Graduate Programs in Special Education

Four children reading in the grass
 
 

Graduate Programs in Special Education

The mission of the Master of Special Education, Literacy Concentration and Graduate Certificate in Language-Based Learning Disability & Intervention Studies programs at Bryn Athyn College is to prepare educators with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the needs of diverse learners in an inclusive environment, support students with language-based learning differences, and offer a perspective on the spiritual nature of language.

For more information contact Kelly M. Ballard, Ed.D.

Head shot of Kelly, smiling into the camera in front of a soft green backgroundKelly M. Ballard, Ed.D.
Head of Graduate Programs in Special Education
267-502-2416
kelly.ballard@brynathyn.edu

 

 

Master of Science in Special Education, Literacy Concentration Program

Upcoming Graduate Special Education Programs Virtual Open Houses:

Learn more about our dynamic graduate program designed for the working professional to meet the needs of students with learning differences. Through this live, interactive virtual open house you will have the opportunity to share your professional goals, learn about our Master of Science and Special Education & Graduate Certificate in Language-Based Learning Disability & Intervention Studies. Dr. Kelly M. Ballard, Head of Graduate Programs in Special Education will be available to answer your questions. Please join us!

Click on a time below to register:

Please contact Kelly Ballard, EdD. or call 267-502-2416 with any questions.

Educate with a Purpose:

At Bryn Athyn College, education is studied in a spiritual context. The work of a special educator requires an open heart and mind. Our program begins with a course designed to cultivate the art of awareness. We believe that a reflective practice of careful observation will strengthen the connection between your teaching practice and its impact on your students.

Our Commitment to you:

Whether you are looking for a meaningful change to your current career or are looking to add the PA Pre-K-12 special education certification to your existing certification, our program will offer you a deeper ability to meet the needs of students with learning differences.

Decades of research on the science of reading have resulted in clear evidence of what constitutes effective reading instruction. The Master of Special Education, Literacy Concentration Program puts this research into your hands. You’ll join a growing community of educators who bring much-needed expertise into the classroom, greatly reducing the challenges many students face when learning to read.

BAC Teacher Residency Program, Depth of Experience:

Becoming an expert practitioner takes time and expert mentorship. Bryn Athyn College Teacher Residency program is an optional full-time 6-9-month placement in a school setting, such as AIM Academy Teacher Scholar Program, designed to support students with language-based learning disabilities. Throughout the residency experience, you will have the opportunity to master critical skills through practice and mentorship under a skilled practitioner on site.

Key Program Features:

  • Flexible schedule that meets your needs:
    • Attend Virtually & Synchronously or In-Person
    • Complete in as little as 14 months
  • One-on-one advising that ensures a highly personalized experience
  • An optional residency program that provides the opportunity to master critical skills under expert mentorship

Application Requirements:

  • Official sealed transcript(s) of undergraduate/graduate coursework
  • BA or BS degree in Education or related field, from an accredited college or university
  • Personal Statement:
    • Highlighting their professional endeavors, motivations for pursuing their graduate degree in special education, and how they will utilize their degree to enhance their teaching practice upon program completion.
  • GPA 3.0
  • Three Letters of Recommendation:
    • One must be from the candidate’s building administrator demonstrating support for graduate student or if not currently employed in a school district, a school administrator from their previous field placement.
    • One must be from a faculty member from the candidate’s undergraduate program.
  • Resume
  • Additional Documents:
    • Required Pennsylvania Clearances
    • Optional: GRE Scores & Current teaching certifications if applicable

Courses

View the course information for many of the classes offered in this program.

SpEd 500 Spiritual Perspective on Special Education
1 Credit

How do we move beyond the labels that are required for securing special education services and meet students for who they are as human beings? This course explores the lens through which we view students. It provides tools for helping educators to see the whole student instead of seeing just someone with a disability. By working on our own attitudes and assumptions, we can transform our classrooms into places where students of all abilities can thrive.

SpEd 511 Contemporary Issues
3 Credits

This course is designed to provide students with a general understanding of the history of education of individuals with disabilities and the development of special education law and policy over time. It presents current issues and trends highlighting the goals and challenges of special education today. Additionally, a foundation of major disability categories and factors that contribute towards under-and over- representation of diverse students in special education will be addressed.

SpEd 512 Family and Community Partnerships
3 Credits

This course provides the knowledge and skills to form useful, collaborative relationships with families, paraeducators, service providers, and other educators to best serve the needs of children with disabilities. Students will learn to implement federal and state mandates for special education and related services to develop effective school programs. High-Leverage Practices (HLP) related to collaboration will be emphasized. Additionally, students will explore procedures for developing, implementing and evaluating (a) instructional accountability between general and special education personnel and programs, (b) roles and responsibilities (c) interdisciplinary team planning including families (d) coordinating, educating and supervising paraeducators, and (e) general management responsibilities associated with instruction of children and youth with disabilities.

SpEd 534 Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology
2 Credits

This course is designed to introduce the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and incorporation of assistive technology to accomplish UDL, in meeting needs of all children in an inclusive classroom environment. It will provide hands-on, application experiences to utilize these principles in a variety of settings through multiple strategies and devices. Through the creation of a website portfolio, the course will enable students build a resource of tools for themselves and others.

SpEd 570 Social-Emotional Development for Students with Language-Based Learning Disabilities
3 Credits

In this course, students will develop an understanding of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) as an essential consideration in child development. An overview of the concept of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and related High-Leverage Practices (HLP) will be provided with an emphasis on developing individualized strategies and establishing a supportive classroom culture.

SpEd 520 Educational Assessment
3 Credits

In this course, standardized and functional assessments are emphasized. Students are introduced to educational assessment procedures, including norm-referenced, criterion-referenced, and curriculum-based assessments. An emphasis is placed on gathering information to answer specific referral questions, and the use of assessment tools, which meet legal and ethical guidelines. Students will learn to measure an individual’s present level of performance, interpret the data and provide recommendations for instruction, by creating assessment driven learning goals and objectives. High-Leverage Practices (HLP) related to assessment are emphasized.

SpEd 550 Methodologies: Specially Designed Instruction for High-Incidence Disabilities
3 Credits

This course introduces the assessment and identification processes for understanding and serving children with high-incidence disabilities. Students will explore initial instructional and behavioral interventions necessary for meeting the needs of children with high incidence disabilities, with a focused introduction to children identified with language-based learning disabilities. Curriculum resources and High-Leverage Practices (HLP) related to instruction will be emphasized for the development and implementation of individualized education plans.

SpEd 560 Foundations for Literacy
3 Credits

Students will examine the essential components of literacy instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary development and comprehension and its connection to writing. Students will learn the foundations of the reading process, developmental levels, theories, models, and instructional strategies to support all children’s literacy development, with an emphasis on children identified with language-based learning disabilities.

SpEd 513 Evidence-Based Intervention s
4 Credits

The focus of this course is to look at models of effective specialized instruction in a variety of content areas, with a particular focus on literacy interventions. Students will study means by which teachers and schools collect assessment data to inform and guide effective instruction for all children, in particular those who experience significant learning challenges. Students will examine the most current research, related High-Leverage Practices (HLP), and various models of both in-classroom and out-of-classroom multi-sensory intervention techniques. Students will identify an area of research related to language-based learning disabilities and explore possible research questions in preparation for SpEd 600 Graduate Capstone.

SpEd 585 Comprehensive Literacy Instruction for Students with Language-Based Learning Disabilities
3 Credits

In this course students will develop skills to implement a comprehensive approach to literacy instruction. Students will explore evidenced-based instructional methods, study strategies, and technology that supports the integration of literacy instruction across the curriculum for children with language-based learning disabilities. An emphasis on supporting this population in inclusive settings through high-leverage collaborative practice will be provided. Additionally, students will explore literature relevant to their research questions formulated in SpEd 513 in preparation for SpEd 600 Graduate Capstone.

SpEd 690 Graduate Capstone
3 Credits

This course provides students an opportunity to complete a study on a topic of interest related to language-based learning disabilities. Capstone projects may involve quantitative or qualitative data collection or syntheses of literature. Early in the course, students refine research questions generated in SpEd 513. After questions are clearly delineated, students learn methods of data collection that will assist in answering their questions. Finally, students develop and present their key findings to the class.

SpEd 691 Student Teaching in Special Education
3 Credits

This course provides the student with practical experiences as a special education teacher. These experiences include systematically designing and delivering effective, goal-driven instruction, utilizing various sources of student assessment data, creating a safe and responsive learning climate that promote social-emotional learning, and implementing collaboration skills to work with major stakeholders to ensure student learning.

SpEd 692 Teacher Residency in Special Education
6-9 Credits

This course provides the student with practical experiences as a special education teacher. These experiences include systematically designing and delivering effective, goal-driven instruction, utilizing various sources of student assessment data, creating a safe and responsive learning climate that promote social-emotional learning, and implementing collaboration skills to work with major stakeholders to ensure student learning.

MSSpEd Advisement Sheet (PDF)

 
 

Graduate Certificate in Language-Based Learning Disability & Interventions Studies (LBLD&IS)

This 15-credit graduate certificate program offers educators the ​knowledge and skills required to meet the needs of struggling readers. Structured within the framework of universal design for learning, this program emphasizes the critical roles of social-emotional learning and evidence-based interventions grounded in the science of reading. ​The coursework will enhance one’s ability to identify learning differences and support the complex learning needs of all K-12 students who struggle with reading.

Key Program Features:

  • Flexible schedule that meets your needs:
    • Attend virtually and synchronously or in-person
    • Complete in less than one year
  • One-on-one advising that ensures a highly personalized experience

Admissions Requirements:

  • Official sealed transcript(s) of undergraduate/graduate coursework
  • BA or BS degree ​in Education or related field, from an accredited college or university
  • Personal Statement
  • GPA 3.0
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Resume
  • Additional Documents:
    • Optional GRE scores & Current Teaching Certifications if applicable

Courses:

SpEd 534 Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology
2 Credits

This course is designed to introduce the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and incorporation of assistive technology to accomplish UDL, in meeting needs of all children in an inclusive classroom environment. It will provide hands-on, application experiences to utilize these principles in a variety of settings through multiple strategies and devices. Through the creation of a website portfolio, the course will enable students build a resource of tools for themselves and others.

SpEd 513 Evidence-Based Intervention s
4 Credits

The focus of this course is to look at models of effective specialized instruction in a variety of content areas, with a particular focus on literacy interventions. Students will study means by which teachers and schools collect assessment data to inform and guide effective instruction for all children, in particular those who experience significant learning challenges. Students will examine the most current research, related High-Leverage Practices (HLP), and various models of both in-classroom and out-of-classroom multi-sensory intervention techniques. Students will identify an area of research related to language-based learning disabilities and explore possible research questions in preparation for SpEd 600 Graduate Capstone.

SpEd 570 Social-Emotional Development for Students with Language-Based Learning Disabilities
3 Credits

In this course, students will develop an understanding of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) as an essential consideration in child development. An overview of the concept of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and related High-Leverage Practices (HLP) will be provided with an emphasis on developing individualized strategies and establishing a supportive classroom culture.

SpEd 560 Foundations for Literacy
3 Credits

Students will examine the essential components of literacy instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary development and comprehension and its connection to writing. Students will learn the foundations of the reading process, developmental levels, theories, models, and instructional strategies to support all children’s literacy development, with an emphasis on children identified with language-based learning disabilities.

SpEd 585 Comprehensive Literacy Instruction for Students with Language-Based Learning Disabilities
3 Credits

In this course students will develop skills to implement a comprehensive approach to literacy instruction. Students will explore evidenced-based instructional methods, study strategies, and technology that supports the integration of literacy instruction across the curriculum for children with language-based learning disabilities. An emphasis on supporting this population in inclusive settings through high-leverage collaborative practice will be provided. Additionally, students will explore literature relevant to their research questions formulated in SpEd 513 in preparation for SpEd 600 Graduate Capstone.

Graduate Certificate in LBLD&IS Advisement Sheet