General Program Information
John J. Wheeler, Ph.D., Graduate Coordinator
510 Warf-Pickel Hall
Sara Beth Hitt, Ph.D., Program Coordinator
423 Warf-Pickel Hall
Dawn Rowe, Ph.D., Interim Department Chair
423 Warf-Pickel Hall
PO Box 70547
Phone: (423) 439-7171
Faculty: Cynthia Chambers; Jennifer Cook; James Fox; Cathy Galyon; Sara Beth Hitt; Lori Marks; Pamela Mims; Arnold Nyarambi; Dawn Rowe; 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 K-8 and 6-12 Interventionist.
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.
- Achieve a minimum test score on the GRE: 151 on Verbal Reasoning and 153 on Quantitative Reasoning.
You may request a waiver of the GRE requirement to the Graduate Coordinator and the School of Graduate Studies if you meet or exceed minimum score requirements on one of the following state mandated tests:
a. ACT: 22 composite score, ACT 21 composite score will be considered; OR
b. SAT: Reading 543 and Math 533; SAT combined score of 1020 will be considered; OR
c. PRAXIS CORE: Reading 168 and Math, 162; PRAXIS CORE Reading 156 and Math 150 will be considered.
- 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.