Jun 22, 2024  
Fitchburg State University 2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    
Fitchburg State University 2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Education, Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities, Initial Licensure (Pre-K-8) Program Concentration, M.Ed


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Program Chair


Karen DeAngelis, Ph.D.

MEd—Special Education


Graduate Committee

Lyndsey Benharris, PhD, Co-chair

Danette Day, EdD

Robert Shapiro, PhD, BCBA-D

Annette Sullivan, EdD

Program Description

The Education Department has developed a variety of innovative master’s programs to meet special education teacher candidate and PreK-12 district needs.

The MEd in Special Education programs are designed to prepare candidates for careers in teaching students with disabilities. The degree offers students preparation in one of four program areas:

  • Teacher of students with moderate disabilities: PreK-8 or 5-12 (Initial Licensure)
  • Teacher of students with severe disabilities, all levels: (Initial Licensure)
  • Reading Specialist (Initial Licensure), CAGS degree, M.Ed Initial Licensure and Non-licensure concentrations and Initial Licensure Certificate
  • Guided Studies (Professional Licensure, Individualized Concentration, and Individualized Concentration/Dyslexia Specialist)

Admissions Standards and Criteria

To apply for enrollment in a Master of Education in Special Education Program leading to initial licensure, a student must submit documents as outlined in the Graduate Admission section, as well as:

  • Applicants to graduate initial licensure teacher preparation programs must successfully complete the literacy and communication subtests of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) and submit passing scores as part of their application.
  • In addition, students must successfully pass the appropriate content exam(s) of the MTEL prior to the practicum experience as follows:
    • Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8)—Foundations of Reading Test; General Curriculum Multi-subject and Math subtests
    • Moderate Disabilities (5-12)—Foundations of Reading Test; General Curriculum Multi-subject and Math subtests or a content specific test (e.g. English, History, Math)
    • Severe Disabilities (All)—General Curriculum Multi-subject and Math subtests
    • Reading Specialist (All)—Reading Specialist

For the most current information regarding licensure requirements for teacher preparation programs, contact the Educator Licensure Office at (978) 665-3239

  • Personal Statement

Students must complete an essay of no more than one page in response to one of the following questions/statement:

  1. Tell about a positive situation in which you helped a person and made a significant difference in that person’s life.
  2. What are the most important factors in establishing a long-term working relationship with students, friends, etc.?
  3. Tell us about a significant event that involved you in a teaching or helping role.
  • Describe the situation as it occurred at the time.
  • What did you do in that particular situation?
  • How did you feel about the situation at the time you were experiencing it?
  • How do you feel about the situation now?
  • What would you change, if anything?

 

Program Requirements

Students interested in the master’s program may be required to take prerequisite courses depending on their previous course work and/or teaching certificate(s).

Prerequisite courses may include:

Course in Child Psychology or Human Growth and Development (any level)

Be sure to check with your advisor to determine appropriate prerequisite courses.

Special Education Learning Outcomes For All Programs


All Teacher Candidates will meet the following Professional Standards for Teachers:

  • Curriculum, Planning, and Assessment standard: Promotes the learning and growth of all students by providing high quality and coherent instruction, designing and administering authentic and meaningful student assessments, analyzing student performance and growth data, using this data to improve instruction, providing students with constructive feedback on an on-going basis, and continuously refining learning objectives.
  • Teaching All Students standard: Promotes the learning and growth of all students through instructional practices that establish high expectations, create a safe and effective classroom environment, and demonstrate cultural proficiency.
  • Family and Community Engagement standard: Promotes the learning and growth of all students through effective partnerships with families, caregivers, community members, and organizations.
  • Professional Culture standard: Promotes the learning and growth of all students through ethical, culturally proficient, skilled, and collaborative practice.

Teacher candidates from Fitchburg State University will demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for their license including the following subject-matter knowledge standards:

  • Support the integration of standards for literacy across the content areas as outlined in the 2017 ELA/Literacy Framework. 
  • Apply basic principles and concepts for digital literacy and computer science in Computing and Society, Digital Tools and Collaboration, and Computing Systems as outlined in the 2016 Digital Literacy Computer Science Framework. 
  • Apply the theories of cognitive, social, emotional, language, and physical development from childhood through adolescence.
  • Understand the characteristics and instructional implications of moderately and severely disabling conditions. 
  • Apply special education policies and procedures.
  • Support English learners through English learner education instruction. 

In addition to the standards above, each program has specific subject-matter knowledge standards that teacher candidates must meet.

Program Learning Outcomes


All Teacher Candidates will meet the following Professional Standards for Teachers:

  • Curriculum, Planning, and Assessment standard: Promotes the learning and growth of all students by providing high quality and coherent instruction, designing and administering authentic and meaningful student assessments, analyzing student performance and growth data, using this data to improve instruction, providing students with constructive feedback on an on-going basis, and continuously refining learning objectives.
  • Teaching All Students standard: Promotes the learning and growth of all students through instructional practices that establish high expectations, create a safe and effective classroom environment, and demonstrate cultural proficiency.
  • Family and Community Engagement standard: Promotes the learning and growth of all students through effective partnerships with families, caregivers, community members, and organizations.
  • Professional Culture standard: Promotes the learning and growth of all students through ethical, culturally proficient, skilled, and collaborative practice.

Teacher candidates from Fitchburg State University will demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for their license including the following subject-matter knowledge standards:

  • Support the integration of standards for literacy across the content areas as outlined in the 2017 ELA/Literacy Framework. 
  • Apply basic principles and concepts for digital literacy and computer science in Computing and Society, Digital Tools and Collaboration, and Computing Systems as outlined in the 2016 Digital Literacy Computer Science Framework. 
  • Apply the theories of cognitive, social, emotional, language, and physical development from childhood through adolescence.
  • Understand the characteristics and instructional implications of moderately and severely disabling conditions. 
  • Apply special education policies and procedures.
  • Support English learners through English learner education instruction. 

In addition to the standards above, each program has specific subject-matter knowledge standards that teacher candidates must meet.

Moderate Disabilities Prek-8

  • Knowledge of the significant theories, approaches, practices, and programs for developing reading skills and reading comprehension:
    • Current research-based theories and practices for developing proficient and strategic readers; familiarity with programs and approaches for teaching literacy/reading.
    • Principles and research-based instructional practices for developing proficient readers (phonics and word recognition, vocabulary, reading fluency, comprehension, and the reading-writing connection).
    • Theories, research, and instructional practices for supporting readers with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, strengths, and challenges.
    • Knowledge of reading standards as outlined in the 2017 ELA/Literacy Curriculum Framework: reading for key ideas and details, craft and structure, integration of knowledge and ideas, and range of reading and text complexity.
      • Instructional practices for supporting comprehension in a variety of genres and content areas.
      • Knowledge of selection criteria for classroom literary and informational texts.
  • Principles and research-based instructional practices for developing emergent reader skills (alphabetic principle, concepts of print, phonological and phonemic awareness).
  • Phonemic awareness and phonics; principles, knowledge, and instructional practices.
  • Use of assessment for instruction and intervention.
  • Knowledge of a variety of formal and informal reading assessment tools.
  • Use of data from screening, diagnostic, and formative assessments to identify individual strengths and weaknesses and to differentiate instruction (prepare mini-lessons, select appropriate materials, form flexible groups).
  • Knowledge of Response to Intervention models/components, including tiered instruction, shared responsibility and decision-making, research-based interventions, and progress monitoring.
    • Diagnosis and assessment of reading skills using standardized, criterion- referenced, and informal assessment instruments.

Teacher candidates must demonstrate the necessary depth and breadth of content knowledge needed to support all students in mastering expectations outlined in the following Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks:

In addition to the content outlined above that aligns with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, teachers of Students with Moderate Disabilities should demonstrate the following knowledge and skills:

  • Educational terminology for students with mild to moderate disabilities.
  • Preparation, implementation, and evaluation of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
  • Design or modification of curriculum, instructional materials, and general education classroom environments for students with moderate disabilities.
  • Instruction on the appropriate use of augmentative and alternative communication and other assistive technologies.
  • Ways to prepare and maintain students with disabilities for general education classrooms; for example, use of behavioral management principles.
  • Knowledge of services provided by other agencies.
  • Federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to special education.

In addition to the content outlined above that aligns with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, teachers of Students with Moderate Disabilities should demonstrate the following knowledge and skills:

  • Educational terminology for students with mild to moderate disabilities.
  • Preparation, implementation, and evaluation of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
  • Design or modification of curriculum, instructional materials, and general education classroom environments for students with moderate disabilities.
  • Instruction on the appropriate use of augmentative and alternative communication and other assistive technologies.
  • Ways to prepare and maintain students with disabilities for general education classrooms. For example, use of behavioral management principles.
  • Knowledge of services provided by other agencies.
  • Federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to special education.

Teachers of Students with Moderate Disabilities should demonstrate the following knowledge and skills:

  • Educational terminology for students with mild to moderate disabilities.
  • Preparation, implementation, and evaluation of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
  • Design or modification of curriculum, instructional materials, and general education classroom environments for students with moderate disabilities.
  • Instruction on the appropriate use of augmentative and alternative communication and other assistive technologies.
  • Ways to prepare and maintain students with disabilities for general education classrooms; for example, use of behavioral management principles.
  • Knowledge of services provided by other agencies.
  • Federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to special education.
  • For all Moderate Disabilities, Pre-K-8 and 5-12; it is expected that they demonstrate the knowledge needed to support students in mastering the foundations of reading. 
    • Current research-based theories and practices for developing proficient and strategic readers; familiarity with programs and approaches for teaching literacy/reading.
    • Principles and research-based instructional practices for developing proficient readers (phonics and word recognition, vocabulary, reading fluency, comprehension, and the reading-writing connection).
    • Theories, research, and instructional practices for supporting readers with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, strengths, and challenges.
    • Knowledge of reading standards as outlined in the 2017 ELA/Literacy Curriculum Framework: reading for key ideas and details, craft and structure, integration of knowledge and ideas, and range of reading and text complexity. 
    • Instructional practices for supporting comprehension in a variety of genres and content areas.
    • Knowledge of selection criteria for classroom literary and informational texts.
  • Principles and research-based instructional practices for developing emergent reader skills (alphabetic principle, concepts of print, phonological and phonemic awareness).
  • Phonemic awareness and phonics; principles, knowledge, and instructional practices.
  • Use of assessment for instruction and intervention.
  • Knowledge of a variety of formal and informal reading assessment tools.
  • Use of data from screening, diagnostic, and formative assessments to identify individual strengths and weaknesses and to differentiate instruction (prepare mini-lessons, select appropriate materials, form flexible groups). 
  • Knowledge of Response to Intervention models/components, including tiered instruction, shared responsibility and decision-making, research-based interventions, and progress monitoring.
  • Diagnosis and assessment of reading skills using standardized, criterion- referenced, and informal assessment instruments.

Program of Study


Special Opportunity for Baccalaureate Degree Holders from Fitchburg State University:

If you hold an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood, Elementary, or Middle School Education, OR a minor in Education from Fitchburg State University, you have the opportunity to apply content covered in your undergraduate program toward an initial license in Moderate Disabilities at the graduate level. Students using this option may take a variety of electives in order to individualize your program, rather than repeating content already mastered. Please contact the chair, Dr. Nancy Murray, or Advisor, Ms. Ann Hogan, with any questions about this option.

Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities: Initial Licensure Program—Moderate Disabilities (Pre-K-8)


Total Credits 39 cr.


Note: If you hold an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood, Elementary, or Middle School Education, OR a minor in Education from Fitchburg State University, you have the opportunity to apply content covered in your undergraduate program toward an initial license in Moderate Disabilities at the graduate level. Students using this option may take a variety of electives in order to individualize your program, rather than repeating content already mastered. Please contact the chair, Dr. Anne Howard or the Advisor, Ms. Ann Hogan, with any questions about this option.

Note: Students who have completed the Initial Licensure Program for Teachers of Students with Moderate Disabilities (Pre-K-8) who would like information about adding a Severe Disabilities License should contact Dr. Anne Howard

 

Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement Course


Prior to completion of the program of study, initial licensure candidates are required to take the Fitchburg State University ESE-approved SEI course, if needed, in order to be endorsed for licensure.  Please note that SEI endorsement occurs following the completion of the program, not before. Please note that the DESE requires that the SEI course include at least 30 contact hours face-to-face to meet their requirements.

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