Special education graduate programs are designed to help establish, maintain, and improve educational services to exceptional children by providing exemplary personnel resources. Courses of study leading to the Master of Arts (MA) degree and Class A professional educator certification in the education of exceptional children are offered.

Traditional Class A certification programs are available in

  • collaborative education
  • early childhood special education
  • gifted and talented
  • severe disabilities (Class A only)

Alternative Class A certification programs are available in

  • collaborative education
  • early childhood special education with dual certification in early childhood
  • gifted and talented

While the graduate catalog is published annually, program checklists for state-approved certification programs may be updated more frequently and are thus likely to provide the most up-to-date information about requirements. Students should refer to the appropriate program checklists for their teaching fields and consult their advisors before registering each semester.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting admission requirements for the Graduate School and the College of Education, students interested in the special education programs should also be aware of the admission requirements established by the Alabama Department of Education.

Traditional Class A Certification Programs

For admission to traditional Class A programs of study in collaborative education, early childhood special education, or gifted and talented education, the appropriate prior certification must be held in a teaching field.

For admission to the Class A program of study in severe disabilities, the appropriate prior certification must be held in early childhood special education or collaborative education.

Collaborative (K-6), Class A

This course listing applies to candidates having appropriate prior certification who begin this program June 1, 2017. Candidates earning graduate credit prior to this date may elect to utilize this program. Candidates must present a GPA of at least 3.25 on all courses in the program, with no grade below a C. Passing scores on the appropriate Praxis subject assessment(s) are required if changing areas of certification.

For admission, applicants must hold valid bachelor's level certification in a teaching field.

Hours
Curriculum and Teaching:
SPE 502Adv Behav Mgt Spec Educt3
SPE 503Masters Seminar In Spe3
SPE 514Teach Consult Model Spe3
Foundations of Professional Studies:
(Choose ONE of these SDE approved diversity courses.)3
History Of Amer Educn
Sociology Of Education
Multicultural Education
Found Educn Through Film
Readings In Soc Of Ed
Critical Race Theory In Educ
Multicult Soc Ed Leadershp
Ethics And Education
Educational Research:
SPE 501Diag Assess Except Chld Youth3
Technology:
CAT 531Computer Based Instruction3
Teaching Field:
SPE 591Adv Academc Methods Elem3
SPE 594Methods Severe Disabilty3
Choose ONE of the following:3
Creative Prob Solving
Expanding Reading
Beginning Reading
Concepts Elem School Math
Math Curriculum Design
CEE 596Advanced Practicum3
Additional requirements:
SPE 590Intro Mild Disabilities3
SPE 593Intro Severe/Profound Disabili3
SPE 500 is required if a special education survey course (or the following MAP courses: 311, 312, 413 and 414) was not completed as part of the undergraduate program or another graduate program.0-3
Total Hours36-39

Collaborative (6-12), Class A

This course listing applies to candidates having appropriate prior certification who begin this program June 1, 2017. Candidates earning graduate credit prior to this date may elect to utilize this program. Candidates must present a GPA of at least 3.25 on all courses in the program, with no grade below a C. Passing scores on the appropriate Praxis subject assessment(s) are required if changing areas of certification.

For admission, applicants must hold valid bachelor's level certification in a teaching field.

Hours
Curriculum and Teaching:
SPE 502Adv Behav Mgt Spec Educt3
SPE 503Masters Seminar In Spe3
SPE 514Teach Consult Model Spe3
Foundations of Professional Studies:
(Choose ONE of these SDE approved diversity courses.)3
History Of Amer Educn
Sociology Of Education
Multicultural Education
Found Educn Through Film
Readings In Soc Of Ed
Critical Race Theory In Educ
Multicult Soc Ed Leadershp
Ethics And Education
Educational Research:
SPE 501Diag Assess Except Chld Youth3
Technology:
CAT 531Computer Based Instruction3
Teaching Field:
SPE 592Adv Academc Methods Sec3
SPE 594Methods Severe Disabilty3
SPE 597Transition In Special Ed3
SPE 596Collaborative Practicum3
Additional requirements/electives:
SPE 590Intro Mild Disabilities3
SPE 593Intro Severe/Profound Disabili3
SPE 500 is required if a special education survey course (or the following MAP courses: 311, 312, 413, and 414) was not completed as part of the undergraduate program or another graduate program.0-3
Total Hours36-39

Early Childhood Special Education (P-3), Class A

This course listing applies to candidates having appropriate prior certification who begin this program June 1, 2017. Candidates earning graduate credit prior to this date may elect to utilize this program. Candidates must present a GPA of at least 3.25 on all courses in the program, with no grade below a C. Passing scores on the appropriate Praxis subject assessment(s) are required if changing areas of certification.

For admission, applicants must hold valid bachelor's level certification in a teaching field.

Hours
Required courses:
SPE 571Educ Yng Child W/Disablt3
HD 501Child Development3
Foundations of Professional Studies:
(Choose ONE of these SDE approved diversity courses.)3
History Of Amer Educn
Sociology Of Education
Multicultural Education
Found Educn Through Film
Readings In Soc Of Ed
Critical Race Theory In Educ
Multicult Soc Ed Leadershp
Ethics And Education
Educational Research:
SPE 576Assessment Young Childrn3
BER 550 is also required if an evaluation and learning course was not part of the undergraduate program or another graduate program.0-3
Technology:
CAT 531Computer Based Instruction3
Teaching Field:
SPE 502Adv Behav Mgt Spec Educt3
SPE 578Meth Tch Yng Child W/Dis3
SPE 575ECSE Practicum6
Additional requirements/electives:
(Choose ONE of the following or another advisor approved elective.)3
Curric Emerg Instruct Technol
Beginning Reading
Concepts Elem School Math
Math Curriculum Design
SPE 500 is required if a special education survey course was not completed as part of the undergraduate program or another graduate program.0-3
Total Hours30-36

Gifted (P-12), Class A

This course listing applies to candidates having appropriate prior certification who begin this program June 1, 2017. Candidates earning graduate credit prior to this date may elect to utilize this program. Candidates must present a GPA of at least 3.25 on all courses in the program, with no grade below a C. Passing scores on the appropriate Praxis subject assessment are required.

For admission, applicants must hold valid bachelor's level certification in a teaching field.

Hours
Required courses:
SPE 582Teach Gifted And Taltd3
SPE 583Creative Prob Solving3
Foundations of Professional Studies:
(Choose ONE of these SDE approved diversity courses.)3
History Of Amer Educn
Sociology Of Education
Multicultural Education
Found Educn Through Film
Readings In Soc Of Ed
Critical Race Theory In Educ
Multicult Soc Ed Leadershp
Ethics And Education
Educational Research:
BER 500Intro Educatn Research3
SPE 501 is also required if an assessment/evaluation course was not part of the undergraduate program or another graduate program.0-3
Teaching Field:
SPE 581Psy Gift Tal Chld Yth3
SPE 584Spec Populatn Gift Educ *3
SPE 585Teaching Thinking Skills3
SPE 589 (S.E.W.) **3
SPE 589 or 3 hours from a previous Class A certification program3
Additional requirements/electives:
Advisor approved elective in content or special interest area (counseling, geography, space science workshop, children's literature, etc.)3
SPE 500 is required if a special education survey course was not completed as part of the undergraduate program or another graduate program.0-3
Total Hours30-36

Severe Disabilities, Class A

This course listing applies to candidates having appropriate prior certification who begin this program June 1, 2017. Candidates earning graduate credit prior to this date may elect to utilize this program. Candidates must present a GPA of at least 3.25 on all courses in the program, with no grade below a C.

For admission, applicants must hold valid bachelor's level certification in an appropriate area of special education.

Hours
Required courses:
SPE 593Intro Severe/Profound Disabili3
Foundations of Professional Studies:
SPE 506Working W/Families3
Educational Research:
SPE 501Diag Assess Except Chld Youth3
Technology:
CAT 531Computer Based Instruction3
Teaching Field:
SPE 502Adv Behav Mgt Spec Educt *3
SPE 514Teach Consult Model Spe3
SPE 594Methods Severe Disabilty3
SPE 597Transition In Special Ed3
Additional requirements:
SPE 595Severe Practicum3
Additional courses from advisor approved cognate (Early, Autism, Assist Tech, Transition)6
SPE 500 is required if a special education survey course was not part of the undergraduate program or another graduate program.0-3
Total Hours33-36

Alternative Class A, Nontraditional, Initial Teacher Certification Programs

Special Education & Multiple Abilities offers teacher education programs that do not require prior certification in a teaching field. These programs lead to Alabama Alternative Class A certification in special education (collaborative teacher, K–6; collaborative teacher, 6–12; early childhood special education, P-3; or gifted, P-12) and are designed to allow individuals with undergraduate degrees in nonteaching fields to enter the field of education.

Admission to a nontraditional, alternative certification program in special education requires full admission to the Graduate School and the completion of specified undergraduate prerequisite courses.

For admission to the Alternative Class A (non-traditional) program in collaborative education, early childhood special education, or gifted and talented education, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Transcript evaluation: Applicants should contact the Office of Student Services & Certification for a transcript evaluation to determine prerequisite courses.
  • Degree requirement: An appropriate bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum overall GPA of 2.75 OR a master's degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 is required.
  • Assessment of basic skills: Applicants must meet current basic skills requirements of the Alabama Educator Certification Assessment Program (AECAP). Effective September 1, 2017, passing scores on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Tests of mathematics, reading and writing are required (or passing scores on all components of the previously accepted Basic Skills assessment before 9/1/17). Information about the Praxis Core tests is available online at https://www.ets.org/praxis/al/al_teacher_ed or in the Office of Student Services & Certification (104 Carmichael Hall).
  • General Studies and Teaching Field: For Alternative Class A in Collaborative or Early Childhood Special Education, applicants must have completed 12 hours of coursework in each of four areas: humanities, social science, science and mathematics. (This is called the 4 x 12 requirement.) Applicants who do not meet the 4 x 12 requirement have the option to earn a passing score on the appropriate Praxis subject assessment in lieu of completing the deficient 4 x 12 courses. For Alternative Class A in Gifted, applicants must have an academic major in a discipline that is approved in the Alabama Course of Study.
  • Fingerprinting/background clearance

Collaborative (K-6), Alternative Class A

This course listing applies to candidates who have completed a baccalaureate degree at a regionally accredited college or university and who begin this program June 1, 2017. Candidates earning graduate credit prior to this date may elect to utilize this program. Candidates must present a GPA of at least 3.25 on all courses in the program, with no grade below a C.

Hours
Curriculum and Teaching:
SPE 502Adv Behav Mgt Spec Educt3
SPE 503Masters Seminar In Spe3
SPE 514Teach Consult Model Spe3
Foundations of Professional Studies:
BEF 510Phil Hist Socl Founds Ed *3
Technology:
CAT 531Computer Based Instruction3
Evaluation of Teaching and Learning:
SPE 501 or Diag Assess Except Chld Youth3
BER 550 Eval Classroom Learning
Literacy:
CEE 570Teach Reading Elementary Schoo3
Teaching Field:
SPE 583Creative Prob Solving3
SPE 590Intro Mild Disabilities3
SPE 591Adv Academc Methods Elem3
SPE 593Intro Severe/Profound Disabili3
SPE 594Methods Severe Disabilty3
Choose ONE of the following:3
Concepts Elem School Math
Math Curriculum Design
Internship:
SPE 598Internship In Special Ed **3-6
Special Education Coursework:
SPE 500 is required unless SPE 300 (or the equivalent) was completed as part of the undergraduate program within the last 5 years.0-3
Total Hours42-48

Collaborative (6-12), Alternative Class A

This course listing applies to candidates who have completed a baccalaureate degree at a regionally accredited college or university and who begin this program June 1, 2017. Candidates earning graduate credit prior to this date may elect to utilize this program. Candidates must present a GPA of at least 3.25 on all courses in the program, with no grade below a C.

Hours
Curriculum and Teaching:
SPE 502Adv Behav Mgt Spec Educt3
SPE 503Masters Seminar In Spe3
SPE 514Teach Consult Model Spe3
Foundations of Professional Studies:
BEF 510Phil Hist Socl Founds Ed *3
Technology:
CAT 531Computer Based Instruction3
Evaluation of Teaching and Learning:
SPE 501 or Diag Assess Except Chld Youth3
BER 550 Eval Classroom Learning
Literacy:
CRD 512Impr Read Second Schools3
Teaching Field:
SPE 583Creative Prob Solving3
SPE 590Intro Mild Disabilities3
SPE 592Adv Academc Methods Sec3
SPE 593Intro Severe/Profound Disabili3
SPE 594Methods Severe Disabilty3
SPE 597Transition In Special Ed3
Internship:
SPE 598Internship In Special Ed **3-6
Special Education Coursework:
SPE 500 is required unless SPE 300 (or the equivalent) was completed as part of the undergraduate program within the last 5 years.0-3
Total Hours42-48

Early Childhood Special Education (P-3) with dual certification in Early Childhood (P-3), Alternative Class A

This course listing applies to candidates who have completed a baccalaureate degree at a regionally accredited college or university and who begin this program June 1, 2017. Candidates earning graduate credit prior to this date may elect to utilize this program. Candidates must present a GPA of at least 3.25 on all courses in the program, with no grade below a C.

Hours
Curriculum and Teaching:
SPE 571Educ Yng Child W/Disablt3
Foundations of Professional Studies:
BEF 510Phil Hist Socl Founds Ed *3
Technology:
CAT 531Computer Based Instruction3
Evaluation of Teaching and Learning:
SPE 576Assessment Young Childrn3
Literacy: (Select ONE of these literacy courses)3
Teach Reading Elementary Schoo
Beginning Reading
Teaching Field:
SPE 502Adv Behav Mgt Spec Educt3
SPE 506Working W/Families3
SPE 578Meth Tch Yng Child W/Dis3
HD 501Child Development3
HD 602Adv Infant Development3
SPE 579Intern Ed Yg Child Div Abil **6
Special Education Coursework:
SPE 500 is required unless SPE 300 was completed in the undergraduate program within the last 5 years.0-3
Additional requirements/electives (Choose ONE of the following):3
Concepts Elem School Math
Math Curriculum Design
Total Hours39-42

Gifted (P-12), Alternative Class A

This course listing applies to candidates who have completed a baccalaureate degree at a regionally accredited college or university and who begin this program June 1, 2017. Candidates earning graduate credit prior to this date may elect to utilize this program. Candidates must present a GPA of at least 3.25 on all courses in the program, with no grade below a C.

Hours
Curriculum and Teaching:
SPE 583Creative Prob Solving3
Professional Studies:
BEF 510Phil Hist Socl Founds Ed *3
Technology:
CAT 531Computer Based Instruction3
Evaluation of Teaching and Learning:
BER 550Eval Classroom Learning3
SPE 501Diag Assess Except Chld Youth3
Literacy:
CRD 512Impr Read Second Schools3
Teaching Field:
SPE 581Psy Gift Tal Chld Yth3
SPE 582Teach Gifted And Taltd3
SPE 584Spec Populatn Gift Educ *3
SPE 585Teaching Thinking Skills3
SPE 586Socl Emotl Compnts Talent Dev3
SPE 587Indiv Needs Talents Classroom3
Internships (Two 3-hour internships are required.)**
SPE 589 (S.E.W.)3
SPE 589Internship Gift/Talent3
Special Education Coursework:
SPE 500 is required unless SPE 300 (or the equivalent) was completed in the undergraduate program within the last 5 years.0-3
Total Hours42-45

Certification

The Alabama State Board of Education grants Class A professional educator certification in special education (collaborative, K-6; collaborative, 6–12; early childhood special education, P-3; gifted, P-12; or severe disabilities, P-12). To be eligible, candidates must hold appropriate prerequisite certification OR complete an Alternative Class A program and must complete all requirements for the MA degree in the chosen program as described in this catalog, including a comprehensive exam, state assessments (if applicable), and the Praxis subject assessment(s).