Unit: Special Education
Program: Special Education (MEd)
Degree: Master's
Date: Tue Nov 23, 2010 - 2:41:44 pm

1) Below are the program student learning outcomes submitted last year. Please add/delete/modify as needed.

The M.Ed. in Special Education program is aligned with four of the ten Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Professional Standards, as follows:

1. Foundations. Special educators understand the field as an evolving and changing discipline based on philosophies, evidence-based principles and theories, relevant laws and policies, diverse and historical points of view, and human issues that have historically influenced and continue to influence the field of special education and the education and treatment of individuals with exceptional needs both in school and society. Special educators understand how these influence professional practice, including assessment, instructional planning, implementation, and program evaluation. Special educators understand how issues of human diversity can impact families, cultures, and schools, and how these complex human issues can interact with issues in the delivery of special education services. They understand the relationships of organizations of special education to the organizations and functions of schools, school systems, and other agencies. Special educators use this knowledge as a ground upon which to construct their own personal understandings and philosophies of special education.

5. Learning Environments and Social Interactions. Special educators actively create learning environments for individuals with ELN that foster cultural understanding, safety and emotional well-being, positive social interactions, and active engagement of individuals with ELN. In addition, special educators foster environments in which diversity is valued and individuals are taught to live harmoniously and productively in a culturally diverse world. Special educators shape environments to encourage the independence, self-motivation, self-direction, personal empowerment, and self-advocacy of individuals with ELN. Special educators help their general education colleagues integrate individuals with ELN in regular environments and engage them in meaningful learning activities and interactions. Special educators use direct motivational and instructional interventions with individuals with ELN to teach them to respond effectively to current expectations. When necessary, special educators can safely intervene with individuals with ELN in crisis. Special educators coordinate all these efforts and provide guidance and direction to paraeducators and others, such as classroom volunteers and tutors.

9. Professional and Ethical Practice. Special educators are guided by the profession’s ethical and professional practice standards. Special educators practice in multiple roles and complex situations across wide age and developmental ranges. Their practice requires ongoing attention to legal matters along with serious professional and ethical considerations. Special educators engage in professional activities and participate in learning communities that benefit individuals with ELN, their families, colleagues, and their own professional growth. Special educators view themselves as lifelong learners and regularly reflect on and adjust their practice. Special educators are aware of how their own and others attitudes, behaviors, and ways of communicating can influence their practice. Special educators understand that culture and language can interact with exceptionalities, and are sensitive to the many aspects of diversity of individuals with ELN and their families. Special educators actively plan and engage in activities that foster their professional growth and keep them current with evidence-based best practices. Special educators know their own limits of practice and practice within them.

10. Collaboration. Special educators routinely and effectively collaborate with families, other educators, related service providers, and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways. This collaboration assures that the needs of individuals with ELN are addressed throughout schooling. Moreover, special educators embrace their special role as advocate for individuals with ELN. Special educators promote and advocate the learning and well being of individuals with ELN across a wide range of settings and a range of different learning experiences. Special educators are viewed as specialists by a myriad of people who actively seek their collaboration to effectively include and teach individuals with ELN. Special educators are a resource to their colleagues in understanding the laws and policies relevant to Individuals with ELN. Special educators use collaboration to facilitate the successful transitions of individuals with ELN across settings and services.

2) As of last year, your program's SLOs were published as follows. Please update as needed.

Department Website URL:
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: NA
Other: http://www.cec.sped.org/Content/NavigationMenu/ProfessionalDevelopment/ProfessionalStandards/?from=tlcHome

3) Below is the link to your program's curriculum map (if submitted in 2009). If it has changed or if we do not have your program's curriculum map, please upload it as a PDF.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2010:

4) The percentage of courses in 2009 that had course SLOs explicitly stated on the syllabus, a website, or other publicly available document is indicated below. Please update as needed.


5) State the assessment question(s) and/or goals of the assessment activity. Include the SLOs that were targeted, if applicable.

The M.Ed. program assessment system monitors candidate performance while enrolled in the program; candidates are expected to demonstrate mastery of the CEC Standards. From June 2009 through September 2010 all candidates in the M.Ed. Interdisciplinary program were assessed via the six required products completed during their program. Through completion of the products, candidate performance on CEC Standards One: Foundations, Five: Learning Environments, Nine: Professional and Ethical Practice, and Ten: Collaboration was documented. Candidate performance on each product related to the CEC standards is recorded as Target, Acceptable, or Unacceptable. At Mid-Point check, candidate performance is assessed by (a) artifacts (products) that indicate the candidates’ knowledge gained by successful completion of courses, (b) skills demonstrated in research projects and final paper, and (c) dispositions documented in all courses. A decision is made on each candidate at Mid-Point Check: (a) candidate may proceed with no conditions, (b) candidate may proceed with conditions, or (c) candidate is dismissed from the program. At Exit, the unit requires all candidates to meet Graduate Division requirements for graduation (GPA 3.0, Plan A or B). The Program again assesses candidates’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions prior to exiting the candidate from the program. A Final Checkpoint decision is made: (a) candidate has satisfactorily met requirements for graduation, (b) candidate must remain in program to meet certain conditions, or (c) candidate is dismissed from the program. A Follow-Up assessment by the unit gathers surveys for all program graduates.

6) State the type(s) of evidence gathered.

Assessment data of candidate performance on the six assessments related to the CEC standards were gathered. All candidates in the program were assessed on the six products as they completed each course with a product. A frequency count of ratings (Target, Acceptable, Unacceptable) was generated for each product.

7) Who interpreted or analyzed the evidence that was collected?

Course instructor(s)
Faculty committee
Ad hoc faculty group
Department chairperson
Persons or organization outside the university
Faculty advisor
Advisors (in student support services)
Students (graduate or undergraduate)

8) How did they evaluate, analyze, or interpret the evidence?

Used a rubric or scoring guide
Scored exams/tests/quizzes
Used professional judgment (no rubric or scoring guide used)
Compiled survey results
Used qualitative methods on interview, focus group, open-ended response data
External organization/person analyzed data (e.g., external organization administered and scored the nursing licensing exam)

9) State how many persons submitted evidence that was evaluated.
If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.

Twenty nine candidates currently enrolled in the M.Ed. Interdisciplinary program and taking courses with required assessment products were assessed. All M.Ed. candidates enrolled in courses with required assessment products were included in this sample.

10) Summarize the actual results.

Assessment 1, Foundations Paper, CEC 1: Foundations

  Summer 2009: Target=5, Acceptable=0, Unaccepatable=0

  Summer 2010: Target=11, Acceptable=2, Unacceptable=0

Assessment 2, ABA Project, CEC 5: Learning Environment

  Spring 2010: Target=11, Acceptable=8, Unacceptable=1

Assessment 3, Collaboration Project, CEC 10: Collaboration

   Fall 2009: Target=25, Acceptable=4, Unacceptable=0

Assessment 4, Research Project, CEC 9: Professional and Ethical Practice

   Fall 2009: Target=1, Acceptable=4, Unacceptable=1

Assessment 5, Plan A/B Paper, Ch. 1-2, CEC 1: Foundations

   Spring 2010: Target=1, Acceptable=1, Unacceptable=0

   Summer 2010: Target=1, Acceptable=1, Unacceptable=0

Assessment 6, Plan A/B Paper, Ch. 3-5, CEC 9: Professional and Ethical Practice

   Spring 2010: Target=1, Acceptable=1, Unacceptable=0

   Summer 2010: Target=1, Acceptable=1, Unacceptable=0

11) How did your program use the results? --or-- Explain planned use of results.
Please be specific.

Results of the six assessments indicate mastery of the CEC standards, with the strong majority of candidates receiving a rating of Target on most assessments. On five of the six assessments from 50% - 100% of the candidates received a rating of Target. However, on one of the assessments, the Research Project, only 16.6% (n=1) of the candidates received Target, 67% (n=6)  received an acceptable rating, and 16.6% (n=1) received Unacceptable. Even though a smaller percentage of candidates received Target ratings, only one candidate received an unacceptable rating. Likewise, one candidate received an unacceptable rating on the Collaboration project. Overall, the results indicate strong candidate mastery of the CEC standards.

The M.Ed. Interdisciplinary program underwent substantial program change for fall 2010 and as a result the assessments were revised. Two of the assessment products remain in the revised program (Plan A/B Paper, Ch. 1-2; Plan A/B Paper, Ch. 3-5), four assessment products were eliminated (Foundations Paper, Collaboration Project, ABA Intervention Project, and Research Proposal/Intervention; and four new assessment products were added (Analysis and Issues in SPED Law Paper, Exemplary Practices Paper, Research Mid-Term Exam, and IRB Proposal).

12) Beyond the results, were there additional conclusions or discoveries? This can include insights about assessment procedures, teaching and learning, program aspects and so on.

The department has already used the assessment data to review candidate progress and to make substantial changes to the M.Ed. program. The M.Ed. Interdisciplinary program underwent a significant change beginning fall 2010. The 2009-2010 M.Ed. in Special Education Interdisciplinary program was a 43 credits non-licensure program. Beginning fall 2010 we admitted candidates into the new 30 credit non-licensure program. This program change, including a reduction in credits and a clear delineation of coursework between our licensure and non-licensure programs, allows us to focus on higher level graduate studies in the M.Ed. program, and focus on the practical aspects of teaching in the PB licensure program. The revised M.Ed. program is designed for those who: (a) are already licensed in special education, or (b) wish to work in non-classroom-based services/settings for persons with disabilities, or (c) wish to engage in a graduate course of study to meet individualized educational objectives in the field of special education. The revised 30-credit M.Ed. Interdisciplinary program aligns well with other UHM and COE master’s level non-licensure programs, which range from 30 to 36 credits.

2009-2010 M.Ed. – Interdisciplinary program (43 credits)

*SPED 600:     Foundations of Exceptionality


*SPED 603:     Principles of Behavior


*SPED 605:     Collaboration in School and Community Settings


*SPED 642:     Seminar on Applied Research/Special Education


SPED 629:     Clinical Practice Special Projects


SPED 699:     Directed Reading/Research




*Plan A Thesis, or Plan B Paper or Exam required for completion of degree      

*indicates a course with a required assessment product                     Total:                  43

New fall 2010 M.Ed. in Special Education program (30 credits)

*SPED 602:     Special Education Law and Compliance


*SPED 641:     Seminar on Issues in Special Education (Topics to be announced;  repeatable unlimited times)


*SPED 642:     Seminar on Applied Research/Special Education


*SPED 688:     Research Practicum in Special Education


Electives:       To inform area of study in special education


*Plan A Thesis, or Plan B Paper required for completion of degree      

*indicates a course with a required assessment product                     Total:                   30

The M.Ed. in Special Education program changes include:

  1. Program will be offered statewide; courses will be available online/hybrid.
  2. Reduction in program credits from 43 to 30 credits.
    1. Retain the SPED 642 research course from current program; addition of a course on law, SPED 602; a seminar on issues, SPED 641, repeatable with different topics; and a new practicum research course, SPED 688: Practicum on Applied Research in Special Education.
    2. Deletion of 12 credits of special projects; projects will be completed in required coursework.
    3. Eighteen credits of elective coursework remain; program of study will be individualized for students with their academic advisor. Focus for electives will meet individualized educational objectives in the field of special education. Students may choose to prepare for National Board Certification in the program.
    4. Students must complete a Plan A Thesis or a Plan B Paper for completion of the degree.

Strengths of the proposed M.Ed. in Special Education program include:

  1. Coursework provides graduate level foundation in special education law, issues, and research.
  2. Electives allow candidates the ability to choose area of focus from courses within and/or outside the Department of Special Education to meet individual objectives.
  3. Addition of a practicum in research allows candidates greater opportunity to conduct research under guidance of faculty member(s).
  4. Students may complete the program with a cohort group schedule or take the courses on an individualized plan.
  5. Required courses are all separate from those offered to candidates in teacher licensure programs; change of focus toward graduate studies versus licensure.

13) Other important information: