M.Ed. in Special Education

Director's Welcome & M.Ed. Overview

The Master in Education in Special Education 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.

Program highlights:

  • May be completed in 33 credit hours (21 hours of core coursework with 12 hours of electives).
  • May be completed entirely online. Note that some electives may have a seated component; however, the candidate may work with the advisor to design an all online option.
  • 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 Special Education 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 electives in Special Education as well as Gifted Education and Reading. 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 Special Education M.Ed. webpage for additional requirements including a description of coursework, program competencies, professional portfolio requirements, and other information to support program completion.

Available completely online.


Required Core Courses (21 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 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 610: Behavior Analysis and Intervention
3 credit hours

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 651: Evaluation of Abilities and Achievement
3 credit hours

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.

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: 24 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 Courses (12 hours). 

Choose four courses: 

HFA 656: Academic Writing and Digital Literacy
3 credit hours

This course will develop proficiency in academic writing, focusing on accuracy, authority, voice and format. The course will also develop the skills required to locate, evaluate and integrate information into academic work using online resources and digital tools. Participants will learn how to effectively search for information and objectively assess its value and meaning in context. This course is recommended for all graduate students.

EDUC 606: Psychology of the Exceptional Child
3 credit hours

This course surveys all areas of exceptionalities. It is designed to help the post-baccalaureate prospective teacher identify and plan instruction for children with exceptionalities.

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 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 632: Literacy Instruction in the Content Area
3 credit hours

This course provides skills and instructional strategies based on current theory and practice for developing and improving reading comprehension of written material associated with various content areas, thereby advancing higher-order, critical, and reflective thinking about text.

EDUC 649: Introduction to Mild/Moderate 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 650: Transition and Career Education
3 credit hours

This course will provide information and resources needed by special educators to meet the federal requirements for preparing students with disabilities for post-secondary experiences. Course content will include the study of application for aptitude/vocational assessment results, review of life-skills curricula and career exploration resources, identification of employment supports, use of community resources for transition planning, and coordination of transition providers and services. Students will also develop demonstrative individual and school-based programs to assist students’ social, cultural and economic integration into their local communities.

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 Mild/Moderate 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 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.

Students may select electives from outside this list when necessary to meet professional goals, but express prior permission from the advisor is required to maintain the integrity of the program.