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Master's Degree in Adult Special Education: Program Overview

Earning a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education can prepare you to assist adult students with specific learning or emotional needs. Read about the prerequisites and curriculum for this type of program as well as the job outlook and salary potential for graduates.

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Essential Information

A Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education program teaches individuals how to work with adult students who have learning disabilities and emotional or behavioral disorders. Completing a master's degree program in this field can prepare you for leadership placement, administrative roles, or teaching positions with adults with educational disabilities. Requirements including having a bachelor's degree, professional experience, and state licensure.


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  • Teaching Gifted and Talented Students
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  • Teaching Special Education - Developmentally Delayed
  • Teaching Special Education - Emotional Disturbances
  • Teaching Special Education - Hearing Impairments
  • Teaching Special Education - Learning Disabilities
  • Teaching Special Education - Mental Retardation
  • Teaching Special Education - Multiple Disabilities
  • Teaching Special Education - Orthopedic Impairments
  • Teaching Special Education - Speech Impairments
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  • Teaching Special Education - Vision Impairments
  • Teaching Special Education, Children and Young Children

Master of Education in Special Education

Programs cover various topics that help candidates develop and deliver courses for these special needs adults. Courses focus on the legal aspects of special education and instructional competence. Programs may cover the following subjects:

  • Mathematics for special needs
  • Academic interventions for special needs
  • Reading for special needs
  • Legal and educational foundations
  • Literacy instruction
  • Teachings persons with mild disabilities
  • Applied classroom management
  • Research in special education

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that special education teachers could expect a job growth of 6% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Special education teachers reported median annual earnings of $56,800 as of 2015.

Continuing Education and Certification Info

Each state requires teacher licensing for those who work in public schools. Graduates of master's degree programs may wish to continue their education by pursuing a special education doctorate degree. Such a program can prepare graduates for leadership opportunities in schools, colleges, or social services programs.

In summary, Master of Education in Special Education programs can both help students develop courses for special needs adults and teach participants how to instruct those with disabilities.

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