M.Ed. in Special Education

The Master of Education degree program in Special Education is designed to develop teachers and teacher leaders with skills, knowledge, and attitudes to effect positive changes in the educational careers of young children with special needs. The program activities and objectives within the courses are developed to focus on the standards of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the Council for Exceptional Children, the Blue Ribbon Commission and the Louisiana Components of Effective Teaching.

The program provides candidates with regular education certification and the preparation to become dynamic teacher leaders through a course of study which requires application and analysis of research principles. Candidates will select a course sequence which leads to endorsement in one of two areas of special education: Mild/Moderate (Grades 1-5, where most students are identified as having special education needs), or Early Intervention (Birth to 8 Years, to remediate or lessen the effects of early problems). The program participants enter as a cohort group and proceed through the core classes as a group before selecting their concentrations. In an effort to develop effective teacher leaders, program

candidates will be involved in activities that involve the design and implementation of staff development and mentoring workshops. These include on-line experiences, sessions at partnership schools, community sites, or the candidates’ schools, leading to proposals and presentations at professional conferences. Candidates have the opportunity to select either the thesis option or the non-thesis option.

The sequence is designed to create graduates who can:  1. prepare for student learning through knowledge of subject matter, knowledge of student development, effective communication, and respect for diversity; 2. advance and support student learning through the use of supportive academic and social environments, multiple pathways for learning and assessment, use of multiple instructional resources, and development and maintenance of family, educational and community partnerships; and 3. engage in professional development and outreach through  school-based research, contributions to the professional and engaging in reflective practice. 

To qualify for admission to the program, candidates must be admitted to the School of Graduate Studies at Grambling State University.  Additionally, they must be certified or licensed to teach with the equivalent of a Level I certificate in the state of Louisiana.  They must also successfully complete an interview for admission to the program.  Additionally, those candidates in the M.Ed. program in Early Intervention, or Mild/Moderate 1-5 who cannot show that they have taken 9 hours in reading must add these courses at the graduate or undergraduate level before completing the degree and endorsement. 

Emphasis is placed on inquiry-based approaches to learning. All candidates are given opportunities to analyze research, as well as conduct action research projects in areas of interest.  All candidates complete 15 hours of core courses, 18 hours in a concentration, a professional writing course, and the comprehensive examination.  Both a non-thesis option and a thesis option are available. Those choosing a thesis option complete a 3-hour thesis course and one (1) selective course. For the non-thesis option, candidates complete 6-hours of graduate courses in an area of interest. The concentration is the same for both thesis and non-thesis options

All candidates will be expected to maintain a 3.0 graduate grade point average to remain in good standing.  Those who do not will be subject to the sanctions of the School of Graduate Studies.  All candidates seeking the endorsement must maintain a grade point average > 2.5 and have no grade lower than a “C” in the endorsement sequence courses to receive the endorsement to the teaching certificate. Because the specialization sequence leads to the endorsement, any changes in state requirements may result in necessary changes to the plan of study before completion in order to meet state mandates.

All candidates must register for and pass ED 599, the Comprehensive Examination, before the degree will be awarded. All candidates must take and pass the Comprehensive Exam which consists of five (5) essay questions from the candidate’s area of concentration.  Passage is determined by successfully completing 4 of the 5 questions.

If candidates are adding a special education endorsement to existing teaching certificates, they must enroll in the course sequence required by the state for endorsement certification and take and pass any licensure examination(s) required for the endorsement prior to graduation.


Master of Education in Special Education Curriculum Plan

Areas of Concentration


Concentration areas lead to the Endorsement in Mild/Moderate (Grades1-5 or Grades 6-12) or Early Intervention. 


Early Intervention 

Special Education 530


Special Education 532


Special Education 535


Education 563


Education 505* or Special Education 570**


Special Education 527


Special Education 542


Special Education 543 or 568


Special Education 576


*required for Mild/Moderate 1-5

**required for Mild/Moderate 6-12