May 23, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
    
2023-2024 University Catalog

Special Education, M.A.


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The Roger Williams University Master of Arts in Special Education is a full- or part-time hybrid program for candidates interested in teaching students with exceptionalities, leading toward Rhode Island teacher certification in either elementary special education (36 credits) or secondary special education (38 credits). An additional Middle School Special Education Extension can be added on to either elementary or secondary special education with additional practicum work (EDU 643) and post-secondary transition planning (EDU 644) (41 Credits).  A non-licensure track (30 credits) is offered for practicing teachers who currently hold special education certification but seek a master’s degree in special education. For candidates who did not obtain elementary or secondary education in their baccalaureate education, they may be required to complete 6 additional credits (2 courses) to prepare them for general education skills required of special education teachers.  The program curricula and assessment system are aligned to the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Special Educator Professional Ethics and Standards and the Rhode Island Professional Teaching Standards (RIPTS).  The program has a particular focus on equity, culturally responsive and evidence-based teaching practices, and inclusion of students with high incidence disabilities.

4 + 1 Track


This program allows for exceptional Roger Williams University undergraduate elementary education or secondary education majors the opportunity to earn 6 graduate credits during their senior year and, if in good standing, continue on in one additional year of full-time study in the Master of Arts in Special Education Program (either elementary or secondary special education). Students accepted into this program take two courses (one in the fall and one in the spring semester) of their senior year. The remaining 8 courses for elementary special education candidates or 9 courses for secondary special education candidates are completed as matriculated graduate students in one full-time year of study. Candidates interested in this program must apply during their undergraduate junior year for conditional acceptance in this program

36 Credit hours for Elementary Special Education Track

38 Credit hours for Secondary Special Education Track*

41 Credits hours for Elementary Special Education PLUS Middle School Special Education Track

41 Credits hours for Secondary Special Education PLUS Middle School Special Education Track

Full Time Track (1 Year)


This program is designed for students seeking teacher certification in special education (either elementary or secondary) and will require one year of full-time graduate study.

36 Credit hours for Elementary Special Education Track

38 Hours for Secondary Special Education Track*

41 Credits hours for Elementary Special Education PLUS Middle School Special Education Track

41 Credits hours for Secondary Special Education PLUS Middle School Special Education Track

Part-Time Track (2 years)


This program is designed for students seeking teacher certification in special education (either elementary or secondary) and will require two years of part-time graduate study.

36 Credit hours for Elementary Special Education Track

38 Credit hours for Secondary Special Education Track*

41 Credits hours for Elementary Special Education PLUS Middle School Special Education Track

41 Credits hours for Secondary Special Education PLUS Middle School Special Education Track

Non-Licensure Track


This 30-credit program is designed for currently practicing elementary or secondary educators who currently hold a valid teaching license in special education but desire a master’s degree in special education.  The program does not lead toward licensure. 

Special Education Only Certification Track


For candidates who did not obtain elementary or secondary education in their baccalaureate education, they may be required to complete 6 additional credits (2 courses) to prepare them for general education skills required of special education teachers.  

42 Credit hours for Elementary Special Education Track

44 Hours for Secondary Special Education Track*

47 Credits hours for Elementary Special Education PLUS Middle School Special Education Track

47 Credits hours for Secondary Special Education PLUS Middle School Special Education Track

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