Given the national shortage of special education teachers, well-prepared specialists who can effectively help exceptional students are in high demand. If you have ever held a teaching license or certificate, now is a great time to enter the field of special education.
Earning a master's degree in special education is one way to move in that direction. The University of Wisconsin-Superior offers a Master of Science in Education – Special Education online.
A Rewarding Career
Careers in special education are some of the most rewarding.
Middle school teacher Carmen Adams, alumna of UW-Superior's online MSE – Special Education wanted to gain a better understanding of students with special needs. She enrolled in the program so she could develop the skills she needed to connect with students. "Coming from a regular education background," Adams said, "I didn't know how to help the special education kids in my classroom because I didn't have that training."
Adams credits the UW-Superior program with giving her more than classroom knowhow. She has also been instrumental in passing legislation that protects veterans. Having lost her brother, Corey Adams, a veteran to PTSD and bipolar disorder, she pushed for the passing of the Green Alert law in Wisconsin, a service that works like the Amber Alert or Silver Alert laws, notifying the public when veterans with service-related health conditions go missing.
An Affordable Program
Whether your motives are as personal as Adams' or you simply want to be able to support special needs students, the UW-Superior online master's degree program in Special Education provides a practical option at an affordable price. Tuition costs for the entire program, designed to meet all the teacher licensure requirements in Wisconsin, are under $15,000.
In addition, some students are eligible for the TEACH Grant, which can help them pay for tuition while they prepare to work in a variety of special education positions.
An Online and Collaborative Education
Not only is UW-Superior's master's program affordable, it is also flexible, with online courses fitting easily into the busy schedules of teachers like Thomas Behrens, alumnus of UW-Superior's MSE in Special Education. As a full-time teacher, volunteer EMT, adult amateur baseball coach and father of two children, Behrens selected the program at UW-Superior for the flexibility of its online format. Being accessible 24/7, it allowed him to care for his family while still pursuing his passion for helping special education students.
UW-Superior's MSE in Special Education online program is taught by experienced instructors. Participants are offered problem-solving opportunities online to try new things and learn what works. Behrens reflects on the uniquely collaborative experience of his online education: "It's evidence-based. We're going in and trying these methods. It's experimental, to a degree, because it is research-based, but we're also finding out what works for us."
Behrens found the online portfolio he created in the Collaboration and Transition: From School to Community course to be one of the most valuable tools he derived from the program. He continues to use the portfolio to help his students prepare for their futures.
Entering the field of special education is within reach for K-12 teachers; online programs like UW-Superior's Master of Science in Education – Special Education provide an accessible and affordable option for them to take the next step.
Learn more about the University of Wisconsin-Superior's MSE – Special Education online program.
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