This option is designed for individuals who seek certification by the New Hampshire Department of Education in General Special Education (K-12) and a Master of Education degree. The M.Ed. Special Education Option is designed to support individuals to achieve special education certification at the initial level as well as enhance competence and extend learning beyond certification competencies in the area of special education. The option combines certification coursework with a professional leadership experience and culminates with the design and implementation of a school-based research project that showcases an individual student’s area of expertise and leadership capacity in special education. The program begins in the summer and can be completed in one year (full-time) or two years (part-time). The certification aspects of this portfolio-based program blend special education content knowledge courses with a yearlong internship experience. The internship may be conducted on the job (for students employed as a teacher in an appropriate special education setting) or in a field experience approved by the faculty coordinator(s) of this program. The certification component follows standards set forth by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), and the New Hampshire Department of Education. The KSC Conceptual Framework for Teacher Education Programs provides students with a frame of reference as they work through the program.
Faculty in the M.Ed. Special Education Option are dedicated to preparing special educators by partnering with local special education professionals in the larger KSC community. Guiding principles include assisting candidates to:
- apply special education knowledge and skills so that the individuals with disabilities who they teach can develop academic, social, and transition skills to become meaningful and productive members of a community
- design instruction, assessment, and individualized programs with the student and family at the center of the process
- utilize expertise of special education stakeholders within and outside a school system in a collaborative framework
- celebrate diversity in the context of supporting individuals with disabilities
- act as advocates for individuals with disabilities
- develop belief and value systems that provide a focus for acting as a special educator
- reflect on practice to increase special education knowledge, skills, and beliefs.
The M.Ed. Special Education Option is intended for candidates who are already certified or certifiable in another area such as Elementary Education or one of the secondary education subjects. Candidates who do not have the required educational foundation must complete a Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification program in order to demonstrate competency in “regular” education.
Graduates from the Keene State College early childhood, elementary or secondary education programs who seek certification in General Special Education (K-12) are encouraged to apply to the M.Ed. Special Education Option during their senior year. Graduates of the KSC early childhood, elementary or secondary education programs who have completed coursework in special education foundations have already addressed fundamental certification competencies. If accepted into the M.Ed. Special Education Option, these individuals will be required to complete fewer credits (see below).
Granite State College students who receive initial or advanced special education certification may transfer these credits into the M.Ed. option (see Granite State College Partnership below).
NH Dept. of Education CERTIFICATION STANDARDS for this program are listed as “General Special Education”