The School of Education offers an online program for the Master of Arts (MA) in Special Education with Certification in Learning and Behavior Disorders (P-12). The intent of this program, which is referred to as the MASPE program, is to increase the diminished supply of special education teachers by targeting qualified college graduates, including those whose degree is in fields other than education. MASPE instructors will guide students to move expeditiously through an intensive training and clinical experience, to become certified special education teachers, and obtain a Master’s degree. The program is recognized by the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) and provides students three different distinct tracks for a special education certification (Option 6-Initial alternative certification track, Initial traditional certification, and Advanced traditional certification). Option 6 – alternative certification opportunity for those who wish to serve as Temporary Provisional (TP-TC) certified teachers in Special Education classrooms throughout the Commonwealth. It is designed specifically to lead to teacher certification in the area of Learning and Behavior Disorders (LBD, P-12). Initial traditional certification is designed for individuals who are not certified teachers but seek initial teaching certification in LBD. Advanced traditional certification is designed for individuals who are certified in another area may seek an “add-on” certification in LBD. When successful graduates are employed as teachers in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, they are classified and compensated as Rank II.

The MASPE program is founded on personal student support, high expectations, relevant and practical experiences, and distance learning technology. From the beginning, candidates are monitored in how to succeed in an electronic educational environment and they are provided 24/7/365 support in accessing course content, instructors, and colleagues from wherever internet service is available.

The MASPE program consists of a series of carefully designed, interactive accelerated coursework and field experiences. Each semester of coursework consists of two eight-week sessions that are delivered utilizing a variety of instructional electronic modalities. The online program requires 200 hours of field experiences prior to the final clinical experience. The only difference in requirements for students with varying experiential backgrounds is the final clinical course.

All students except option 6 candidates are required to complete a practicum/student teaching experience (ESP 574 or ESP 575). Each experience must be in an accredited public school classroom which contains students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) in the area of Learning and Behavior Disorders (LBD). Each student must apply for permission to enroll in the Practicum/Student Teaching course and be approved by the Teacher Education Committee (TEC). Applications for Practicum/Student Teaching, including all supporting evidence, must be submitted to the School of Education in Hathaway Hall Room 108 by the deadline of the semester prior to the semester he or she wishes to complete the practicum experience (Fall Deadline: October 15th; Spring Deadline: March 15th).