score, a transcript review will be conducted by the Director of Teacher Education and Licensure Officer upon application for Clinical Practice to verify required GPA.

**Must be completed prior to student teaching TCH 665**

  1. A passing score on the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test (Pearson)

**Must be completed prior to student teaching TCH 665**

  1. EdTPA Portfolio