Introduction

The master’s degree program in special education provides advanced cognitive and educational skills for those who are presently working or expect to work as clinical/developmental personnel serving individuals with exceptionalities or as supervisors of special education programs. This degree program prepares candidates for work as an intervention specialist. Candidates will be introduced to advanced and in-depth teaching strategies which will provide understanding and provide the ability to implement tools as an intervention specialist working with learners with significant disabilities and exceptionalities.

Welcome

Our program is designed to prepare graduates with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to best serve in schools and agencies in the area. Our accredited Special Education program seeks to meet the educational and service needs of Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Our program is exemplified by the quality and diversity of classroom instruction, field experiences, program options, student, faculty, and graduates in the community. We have a long history of producing graduates who have served the area as Special Education teachers, Intervention Specialists, and Special Education Professionals. We have a strong connection with our alumni, program supervisors, schools and agencies, and others who support students with exceptional learning needs in the Youngstown area.

Undergraduate and graduate candidates will find a unique educational experience that prepares them for employment and/or advanced study in Special Education. For more information, review our website and contact Special Education faculty with any questions.

Jake J. Protivnak, Ph.D.
Department Chairperson / Associate Professor
3312 Beeghly College of Education
(330) 941-1936
jjprotivnak@ysu.edu

For more information about the Department of Counseling, Special Education, and School Psychology, contact the Department Office at 330-941-3257 or visit our Department website

Program Director

For specific questions about the Master of Science in Education -  Special Education program, please contact the program director:

Jennifer S. Vaschak, MS, Ed
3312 Beeghly College of Education
(330) 941-1931
jvaschak01@ysu.edu

Mission

The Special Education Program supports the mission of both Youngstown State University and the Beeghly College of Education through  our work to: 

  • Prepare outstanding potential special education teachers by providing a rigorous educational program that is contemporary in its approaches, up to the minute in its content base knowledge, based upon didactic learning and practical experience and requiring demonstrated competency prior to graduation; 
  • Foster and require community and school based practicum experiences that involve the candidate developing cultural awareness and the acceptance of the diversity; 
  • Encourage candidates to expand their learning experiences though volunteerism by identifying campus and community opportunities for such practices;
  • Connect candidates with community leaders and current practitioners in the field via guest lecturers and campus and community based presentations as a means of enhancing candidates' learning and advancing their awareness of the cultural and economic life of the community; 
  • Extend the University’s efforts in advancing the intellectual and economic life of the state and region by providing advanced education and degrees to enable practitioners in the field to expand their knowledge base, meet the ever changing federal and state requirements to maintain licensure or certification in their field, and improve the economic status of those practitioners through acquisition of advanced degrees.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the minimum College of Graduate Studies admission requirements, all master’s in special education applicants must have the following:

  • Applicants must have earned above a 2.7 grade-point average.  (If an applicant's GPA is slightly below the minimum required, an applicant may include a GRE or MAT score to have their application reviewed.);
  • Three Letters of Reference or Reference forms, at least two of which should be prepared by current or former faculty;
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate or graduate work completed;
  • Letter of intent – Candidates must provide a one page response to each of the following:
    •  What are the personal attributes that have prepared you for this profession?
    •  What is the purpose of obtaining this degree?
  •  Special Education interview
  •  Application Deadline:  July 15th.  Students admitted once per year for fall semester.

To take classes as a non-degree candidate, the approval of the department chair must be obtained. Non-degree candidates choosing to earn a degree must make formal application for admission to the degree program. A GPA of 3.0 must be maintained in order to convert from non-degree to regular status.

Candidates without a teaching certificate or license may be admitted on an individual basis to special education graduate programs.  However, additional coursework may be required for licensure. Candidates with bachelor’s degrees outside the College of Education will be required to complete additional coursework for licensure.  For all candidates seeking a new area of licensure,  12 s.h. in reading is required (TERG 3701, TERG 3702, TERG 3703, TERG 3701), and passage of the appropriate PRAXIS exam is required by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).  

Individuals without a teaching certificate will also need to complete the 12 s.h. in reading, (TERG 3701, TERG 3702, TERG 3703, TERG 3701), PSYC 3709 or PSYC 6903 or equivalent, SPED 4849 Supervised Student Teaching, and SPED 4869 Student Teaching Seminar, and passage of the appropriate licensure exam as required by ODE.

Accreditation

The Master of Science - Special Education graduate degree program is accredited by the National Council Association of Teacher Education (NCATE). Our last campus visit was March 20-24, 2010.  Our next campus visit is scheduled for April 2, 2017. To contact our accreditation body, please go to:  www.caepnet.org.  

Both the Intervention Specialist Mild/Moderate Disabilities and the Autism & Related Disabilities Option (Moderate/Intensive Disabilities) Program) Special Education Graduate Programs have received full recognition from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) https://www.cec.sped.org.

Sung Hee Lee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Application of speech recognition technology for remediation of writing difficulties for students with learning disabilities; online writing support; literacy-related interventions; technology interventions

Jennifer Vaschak, M.S., Instructor
Restorative practices with students with disabilities; restorative practices in Alternative Education Settings (AES); collaboration between school psychologists and intervention specialists in implementing RTI

Degree Requirements- Intervention Specialist Mild/Moderate Disabilities

The Intervention Specialist Mild to Moderate Licensure option is designed for teachers holding licensure in elementary, middle, and/or adolescent education to complete a master’s degree and obtain teaching licensure for students (K-12) with disabilities (Intervention Specialist in Mild to Moderate Disabilities). 

Candidates with bachelor degrees outside the college of education will be required to complete additional coursework for licensure. Candidates seeking initial licensure are required to successfully complete student teaching and edTPA for licensure.

For all candidates seeking a new area of licensure, 12 S.H. in reading, which includes a course in phonics, and passage of the appropriate licensure examination are required by the Ohio Department of Education. Individuals holding teacher certification must fulfill the Ohio Reading requirement (12 S.H.).

Candidates are given six (6) years in which to complete a master’s degree from the day of acceptance into the Graduate Program. All candidates are required to purchase a Taskstream account to complete the critical tasks for each course, which is essential for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Successful completion of all parts of the comprehensive examination is required. Candidates will be required to pass the appropriate licensure exam before completion of the clinical experience (SPED 6932).

COURSETITLES.H.
Common Core
FOUN 6904Introduction to Educational Research3
SPED 6900Issues, Trends & Foundations in Special Education3
SPED 6906Characteristics and Behaviors of Learners with Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Intensive Exceptional Le3
SPED 6914Behavior Management for Educators3
SPED 6929Assessment of Gifted and Exceptional Learners3
Intervention Specialist Option
SPED 6915Classroom Management and Crisis Intervention for Learners with Severe Emotional and Behavior Disor3
SPED 6927Curriculum Design, Adaptations and Resources for Learners with Mild/Moderate Exceptional Learning3
SPED 6928Transition and Life Skill Supports for Learners with Moderate/Intensive Exceptional Learning Needs3
SPED 6930Instructional Methodologies for Learners with Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Intensive Exceptional Lea4
SPED 6931Clinical Experience-Learners with Exceptional Learning Needs 13
SPED 6932Clinical Experience-Learners with Exceptional Learning Needs 23
SPED 6998AAC Strategies3
Total Semester Hours37

Degree Requirments-Autism and Related Disabilities

The Moderate/Intense Autism and Related Disabilities Option prepares candidates to teach students with autism and related disabilities as well as to develop advanced systematic instruction in life skills areas including learning and leadership skills appropriate to the area of specialization.

Candidates with bachelor degrees outside the college of education will be required to complete additional coursework for licensure. Candidates seeking initial licensure are required to successfully complete student teaching and edTPA for licensure.

For all candidates seeking a new area of licensure, 12 S.H. in reading, which includes a course in phonics, and passage of the appropriate licensure examination are required by the Ohio Department of Education. Individuals holding teacher certification must fulfill the Ohio Reading requirement (12 S.H.).

Candidates are given six (6) years in which to complete a master’s degree from the day of acceptance into the Graduate Program. All candidates are required to purchase a Taskstream account to complete the critical tasks for each course, which is essential for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Successful completion of all parts of the comprehensive examination is required. Candidates will be required to pass the appropriate licensure exam before completion of the clinical experience (SPED 6999).

A candidate for the program must meet all requirements for admission to the Graduate School as outlined in the YSU Graduate Bulletin. Candidates are responsible for adhering to all special education policies.

A new cohort of students will begin each fall. Applications must be received no later than July 15th for consideration for the fall cohort.

COURSETITLES.H.
Core Requirements
FOUN 6904Introduction to Educational Research3
SPED 6900Issues, Trends & Foundations in Special Education3
SPED 6906Characteristics and Behaviors of Learners with Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Intensive Exceptional Le3
SPED 6929Assessment of Gifted and Exceptional Learners3
SPED 6914Behavior Management for Educators3
Autism and Related Disabilities Option
SPED 5810Introduction to Sign Language3
SPED 6928Transition and Life Skill Supports for Learners with Moderate/Intensive Exceptional Learning Needs3
SPED 6993Health and Related Issues in Early Childhood Special Education2
SPED 6996Teaching Strategies/Autism4
SPED 6998AAC Strategies3
SPED 6999Field Experiences Autism/Related Disorders3
Total Semester Hours33

Learning Outcomes

  1. Candidates will analyze learners to determine unique needs using the principles and theories of human development.
  2. Candidates will prioritize areas of the general curriculum and accommodations for individuals with exceptional learning needs.
  3. Candidates will individualize instruction to meet the unique learning, communication, social and behavior needs of students with exceptional learning needs.
  4. Candidates will develop and use appropriate technology adaptations for all individuals with exceptional learning needs.
  5. Candidates will demonstrate reinforcement-based classroom management interventions with students with exceptional learning needs.
  6. Candidates will evaluate the progress of students with exceptional learning needs on their IEP goals to inform the adjustment of learning and behavior plans