The Department's graduate degree and special education endorsement programs prepare educators at various stages in their professional careers. We offer programs designed to meet the needs of beginning and advanced special educators, including building principals, district-level leaders, teacher educators, and researchers. We offer two main tracks across the graduate program: 1) Special Education Teacher Endorsements; and 2) Masters of Science Degree Programs. Our areas of specialization include high incidence disabilities, low-incidence disabilities, autism, early childhood education, secondary special education and transition, and deaf education. Throughout each of the programs, we incorporate critical issues and practices including collaborative and inclusive education, early childhood intervention, families and disabilities, learning disabilities, policy development, positive behavior support, transition, teacher education, and instructional technology and online learning.
Our courses are offered at the Main Campus in Lawrence and at the Edwards Campus in Overland Park, KS. Course locations vary based on specific program requirements, funded projects and periodic rotations so be sure to check the timetable when you enroll in classes. In addition, we are starting to develop and offer online classes available for any of our graduate students; these are designated as online classes in the timetable.
The Department of Special Education Masters program prepares graduate-level students to teach children and youth with disabilities. The program also prepares related services personnel who want to develop expertise in special education.
Areas of Study
The Department offers graduate-level study in six emphasis areas described below. Students have the option to earn a masters degree with or without Kansas special education endorsement in the High-Incidence Disabilities program (endorsement in Adaptive Special Education) and Low-Incidence Disabilities (endorsement in Functional Special Education).
• High-Incidence Disabilties
• Autism Spectrum Disorders
• Deaf Education
• Early Childhood Unified Education
• Low-Incidence Disabilities
• Secondary Special Education and Transition Services
Below are descriptions of the six concentration areas the Department of Special Education offers its Masters students. Included is information about which campus the program is taught, the number of hours to complete the program, and the professors who teach in the program.
High-Incidence Disabilities Location: Edwards Campus Number of Hours: Endorsement in Adaptive Special Education; Masters Degree
Professors: Dr. Sean Smith (program coordinator), Dr. Don Deshler, Dr. Juliet Hart, Dr. Earle Knowlton, Dr. Keith Lenz, Dr. Suzanne Robinson, and Dr. Richard Simpson.
Graduate preparation in High-Incidence Disabilities focuses on meeting the educational needs of students with learning and/or behavioral disabilities ranging from mild cognitive disabilities to attention deficits. This program focuses on strategies to promote access to the general curriculum for students with disabilities, as well as knowledge and strategies that address the unique learning and support systems that are necessary to educate students with special needs.
Students can obtain a Masters Degree (with or without the Kansas endorsement in Adaptive Special Education) or may study for an Adaptive endorsement only. Program graduates facilitate student access to the general education curriculum. They work as co-teachers, consultants and resource teachers who help classroom teachers adapt content and conditions. Click on the Curriculum links above to obtain a form of required courses for the Endorsement and Masters in this emphasis area of Special Education.