Graduate Department of Elementary and Special Education

The degree requirements outlined in this catalog are intended to be used for students entering Wheelock in the 2013-14 academic year.



Karen Worth, Chair and Instructor

Linda Banks-Santilli, Associate Professor Judith Richards, Instructor Deborah Samuels-Peretz, Assistant Professor William Thompson, Associate Professor Jeff Winokur, Instructor


Felicity Crawford, Chair and Associate Professor John Crapps, Professor Kathleen McDonough, Instructor Hanna Rue, Instructor Shoshanna Starr Collins, Instructor Stephanie Cox Suarez, Associate Professor


Master of Science in Integrated Elementary and Special Education Master of Science in Educational Studies Educational Studies: Peace Corps Masters International Educational Studies; Achieving Excellence in Teaching Math and Science (online program) Certificate in Autism Courses of Study to Advance Licensure Advanced Professional Course Cluster in Special Education Advanced Professional Course Cluster in Advancing Mathematics Content Knowledge for Grades 1-6 Advanced Professional Course Cluster in Advancing Science Content Knowledge for Grades 1-6

MS/Integrated Elementary and Special Education/38-47 credits

The Master of Science in Integrated Elementary and Special Education (IESE) program combines content and performance assessments from two nationally recognized programs in Elementary and Special Education to assure the preparation of educators to work effectively in inclusive setting in public or private schools as an Elementary teacher or a Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities. Graduates of the IESE program are eligible for initial licensure from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as Elementary Teacher (1-6) license, and as a Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8). *

The Integrated Elementary and Special Education program incorporates essential elements required of a teacher prepared to meet the needs of all learners. The content areas of mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts are incorporated in the study of curriculum development, assessment, meeting curriculum standards, and differentiating the curriculum for learners working at, above, and below grade level and English Language Learners. Teachers acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to provide effective special education services which includes understanding the impact of disabilities on learning, assessing children to determine their learning strengths and areas of need, collaborating with the family and team to promote a positive learning environment, and creating adaptations to enable the child to access the general curriculum. This program is designed both for experienced teachers who currently hold a teacher license and those with no formal educator preparation. Students complete the program full-time or part time. Full-time students complete the program in 14-18 months, starting in the summer semester. Students may begin their course work on a part-time basis but must enroll full-time during the semesters in which the internship is completed. Part-time students typically complete the program in 2 years or longer.

Students follow a sequence of courses and participate in the paid teaching internship with courses meeting in the evening, weekend, and summers. Candidates may also elect to complete their internship in their own inclusive or special needs classroom but this site must be approved by the Field Experience Office as meeting Wheelock requirements for a placement site. Upon entering the program, students meet with an advisor to develop a study plan. Preference for admission is given to applicants with prior experience working with children and families, preferably in a group setting. A prerequisite for admission is completion of a major in the Arts and Sciences or its equivalent.

Core Courses 9 credits
Human Development (choose one) 3 credits
HDF 501 Lifespan Development I or
HDF 702 Language, Literacy and Culture-Advanced Multicultural 3 credits
EDU 505 Racial and Cultural Identities or
EDU 506 Racial and Cultural Identities-Advanced
Research (choose one) 3 credits
RES 723 Practitioner as Researcher or
RES 725 Research Methods
Program courses 38 credits
RDG 537 Teaching Reading/3 cr
SPE 542 Impact of Special Education/3 cr
SPE 652 Inclusive Education Curriculum or
SPE 654 Advanced Inclusive Curriculum/3 cr
EDU 535 Mathematical Learning for Diverse Learners or
SPE 635 Number Sense for Learners Who Struggle-Advanced/3 cr
SPE 710 Assistive Technology/1 cr
SPE 656 Special Education Assessment/3 cr
EDU 546 Teaching and Learning History and Social Studies/3 cr
SPE 650 Understanding Reading Difficulties/2 cr
SPE 560 Understanding &Managing Behavior/2 cr
EDU 545 Elementary Science/3 cr
SPE 685 Democracy and Education/2 cr
Internship*** 8 credits
SPP 640 Practicum: Students with Special Needs/3 cr
EDP 536 Elementary Practicum/3 cr
SPE 644/646 Instructional Methods/2 cr
Portfolio 1 credit
EDU 682 Portfolio Development: Integrated Elementary and Special Education 1 credit

* Licensure: Students select either Elementary Teacher (1-6) or Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK- 8) for institutional endorsement and they are eligible to apply for a second license upon receipt of the first.

** Some courses are waived or substituted based on previous licensure and experience; these are reviewed by the faculty advisor.

*** Students are required to take the Communication and Literacy Test of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) before the start of their internship. Beginning in fall 2013, two additional courses are offered that meet new state requirements in sheltered English immersion (SEI) for all teachers of content (PreK-12th grade). The courses are offered for undergraduate and graduate students. After May 31, 2014, all students who complete any state approved program (PreK-12th grade) for DESE licensure, must have completed state approved curriculum in SEI in order to qualify for the license.

MS/Educational Studies/30 credits

This program is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a master's degree in education, but are not interested at this time in obtaining initial state licensure as a teacher. Students work with an academic advisor to develop a program of study that meets the student's academic and professional goals. The program includes 17 credits of elective courses which allow the student to select from a number of courses, including one of the five advanced professional course (Advancing Science Content Knowledge in Grades 1-6, Advancing Mathematics Content Knowledge in Grades 1-6 ELL/ESL, Reading, or Special Education), the parenting education certificate program, the organizational leadership certificate program, or a combination of courses from different areas of study offered at Wheelock.

Core courses 13 credits
Human Development Selective/3 cr
Multicultural Selective/3 cr
Research Selective/3 cr
EDU 505 Racial and Cultural Identities/3 cr
EDU 704 Capstone: Educational Studies/1 cr
Elective Courses: 17 credits

Students work with an advisor to select courses in Elementary Education, Special Education, Language and Literacy, Early Childhood Education, Child and Family Studies, Social Work and/ or Organizational Leadership.

Certificate in Autism/12 credits

This graduate certificate is a 12 credit interdisciplinary course cluster that critically analyzes Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through a family-centered and community-based perspective. This certificate provides a multidimensional approach to working with individuals and their families with ASD across the developmental stages of the lifespan within multiple systems (home, school, health care settings, and work). Focus is placed on issues of ASD from multiple disciplines including social work, special education, health related fields.

Students will explore current evidence-based practices to increase the quality of life, abilities, and functioning of the individual with ASD. Particular attention will be on culturally relevant practices that enhance skills in self-determination, social and communication and build on the strengths of the individual and family. Students will gain a deeper understanding of multi-disciplinary team approaches that incorporate the individual and family through a strengths-based systems perspective. Students will synthesize their knowledge in a culminating research project.

This cluster is designed for students who are professionals in education, human services, or related service disciplines as well as families and individuals with ASD. This cluster is open to all graduate students. (Prerequisite: a bachelor or master's is required for the course cluster. Those coming with a degree that is not from a related area (e.g., psychology, social work, special education, education), a graduate or undergraduate course in child development within the past 5 years; or, related experience and permission from the program coordinator.)

Requirements12 credits
AUT XXX Fundamentals of Autism/3 cr
AUT XXX Autism and Positive Behavior Supports/3 cr
AUT XXX Autism: Building Social and Communication Skills/3 cr
AUT XXX Advanced Topics in Autism/3 c

Advanced Professional Course Cluster in Special Education/12 credits

This 12-credit course cluster in special education develops expertise for beginning or experienced practitioners in teaching children with exceptional learning needs in diverse settings. For teachers who already hold a master's degree and an initial teaching license, this group of courses is designed to be used to move an initial license in early childhood education, elementary education, or ESL to the professional level. Course substitutions at a more advanced level are made only with prior written permission of the Associate Dean of Education.

SPE 542 Impact of Special Needs 3 credits
SPE 654 Advanced Inclusive Curriculum 3 credits
SPE 656 Special Education Assessment 3 credits
SPE 560 Understanding and Managing Behavior 2 credits
SPE 710 Assistive Technology 1 credit

Advanced Professional Course Cluster: Advancing Mathematics Content Knowledge in Grades 1-6/12 Credits

This 12 credit cluster builds on and goes beyond mathematics subject area knowledge required for approval of programs leading to an Initial teacher license in the following fields: Elementary (1-6), Mathematics (1-6), Early Childhood Teacher of Students with or without Disabilities (PreK-2), or Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8). The four courses focus on mathematics content, with content based pedagogy embedded in each of the courses to assure that teachers have both the content knowledge and an understanding of how to offer this content in developmentally appropriate and culturally significant classroom settings. Participants learn and understand how to apply math content to maximize grades 1-6 student learning opportunities.

EDU 624 Number and Operations 3 credits
EDU 628 Geometry and Measurement 3 credits
EDU 622 Patterns, Functions and Algebra 3 credits
EDU 626 Data Analysis and Probability 3 credits

Advanced Professional Course Cluster: Advancing Science Content Knowledge in Grades 1-6 /12 Credits

This 12 credit cluster builds on and goes beyond the physical and life science subject area knowledge required for approval of programs leading to an Initial teacher license in the following fields: Elementary (1-6), General Science (1-6), Early Childhood Teacher of Students with or without Disabilities (PreK-2), or Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK- 8). Each of the four courses includes examples of the application of pedagogical content knowledge, typically in the format of assigned hands-on exercises designed to construct and solidify understanding of the content, and related to teaching of inquiry and other specific science content areas with the intention of increasing teacher impact on student learning. It is the intention of the faculty who designed the courses that participants be able to demonstrate how to effectively teach specific science content knowledge upon completion of the cluster.

EDU 634 Teaching and Learning Elem. Science 3 credits
EDU 630 Inquiry Into Life Science 3 credits
EDU 632 Teaching &Learning Physical Science 3 credits
EDU 636 Science Inquiry in Action 3 credits

MS in Educational Studies: Achieving Excellence in Teaching Math and Science/30 Credits

The Educational Studies Master's Achieving Excellence in Teaching Math and Science is a fully online program. This is not an advanced math or science program. This 30-credit program engages adults in elementary level math and science content beyond the subject area knowledge required for beginning teachers seeking a first license.

The program advances content and pedagogical content knowledge to deepen knowledge and best teaching practices to advance every student's learning in these two STEM areas. This is not a full teacher preparation program and does not lead to an initial license. It provides continuing professional development for educators and others who work with elementary age students. For Massachusetts teachers who hold the initial license in Elementary (1-6), General Science (1-6), Mathematics (1-6), Early Childhood Teacher of Students with or without Disabilities (PreK-8), or Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8), This Master's degree can be used to advance that license to the professional level when all other state requirements have been met.

MS in Educational Studies: Peace Corps Masters International/30 Credits

Wheelock College partners with the Peace Corps to offer the Master's International (MI) Program. This 30-credit master's program begins with one year of courses completed on the Wheelock campus. Courses include human development, multiculturalism, research, and a 12-credit elective area of focus. The elective area of focus helps students design a flexible and creative field study project that is sustainable and meets requirements of their local host country.

Courses can be taken from a variety of programs such as: Reading or ESL, Integrated Elementary and Special Education, Early Childhood Education, Child Life, Social Work or Organizational Leadership. Upon completion of a majority of their coursework, students will enroll in 8 credits of field study during their two years of Peace Corps service (4 credits per year of service). These 8 credits are at no cost to the MI student. Peace Corps service is an integral part of the academic program, as it will be the focus of students' required field study project. The 12-credit focus for electives will be dependent on the student's own interests and what they would like to learn, research, and reflect upon while abroad.

Examples of Peace Corps field study projects which are co-developed with host country colleagues could include a women's literacy program, a youth sports program, a girls' reading club, or working with children with special needs. The 12-credit focus for electives could also be fulfilled by completing one of the advanced professional clusters (special education, teaching reading, ESL) The PC MI Program concludes with a 1-credit capstone course at Wheelock upon the student's return. In this course, students compile their portfolio and present it to the Wheelock and Peace Corps community. 

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