Unit: Special Education
Program: Special Education (MEd)
Degree: Master's
Date: Wed Oct 07, 2009 - 3:49:56 pm

1) List your program's student learning outcomes (SLOs).

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) Where are your program's SLOs published?

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) Upload your program's current curriculum map(s) as a PDF.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2009:

4) What percentage of courses have the course SLOs explicitly stated on the course syllabus, department website, or other publicly available document? (Check one)


5) State the SLO(s) that was Assessed, Targeted, or Studied

The Department of Special Education faculty proposed significant changes to the M.Ed. in Special Education program. Changes have been submitted for College and University review, to be in effect for fall 2010. In the new M.Ed. program, coursework and program assessments will change. We are in the process of designing new products for the assessment system.

6) State the Assessment Question(s) and/or Goal(s) of Assessment Activity

7) State the Type(s) of Evidence Gathered

8) State How the Evidence was Interpreted, Evaluated, or Analyzed

9) State How Many Pieces of Evidence Were Collected

10) Summarize the Actual Results

11) Briefly Describe the Distribution and Discussion of Results

12) Describe Conclusions and Discoveries

13) Use of Results/Program Modifications: State How the Program Used the Results --or-- Explain Planned Use of Results

14) Reflect on the Assessment Process

15) Other Important Information

 The current M.Ed. in Special Education program (43 credits) Interdisciplinary program, is a non-licensure program. We propose a new 30 credit 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.

Current 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




                                                                                                            Total:                  43

Proposed 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


                                                                                                            Total:                   30

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

  1. Stop out admission into the strands in Mild/Moderate and Severe/Autism for teacher licensure. (Licensure will be offered in B.Ed. and PB programs.)
  2. Change in name, drop Interdisciplinary, since this will be the only M.Ed. in Special Education program offered.
  3. Change in admission requirements (see below)
  4. Program will be offered statewide; courses will be available online/hybrid.
  5. Reduction in program credits from 43 to 30 credits.
    1. Reduction in required courses/field projects from 25 credits to 12 credits;
    2. 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.
    3. Deletion of 12 credits of special projects; projects will be completed in required coursework.
    4. 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.

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.

16) FOR DISTANCE PROGRAMS ONLY: Explain how your program/department has adapted its assessment of student learning in the on-campus program to assess student learning in the distance education program.

The newly proposed M.Ed. in Special Education program will be comprised of 6 newly developed program assessments, implementation to begin in fall 2010. The program will be offered statewide. Students enrolled in the distance program will be required to complete the same program assessments as the on-campus students.

17) FOR DISTANCE PROGRAMS ONLY: Summarize the actual student learning assessment results that compare the achievement of students in the on-campus program to students in the distance education program.