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
Arnold Nyarami, Ph.D., Program Coordinator
310 Warf-Pickel Hall
Cathy Galyon-Keramidas, Ed.D., Chair
423 Warf-Pickel Hall
Faculty: Cynthia Chambers; James Fox; Kathy Greer; Tina Hudson; Cathy Keramidas; Lori Marks; Pamela Mims; Arnold Nyarambi; John Wheeler.
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 four (4) concentrations.
High Incidence Concentration
This area of emphasis prepares individuals to teach students with high incidence disabilities, including learning disabilities, ADHD, and emotional behavior disorder. Emphasis is placed on implementing evidence-based instructional practices within the context of the least restrictive environment, collaborating with general education teachers to incorporate differentiated instruction, scaffolding, and accommodations that enable students to successfully access rigorous core content, and providing intensive intervention that addresses deficits in specific skill areas, such as reading, writing, mathematics, learning strategies and study skills, and behavior/social interactions. The high incidence concentration prepares candidates for Tennessee teaching license in modified special education.
Low Incidence Concentration
This area of emphasis prepares individuals to teach students with low incidence disabilities, including autism, moderate intellectual disability, and Down Syndrome. 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 low incidence concentration prepares candidates for Tennessee teaching license in 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 Studies in Special Education Concentration
This area of emphasis is designed for individuals 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 unconditionally with provisions with deficiencies to be met as stipulated by the program faculty.
- Completion of all requirements for admission to the School of Graduate Studies.
- GRE Score
- May be waived if a valid teaching license is provided
- May be waived for an International applicant if an official letter of professional teaching experience is provided from the institution of record
- Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- Submission of a 2-page essay outlining past experience with individuals with disabilities and goals for acquiring an advanced degree in Special Education.
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 within the special education high incidence concentration, low incidence concentration 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 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.