M.Ed. in Exceptional Children & Youth (inc. Special Education)

Director's Welcome & M.Ed. Overview

Note: Effective June 1, 2017, Exceptional Children & Youth will be renamed Special Education

The Master in Education in Exceptional Children and Youth at Drury University is an online graduate degree with an emphasis on evidenced based practices specific to the support of children and youth who exhibit a variety of diverse learning needs. This program may be completed in 36 credit hours and is offered entirely online with the exception of one blended course that does require some seated sessions to support lab activities. Students who need an all online option may contact a program advisor to discuss alternatives to the blended course requirement. This program is designed for persons who are previously certified in an area of education; however, is also appropriate for professionals working in agencies that address the needs of individuals with exceptionalities and others with an interest in exceptional populations. This degree does not lead to initial teaching certification (see the Drury Alternative Track in Special Education or DATSE, for a graduate option to certification in Mild/Moderate Disabilities). Individuals completing the Exceptional Children and Youth M.Ed. may also be interested in an add on certificate in Gifted Education (additional hours apply). Contact a program advisor for information on Gifted Education courses and the add on option.

Candidates may personalize their program of study via selected course projects tailored to an area of interest and completion of an elective course in one of the following areas: Gifted Education, Reading, Specialized Mathematics Methods, or Behavior Analysis. Although this program is offered in a distance learning format, personal advisement and support are emphasized within coursework. This program is student oriented, competency based, and aligned to national standards. Applicants, as well as candidates who have been admitted to the program, are encouraged to access the School of Education and Child Development website and the Exceptional Children and Youth M.Ed. webpage for additional requirements including a description of coursework, program competencies, professional portfolio requirements, and other information to support program completion.

Current Drury undergraduate students are eligible to apply for a 4+1 accelerated version of the Exceptional Children and Youth degree so that their program of study is started during their undergraduate program and completed in one year upon completion of the undergraduate program. Students must have senior status and be in good standing in the Teacher Education Program. Once eligibility is determined, the student must meet with an advisor for an individualized program of study.

Scholarship Opportunity:

The Catherine Clark Taylor Scholarship is available for graduate students pursuing an education degree with an emphasis in Special Education (Exceptional Children and Youth qualifies for this). The scholarship is dependent upon available funds and students must reapply each semester, fall and spring only.


Required Courses (33 hours):

SCI 621: Educational Technology
3 credit hours

Students are required to take this course during their first two semesters of graduate study. This course is required for all programs leading to the master in education degree, and provides an introduction to educational technology. This course uses a research-based approach to explore how educational technologies can be applied to enhance educator effectiveness and assist learners in reaching their objectives. Students will also develop strategies for evaluating new educational technologies as they emerge.

EDUC 649: Introduction to Cross-Categorical Disabilities
3 credit hours

The physical, psychological, social and educational characteristics of school- age students with mild/moderate disabilities will be surveyed. Students will learn strategies for differentiation of instruction, approaches for integrating these students into regular education classrooms, methods for collaborating with other educators to identify and address the needs of students with disabilities. Students also will design instructional strategies in programs to meet the particular learning needs of students with disabilities.

EDUC 611: Counseling Parents of Exceptional Children
3 credit hours

Children learn best when close cooperation exists between school and home. For children with learning problems it is all the more necessary for skills learned in school to be reinforced in the home. This course presents counseling techniques for helping teachers to elicit and maintain the parental cooperation needed to maximize student learning and development.

EDUC 651: Evaluation of Abilities and Achievement
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 606.
Students will review administration and interpretation procedures for formal and informal assessments used in the evaluative process for identifying educational disabilities in school-age students, such as criterion-referenced and normed tests, interview techniques, observational methods and developmental profiles. Students will be required to complete supervised administration of specific tests and will prepare evaluation reports from data collected through assessment. Cultural, social, and educational influences affecting the test performance of students with disabilities also will be reviewed. Course fee applies.

EDUC 652: Language Development of the Exceptional Child
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 649 and EDUC 651.
This course will include an in-depth study of the form and function of language patterns of normally developing children as compared to those patterns of children with exceptionalities. Students will use analysis of language samples as a basis for developing prescriptive interventions.

EDUC 653: Methods of Teaching Students/Cross-Categorical Disabilities
6 credit hours

Prerequisites: EDUC 649EDUC 651, and EDUC 652.
Focus of the course will be on the study of theoretical perspectives and research-based methods for instructing schoolchildren with mild/moderate disabilities. Collection and analysis of educational information pertaining to instruction, management and social development will be used for developing educational programs. Applications of knowledge to inclusive settings will be included.

EDUC 654: Clinical Experience One
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 653
This course will focus on demonstration of skills aligned to professional standards through implementation of varied field based projects. Emphasis will be placed on the application of research based, advanced methods and assessing the outcomes of instruction with children and youth who have diverse learning needs. Concurrent enrollment in EDUC 655 is required.

EDUC 655: Clinical Experience Two
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 653.
This course will include varied performance assessments designed to assess professional knowledge and skills acquired throughout the Candidate’s program of study. Students will demonstrate ability to apply research to practice through projects justified to the professional literature. Emphasis will be placed on professional writing as well as demonstrating competence in the field. Concurrent enrollment in EDUC 654 is required.

EDUC 689: Introduction to Educational Research
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: 27 completed graduate hours.
This course is designed to acquaint students with different methods of educational research and statistical procedures. Emphasis is placed on procedures for writing research papers and proposals. This course is designed to be completed the semester prior to EDUC 700 Capstone Seminar.

EDUC 700: Capstone Seminar (for all graduating students except those pursuing tracks where this course is not specified)
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 689
This course must be taken within the final nine hours of degree work. It is deemed appropriate that every person completing a master in education degree be familiar with the current innovations of the profession. It is of equal importance that he or she relate knowledge derived from various courses to his or her own area of specialization and evaluate personal cognitive and affective growth. The Capstone Seminar aims to fill these needs. Completion of a seminar paper or project is a requirement for a satisfactory grade in this course. The paper will focus on the area of specialty for the graduate student. Successful completion of a written or oral, comprehensive, master’s degree examination is required as a part of the Capstone Seminar course. The course is graded satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

SCI 621 must be taken within the first two semesters.
EDUC 689 and EDUC 700 must be taken in the last 9 hours of the program. 

Elective Course (3 hours). Choose one of the following:

EDUC 610: Behavior Analysis and Intervention
3 credit hours

This course is intended only for students admitted to the DATSE program. The purpose of this course is to present effective techniques for eliciting appropriate social and academic behaviors in the classroom. Several models for behavioral intervention in both regular and special education classrooms are examined, with special emphasis on the management of behaviors that interfere with the learning process.

EDUC 625: Correction of Mathematical Difficulties
3 credit hours

This course is designed to provide in-service teachers the opportunity to improve their skills and techniques for identifying, diagnosing and correcting student difficulties in mathematics.

EDUC 665: Improvement of Reading Instruction
3 credit hours

A course designed for the in-service elementary and secondary teacher, this includes examination of current diagnostic and corrective treatments for reading difficulties. Exemplary reading programs and instructional techniques for teaching subject matter to utilize and develop functional reading will be studied.

EDUC 667: Analysis and Correction of Reading Disabilities
3 credit hours

A course designed to study school age children experiencing difficulties in reading through the examination and utilization of diagnostic testing methods and remedial practices. Students learn to adapt testing materials and remedial techniques to the developmental level, diagnostic needs, and cultural and linguistic background of the pupils.

EDUC 676: A Survey of Gifted and Talented Education
3 credit hours

This is an introduction to knowledge of the nature and needs of gifted children, identification strategies, broad programming issues and concepts and teacher qualities and skills. This course presents entry-level concepts and is a prerequisite for future study in the field.

Please note that some elective courses are offered online and some in a blended format with some seated sessions required. Consult an advisor on your preference for electives.