What will I study?
The MAT in Special Education will provide the knowledge and skills to prepare you to become an effective teacher for students with disabilities, as designated by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Our primary mission for the MAT program is to provide initial certification in Special Education to career changers or those persons deciding to become teachers after graduation from college with a degree in an area other than education. Moreover, the program’s goals emphasize preparing future special education teachers to respect the diverse characteristics and needs of individuals with disabilities and their families by upholding the CEC professional ethical principles, practice standards, and professional policies.
The current curriculum meets the accreditation standards set by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the state of South Carolina’s licensing requirements for teachers.
What kinds of work will I be able to do?
Upon completing the MAT in Special Education, you will be able to apply for a South Carolina license to teach K-12 students with disabilities in your chosen area of specialization. Special Education teachers are in great demand and our graduates are highly sought after for teaching positions across the state. If you choose to add on additional certification areas or endorsements, a range of professional positions may become available to you, such as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, or Secondary Transition Specialist.
Will I be able to specialize?
Yes. You can choose one of the following areas of specialization: Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, and Severe and Multiple Disabilities. In addition, many of our teacher candidates seek additional certifications or endorsements. For example, you can combine Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Intellectual Disabilities, and Learning Disabilities and receive a Multi-categorical license. We also offer course work for endorsements for Gifted and Talented Education, Secondary Transition Specialist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
Professional Core Courses (33 semester hours)
These courses are designed to help you build a foundation and understanding in areas important to all Special Education teachers. You will get an overview and introduction to the special education profession and learn classroom management issues and strategies, universal design for learning and assistive technology principles and practices, and reading and math strategies for at-risk learners. You will learn the theories and strategies of Applied Behavior Analysis and Functional Behavior Assessment and Interventions. During your final semester, you will reflect on your student teaching experiences and prepare for your first teaching position.
Specialty Courses (12 semester hours)
These courses will introduce you to knowledge and skill components unique to your specialty area. You will learn about the characteristics of the disability, assessment strategies, and specific teaching methods. In addition, you will learn collaboration and partnership skills critical for advocating for students with disabilities.
Clinical Preparation (15 semester hours)
An early clinical experience will give you opportunities to observe and recognize diverse cognitive and developmental characteristics of students with different types of disabilities. During your final semester, you will put into practice all that you have learned by working with a coaching teacher and university supervisor as you teach and manage a classroom for students with disabilities in your specialty area.