Stephen F. Austin State University

Graduate Programs: Special Education

Special Education Graduate Programs

Candidates seeking a master's degree or certification with a major in special education have five options, three of which can be completed online:

The master's degrees provide graduate-level preparation for careers in the classroom or in a professional administrative environment. Special education programs at SFA are aligned with national standards for special educators and state standards for special education teachers.

View Online Master's in Special Education Program Handbook

Graduate Program Pre-Admission Requirements

  1. Letter from your Special Education Director indicating permission for you to complete a practicum experience at the end of your program. A letter of example practicum experiences has been attached. This is not the letter that I am requesting from your director; but rather, information about activities that we would like for a candidates to experience. Your director may choose to complete this letter in place of writing their own.

    Note: Please know that school districts are not required or obligated to grant permission for practicum experiences to prospective SFA students. Your request for practicum experiences must be done respectfully and with the full knowledge that your first priority to the district/school are your teaching responsibilities or other currently held position in the district. You will have 2 semesters in which to earn 160 hours of practicum experience. The majority of our students continue to work full-time in a district while completing these hours.
  2. Send a copy of your official Teacher Service Record (TSR)
  3. Copy of your undergraduate and graduate transcripts. From this information, I will send you an email with my course recommendations.
  4. Complete and return the attached advanced certification seeking tracking form. I will not submit this tracking form until you are in the program, so the $100 fee will not be applied unless you join our program.
  5. 3 signed letters of recommendation (2 of a professional nature and one can be a community member who has known you for some time). Please make sure these letters are signed.
  6. Current resume.
  7. Essay: a typed double-spaced written statement (minimum 3-5 pages in length) describing your experience in the field of special education, your philosophy on educating students with special needs, and how personal qualities and educational experience would make you an exceptional candidate for the special education graduate program.
  8. A copy of your teacher certification record which can be obtained from the following web site: https://secure.sbec.state.tx.us/sbeconline/virtcert.asp. I will also use this information to determine your course needs.
  9. A video-recording introducing yourself to program faculty in a professional manner. This video is to be no longer than 5 minutes in duration. A free video recording resource may be found at http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/.
    Please include the following information in your video.
    • Name
    • Current employment
    • Years of teaching experience and types of teaching experiences.
    • Teacher certifications
    • Qualities and competencies you possess that would make you a good candidate for our program and a future quality educational diagnostician in the field.
    • Examples of your organizational skills and strategies
    • Statement regarding your ability and motivation to participate in a rigorous certification program.

When the above items have been completed and submitted, you may be asked to participate in a short online video-conferencing interview session where you will be asked up to 5 additional questions. You will access this interview via a provided web link.

Your pre-admission items will be evaluated by program faculty using the 2-page rubric below. A minimum score of 16 is required for page 1 qualifications and a minimum score of 8 for page 2 items.

Once this process is completed and you been notified of your acceptance to the program, you may apply to the Graduate School via ApplyTexas.org. Please do not submit a Graduate School application before completing these requirements, as the $50 application fee is non-refundable.

Finally, if you did not receive your undergraduate degree from SFA, ensure that copies of your undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) transcripts are sent to the SFA Graduate School.

For more information about applying to the program, please contact Dr. Koltonski at koltonsksl@sfasu.edu or Dr. Mask at maskp@sfasu.edu.

Graduate Program Admissions Process

Admission to any of the graduate Special Education Programs is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School; therefore, a student applying to Special Education graduate program must meet the criteria for admission to the graduate school. Criteria for admission to the Graduate School include a 2.5 GPA overall GPA for provisional admission, and a 2.8 overall GPA for Clear Admission. The GRE is waived for individuals who hold an M.Ed. in a related field or for individuals with an undergraduate (overall or last 60 hours) GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Before you complete an application to the Graduate School at Stephen F. Austin State University, please contact Dr. Koltonski (koltonsksl@sfasu.edu) or Dr. Mask (maskp@sfasu.edu) for a shared folder invitation that will allow you to electronically upload the pre-admission items listed below for your chosen M.Ed. or certification seeking only track. Each applicant's pre-admission items will be reviewed by the program faculty members. Please do not submit a Graduate School application before completing these requirements, as the $50 application fee is non-refundable.

All pre-admission items will be uploaded to a shared folder (via invitation email sent by Dr. Koltonski or Dr. Mask). In order to receive the shared folder invitation, you will need to create a free Microsoft account that uses your current email account. Directions for creating this account may be obtained from Dr. Koltonski or Dr. Mask. When your Microsoft account has been created and you are ready to upload your pre-admission items, please email Dr. Koltonski (koltonsksl@sfasu.edu) or Dr. Mask (maskp@sfasu.edu) to request a shared folder invitation.

When the above items have been completed and submitted, you may be asked to participate in a short, online video-conferencing interview session in which you will be asked up to five additional questions. You will access this interview via a provided web link. Once this process is completed and you been notified of your acceptance to the program, you may apply to the Graduate School. The application can be accessed and submitted electronically from the following website: http://www.sfasu.edu/graduate/101.asp. Please complete the application as an M.Ed. seeking student. Please do not submit a Graduate School application before completing these requirements, as the $50 application fee is non-refundable.

Review Process

Candidates for admission will only be considered following the submission of a completed pre-admission folder. The applicant's pre-admission folder is reviewed by program faculty. An applicant is then notified by email regarding the program recommendation on his/her application.

Financial Aid

To receive federal, state, or institutional funds you must:
• Complete the Federal Application for Student Aid (FASFA) by visiting: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
• Be enrolled in an eligible degree-seeking or certificate programs at least half-time (six credit hours).
• Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
• Have a valid Social Security Number
• Be in good academic standing and maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completion of a degree or certificate
• Not owe a refund on a Federal grant or be in Default on a Federal educational loan
• Demonstrate a financial need, except for some loan programs *

For more information on Financial Aid at SFA visit http://www.sfasu.edu/faid/ orContact the SFA Financial Aid Office at (936) 468-2403

Teach Grant

A TEACH Grant can help you pay for college if you plan to become a teacher in a high-need field in a low-income area. The TEACH Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 a year to students who are completing or plan to complete course work needed to begin a career in teaching. For more information please visit the following site: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/teach#terms

Scholarships

Community College Transfer Scholarship Program

This award opportunity is for students who transfer to SFA from a community college during the fall or the spring. The award is $1,000 for the year if the recipient's transferable GPA is 3.0 to 3.49, and the award is $2,000 per year for students with a transferable GPA of 3.50 or higher. You do not have to apply for this scholarship. We consider all students for it when they're admitted to SFA.

SFA has hundreds of scholarships available to new and returning students. Some scholarships are based on merit, while others have a need-based, as well as merit, criteria. Scholarships requiring audition(s) or tryout(s) are also available. Criteria which may be used to determine recipients include class rank, high school or college GPA, scores on the ACT or SAT, leadership activities, and performance. Scholarship amounts range from $100 to $8,000. Some are renewable based upon academic performance, while others are one-time awards.

For more information on SFA scholarships, please visit http://www.sfasu.edu/admissions/scholarships/index.asp.

Prospective Student Letter

Download the letter here.