Master of Arts in Special Education

Special education teachers are an exceptional group of educators - as advocates for social justice and the dignity of all people including those with disabilities. The Master of Arts in Special Education program provides candidates with advanced knowledge based on the Council for Exceptional Children’s Advanced Content Standards to address educational learning needs and improve teaching, assessment, and programmatic strategies to enhance student performance. It should be noted that candidates completing this program will not have met the requirements for the preliminary education specialist credential.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Leadership and Policy: advocate for policy and curriculum development by utilizing the breadth and depth of special education history, pedagogy, and latest research.
  • Program Development & Organization: apply and expand content and professional knowledge to enhance instructional programs and curricula through evidence-based and innovative practices that reflect the needs of diverse populations.
  • Research & Inquiry: evaluate current research studies and methodologies using evidence-based educational research to improve curricula, instruction, or interventions.
  • Student and Program Evaluation: evaluate and analyze student achievement and program effectiveness utilizing nonbiased instruments and knowledge of research-based best practices.
  • Professional Development and Ethical Practice: exemplify professional, legal, and ethical behavior by participating in and providing opportunities for professional development that best support children with special needs, their families, schools, and the community.
  • Collaboration: implement culturally responsive collaborative and consultation structures to enhance the opportunities for students with exceptional learning needs.

Program Learning Outcomes by Emphasis Area

  • Autism emphasis: Implement evidence-based instructional and behavioral strategies to meet the varied needs of students across the autism spectrum.
  • Early Childhood in Special Education emphasis: Apply ECSE best practice in all aspects of service coordination and delivery.
  • Applied Behavior Analysis emphasis: Design, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a behavioral intervention based on a functional behavior assessment. 
  • Teaching and Learning: Apply pedagogical concepts in educational settings to meet the diverse needs of students with disabilities.

Admissions Requirements

  1. Satisfactorily fulfill graduate admission requirements for Brandman University as stated in the catalog (see the Graduate Admissions section) including meeting the grade point average for a graduate program.
  2. Two letters of recommendation are required.  These letters must be on official letterhead; must be written by individuals who are familiar with the candidate in an academic setting and who have knowledge of the candidate’s ability to successfully complete graduate courses; and, must address the candidate’s fit for the program. The letters cannot be older than two years from the date of application.
  3. Applicants using Admission Option Two must possess a GPA between 2.5 and 2.99 in the last 30 semester credits (45 quarter credits) in either a baccalaureate or post baccalaureate program including credits earned toward a credential to be admitted to the Master of Arts in Special Education degree program and must have a passing score on one of the examinations noted below:
    1. Graduate Record Examination (GRE): achieve the required minimum scores on two out of the three subsections. The minimum acceptable score for the Quantitative section is 141. The minimum acceptable score for the Verbal section is 150. The minimum acceptable score for the Analytic Writing is 4.5
    2. Miller Analogies Test (MAT): achieve a minimum scaled score of 403.
    3. State Teacher Examinations: successfully complete the appropriate California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET), or Single Subject Assessments for Teaching (SSAT) and/or Praxis Examination.
  4. Students admitting into the Applied Behavior Analysis emphasis area must be employed at least part-time in a field of employment which uses Applied Behavior Analysis .  This employment must be documented on the candidate’s application and via a resume.
  5. Applicants to the MASE/Teaching and Learning emphasis must have completed a California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved Education Specialist Induction Program or at least completed Year One of the Induction program. If the applicant has completed Year One, then a letter on District letterhead indicating the completion of Year One is required. The letter must be signed by the applicant’s Induction coordinator or Director of Human Resources department.

Transfer of Coursework

In the Master of Arts in Special Education, a total of six semester or nine quarter credits can be transferred into the program. These must be graduate-level courses and a grade of “B” or higher must have been earned in each course being transferred. Transferred courses can only be applied to the emphasis area; no transfer credit is permitted for the six core courses. Courses cannot be transferred in to the Behavior Analysis emphasis area. Only one course transfer is allowed in the Autism and Early Childhood Special Education emphasis areas. EDUU 670 Field Experience in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education is not available for transfer.

Authorizations within the Master of Arts in Special Education: Candidates who complete an emphasis area that leads to an authorization may be eligible to be recommended prior to the completion of their degree.

Second Emphasis

It is possible to complete the MASE degree with more than one emphasis. Candidates completing a second emphasis area within one master’s degree program may not use coursework from one emphasis area to fulfill the requirements of the second.

If the second area of emphasis is completed after the initial degree has been awarded, the student will not be issued an updated diploma, nor will the student be allowed to participate in the commencement ceremony a second time.  However, the second emphasis area will appear on the student’s official Brandman University transcript.  

Degree Requirements

Prerequisite:
EDUU 511Collaboration For Inclusive Schooling (or current special education credential)3
Core (18 credits)
EDUU 600Research and Evaluation Methods3
EDUU 630Leadership and Policy in Special Education3
EDUU 631Program Development and Organization in Special Education3
EDUU 632Advanced Assessment and Program Evaluation in Special Education3
EDUU 661Collaboration in Special Education3
EDUU 633Special Education Capstone3
Emphasis Area Elective Courses12-21
When applying, students must select one emphasis area from the options below.
Total Credits33-42

Demonstration of Mastery

Candidates for the Master of Arts in Special Education degree must successfully complete a project in EDUU 633 Special Education Capstone with a grade of “B” or better.

Students are assigned a faculty advisor to guide them through their project based on the student’s emphasis area and personal interest.

Emphasis Area Elective Courses

Master of Arts in Special Education – Autism

Candidates who complete this emphasis area and have an appropriate credential may be eligible to be recommended for the authorization prior to the completion of their degree. It is highly recommended that candidates complete their Autism emphasis area courses prior to taking the core. See an advisor for more information.

EDUU 575Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders: Etiologies and Characteristics3
EDUU 675Assessing Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders3
EDUU 676Autism Spectrum Disorders: Programming and Strategies, I3
EDUU 677Autism Spectrum Disorders: Programming and Strategies, II3
Total Credits12

Master of Arts in Special Education – Early Childhood Special Education

Candidates who complete this emphasis area and have an appropriate credential may be eligible to be recommended for the authorization prior to the completion of their degree, if the additional elective of EDUU 670 Field Experience in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education is taken. It is highly recommended that candidates completed their Early Childhood emphasis areas courses prior to taking the core. See an advisor for more information.

EDUU 665Historical, Philosophical, and Legal Foundations of Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Educa3
EDUU 666Family Guided Practices in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education3
EDUU 667Assessment in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education3
EDUU 668Curriculum and Intervention in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education3
EDUU 669Consultation and Advanced Strategies in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education3
Optional elective:
EDUU 670Field Experience in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education0-3
Total Credits15-18

Master of Arts in Special Education – Applied Behavior Analysis                

Students admitting into the Behavior Analysis emphasis area must be employed at least part-time in a field of employment which uses Applied Behavior Analysis. It is strongly recommended that candidates complete their Behavior Analysis emphasis area courses prior to taking the core courses. ABA courses are taken in sequential order at a maximum of one course per session. See an advisor for more information.

EDUU 692The Science and Philosophical Underpinnings of Applied Behavior Analysis3
EDUU 693The Foundational Concepts and Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis3
EDUU 694Using and Analyzing Measurement, Data and Experimental Design in Applied Behavior Analysis3
EDUU 695Assessment to Guide and Evaluate Intervention in Applied Behavior Analysis3
EDUU 696Selecting and Implementing Interventions for Behavior Change in Applied Behavior Analysis3
EDUU 697Program Oversight, Collaboration and Management in Applied Behavior Analysis3
EDUU 698Ethical Behavior and the Compliance Code for Applied Behavior Analysts3
Total Credits21

Master of Arts in Special Education - Teaching and Learning

Emphasis Block Transfer (12 credits) Brandman University awards a block of 12 semester credits for successful completion of an Education Specialist Clear Induction Program. Please see an advisor for more details.