Graduate Catalog 2021-2022
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Special Education for Learning and Behavior Disorders, Master of Arts in Education (0457)

Department website: http://www.wku.edu/ste/


Program Coordinator

Andrea Paganelli, andrea.paganelli@wku.edu, (270) 745-4420

This program is designed to develop teachers who can positively impact student learning in their classrooms and schools while serving students with special needs.  The MAE in Special Education is for those seeking advanced preparation or additional teacher certification. Advanced preparation programs include course work that prepares students to serve individuals with Learning and Behavior Disorders (LBD), 

The MAE in Special Education for Learning and Behavior Disorders provides a choice of three pathways which are dependent upon an applicant's current certification, and their desired additional certification sought. The three pathways may lead to certification in Learning and Behavior Disorders (LBD). 

Students are expected to become competent in theory, research, and application of best teaching practices related to exceptional students and exhibit appropriate teacher disposition behaviors as indicated by the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Teacher Disposition Rating Form.  Note: To be eligible to be recommended for certification as a teacher for Exceptional Children (Grades P-12), Learning and Behavior Disorders, students must document that they have received passing score(s) on the required Praxis II examination(s).

Program Admission

The MAE in Special Education for Learning and Behavior Disorders offers courses and experiences for the advanced preparation of teachers holding certification in any P-12 certification area. 

Applicants who are currently certified or hold a Kentucky Statement of Eligibility in a P-12 area  must submit a copy of the certificate or statement of eligibility with their applications.

Application Deadline Notes

Along with all Graduate School admission deadlines  (see current graduate catalog), for priority consideration for admission to the Special Education Learning and Behavior Disorders program students should submit application materials to the Graduate School by the following dates:

  • Summer Admission: March 1
  • Fall Admission:  May 1
  • Spring Admission: November 1

Students submitting materials after the above deadline dates cannot be guaranteed that applications will be reviewed in time for admission for the upcoming term nor that course space will be available.

Graduate School Admission

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (30 hours)

Required Courses 1
SPED 501Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis3
SPED 534Research in Exceptional Child Education3
SPED 530Advanced Assessment Techniques3
SPED 630Special Education Law and Finance3
SPED 595Advanced Preparation Capstone for Special Education 23
Select one of 3 pathways based on prior certification15
1. Advanced Pathway (for students holding prior LBD certification) 15 hours
Positive Behavior Supports
Transition Services and Programs for Individuals with Disabilities (Advisor Approved Electives )
Intervention Support for Students with Dyslexia and Other Reading Disabilities
Advisor Approved Electives (select 6 hours)
Leadership, Math and Technology Education
Organizing Programs for Early Childhood Special Education
Survey of Educational Technology Practices
Nature and Needs of Gifted, Creative, and Talented Students
Behavior Problems of Childhood and Adolescence
Advanced Prescriptive Teaching
2. Certification Pathway (for students holding prior MSD certification) 15 hours
Seminar: Curriculum for Learning and Behavior Disorders 3
Transition Services and Programs for Individuals with Disabilities 3
Advisor Approved Electives (select 9 hours)
Foundations of Differentiated Instruction
Nature and Needs of Gifted, Creative, and Talented Students
Survey of Educational Technology Practices
Diversity and Equity in Literacy Education
Advanced Prescriptive Teaching
3. Certification Pathway (for students holding certification in any other area than Exceptional Education LBD or MSD) 15 hours
Transition Services and Programs for Individuals with Disabilities 3
Intervention Support for Students with Dyslexia and Other Reading Disabilities
Advanced Prescriptive Teaching 3
Families, Professionals and Exceptionalities 3
Seminar: Curriculum for Learning and Behavior Disorders 3
Total Hours30

Program Completion Requirements

  • Students must successfully complete SPED 595 (course grade of Pass) and present research results in an approved venue.
  • Students must achieve a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA overall and in program course work.