Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education

Candidates seeking licensure in special education enroll in graduate coursework that prepares the candidate for initial teaching licensure in both K-12 Modified Special Education (mild disabilities) and K-12 Comprehensive Special Education (severe disabilities) OR PreK-3 Early Childhood Special Education.

Individuals who are not seeking special education licensure, but who are interested in obtaining an advanced degree in special education may elect to earn a master's degree through the Master of Education in Special Education degree, Advanced Practitioner Concentration.

The Special Education (SPED) Program offers a Master of Education degree (M.Ed.) for the advanced preparation of personnel to serve children, youth, and adults who have disabilities. The program offers three concentrations:

Special Education Concentration [460/461]

This area of emphasis is designed to prepare students to teach students with mild to severe disabilities, including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, behavioral disorders, and moderate to severe mental retardation. Emphasis is placed on teaching students with a variety of needs within the context of the least restrictive environment, developing collaboration and consultation skills, incorporating assistive technology, and using curriculum-based assessment methods. The Special Education concentration prepares candidates for a Tennessee teaching license in modified and comprehensive special education (460/461).

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) [465]

This area of emphasis is designed to prepare individuals to teach young children (birth-8 years old) with disabilities and to work effectively with their families. This concentration prepares candidates for a Tennessee teaching license in Early Childhood Special Education.

Advanced Practitioner Concentration

This area of emphasis is designed to give individuals advanced training who are not seeking special education licensure or who do not wish to add another teaching endorsement. Beyond the 10 hours of Core requirements the remaining coursework in this option is based on the interests and needs of each student.

Graduate Admissions Standards

Applicants who meet the following criteria may be admitted unconditionally. 

  1. Completion of all requirements for admission to the School of Graduate Studies.
  2. Completion of the PRAXIS 1 exams in reading, writing, and math with a passing score or a professional education license.
  3. Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0

Unconditional admission to the School of Graduate Studies does not guarantee admission to the College of Education. Those who do not meet the criteria may be admitted conditionally, with deficiencies to be met as stipulated by the program faculty.

Initial Licensure in Special Education

Applicants who do not hold existing professional education licensure or special education licensure may be admitted conditionally. Unconditional admission will be awarded after successful completion of deficiency coursework. Deficiency coursework may be taken at either the graduate or undergraduate level. Deficiency coursework may not be applied toward requirements for completion of a master’s degree.

Those persons seeking initial licensure in special education who have a baccalaureate degree, but are not currently eligible for teacher licensure will follow the program of study designed to meet the state of Tennessee’s teacher licensure requirements for special education (SPED) or early childhood special education (ECSE).


PRAXIS Information -New Praxis™ Core Academic Skills for Educators Interactive Practice Tests

The Praxis™ program is pleased to announce the introduction of Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Interactive Practice Tests (IPTs). The Praxis IPTs are full-length practice tests that are available through the ETS Store at $17.95 per subscription. Each practice test allows candidates to answer test questions and simulate the testing experience. After each practice test, candidates can view their results and see the answers to all of the questions.

These IPTs provide answers with explanations, a timer to simulate testing conditions and automated scoring features including:

* Number of questions answered correctly

* Content category scores indicating the number of questions answered correctly in each content category to help candidates understand their performance level

After purchase of the practice tests, practice can start immediately. Each subscription is valid for 90 days after the first use or 10 uses, whichever comes first. The results of each practice test can be printed out, but they are not saved once the candidate exits the test.

These new HTML-based practice tests will help test takers prepare for the upcoming Praxis Core tests. For more information about schedules and test windows, please visit the website.

For more information contact Dr. Cynthia Chambers


Office: (423)439-7586

The following links have the descriptions of the different Programs currently offered in the Master of Education Programs and course requirements.

K-12 Comprehensive Special Education Modified Special Education (mild disabilities)

K-12 Comprehensive Special Education (severe disabilities)

PreK-3 Early Childhood Special Education (birth - age 8)

Advanced Practitioner Add-on Certification (for individuals that already hold 1of the certifications above and would like to add another)


If you would like more information on any of the graduate programs above please contact Dr. Cynthia Chambers the Special Education Graduate Coordinator

Dr. Chambers

Dr. Cynthia Chambers



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