General Program Information
Graduate School Contact:
Fiona Goodyear; firstname.lastname@example.org; 423-439-6148
Cynthia Chambers, Ph.D., Graduate Coordinator
421A Warf-Pickel Hall
Lori Marks, Ph.D., Program Coordinator
301C Warf-Pickel Hall
Pamela Evanshen, Ed.D., Chair
301E Warf-Pickel Hall
Cynthia Chambers; James Fox; Kathy Greer; Cynthia Hales; Lori Marks; Pamela Mims; Arnold Nyarambi; Kathy Owen; Alma Watson.
The area of Special Education (SPED) offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree for the advanced preparation of personnel to serve children, youth, and adults who have disabilities. The program offers three (3) concentrations.
Special Education Concentration
This area of emphasis is designed to prepare individuals to teach students with mild to severe disabilities, including autism, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, behavioral disorders, and moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. Emphasis is placed on teaching students with a variety of needs within the context of the least restrictive environment, developing collaboration and consultation skills, incorporating assistive technology and using curriculum based assessment methods. The special education concentration prepares candidates for Tennessee teaching license in modified and comprehensive special education.
Early Childhood Special Education Concentration
This area of emphasis is designed to prepare individuals to teach young children (birth - 8 years) with disabilities and to work effectively with their families. This concentration prepares candidates for Tennessee licensure in early childhood special education.
Advanced Practitioner Concentration
This area of emphasis is designed to prepare individuals who are not seeking initial special education licensure, but who are interested in obtaining an advanced degree in special education. Coursework in this concentration is based upon the interests and needs of each student.
Program Admission Requirements
Admission Standards—Applicants who meet the following criteria may be admitted unconditionally. Those who do not meet the criteria may be admitted conditionally, with deficiencies to be met as stipulated by the program faculty.
- Completion of all requirements for admission to the School of Graduate Studies.
- Completion of the PRAXIS I with a passing score on each subtest - Reading, Math, and Writing.
- Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- Non-teaching personnel in a field ancillary to special education may pursue a SPED master’s degree without the prerequisite teaching credentials.
Initial Licensure in Special Education
Those persons seeking initial licensure in special education who have a baccalaureate degree but are not currently eligible for teacher licensure will follow the program of study designed to meet the state of Tennessee’s teacher licensure requirements for the special education concentration (SPED) or early childhood special education concentration (ECSE). Students admitted to the graduate program must successfully complete all applicable tests including the Praxis I and Praxis II. Deficiency coursework may be required, and may be taken at either the graduate or undergraduate level. Admission to the College of Education must be completed two semesters prior to student teaching. Students who have a Tennessee state teaching license and are entering the graduate program are admitted to the College of Education as part of their admission to the School of Graduate Studies. Deficiency coursework may not be applied toward requirements for completion of a master’s degree. All students pursuing an initial licensure will student teach for 15 weeks.