Graduate

Special Education

Preparing students for successful careers in teaching students with special needs in both inclusive and non-inclusive classroom environments. The program also strives to educate its graduate students to exemplify good character and integrity in all aspects of their professional lives.

Special Education Program

Program Tracks Available

On campus


Admission Deadline

Fall: Rolling
Spring (January start): Rolling
Summer: Rolling

Application Requirements

Admission Information Sessions


Degrees Offered

M.A. (36 credits)
C.A.G.S.: Positive Behavior Supports (18 credits)


School

School of Graduate Studies


Department

Education


Cara Bjorklund

Special Education BA '13 MA '11 CAGS '15
5th Grade Teacher, West Boylston Public Schools

Assumption got me to where I am today.

I had a wonderful practicum experience with supportive supervisors and professors that allowed me to see and learn strategies in action for successful teaching practices. Take as many classes as possible, the more you know the easier your transition will be.
Nicole Spandoni

Special Education 2012
Special Education Teacher/Liaison, 2nd and 4th Grade Students, Greenlodge Elementary School

I was thrilled to be hired quickly after interviewing for my first job opportunity.

It was clear that school decision-makers were impressed with what I had learned and the portfolio I was able to develop. All of the instruction is linked to research-based strategy or leading-edge expertise and targets the achievement of Massachusetts state standards.
Jamie Fransson

Special Education 2009
7th and 8th Grade Reading Resource Teacher, Sullivan Middle School

Special educators are in high demand, which is an advantage for those graduating from this program

The professors are phenomenal, and the classes are small, allowing for rich interaction between students, most of whom are already working in Special Education. The curriculum can be applied immediately in the classroom. I couldn’t have asked for a better program.
Sarah Wilkinson

Special Education
PH.D. in Special Education Candidate, UCONN

I use what I learned in this C.A.G.S. program every single day in my classroom.

This is a unique program. Rather than focusing on learning disabilities, it focuses specifically on how to bring out the best in students with emotional/behavior challenges. I use what I learned in this program every single day in my classroom.
Kristin Mayotte

Special Education 2008
Director of Educational Services, YOU, Inc.

The knowledge that I received in the Master’s program was highly effective and relevant.

The program was sensitive to crafting curriculum for my academic development that matched my needs as an administrator. They recognized the skills I possessed and enhanced them tremendously to ensure that I would become a more effective resource for the teachers I supervise.
Lynne-Anne Handleman

Special Education 2006
Evaluation Team Chair, Department of Special Education, Worcester Public Schools

Every one of my experiences in the program was relevant to my work.

The learning was practical, deep, and insightful. Thanks to an outstanding group of instructors, I developed tremendous confidence, and can draw upon a comprehensive toolbox of skills and knowledge which, in my experience, is proven to help kids succeed.
Ariana Babigian

Special Education 2015
"K-2 Special Education Teacher, Elm Park Community School "

Teaching all students is the heart of special education.

The Special Education Program allowed me to create a supportive classroom environment where all children can learn. The program is carefully designed to promote collaboration amongst educators, thoughtful instruction, and positive outcomes for students with special needs.
Elizabeth Dick

Special Education 2018
Special Education Teacher at Wachusett Regional School District

I dreamed of becoming a Special Education Teacher, and Assumption helped that dream come to life.

Assumption gave me the tools necessary to become a Special Education Teacher. The professors' love for the Special Education Field at Assumption is infectious, and I was so lucky to learn from them. This community helped mold me into the teacher I am today.
Kevin Bjorklund

Special Education 2016
8th Grade Special Education Teacher, West Boylston Public Schools

This program set me up for success and I am forever grateful for the education I received.

Assumption gave me the opportunity to participate in small classes and develop strong relationships with professors. I learned how to assess students for learning disabilities, develop detailed IEPs, effectively co-teach, and differentiate lessons for various levels of need.

Shining Their Light

Cara Bjorklund

Special Education BA '13 MA '11 CAGS '15
5th Grade Teacher, West Boylston Public Schools

Assumption got me to where I am today.

I had a wonderful practicum experience with supportive supervisors and professors that allowed me to see and learn strategies in action for successful teaching practices. Take as many classes as possible, the more you know the easier your transition will be.
Nicole Spandoni

Special Education 2012
Special Education Teacher/Liaison, 2nd and 4th Grade Students, Greenlodge Elementary School

I was thrilled to be hired quickly after interviewing for my first job opportunity.

It was clear that school decision-makers were impressed with what I had learned and the portfolio I was able to develop. All of the instruction is linked to research-based strategy or leading-edge expertise and targets the achievement of Massachusetts state standards.
Jamie Fransson

Special Education 2009
7th and 8th Grade Reading Resource Teacher, Sullivan Middle School

Special educators are in high demand, which is an advantage for those graduating from this program

The professors are phenomenal, and the classes are small, allowing for rich interaction between students, most of whom are already working in Special Education. The curriculum can be applied immediately in the classroom. I couldn’t have asked for a better program.
Sarah Wilkinson

Special Education
PH.D. in Special Education Candidate, UCONN

I use what I learned in this C.A.G.S. program every single day in my classroom.

This is a unique program. Rather than focusing on learning disabilities, it focuses specifically on how to bring out the best in students with emotional/behavior challenges. I use what I learned in this program every single day in my classroom.
Kristin Mayotte

Special Education 2008
Director of Educational Services, YOU, Inc.

The knowledge that I received in the Master’s program was highly effective and relevant.

The program was sensitive to crafting curriculum for my academic development that matched my needs as an administrator. They recognized the skills I possessed and enhanced them tremendously to ensure that I would become a more effective resource for the teachers I supervise.
Lynne-Anne Handleman

Special Education 2006
Evaluation Team Chair, Department of Special Education, Worcester Public Schools

Every one of my experiences in the program was relevant to my work.

The learning was practical, deep, and insightful. Thanks to an outstanding group of instructors, I developed tremendous confidence, and can draw upon a comprehensive toolbox of skills and knowledge which, in my experience, is proven to help kids succeed.
Ariana Babigian

Special Education 2015
"K-2 Special Education Teacher, Elm Park Community School "

Teaching all students is the heart of special education.

The Special Education Program allowed me to create a supportive classroom environment where all children can learn. The program is carefully designed to promote collaboration amongst educators, thoughtful instruction, and positive outcomes for students with special needs.
Elizabeth Dick

Special Education 2018
Special Education Teacher at Wachusett Regional School District

I dreamed of becoming a Special Education Teacher, and Assumption helped that dream come to life.

Assumption gave me the tools necessary to become a Special Education Teacher. The professors' love for the Special Education Field at Assumption is infectious, and I was so lucky to learn from them. This community helped mold me into the teacher I am today.
Kevin Bjorklund

Special Education 2016
8th Grade Special Education Teacher, West Boylston Public Schools

This program set me up for success and I am forever grateful for the education I received.

Assumption gave me the opportunity to participate in small classes and develop strong relationships with professors. I learned how to assess students for learning disabilities, develop detailed IEPs, effectively co-teach, and differentiate lessons for various levels of need.
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Feb 1 Tue

Graduate Admissions Virtual Information Session

We invite you to learn more about our premier graduate programs as well as the admissions process at Assumption by participating in our webinar on Tuesday, February 1st, at 12:00 pm EST. You will have the opportunity to chat with admissions staff throughout the webinar.

Feb. 1, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Virtual
Register Now
Feb 9 Wed

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (Orientation)

The 8-week program runs weekly on Wednesdays from February 16 to April 6, 2022.  Attend the Orientation on February 9, 2022 to learn about the program. This program is hosted by the Clinical Counseling Psychology Program, in conjunction with the Aaron T. Beck Institute for Cognitive Studies and the ... Read more

Feb. 9, 2022
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Live Online via Zoom
Register Now
Feb 16 Wed

Special Education CAGS Opportunities at Assumption Virtual Information Session

Join Dr. Nanho Vander Hart, director of our Special Education programs as she reviews our Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S.) options. Assumption offers C.A.G.S. options for those interested in working in a number of areas. You will have the opportunity to chat with the program directo ... Read more

Feb. 16, 2022
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Virtual
Register Now

Special Education Events

Feb 1 Tue

Graduate Admissions Virtual Information Session

We invite you to learn more about our premier graduate programs as well as the admissions process at Assumption by participating in our webinar on Tuesday, February 1st, at 12:00 pm EST. You will have the opportunity to chat with admissions staff throughout the webinar.

Feb. 1, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Virtual
Register Now
Feb 9 Wed

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (Orientation)

The 8-week program runs weekly on Wednesdays from February 16 to April 6, 2022.  Attend the Orientation on February 9, 2022 to learn about the program. This program is hosted by the Clinical Counseling Psychology Program, in conjunction with the Aaron T. Beck Institute for Cognitive Studies and the ... Read more

Feb. 9, 2022
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Live Online via Zoom
Register Now
Feb 16 Wed

Special Education CAGS Opportunities at Assumption Virtual Information Session

Join Dr. Nanho Vander Hart, director of our Special Education programs as she reviews our Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S.) options. Assumption offers C.A.G.S. options for those interested in working in a number of areas. You will have the opportunity to chat with the program directo ... Read more

Feb. 16, 2022
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Virtual
Register Now
Program Contact

Susan M. Cahill

Associate Director of Graduate Admissions
Schedule a Conversation
508-767-7365 Admissions House - Room 205

Nanho Vander Hart, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Special Education, Director of Special Education, Director of Transition Specialist Program
508-767-7380 Kennedy Memorial Hall - Room 157

Sabine Prizio

Administrative Assistant to Graduate Programs
508-767-7297 Kennedy Hall - Room 169

An Ideal Place to Learn


Program Curriculum

Faculty

Graduate Admission Events and Ways to Connect With Us

We invite you to learn more about our graduate programs - either through a visit to campus, attending an information session or by scheduling a phone or virtual conversation with an admissions team member or one of our program directors.

Learn More

Admissions Requirements

Special Education-specific Admission Requirements

Enrollment in the Special Education program is open to any qualified individuals who meet the admissions standards. Individuals may enroll in the master's program whether or not they seek Massachusetts teacher licensure. Candidates for the graduate program in special education may submit an application at any time.

Please note that a grade point average of 3.0 or better is expected of students who enter the program. Exceptions to this policy are not common. When extenuating circumstances exist, the admissions committee can recommend to the Special Education director that a student is permitted to take courses as a special student. In these cases, formal admission to the graduate program is deferred until a candidate has successfully met criteria specified by the admissions committee.

All Candidates for Initial Licensure must meet the following criteria
  • Possess a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree;
  • Have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0
  • Candidates for the Massachusetts Initial License for Teacher of students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8 or 5-12) are not required to have passed the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) prior to applying to the program, however, to be eligible to enroll in the practicum, students must submit evidence of passing scores on all MTEL required for licensure.
Candidates seeking a license for PreK-8 must pass the following tests:
  • Communication and Literacy Skills;
  • Foundations of Reading OR Reading Specialists; and
  • General Curriculum, including two subtests (i.e., multi-subject and mathematics subtests).
  • Candidates seeking licensure for 5-12 must pass the following tests:

Candidates for the Initial License who do not already hold a Massachusetts teacher license may be required, at the discretion of the special education faculty, to take additional coursework in the content areas and/or curriculum and methods of teaching prior to enrollment in the practicum.

NOTE: Individuals who complete approved programs are eligible for licensure reciprocity with the approximately 45 other states that are parties to the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement, 2010-2015.

All candidates for Professional Licensure must meet the following criteria
  • Possess a Bachelor of Arts of Bachelor of Science degree;
  • Have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0;
  • Possess an Initial license as a Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities or Elementary Education from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;
  • Have at least one year of full-time employment in an educational setting.

For information concerning the Commonwealth of Massachusetts teacher licensure, contact the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education:

Office of Educator Licensure
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148
(781) 338-3000
www.doe.mass.edu

Note: The following is required for a Professional License. For more information, visit www.doe.mass.edu/Educators

  • 3 years of employment under an Initial License
  • Completion of a teacher induction program
Candidates Who Do Not Seek Massachusetts Educator Licensure (non licensure students)

Prospective students for the MA program only must meet the following criteria:

  • Possess a Bachelor Of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree;
  • Have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0

Tuition & Financial Aid

General Graduate Studies Admissions Requirements

  • Completed Application Dated & Signed
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript(s)
  • Personal Statement
  • Current Resume
  • TOEFL or IELTS for applicants whose native language is not English
Apply today

Special Education Dual Degree Program

Apply as a high school senior into the dual degree program with one application and, if admitted, you will be enrolled in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. You'll also benefit from being considered for a $2,500 Dual Degree Scholarship (per year for your 4 undergraduate years) and a $1,000 Dual Degree Scholarship for every term you are enrolled at least part time in your graduate program at Assumption. Learn more about all of the University's dual degree offerings.

Special Education Dual Degree Program

Veterans at Assumption

Assumption University recognizes that servicemen and women have demonstrated great courage and made tremendous sacrifices in service to our nation and its people. The University has introduced a number of programs and services to assist veterans during the application process and while veterans are attending Assumption. We also have a lounge designated only for our veteran students. Assumption University is committed to maintaining recognition as a Military Friendly institution.  We strive to eliminate barriers to success for our Service Members, Veterans, and their qualified dependents.

Welcoming Veterans

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