Master of Arts in Education: Special Education

The Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis on Special Education is designed for teachers who already hold a teaching license in the state of Vermont and wish to add the Special Education endorsement to their existing license; the program is also designed for those currently not licensed but seeking initial licensure in Vermont in Special Education. 

The graduate program in Special Education at Castleton prepares special educators who serve students in grades K-12 with diverse strengths, needs, and abilities. The department's goal is to provide educators with the knowledge and skills required to work with students with challenges and to function collaboratively with parents, teachers, administrators, support providers, and employers. Much of what we emphasize includes evidence-based practices in inclusive settings and high achievement for all students regardless of their disability.

There are three options for earning a M.A. Ed. in Special Education at Castleton:

Option 1 – For those currently licensed in Vermont

CU offers graduate courses in Special Education that, once completed, can be submitted to the Vermont Licensure Board in order to earn the Special Education endorsement through an expedited transcript/academic review process. (Castleton’s courses are accepted by the Agency of Education as meeting the requirements of the Special Education endorsement, ensuring that the transcript/academic review process occurs smoothly and quickly.)

Students complete a 36-credit program that includes both core and Special Education courses (and a 60-hour practicum) designed to address the knowledge and performance standards of the Special Education endorsement. Upon completion, students have earned both a Master’s degree and a Special Education teaching endorsement. 

Note: those who have already earned a Master’s degree in another education field can, in consultation with their advisor, complete 18 credits of Special Education coursework (and a practicum) and use the transcript/academic review process to request the addition of the Special Education endorsement.

Option 2 – For those NOT licensed in Vermont

Castleton offers a Master’s degree plus licensure program that allows those not licensed in any area in Vermont to earn both the advanced degree and Special Education licensure. Core and Special Education courses and student teaching/seminar are all designed to meet the expectations for licensure of the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators.This is a 48-credit program with 15 credits of core courses and 33 credits of Special Education and state-required student teaching/seminar courses.

Option 3 – Higher Education Collaborative program

Castleton has a memorandum of understanding with the Vermont Higher Education Collaborative (VTHEC). Students complete the first 18 credits toward the Special Education endorsement through the Higher Education Collaborative program and work with VTHEC staff to secure the Special Education endorsement through the Peer Review or Transcript Review process. Students then apply to Castleton, where 18 credits in Special Education (all of their coursework except the practicum) are accepted and blended into an M.A. Ed. in Special Education. Students are responsible for completing an additional 18 credits with Castleton to earn that degree.

We encourage you to review this website for additional information regarding admissions, matriculation, and coursework. If you would like further information on these three options for the Special Education graduate degree, please contact Director of Education Dr. Richard Reardon at (802) 468-1234.