Master of Education in Special Education

The 24-month program is customised through examples, strategies, and assignments for any teacher to gain and sharpen instructional skills for special education students.

Program Description

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.


    Talk to an admissions counselor about your goals and transfer credits.

    * A 36-credit program to produce teachers that are capable of making a difference in student learning and achievement.

    Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

    1. Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. The degree must be verified on an original transcript duly signed and certified by the Registrar or other responsible officer of the awarding institution directly to Acacia University. Mail or secure electronic delivery is accepted. Applicants submitting transcripts from non-US institutions may be required to have their transcript evaluated by a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) member agency.

    2. English language competency – Applicants whose first language is not English and do not have a bachelor’s degree from a university in which instruction is conducted in English must provide evidence of English proficiency. The following are accepted exams and minimum scores required for admission:
      • 60 on the paper-delivered Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT), or 71 on the Internet Based Test (iBT)
      • 6.5 on the International English Language Test (IELTS)
      • 50 on the Pearson Test of English Academic Score Report
      • 100 on the Duolingo English Test
      • 55 on the 4-skill Michigan English Test (MET)
      • 650/LP on the Michigan Examination for the Certificate of Competency in English (ECCE)
      • A minimum score on the College Board Accuplacer ESL Exam Series as follows:
        • ESL Language Use: Score of 85
        • ESL Listening: Score of 80
        • ESL Reading: Score of 85
        • ESL Sentence Meaning: Score of 90
        • ESL Writeplacer: Score of 4
        • Comprehensive Score for all exams of 350
      • A minimum grade of Pre-1 on the Eiken English Proficiency Exam.
      • A minimum B-2 English proficiency level identified within the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) standards and assessed through various ESOL examinations, including the University of Cambridge.

    3. For degrees in Education, applicants must demonstrate access to classrooms – confirmation of classroom and connectivity attestation through either a signed form or declared via the Classroom and Connectivity Access Attestation section in the website admission form.
      • 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 prefers a record of at least two years of successful teaching experience and requires access to classrooms.
      • The Master of Education in Special Education requires access to Special Education classrooms for implementation of strategies and assignments.
      • The Master of Education in English as a Second Language requires access to classrooms with ESL students.

    4. Ongoing access to computer technology – All Acacia University courses are presented online so each applicant must have a computer and internet access to participate.
    At the end of this program, students will be able to:
    • 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.
    Program Learning Outcomes
    • Create special education instruction informed by research-based strategies integrated with the Power Strategies
    • Design developmentally appropriate individualized education plans (IEPs), curriculum, resources, and assessments to create a positive learning environment that supports and increases student achievement and develops skills in students according to their individual needs by making meaningful accommodations to promote accessibility for special education students
    • Analyze educational research, current trends, requirements, standards, and practices required to design instructional strategies in special education that enable students to meet learning goals and standards
    • Develop instructional and classroom strategies that promote global citizenship, acceptance of others, and lifelong learning
    • Communicate, verbally and in writing, effectively with parents and other caregivers of special education learners about the students’ successes, needs, and areas of improvement


    Per Credit

    Master of Education in
    Special Education


    EDC501 Instructional Strategies for Students with Special Needs  3
    EDC511 Classroom Assessment in Special Education  3
    EDC521 Strategies for Improving Comprehension for Students with Special Needs  3
    EDC541 Classroom Management for Students with Diverse Needs  3
    EDC551 Child and Adolescent Development  3
    EDC561 Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Methods in Special Education  3
    EDC571 Special Needs Students 3
    EDC578 English Language Learners with Special Needs  3
    EDC581 Diagnosis and Assessment in Special Education  3
    EDC611-1 Research Methods 2
    EDC611-2 Action Research 3
    EDC621 (US)/EDC620 (INTL) Special Education Internship (US)/Mentored Practicum (INTL) 4

    Academic Courses: (Required)

    EDC501 Instructional Strategies for Students with Special Needs
    EDC511 Classroom Assessment in Special Education
    EDC521 Strategies for Improving Comprehension for Students with Special Needs

    General Education Courses: (Required)


    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)

    Applied General Education Courses:(Required)

    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 $138.88 per credit


    The cost for a single 3-credit graduate level course is $416.64
    ($138.88 x 3)

    The total cost for a 36-credit master’s degree program is $5175
    ($138.88 x 36 + $75.00 one-time application fee + $100 graduation fee) 


    Application Fee (one-time)
    Graduation Fee
    Official Transcript Fee
    Late Fee (On Monthly Payments)
    Reactivation Fee
    Returned Check Fee

    *Returning after 12-month or more absence

    Who Should Enroll
    The Master’s programs at Acacia University are open to professional educators, educational administrators, and other professionals who are interested in advancing their expertise in the field of education. Whether you are a certified teacher or someone looking to deepen your knowledge and expand your career opportunities in primary or secondary education, you will benefit immeasurably from acquiring the skills and in-depth knowledge that will provide you with a superb springboard for advancing your career and for contributing to the betterment of society through learning. Acacia is the premier global provider of that kind of education, with top-flight faculty and at a very affordable price.
    Transfer Credits
    Acacia University recognizes the prior learning of admitted students by awarding credit for courses at the graduate level, completed at an accredited institution, and documented through official transcript when the credit is applicable to the student’s degree program at Acacia University. As many as Fifteen (15) credits may be transferred. Courses accepted for transfer credit must be relevant to the program of study, equivalent in both content and degree level, and not more than ten years old.
    If an applicant has earned a degree at another university, credits from that degree cannot be transferred or used for an additional degree at Acacia University.
    The acceptance of transfer credits between institutions lies within the discretion of the receiving college or university. Credits earned at other institutions may or may not be accepted by Acacia University. Likewise, credits earned at Acacia University may or may not be accepted by another institution depending upon its own programs, policies, and regulations. Students planning to complete credits for a graduate degree in another college, university, or graduate school are advised to contact the Admissions Office of such institution in advance of applying.

    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.

    More Details

    Payment Policies

    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).

    * Disclosure notice to US students:

    Acacia University offers graduate degrees for educators to achieve their professional goals. Completion of a degree program in itself does not constitute having a professional credential. Professional certifications and licenses are governed by boards empowered via State laws and/or professional organizations and commissions. Therefore, Acacia programs are NOT a pathway to teacher licensures 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.

    Next Steps
    If you have explored the website and have other questions, visit the Handbooks and Policies page to download the Catalog and Student Handbook with detailed descriptions of each course in the program.
    We look forward to you joining Acacia University.

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