Saint Joseph's University

MS in Special Education with Wilson Reading System® Certification

The Master of Science in Special Education with a Wilson Reading System® Certification and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder specialization at Saint Joseph's University is designed to provide participants with knowledge of instructional methods for working with students who may have learning, developmental, or emotional disabilities. Continue reading for more information regarding this in-demand graduate degree here.

Official Program Name:

Master of Science in Special Education with a Wilson Reading System® Certification and/or specialization in Autism Spectrum Disorder

School Offering Program:

Saint Joseph's University

Degree Level:


Program Prerequisites:

This program is designed for existing elementary, secondary, or special education teachers. Applicants to Saint Joseph's University's program should have earned at least a bachelor's degree; some programs may have additional requirements.

Program Description:

Individuals enrolled in the Master of Science in Special Education program have the opportunity to examine methods for evaluating and responding to the needs of general and special education students. Courses are designed to teach participants how to establish culturally and instructionally inclusive learning environments as well as provide intervention services when needed. Students will have the chance to examine teaching ethics and laws affecting exceptional needs populations.

Within the Wilson Reading System® Certification specialization, participants will have the opportunity to explore techniques for helping students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, to develop literacy skills specific to phonics, spelling, word recognition, and reading comprehension. Prior to the close of the series, they'll also have the opportunity to complete a partially supervised work experience, during which time students must deliver 60 sessions aligned with the Wilson Reading System®.

New to the program is an opportunity for students to specialize in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Students will investigate diagnoses, advocacy, family issues, and intervention and treatment techniques. They will identify specific strategies and techniques to address communication, socialization, and academic skills for individuals with autism, and learn to apply various behavior management approaches.

Learning Format:


Total Credits Required:

36-39 credit hours (depending on specialization)

Financial Aid:

Financial assistance may be available in the form of student loans or grants. Active military, reservists and spouses of these military personnel may be eligible for tuition discounts for online degrees and graduate level certificate programs. Contact Saint Joseph's University to learn more.

Tuition, Financial Aid & Start Dates

Since every student is different, there isn't a "one size fits all" for school information. Start dates and tuition often vary between selected programs, and financial aid opportunities are unique to each student's circumstances. Complete the form to the right to get the most up-to-date and accurate information based on your selected program and circumstances.

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Required Courses for a Master of Science in Special Education with a Wilson Reading System® Certification:

Program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact Saint Joseph's University to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

Special Education Core Courses

  • SPE 600: Current Issues in Special Education - Theoretical Practice and Procedures (3 credits)
  • SPE 608: Families, Schools, and Communities - Communication and Collaboration (3 credits)
  • SPE 602: Diagnostic Assessment and Progress Monitoring (3 credits)
  • SPE 603: Theory and Instructional Practice - Students with High Incidence Disabilities (3 credits)
  • SPE 604: Research-based Models and Procedures - Literacy, Written and Oral Language, and Reading in the Content Areas (3 credits)
  • SPE 605: Research-based Models and Procedures - Mathematics and Science Procedures (3 credits)
  • SPE 606: Theory and Instructional Practice - Students with Emotional/Social and Behavioral Disorders (3 credits)
  • SPE 607: Theory and Instructional Practice - Students with Low Incidence Disabilities (3 credits)
  • SPE 612: Inclusive Classroom Practices (3 credits)

Special Education Elective Courses

  • SPE 700: Special Education School Law and Policy
  • SPE 701: Cognitive Processes: Research-based Brain Studies for the Educator
  • SPE 702: Culturally Responsive Teaching Structured Language Instruction
  • SPE 601: Technology and Instructional Design for Differentiated Instruction

Wilson Reading System® Courses

  • SPE 710: Wilson Reading Program - Introduction to Multisensory Structured Language Instruction (1 credit)
  • SPE 711: Wilson Reading Program - Intensive Instruction for the Non-Responsive Reader - Basic Word Study 1-3 (3 credits)
  • SPE 712: Wilson Reading Program - Intensive Instruction for the Non-Responsive Reader - Basic Word Study 4-6 (3 credits)
  • SPE 713: Wilson Reading Program - Clinical Intensive Instruction for the Non-Responsive Reader Practicum (3 credits)

Autism Specialization Courses

  • SPE 720: Introduction to ASD: Overview of Causality, Diagnosis and Advocacy
  • SPE 721: Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Socialization Strategies
  • SPE 722: Evidenced-Based Practices: Assessment, Interventions, and Instructional Methodologies
  • SPE 723: Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis: Behavior Management Approaches

Post-Graduation Opportunities:

Career Paths:

After completing this Saint Joseph's University program, graduates could be able to pursue opportunities with schools, government educational departments, or community organizations. Special education professionals might undertake tasks in advocacy, policy analysis, curriculum development, parent collaboration, or student assessment.

Depending on one's experience, individuals with a Master of Science in Special Education with a Wilson Reading System® Certification could be able to seek work as:

  • Literacy coaches
  • Special education instructors
  • Home school teachers

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