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Masters of Education in Moderate Disabilities

Our 36-credit M.Ed. in Moderate Disabilities prepares you for your Initial License to work with children in grades PreK-8 with moderate disabilities who participate in integrated or self-contained classrooms. Through coursework and field-based experiences, you develop an understanding of subject matter knowledge, curriculum design, instructional strategies, observation and assessment, communication, and collaboration with families and the community.

This program is approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and is aligned with the Massachusetts Professional Standards for Teachers and Subject Matter Knowledge requirements.

Initial Licensure students who decide not to pursue their license will still be able to complete their degree as a personalized non-licensure master’s degree.


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Next Start Date: July 5. Apply by June 21.

Key Features of our M. Ed. In Moderate Disabilities include:

What Skills Will You Develop?

To earn your Master’s of Education in Moderate Disabilities, you will complete 9 courses including a field practicum for a total of 36 credit hours. Online courses are 8 weeks long and will include preparation for the MTEL.

The course will present the basic components of lesson planning using Understanding by Design (UbD). Students will learn techniques around differentiating instruction, including tiered instruction, scaffolds to accommodate differences in learning styles, needs, interests, and levels of readiness of students. Students will examine specific systematic behaviors teachers use to create orderly, cooperative, and motivating learning environments that promote student achievement. Co-requisite (0 credits):
  • ED 6500G – Pre-Practicum Field-Based Experience I
This course provides an overview of the challenges that students with moderate disabilities encounter in their lives. The class will explore how disabilities are identified, what necessary steps are taken to refer students for evaluations in the Special Education process, characteristics of students with disabilities, general issues of evaluation approaches, and research-based accommodations and interventions including the use of assistive technology devices and behavioral interventions. State and federal laws as well as an overview of local and national support agencies are also reviewed.
This course provides an introduction to the significant theories, practices and programs for developing literacy skills in children with learning challenges. Beginning with an introduction to literacy development, the focus will be on planning assessment, designing instruction, and selecting research-based interventions for children with disabilities, students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and students with limited educational experiences. Topics will include linking assessment to instruction, research-based methods and strategies, accommodations, modifications, and the use of assistive technology devices to support literacy success.
This course in classroom assessment and instruction examines how effective instruction depends on ongoing, meaningful assessment. Instructional and behavioral assessment, as well as techniques, are addressed. This course will study how models of instruction in different content areas depend on how teachers can collect and use assessment data. Further, this data will be used to inform effective instruction to enable all students to produce great learning outcomes regardless of their learning disabilities and challenges. Pre-requisite: ED 5710G
This course will focus on numbers and operations, and on functions and algebraic concepts as described in the Massachusetts Mathematics Curriculum Frameworks for grades 1-8. As many children have mathematical capabilities beyond their grade level, course participants will be stretched to use and apply the mathematical concepts learned to multiple situations and to higher level problems. Emphasis will be placed on the attainment, articulation and application of the math concepts associated with each strand of learning. Teaching and assessment methods that are challenging yet attainable, and developmentally appropriate will be examined.
This course is designed to enable prospective elementary school teachers to teach mathematics efficiently and effectively to diverse student populations. Prospective teachers will learn how to develop and coordinate learning objectives, assessment techniques, and instructional methodologies according to the psychological principles of how children learn mathematics. Attention will be given to teaching recommendations from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Common Core State Standards as well as the professional standards for teaching determined by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education of Massachusetts. Pre-requisite: GRAD 519 Co-requisite (0 credits):
  • ED 6505G – Pre-Practicum Field-Based Experience II
This course will focus on curriculum and instruction within science and social studies. The teaching of these content areas is an essential part of prek-8 classrooms not only to achieve key learning goals but also as a means to engage and motivate students. Students will plan and assess appropriate learning experiences and learn strategies to modify and adapt units and lessons for students with moderate disabilities. The course will apply cooperative learning, vocabulary and concept formation, and online resources. Additionally, the course will help students develop skills such as critical and analytical thinking and decision-making. Science Attention will be given to cognitive development and scientific reasoning skills, science and engineering practices, and elements important to teaching science and assessing student understanding. It will include the content areas of life and physical science and related safety issues. Additionally, students explore the history of major scientific discoveries and inventions. Social studies Students will be exposed to the key disciplines within the social studies including - though not limited to - state, national, and world history, economics, geography, and government. Candidates will practice effective means for teaching citizenship skills to students in a way that promotes diversity and social justice.
The purpose of this course is to prepare teachers with the knowledge and skills to effectively design content instruction in order to support English Language Learners (ELLs) in accessing curriculum and achieving academic success as they prepare for their futures in the 21st century global economy. Throughout the course, effective research-based strategies will be modeled. Teachers will have opportunities to practice strategies, to analyze their practice, to provide and receive feedback, and to reflect on their own experiences. The course addresses three over-arching goals for teaching ELLs:
  • To help teachers effectively carry out their responsibility for the teaching and learning of ELLs as well as to understand the social and cultural issues that contribute to and impact schooling for ELLs.
  • To expand teachers’ knowledge of how language functions within academic content teaching and learning, and how children and adolescents acquire a second language.
  • Provide teachers practical research-based protocols, methods, and strategies to integrate subject area content, language, and literacy development using the Massachusetts English Language Development (ELD) standards and the World Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) standards to support ELL students’ success in meeting standards of the 2011 Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks as well as the Common Core content standards.
This course is delivered in a hybrid model with on-ground elements delivered in person over a series of weekends. Alternate models for the completion of your SEI endorsement are available. Please contact the Program Director for more information. Co-requisite (0 credits):
  • ED 6507G – Pre-Practicum Field-Based Experience III
This is the practicum required for licensure. Co-requisite (0 credits):
  • ED 6510G – Practicum Seminar

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