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Courses for MAT in Special Education and Elementary Education

This 39-credit program that culminates in a Master’s degree and certification in both Special Education and Elementary Education.  The program provides students with a comprehensive repertoire of teaching strategies designed to prepare them to teach diverse learners. Emphasis is placed on developing students’ skills in the areas of differentiated instruction, curriculum modifications, positive behavior supports, collaboration, assistive technology, and literacy instruction.

Program Code: SPEC_MAT01

Typical Course Sequence

SPED 501/Students with Disabilities in Our Schools, 3 s.h.
EPSY 523/Advanced Child Growth and Adolescent Development, 3 s.h.
SPED 691/Internship I: Seminar and Field Experience, 3 s.h.
RDLG 579/Content Area Literacy, 3 s.h.
SPED 612/Curriculum and Methods for Students w/Mild Disabilities, 3 s.h.
ELEM 522/Methods for Teaching Science and Math in the Inclusive Classroom, 3 s.h.
SPED 605/Language and Reading Strategies for Students with Disabilities, 3 s.h.
SPED 626/Teaching Students with Severe Disabilities, 3 s.h.
EDUC 513/Collaboration, Consultation, and Partnerships, 3 s.h.
SPED 521/Assistive Technology, 3 s.h.
EDUC 615/Capstone Experience: The Teaching Professional, 0 s.h.
EDUC 614/Creating and Sustaining Classroom Communities, 3 s.h.
SPED 695/Internship II, 6 s.h.
SPED 700/Comprehensive Examination, 0 s.h. Learn more ›

Total: 39 semester hours

Additional Program Info

Internship 1 (First Field Experience)

EDUC 694 is for full time students and students who are currently not working in a school setting. 

Students registered for EDUC 694 should expect to be in the field initially for several half days/week and then towards the end of the semester, for five full days. There is also a seminar that meets on a weekly basis in conjunction with this course.  Instructors for EDUC 694 will arrange for the field placement that so students who are registered for it are not required to submit a STEP application.

SPED 691 is for students who are currently working in a school setting.

This internship enables students who are working in an instructional setting to complete this internship “on the job.” In order to register for SPED 691, the placement has to meet certain criteria:

  • The setting has to be a school, not a hospital or an out patient program.
  • The setting has to be an elementary school: K through 5
  • The school should have students with disabilities as a part of the setting.
  • The school should be willing to assign a mentor who can observe the graduate student and provide feedback on teaching.
  • The school should provide opportunities for students to plan and execute small group and large group lessons.

All students applying for SPED 691 have to fill out the STEP application. SPED 691 is offered in the Fall and Summer semesters ONLY.

Internship II (Student Teaching)

SPED 695 is for all students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching program. 

This is a full-time, full semester experience for which students design and execute lessons for a variety of subject areas. It also requires that students eventually take over all of the instruction and planning for the class.

  • Because this program culminates in certification in elementary and special education, Internship II must be completed in an inclusive elementary setting.
  • Students are required to have completed all other coursework before enrolling in Internship II. In some cases, students might be allowed to take one additional course along with student teaching.
  • If students are employed as an aide in a special education class and wish to complete student teaching in the building in which students work, students need to first discuss  plans to do so with the administration of the school district. The job responsibilities of a teaching assistant may conflict with the responsibilities of student teaching. students need to discuss each situation with the district to make sure they will permit students to complete student teaching. Some students have resolved this by taking a leave of absence from their job.

Applying for Student Teaching

In order to apply for student teaching, students must fill out an application through the STEP office and provide supporting documents.  Refer to the STEP application process for details.

Assignments to Be Completed During Student Teaching

The State of New Jersey has enacted new regulations that will impact a teacher candidate’s eligibility for New Jersey State certifications.  All teacher candidates applying for an initial certification after September 1, 2017 will be required to take the EdTPA. This will apply to students enrolled in SPED 695 in fall 2017 and onwards.  The EdTPA is a new student teacher performance assessment that has been developed by the Stanford Center for Assessment Learning and Equity (SCALE). It has been piloted in 30 states. Passing scores on the EdTPA will be required by the State of New Jersey in order for a candidate to be deemed eligible for initial teaching certification (NJ has not yet announced the passing score it will use). Your seminar instructor and supervisors will provide you with more detailed information on the EdTPA.

Praxis Exam Information


All students enrolled in this program are required to take the Elementary Education Multiple Subjects Praxis Exam. It is recommended that the exam be taken in the middle or towards the end of the program, often the summer before student teaching. See important praxis updates.

» Visit ETS Praxis site 

Comprehensive Exams

The MAT program includes a comprehensive exam. The course prefix is SPED 700.

» Visit the Comprehensive Exams page

Applying for Graduation

You must apply for graduation and submit the Conferment of Degree form. There are three graduation times each school year: May, August and December. May applications are due in January, August applications are due in February and December applications are due in September. The graduation application fee is $75.00. Students who apply after the application deadline will be charged a $35.00 late fee. 

Certification Requirements for Instructional Certificates

Visit Certification for details on certification requirements. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When I graduate, what will I be qualified to teach?

Special education P-5 and middle school, elementary education K-5, high school in-class support, and grades 6-12 after certification testing in a specific content area.

What is the job market like for special education teachers?

Highly qualified Teachers of Students with Disabilities are in high demand. The department boasts a 100% placement rate for those seeking employment in special education.

What is your average class size?

22 students.

Who should apply?

Students with a bachelor’s degree and an interest in teaching Special education P-5 and middle school, elementary education K-5, high school in-class support, and/or grades 6-12 after certification testing in a specific content area.

When will I have experience in the classroom?

Early on in your program you will enroll in Internship 1 which is a part-time field experience with seminar.  In your last semester you will complete SPED 695/Internship 2 which is a full-time, full semester experience under the supervision of a cooperating teacher and a college supervisor.



The College is open with very limited on-campus staffing. All advising sessions will be conducted virtually through phone, Skype, or Google Hangout as determined with your education advisor.