Overview of Multi-categorical Special Education for Non-Education Majors
Fairmont State University (FSU) offers a Master's Degree in Multi-categorical Special Education for those in non-Education Majors. The purpose of this emphasis is to permit candidates who have no existing teaching license to acquire a degree and an endorsement in Multi-categorical Special Education. The emphasis is unique in that course work has been developed as multi-categorical in nature and not disability specific. This program stresses the interactive nature between the learning and behavior problems that students experience. As WV moves in the direction of providing multi-categorical classrooms and services, this program will meet that need. The largest group of students served by special education teachers would be those in the multi-categorical category.
- To prepare candidates to meet the needs of students assigned to multi-categorical special education programs,
- To deliver a certification program that is multi-categorical in nature and not disability specific,
- To deliver a program that stresses the interactive nature between the learning and behavior problems that students experience,
- To make a significant impact on bringing area special education “permit” teachers to full-qualification,
- To deliver the curriculum through a combination of face-to-face and web-based instruction,
- To provide pragmatic clinical experiences that stress positive impact on learning and behavior problems,
- To prepare candidates to pass the necessary certification tests, and
- To provide mentoring and follow-up activities for graduates.
Students desiring the M. Ed. option will complete the following 12 semester hours of graduate courses:
EDUC 6301: Research in Education 3 hrs
EDUC 6305: Advanced Education Technology 3 hrs
EDUC 6395: Action Research 3 hrs
Pre-Approved Graduate Electives 3 hrs
Subject Matter Competence:
As per the State Department of Education, candidates must meet the 21 hour requirement for a restricted content area endorsement in one of the following areas. Undergraduate transcripts can be reviewed for courses that may meet this requirement.
Program outcomes are based upon the Council for Exceptional Children Professional Standards. A matrix of standards by course is available.
The curriculum will be delivered through web-based instruction.
As a result of changes in hiring practices by school districts, graduates with endorsements in either Specific Learning Disabilities or Mental Impairment are presently not prepared for the competitive employment market. West Virginia and surrounding states are presently facing an extreme shortage of qualified teachers. As a result of inclusion, school districts are finding that teachers who are trained in only one area, ie. Specific Learning Disabilities or Mental Impairment are not qualified to teach in inclusive settings. Fairmont State University has initiated a Multi-Categorical program that will prepare teachers who are qualified to meet the needs of West Virginia and surrounding States. The practice of Inclusion has created a market for teachers who can teach a variety of students with mild to moderate disabilities, thus school districts are hiring teachers with background in Specific Learning Disabilities, Mental Impairment, and Behavior Disorders.