Master of Arts in Education: Special Education and Moderate/Severe Disabilities Education Specialist Credential

Azusa Pacific University’s Master of Arts in Education: Special Education and Moderate/Severe Disabilities Education Specialist Credential program prepares candidates to earn a Master of Arts in Education: Special Education degree along with an embedded Moderate/Severe Disabilities Specialist Preliminary Credential. This program includes comprehensive foundation courses emphasizing teaching and educational methods, as well as specialization courses providing content required for the disabilities specialist credential. Practical classroom and fieldwork experiences provide application to theory, preparing candidates to teach in diverse settings. Advanced coursework in the emphasis area of special education provides candidates with knowledge needed to serve students with disabilities in K-12 public schools. The mode of delivery includes face-to-face instruction, campus-based classes, distance learning, online courses, and clinical experiences.

Approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which is transitioning to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), Azusa Pacific University’s Moderate/Severe Disabilities Education Specialist Credential program comprises specific methods courses that are accompanied by practical classroom applications and field experiences in public school assignments.

Upon completion, the candidate will have earned a Moderate/Severe Disabilities Education Specialist Preliminary Credential and a Master of Arts in Education: Special Education degree.

Check with the Division of Teacher Education for locations in which this program is offered.


Foundation Courses
TESP 501Art of Teaching I: Foundations of Teaching 13
TESP 511Art of Teaching II: Pedagogy and Instructional Design 13
TESP 502Science of Teaching I: How Students Learn 13
TESP 512Science of Teaching II: Effective Assessment Strategies for All Learners 13
TESP 503The Soul of Teaching: Tapestry of American Education3
TESP 504Schools and Educational Systems3
Specialization Courses
SPED 525Methods of Teaching Reading and Writing3
SPED 527Teaching Students with Moderate to Severe Disabilities3
SPED 528Assessment and IEP Development3
SPED 529Positive Behavior Supports for Students with Exceptional Needs3
SPED 571Clinical Practice I: Moderate to Severe Disabilities2
SPED 572Clinical Practice II: Moderate to Severe Disabilities2
Emphasis Courses
EDUC 550Introduction to Research for Practitioners1
EDUC 556Historical and Philosophical Perspectives of Disability Studies3
EDUC 557Current Trends in Curriculum and Disability Studies3
EDUC 558Guided Research Project3
EDUC 559Procedures and Findings2
Elective Courses 2
EDUC 547Special Topics in Educational Technology 33
Total Units 446-49

NOTE: A maximum of 8 units may be taken per 8-week session. Teacher candidates in master’s degree programs who have opted to waive coursework must take additional units to fulfill the unit requirement. Completion of all credential requirements—including all examinations, coursework, and other requirements—must be met before the master’s degree will be posted. An Intent to Commence and/or Graduate form must be completed and fees paid by the deadlines set by the registrar.

NOTE: Candidates who hold an Intern Credential must enroll in an intern support course (SPED 500) during each 8-week session (fall or spring) in which they are not enrolled in a clinical practice course.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  1. Engage and support all students in learning.
  2. Create and maintain effective environments for student learning.
  3. Understand and organize subject matter for student learning.
  4. Plan instruction and design learning experiences for all students.
  5. Assess student learning.
  6. Develop as a professional educator.