The Master of Education in Special Education program is a 36-credit K-12 program that offers a rich combination of online learning, classroom practice, learning community sharing, research and analysis, and assessment to produce teachers that are capable of making a difference in student learning and achievement. Online examples in each lesson are provided to help primary, intermediate, junior, and senior high school special education teachers in any subject or lesson. The program is entirely customized through the use of examples, strategies, and assignments for any teacher to gain and sharpen instructional skills for special education students.
The courses that make up the program curriculum are designed to prepare and strengthen the teacher by providing the most current research-based and proven educational strategies and knowledge for meeting special education needs. The curriculum encompasses learning theory, educational foundations, brain theory, best practices, curriculum development, standards, and assessment. The courses in child and adolescent development, special needs, and classroom management provide a framework of how teachers can provide appropriate strategies and environments for all students. The study of school systems and decision-making assist the student in the governance of the school. A mentored practicum and portfolio project are included to enable the student to synthesize the knowledge and skills of the program into his/her personal understanding of an effective resource classroom for special education students.
Eligibility and admission requirements
- Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university – The degree must be verified on original transcripts sent by the undergraduate institution directly to Acacia University.
- English language competency – Applicants whose first language is not English and who do not have a master’s degree from a university in which instruction is conducted in English must provide evidence of English proficiency by submitting their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score. Doctoral applicants must demonstrate college-level proficiency with a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT) or 80 on the Internet-Based Test (iBT).
- Verification of a teaching position or access to classrooms – The position must be verified by a letter on school letterhead from an administrator of the school to which the student is practicing or has access.
- The Master of Arts in Elementary Education requires access to elementary classrooms.
- The Master of Arts in Secondary Education requires access to secondary classrooms.
- The Master of Education in Educational Administration requires a minimum of 2 years of prior successful teaching experience and access to classrooms.
- The Master of Education in Special Education requires access to Special Education classrooms for the implementation of strategies and assignments.
- The Master of Education in English as a Second Language requires access to classrooms with ESL students.
- Ongoing access to computer technology – All Acacia University courses are presented online so each applicant must have computer and internet access to participate.
- Create and maintain a positive learning environment that will support and increase the achievement of special education students
- Consistently integrate the Power Strategies with other research-based strategies into their instruction
- Demonstrate comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the process and principles of curriculum design and assessment so they can plan effective instructional and assessment strategies for the resource classroom
- Develop and implement an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
- Develop meaningful accommodations to maximize access to curriculum
- Understand and apply modifications to content, methods, and pacing of curriculum
- Design and implement developmentally appropriate strategies that foster, nurture, and develop skills in students that are within, and outside of, the normal range of child development
- Design and implement strategies to meet the special educational needs of students in the resource classroom.
- Collaborate with colleagues in meaningful ways about students and instructional strategies.
- Analyze the national or state standards that are required and design instruction and instructional strategies that will enable special education students to meet the standards.
- Communicate effectively with parents and other caregivers about the special education students’ successes, needs, and areas of improvement
- Provide mentoring to other teachers as they implement effective strategies in the classroom.
- Implement a coherent and effective special education resource classroom utilizing appropriate curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices.
- Apply research and analysis skills to design and complete a project that would provide insight on a special education topic of their choice.
Master of Education in
EDC501 Instructional Strategies for Students with Special Needs
EDC511 Classroom Assessment in Special Education
EDC521 Strategies for Improving Comprehension for Students with Special Needs
EDC541 Classroom Management for Students with Diverse Needs
EDC551 Child and Adolescent Development
EDC561 Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Methods in Special Education
EDC571 Special Needs Students (Special Education, Gifted, English Language Learners)
EDC581 Diagnosis and Assessment in Special Education
EDC578 English Language Learners with Special Needs
EDC611-1 Research Methods*
EDC611-2 Action Research*
EDC621 Special Education Internship (US Students)
EDC620 Mentored Practicum (International Students)
All master’s level courses are $225 per credit
The cost for a single 3-credit graduate level course is $675.00
($225.00 x 3)
The total cost for a 36-credit master’s degree program is $8,275
($225.00 x 36 + $75.00 one-time application fee + $100 graduation fee)
*Returning after 12-month or more absence
Most Acacia courses require no textbook. For those courses that do require a textbook, it is the responsibility of the student to purchase or rent the textbook prior to the start of the course. Acacia does not sell or lease textbooks. Students may purchase or rent in any format (hardback, e-textbook, new, used, etc.) but must use the assigned edition. Prices at the time of the current student handbook publication are listed here, but are subject to change. Prices listed are from the publisher, however, students may purchase from any source.
Tuition and fees are payable at the time of registration for each course. Students will not receive official grade reports, transcripts, or be awarded a degree until all financial obligations have been met. Students who have outstanding financial obligations to Acacia University will not be permitted to register for future courses unless special arrangements have been approved through the Finance Office.
Students may pay by check, money order, wire transfer, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover). International students must pay with U.S. currency. Students whose employers will be invoiced for tuition shall submit a billing authorization form prior to the second week of class in lieu of course payment.
Military tuition assistance (TA) students may be eligible for a deferral of tuition once their DA 2171 Form has been completed, authorized, and received by Acacia University.
Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits
In accordance with Title 38 US Code 3679(e), Acacia University adopts the following additional provisions for any students using the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Post-9/11 G.I. Bill® (Ch. 33) or Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (Ch. 31) benefits, while payment to the institution is pending from VA. Acacia University will not:
- Prevent the student’s enrollment;
- Assess a late penalty fee to the student;
- Require the student to secure alternative or additional funding;
- Deny the student access to any resources (access to classes, libraries, or other institutional resources) available to other students who have satisfied their tuition and fee bills to the institution.
However, to qualify for this provision, such students may be required to:
- Produce the VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) by the first day of class;
- Provide a written request to be certified;
- Provide additional information needed to properly certify the enrollment as described in other institutional policies
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Acacia University offers graduate degrees for current teachers to achieve their professional goals. Prospective and current students in the US must be licensed teachers in the state in which they work. Therefore, Acacia programs are NOT a pathway to teacher licensure in the US.
This information is provided per U.S. Federal Regulations, 34 CFR § 668.50 (2016 Rules), 34 CFR § 668.43 (2019 Rules), and in compliance with the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) Manual version 19.2.
Acacia University is an approved institution of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) which allows the university to provide distance learning programs and coursework to students located in states other than Arizona. NC-SARA approval does not grant reciprocity or exemption from state professional licensing requirements.