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M.Ed. in Exceptional Education

*Note:  This program is not designed for initial licensure in special education.

A program of study for individuals who already hold a professional teaching license or those wishing to work with individuals with exceptionalities in areas other than teaching.  Candidates will be prepared for advanced positions in exceptional education, such as department chair, program specialist, RTI specialist, behavior specialist, or instructional coach.  Candidates may choose to pursue a certificate in autism or an endorsement in Gifted Education.

The M.Ed. is, at minimum, a 30 credit hour program with 13-16 core credit hours.  College of Education and Exceptional Education courses comprise the core courses.  The remaining credits are split between a selected concentration and electives that meet specific individual needs and career objectives. 

The M.Ed. includes field experiences integrated into courses, which may occur as a formal placement by the university or as a result of supervised employment. All candidates complete a final portfolio OR an action research project, which serves as their comprehensive assessment.

This program is not designed to meet Virginia requirements for initial teacher licensure or endorsement. However, depending on the concentration selected, the M.Ed. can lead to an endorsement in gifted education provided the individual already holds a valid Virginia teaching license or a certificate in autism.  The final portfolio option has been designed to support candidates who wish to apply for National Board Certification for teaching; however, application for National Board Certification is not a requirement of the program.

Gifted Education Concentration

The gifted education concentration is designed to prepare educators who skillfully contribute to the common good of society through competence in teaching and educational leadership in gifted education. The program enables candidates to complete the approved Virginia Add-on K-12 Gifted Education Endorsement.  For candidates selecting the gifted education concentration, 100% of the program coursework is online. 

COE CORE COURSES (6 credits)

    EDUC 630 - Inquiry in Education - 3 Credits 

    EDUC 641 - Learning Theories and Practice - 3 Credits

EXED CORE COURSES (6 Credits)

    EXED 609 - Research in Exceptional Education - 2 x 3 Credits

ELECTIVE COURSES (3 Credits)

    One Approved Elective Related to Student Specialty Area - 3 Credits

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Autism Concentration

The autism concentration is designed to enable candidates to increase their knowledge and understanding of individuals with a disability on the autism spectrum, including those with Asperger Syndrome, and to engage in the practice of assessing, planning and implementing programming for this population. The content of this program is suitable for those working with this population anytime along the entire lifespan. Upon completion of the coursework, candidates earn a certificate in autism. For candidates selecting the autism concentration, 90% of the program coursework is online. 

COE CORE COURSES (6 credits)

    EDUC 630 - Inquiry in Education - 3 Credits 

    EDUC 641 - Learning Theories and Practice - 3 Credits

EXED CORE COURSES (6 Credits)

    EXED 609 - Research in Exceptional Education - 2 x 3 Credits

ELECTIVE COURSES (3 Credits)

    One Approved Elective Related to Student Specialty Area - 3 Credits

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Behavior Specialist Concentration

This represents the collaborative, interdisciplinary program, between Graduate Psychology and Exceptional Education.  Students who are admitted to an approved special education program have the option to also apply to complete the Behavior Specialist Concentration.  

This concentration is an approved course sequence from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and prepares the student to qualify for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Exam. 

Admittance to one of the M.Ed. or M.A.T. programs alone does not guarantee admittance to the BCBA course sequence, which must be applied to separately.  Students are admitted after completing an interview process. 

COE CORE COURSES (6 credits)

    EDUC 630 - Inquiry in Education - 3 Credits 

    EDUC 641 - Learning Theories and Practice - 3 Credits

EXED CORE COURSES (6 Credits)

    EXED 609 - Research in Exceptional Education - 2 x 3 Credits

ELECTIVE COURSES (3 Credits)

    One Approved Elective Related to Student Specialty Area - 3 Credits

CONCENTRATION COURSES (19 Credits) Credits
    PSYC 610 -  Applied Behavior Analysis 3
    PSYC 601 - Special Topics – Ethics 4
    EXED 510 - Systematic Behavioral Interventions 3
    PSYC 805 - Single Case 3
    PSYC 690 - Experimental Analysis of Behavior 3
    EXED 501 – Behavioral Assessment 3


CONTACT INFORMATION
ME.d. PROGRAM DIRECTOR/ADVISOR:
Dr. Dani Allen-Bronaugh
bronauda@jmu.edu
540.568.4952
GIFTED PROGRAM COORDINATOR:
Dr. Laura Desportes
desporlx@jmu.edu
540.568.4527
BEHAVIOR SPECIALIST, AUTISM COORDINATOR:
Dr. Keri Bethune
bethunks@jmu.edu
540.568.2276