Master of Education + Special Education Endorsement


Candidates for the Master of Education + Special Education Endorsement have multiple opportunities to demonstrate progress toward professional standards. Every course in the endorsement has a common assessment tied directly to course goals, which in turn align with the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) and Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) standards. George Fox University is committed to multiple measures of candidates' abilities to provide meaningful learning experiences for students in P-12 settings who have specialized learning needs. Candidates for the Special Education endorsement must also pass the Special Education National Evaluation SeriesTM  (NES®) test and the Multiple Subjects Examination (MSE).

Note: Those students accepted into the Master of Education degree program with the Special Education endorsement will begin the MEd + SPED program in the summer sessions and move through the program in a cohort with a planned sequence of courses.


Program Objectives

Educational Objectives

To enable students to:

  • Hone the personal development and professional teaching skills in order to meet the needs of all students in today's world
Professional Objectives

To enable students to:

  • Fulfill their professional development needs as educators who specialize in different aspects of K-12 education
  • Earn the Special Education (SPED) Endorsement

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the MEd program must hold a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in most recent 60 semester or 90 quarter hours (and an explanation if the grade point is below 3.0). In addition, applicants must complete the following to be considered for admission to the program:

  • Master of Education application and application fee
  • One- to two-page essay as described in the application
  • One official transcript from all colleges or universities attended
  • Three references (forms provided in the application materials).

Applicants seeking to meet TSPC licensure or endorsement requirements upon completion of the program must also complete the following:

  • Verification of valid Oregon teaching license or the equivalent, such as an expired or out-of-state license, education degree, or documented and appropriate teacher experience (applicants to the program that do not have a teaching license should submit a letter of explanation as to how the program would meet their professional goals.)
  • Completed Teachers Standards and Practices Character Questionnaire

Transfer Credit

No transfer credit will be available for the MEd + SPED degree program.

Residence Requirements

Of the 40 hours required for the Master of Education + SPED program, all hours must be taken in resident study at George Fox University. All work leading to the Master of Education + SPED degree must be completed within seven years from the time of matriculation. Extension of this limit requires approval of the Graduate Teaching and Leading (GTL) Faculty. However, only one such extension may be considered due to special circumstances, such as ill health. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree.

Course Requirements

The Master of Education + SPED program is generally 3 years in length with 40 semester hours of course work required as a minimum for graduation. Of those hours, 8 are in core education foundations courses, 7 in prescribed research courses, and 25 hours in the Special Education courses.

Other Degree Requirements

In addition to the core requirements, students must complete the following requirements:

  • No later than completion of 10 semester hours, a degree-seeking student must complete the MEd degree application process.
  • Each degree-seeking student will be assigned a graduate faculty advisor who will assist the student in planning his or her proposed course of study.
  • The approved course of study must be completed to earn the Master of Education + SPED

Licensure in Oregon and Other States

Upon completion of the MEd + SPED degree, students will be eligible for advanced teaching licenses in Oregon. (In some cases, additional professional tests may be required.) This MEd + SPED program may also allow students to meet the licensure or recertification requirements of other states as well. Non-Oregon students will need to check each particular state's licensing criteria before designing the MEd + SPED program

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate with the MEd + SPED degree students must:

  • Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 40 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • Achieve no grade lower than a B in all core courses. If a grade of a B- or lower is received in a core course, that course must be retaken (for more specific information, please refer to the student handbook).

Curriculum Plan

Note: The curriculum plan is prescribed and candidates will be advised as to the proper sequencing for the MEd core courses and the Special Education courses.
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Course Requirements

Complete the following:

Students will be introduced to the six "lenses" of the EDFL Conceptual Framework and Professional Dispositions. Each student will develop a deeper understanding of personal vocation and mission in light of this overall framework by engaging each of these "lenses" to evaluate their current dispositions and work. The intent is for each student to establish a foundation of self-understanding and to become a self-reflective and analytical practitioner and learner.
This course will focus on designing curriculum units and instructional plans for a standards-based curriculum while utilizing research-based best practices for teaching, learning and assessment. There will be an emphasis on the development and implementation of an integrated interdisciplinary unti for the candidate's specific teaching or educational assignment that utilizes concept-based curriculum strategies and instructional techniques to "teach beyond the facts for the thinking classroom." In addition, students will be participating in a Professional Learning Community that will focus in on a data collection cycle to inform and evaluate practice. Students will develop assessment instruments and procedures that relate to their own disciplines. Current methods of formative assessment - including portfolios, rubrics, and other forms of authentic assessment - will guide and inform discussions.
This course examines how belief structures undergird the methods educators use to motivate people to learn. Through the light of ethical theory, students examine how organizational leaders respond to the situations they face. Students also reflect on and apply their own values and ethical understanding to shed light on case studies that represent situations they often face as educational leaders.

Complete the following:

This course will introduce students conceptually to research as a way of thinking for classroom or school improvement. As consumers of research, students will learn to search databases, analyze data, identify and summarize results to inform educational decisions. Students will be exposed to both qualitative and quantitative research paradigms, and begin to develop a literature review for their research project.
This course is designed to develop conceptual and technical skills needed for designing and implementing action research studies in classrooms, schools, and other educational settings. The focus is on the following: observing and recording behavior in school settings; problem definition and focus; sampling; data storage and retrieval systems; and trustworthiness of action research. Emphasis is placed on defining and investigating problems which require the educator to investigate strategies for improving their practice and student learning. Prerequisite: MEDU 530, Overview of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methodology.
This course is part two of the master's research project in which the student continues to work under the direction of the advising professor. In this final stage the student completes a written paper, publishes the work on an open-source site, and publicly presents results of the research project.

Complete the following:

This course will focus on the historical foundations and purpose of special education, theory, special education law and policy, including legislation and litigation, and ethics. The course provides the foundational knowledge needed to understand exceptionalities of all kinds.
The theoretical and practical aspects of human development with emphasis on - birth through young adult – and the connection to developmental psychology and learning theory. Functional knowledge of exceptionalities: autism, dyslexia, executive functioning are developed as it relates to learning.
This course prepares candidates to meet the needs of school students with high incidence learning disabilities in general education classrooms. Develops curricular modifications and adaptations to evaluate content curriculum, and to provide assistance to general education teachers. Develops knowledge and skills to adjust curriculum content using Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and informal assessments to provide information on student progress in the general education curriculum.
This course prepares candidates to meet the needs of school students with low incidence disabilities. Candidates explore, discuss and learn how to plan and implement curriculum that includes CCSS as well as informing disability eligibility decisions as well as instruction in academic and functional low incidence disabilities including: intellectual disability, hearing impairment, visual impairment, deaf/blindness, communication disorder, emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairment, traumatic brain injury, autism spectrum disorder, and other health impairments. Functional living skills are incorporated into content planning.
This course addresses assessment and evaluation as the means for informing special education disability decisions as well as instructional decisions. The candidate will learn and practice multiple ways of assessing students. These include informal assessment, progress monitoring, formal evaluations, and standardized achievement tests. Candidate will learn to write formal reports that emphasize proper administration of assessments and ethical complications of the evaluation process to synthesize all that data to create a cohesive picture of the student’s standing, and continue to use the appropriate assessment tools to generate the information needed to make curricular and program decisions.
This course will focus on developing candidates’ ability to evaluate technological and assistive supports and determine appropriateness for exceptional learners. Candidates will design and develop assistive technology tools for use in academic and functional settings.
Candidates will gain knowledge and skills in writing effective, compliant Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and acquire communication and collaboration strategies to facilitate IEP meetings and interactions with families. Candidates will identify key issues that could lead to litigation. Course content includes communication, organization, compliance and administrative management.
This course will focus on preparation of candidates to work with students who demonstrate significant emotional/behavioral, trauma, and fetal alcohol/drug issues and use interventions that are research-based. Candidates are instructed on the methods of behavior analysis and accommodation strategies to include development of behavior support plans.
This course will focus on the families, individuals, and community supports for individuals with disabilities ages birth - 21. Candidates will identify age-appropriate services such as Head Start, early intervention, vocational educational programs, community experiences, employment and other post-school adult living objectives, acquisition of daily living skills, if appropriate, and access to state and federal services. Candidate will also learn all required federal/state requirements for secondary transition plans. They will learn how to apply and develop an individual Education Plan for students of transition age.
This practicum will be completed at either early childhood elementary, or elementary middle, or middle level and high school, in settings with students identified with mild to moderate disabilities. Candidates will complete a work sample during this practicum. Candidates will complete a minimum of 90 hours of clinical practice in a mild to moderate disability placement.
This practicum will be completed at either early childhood elementary, or elementary middle, or middle level and high school, in settings with students identified with moderate to severe disabilities. Candidates will complete a minimum of 90 hours of clinical practice in a moderate to severe disability placement.
Individualized and clinical observation/research in an area of special interest to the student which is outside the regular offerings of the program.