Jun 24, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024 
    
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024 Previous Edition

Special Education and Child Development, M.Ed.


The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education and Child Development is a professional graduate degree that serves experienced educational professionals who have obtained an undergraduate degree from a college or university accredited by an accepted accredited body and who wish to become collaborative instructional leaders who are knowledgeable, effective, reflective, and responsive to equity and diversity.  Upon completion of the 33-credit hour program, graduates who hold an A-Level North Carolina Professional Educator’s License may qualify for an M-Level North Carolina Professional Educator’s License.

There are four concentrations for the M.Ed. in Special Education and Child Development:

  1. Academically or Intellectually Gifted
  2. Applied Behavior Analysis
  3. Child and Family Studies
  4. Special Education

For the Concentration in Academically or Intellectually Gifted (AIG), a bachelor’s degree and a Standard Professional 1 (SP1) Professional Educator’s License in any content area from North Carolina or its equivalent from another state are required.   Individuals already employed in a teaching position where licensure is not required, such as a charter or private school, should hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Concentration in Academically or Intellectually Gifted


Admission Requirements


  • A bachelor’s degree from a a college or university accredited by an accepted accredited body and an A-Level Professional Educator’s License in any content area from North Carolina or its equivalent from another state (individuals already employed in a teaching position where licensure is not required, such as a charter or private school, should hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field from a college or university accredited by an accepted accredited body)
  • Official transcripts of all previous work beyond high school documenting an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale)
  • Official agency reports of satisfactory Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) test scores (30th percentile or above)
    • Test Score Requirement Waiver: Applicants who previously have received a grade of A in three (if the fourth course is in progress at the time of application) or all four of the four Graduate Certificate courses in Academically or Intellectually Gifted (AIG) at UNC Charlotte may waive the GRE/MAT score requirement.Note: Waiver requests should be sent to the AIG Graduate Program Director.
    • Students who have received one or more course grades below A in UNC Charlotte graduate certificate courses in AIG, or who are applying directly to the M.Ed., are not eligible for this waiver and must provide GRE or MAT scores with their application.
  • At least three evaluations from professional educators familiar with the applicant’s personal and professional qualifications
  • An essay of no more than two pages, describing the applicant’s experience and objective in undertaking graduate study in AIG; goals upon completion of the program should be addressed
  • A copy of resume, listing the applicant’s professional experience
  • Apply online at gradadmissions.charlotte.edu

Degree Requirements


Degree Total = 33 Credit Hours


Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis


Admission Requirements


  • A bachelor’s degree in special education, psychology, social work, or a related field from a college or university accredited by an accepted accredited body
  • Official transcripts of all previous work beyond high school documenting an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale)
  • Official agency reports of satisfactory Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) test scores (30th percentile or above)
  • At least 6 months of documented experience working with individuals with exceptionalities
  • At least three evaluations from professional educators familiar with the applicant’s personal and professional qualifications; goals upon the completion of the program should be addressed
  • An essay of no more than two pages describing the applicant’s experience and objective in undertaking graduate study in applied behavior analysis
  • A copy of resume, listing the applicant’s professional experience
  • Apply online at gradadmissions.charlotte.edu

Degree Requirements


Degree Total= 33 Credit Hours


Concentration in Child and Family Studies


Admission Requirements


  • A bachelor’s degree in child and family development, elementary education, special education, or a related field from a college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body
  • Official transcripts of all previous work beyond high school documenting an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale)
  • Official agency reports of satisfactory Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) test scores (30th percentile or above). Students who have concerns about standardized testing (GRE, MAT) should contact the program director.
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s personal or professional qualifications; letters should include a combination of professional, academic, and/or personal
  • A personal statement outlining why the applicant seeks admission to the program and describing professional experiences with young children and their families; goals upon the completion of the program should be addressed
  • A copy of resume, listing the applicant’s professional experience
  • Apply online at gradadmissions.charlotte.edu

Degree Requirements


Introductory Research Course (3 credit hours)


Applied Research/Evaluation Course (3 credit hours)


Thematic Elective Courses (9 credit hours)


Select elective courses within the EI/ECSE specialty track.  Other graduate level courses offered by the Cato College of Education require approval from the advisor.

Leadership Seminar Course (3 credit hours)


Degree Total = 33 Credit Hours


Concentration in Special Education


Admission Requirements


  • A bachelor’s degree with a major in special education from a college or university accredited by an accepted accredited body and an A-Level Professional Educator’s License in Special Education from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) or its equivalent from another state.Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than special education may be considered for admission if there is clear evidence of substantial, successful experience in teaching in special education.
  • Official transcripts of all previous work beyond high school documenting an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale)
  • Official agency reports of satisfactory Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) test scores (30th percentile or above)
  • At least three evaluations from professional educators familiar with the applicant’s personal and professional qualifications
  • An essay of no more than two pages describing the applicant’s experience and objective in undertaking graduate study in special education; goals upon the completion of the program should be addressed
  • A copy of resume, listing the applicant’s professional experience
  • Apply online at gradadmissions.charlotte.edu

Degree Requirements


Introductory Research Course (3 credit hours)


Specialty Track Courses (12 credit hours)


Select elective courses within a single specialty track or other graduate level courses offered by the Cato College of Education approved by the advisor.  The credit hours within the Adapted Curriculum and General Curriculum Specialty Tracks enable candidates to add on an additional North Carolina teaching license in Adapted Curriculum or General Curriculum or upgrade an existing license in either area to the master’s level.

Degree Total = 33 Credit Hours


Advising


Upon acceptance into the program, each candidate is assigned a faculty advisor who helps the candidate develop his or her program of study and must approve that program of study.  Candidates are expected to meet with their advisor each semester to discuss their coursework and progression toward completion of the degree.

Capstone Experience


The capstone experience is fulfilled by completing a Master’s Research Project or Master’s Thesis.  The nature of the project/thesis is developed by the candidate in consultation with the faculty advisor and presented to the committee for approval.  The project is usually something that is practical and useful to the candidate in the professional role that will be assumed upon the completion of the degree.  For the Academically and Intellectually Gifted, Applied Behavior Analysis, and Special Education concentrations, candidates will complete a Master’s Research Project. For the Child and Family Studies concentration, candidates may either complete a Master’s Research Project or a Master’s Thesis.

Committee


Each candidate will have a committee of at least two graduate faculty members who will provide guidance through their research project or thesis.  Candidates should consult with their academic program advisor in the selection of the committee.  For the Child and Family Studies concentration, the following guidelines are intended to assist candidates and advisor(s) in constituting the master’s thesis committee.

  • Chair - selected for content knowledge of the subject area that is chosen for the culminating experience. This person should be from the major department. In addition, the chair must hold a graduate faculty appointment in the department.
  • Second and third members - selected for knowledge and expertise in the subject area or research expertise (can be external to the department).
  • Technical advisor - an optional committee member selected for technical support (e.g., specialized skills in program evaluation, technical writing, assessment, curriculum design, graphics, ethnography, and survey research methodology). This person may be, but need not be, from the department.
  • Additional members - may be added if the committee chair agrees. These members may be from departments of the College other than the candidate’s department, or may be from other colleges in the University. Additional members may also be from outside the University with the prior written permission of the Dean of the Graduate School. (This whole process should start at the beginning of the semester prior to graduation. However, the candidate may begin any time after completing 18 credit hours.)  For candidates in the CHFS concentration, the committee is formed during CHFD 6900 .) 

Clinical Field Experiences


Most courses require students to apply the knowledge learned in classes to community-based settings and/or public/private school classrooms.  For the AIG concentration, this typically involves video of teaching within one’s current classroom assignment. For the Applied Behavior Analysis and Special Education concentrations, students are expected to arrange placement(s) to complete their clinical field experiences in the courses.  For the Child and Family Studies concentration, clinical hours can be completed in a variety of professional settings (e.g., current position, different class in the same school, community agencies).

Licensure


A-Level licensure is required for an M-Level license. Successful completion of the master’s program leads to recommendation for an M-Level North Carolina Professional Educator’s License in Academically or Intellectually Gifted, Birth-Kindergarten (B-K), or Special Education (General Curriculum or Adapted Curriculum), as appropriate to the concentration.  Graduates in the Child and Family Studies concentration and the Applied Behavior Analysis concentration who do not hold an A-Level license are not eligible for an advanced licensure. However, candidates in the Applied Behavior Analysis concentration who hold an A-Level Professional Educator’s License in Special Education may be eligible for an M-Level license if additional coursework is completed.

Research Opportunities/Experiences


Faculty in the Department of Special Education and Child Development continuously achieve regional, state, and national recognition in scholarship, teaching, and research.  As a result, candidates may also have the opportunity to become involved in applied research endeavors. Each candidate will complete a research project or a research thesis.