Stephen F. Austin State University

Special Education

Special Education, M.Ed.

Special Education, Visual Impairment Concentration, M.Ed.

The visual impairment/orientation and mobility programs use a cohort training model. Candidates typically are admitted one time each year. Applications are accepted from September through March, and students begin their training in the first summer session. A limited number of candidates may be approved for admission out of sequence on a case-by-case basis upon review by the program faculty members. In order to be admitted to the vision impairment program, a prospective student must complete the following steps:

  • Complete an Office of Research and Graduate Studies application indicating intention to pursue a graduate degree. Apply online at applytexas.org/adappc/gen/c_start.WBX.
  • Complete the visual impairment/orientation and mobility program application, available at sfasu.edu/visual-impairment.
  • Provide three letters of recommendation; one from a direct supervisor in applicant's current position.
  • Submit a three to five page paper distinctly describing: the applicant's philosophy of education, understanding of the role of the teacher of the visually impaired or certified orientation and mobility specialist, and reasons for pursuing the field of visual impairment as a degree and/or career change.
  • Have an overall GPA of 2.75 or better, or a 2.75 GPA on the last 60 hours of work completed
  • GRE is not required.

Degree Requirements

M.Ed. in special education with an endorsement as a teacher of students with visual impairments requires a valid Texas state teaching credential and successful completion of the following:

  • Passage of the Braille and visually impaired TExEs professional exams (TExEs 182, 183)
  • Passage of comprehensive examinations
  • SPE 515 - Programs and Services for Individuals with Visual Impairment Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 516 - Anatomy and Function of the Visual System Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 517 - Communication Skills for Visual Impairment Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 518 - Basic Orientation and Mobility Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 551 - Working with Academic Students Who Have Visual Impairments Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 552 - Instructional Strategies for Individuals with Multiple Disabilities and Visual Impairments Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 558 - Practicum in Special Education/Visual Impairment Credit(s): 1-3
  • SPE 570 - Special Studies in Special Education Credit(s): 3-6 (six hours)
  • Twelve semester hours from the following:
    • SPE 519 - Low Vision Credit(s): 3
    • SPE 520 - Tactual Reading Skills for VI Credit(s): 3
    • SPE 521 - Expanded Core in Visual Impairments Credit(s): 3
    • SPE 553 - V I Technology Credit(s): 3
    • SPE 556 - Research and Practice Infants/Children Credit(s): 3
    • SPE 573 - Leadership in Visual Impairment Credit(s): 3

Advising

Additional information about the program can be found at sfasu.edu/visual-impairment and sfasu.edu/humanservices/123.asp.

Program applicants are encouraged to consult with an advisor in the visual impairment/orientation and mobility program as early as possible in the application process. For information or assistance, please contact our visual impairment/orientation and mobility office at (936) 468-1145.

Special Education, Orientation and Mobility Concentration, M.Ed.

The visual impairment/orientation and mobility programs use a cohort training model. Candidates typically are admitted one time each year. Applications are accepted from September through March, and students begin their training in the first summer session. A limited number of candidates may be approved for admission out of sequence on a case-by-case basis upon review by the program faculty members. In order to be admitted to the vision impairment program, a prospective student must complete the following steps:

  • Complete an Office of Research and Graduate Studies application indicating intention to pursue a graduate degree. Apply online at applytexas.org/adappc/gen/c_start.WBX.
  • Complete the visual impairment/orientation and mobility program application, available at sfasu.edu/visual-impairment.
  • Provide three letters of recommendation; one from a direct supervisor in applicant's current position.
  • Submit a three to five page paper distinctly describing: the applicant's philosophy of education, understanding of the role of the teacher of the visually impaired or certified orientation and mobility specialist, and reasons for pursuing the field of visual impairment as a degree and/or career change.
  • Have an overall GPA of 2.75 or better, or a 2.75 GPA on the last 60 hours of work completed
  • GRE is not required.

Requirements

  • Passage of the comprehensive examination
  • Passage of the national certification examination through the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals
  • SPE 500 - Clinical Practicum in Orientation and Mobility Credit(s): 3-6 (six hours)
  • SPE 515 - Programs and Services for Individuals with Visual Impairment Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 516 - Anatomy and Function of the Visual System Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 518 - Basic Orientation and Mobility Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 519 - Low Vision Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 552 - Instructional Strategies for Individuals with Multiple Disabilities and Visual Impairments Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 570 - Special Studies in Special Education Credit(s): 3-6 (six hours)
  • Plus nine hours from:
    • SPE 517 - Communication Skills for Visual Impairment Credit(s): 3
    • SPE 521 - Expanded Core in Visual Impairments Credit(s): 3
    • SPE 551 - Working with Academic Students Who Have Visual Impairments Credit(s): 3
    • SPE 556 - Research and Practice Infants/Children Credit(s): 3
    • SPE 573 - Leadership in Visual Impairment Credit(s): 3
  • Must also complete the following:
  • SPE 593 - Intermediate Clinical Practicum in Orientation and Mobility Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 594 - Advanced Clinical Practicum in Orientation and Mobility Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 595 - Internship in Orientation and Mobility Credit(s): 1-12 (six hours)

Note: These 12 practicum hours do not count toward a M.Ed., but are required for ACVREP certification as an orientation and mobility specialist.

Advising

Additional information about the program can be found at sfasu.edu/visual-impairment and sfasu.edu/humanservices/123.asp.

Program applicants are encouraged to consult with an advisor in the visual impairment/orientation and mobility program as early as possible in the application process. For information or assistance, please contact our visual impairment/orientation and mobility office at (936) 468-1145.

Special Education, Initial Teacher Certification, M.Ed.

Before you complete an application to Research and Graduate Studies at SFA, please contact Dr. Paige 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 Research and Graduate Studies application before completing these requirements as the $50 application fee is non-refundable.

Pre-admission Items:

  • Copy of undergraduate transcript and, if applicable, copy of graduate transcript
  • Initial teacher certification only: complete and return a provided initial teacher certification seeking tracking form. A copy of this form may be obtained from Dr. Paige Mask (maskp@sfasu.edu). This certification tracking form will not be submitted until you are admitted to the program and enrolled in your first semester of coursework.
  • Three letters of recommendation (two 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.
  • Current résumé
    A typed, double-spaced written statement (minimum three to five 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.
  • A video introducing you to program faculty members in a professional manner. This video is to be no longer than five minutes. A free video-recording resource is located at screencast-o-matic.com. Please include the following information in your video:
    • Name
    • Current employment
    • Years of teaching experience and/or types of teaching experiences
    • Teacher certifications (if applicable)
    • Qualities and competencies you possess that would make you a good candidate for our program and a future professional in the field
    • Statement regarding your ability and motivation to participate in a rigorous program.
  • All pre-admission items will be uploaded to a shared folder (via invitation email sent by Dr. Paige 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. Mask. When your Microsoft account has been created and you are ready to upload your pre-admission items, please email 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 complete and you been notified of your acceptance to the program, you may apply to Research and Graduate Studies. The application can be accessed and submitted electronically online at sfasu.edu/graduate/101.asp. Please complete the application as a M.Ed.-seeking student. Please do not submit a Research and Graduate Studies application before completing these requirements as the $50 application fee is non-refundable.

Admission to any of the graduate special education programs is contingent upon admission to Research and Graduate Studies; therefore, a student applying to the graduate program must meet the criteria for admission to Research and Graduate Studies. Criteria for admission to Research and Graduate Studies include a 2.5 overall GPA for provisional admission and a 2.8 overall GPA for clear admission. The GRE is waived for individuals who hold a M.Ed. in a related field or for individuals with an overall or last 60 hours GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Admission to SFA Research and Graduate Studies

  • Application to Research and Graduate Studies that includes official transcripts indicating all college-level enrollment.
  • A $50 application fee
  • Transcripts are sent to the following address:
    • Office of Research and Graduate Studies
      Stephen F. Austin State University
      P.O. Box 13024, SFA Station
      Nacogdoches, TX 75962
    • The program director for special education programs is:
      Dr. Paige R. Mask
      Stephen F. Austin State University
      Department of Human Services
      Human Services Building, Room 313B
      P.O. Box 13019
      Nacogdoches, TX 75962
      (936) 468-1076

Degree Requirements

M.Ed. in special education (online 36 hours; initial teacher certification in special education. PACT required before taking SED courses)

  • RDG 501 - Advanced Studies in Early Literacy of Young Child Credit(s): 3
  • SED 522 - Curriculum and Instructional Design for All Learners Credit(s): 3
  • SED 523 - Assessment for Diverse Contemporary Classrooms Credit(s): 3
  • SED 525 - Motivating and Managing the Active Learning Environment Credit(s): 3
  • SED 527 - The 21st Century EC-12 Student Credit(s): 3
  • SED 541 - PBIC Internship/First Semester Credit(s): 1-6 (two hours)
    and SED 542 - Field Intern/Second Semester Credit(s): 1-6 (one hour)
    or
    SPE 443 - Student Teaching Credit(s): 6 (six hours)
    and SED 543 - The Professional Educator Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 560 - Children with Behavioral Disorders Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 561 - Educating Students Phy/Health Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 562 - Instructional Strategies for Exceptional Learners Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 565 - Educational Programming-Autism Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 567 - Trends in Educating Exceptional Children Credit(s): 3

Special Education, Educational Diagnostician Certification, M.Ed.

Before you complete an application to Research and Graduate Studies at SFA, please contact Dr. Paige 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 Research and Graduate Studies application before completing these requirements as the $50 application fee is non-refundable.

Pre-admission Items:

  • Letter from your special education director indicating permission for you to complete a 160-hour practicum experience during the course of two semesters at the end of your certification program. An information letter that you can provide to your special education director may be obtained from Dr. Paige Mask (maskp@sfasu.edu). The practicum letter is not completed at this time but rather serves to inform your director of experiences we would like for you to have during your final two semesters in the program.
    Note: Please know that school districts are not required or obligated to grant permission for practicum experiences to prospective SFA program 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 two 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.
  • Copy of your official Teacher Service Record
  • Copy of undergraduate transcript and, if applicable, a copy of graduate transcript
  • Copy of your teacher certifications, which may be obtained online at secure.sbec.state.tx.us/sbeconline/virtcert.asp
  • Complete and return a provided advanced certification seeking tracking form. This certification tracking form will not be submitted until you are admitted to the program and enrolled in your first semester of coursework.
  • Three letters of recommendation (two of a professional nature; one can be a community member who has known you for some time). Please make sure these letters are signed.
  • Current résumé
  • A typed, double-spaced written statement (minimum three to five 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.
  • A video introducing you to program faculty in a professional manner. This video is to be no longer than five minutes. A free video-recording resource is located at 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
    • Statement regarding your ability and motivation to participate in a rigorous certification program.

All pre-admission items will be uploaded to a shared folder (via invitation email sent by Dr. Paige 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. Mask. When your Microsoft account has been created and you are ready to upload your pre-admission items, please email 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 complete and you been notified of your acceptance to the program, you may apply to Research and Graduate Studies. The application can be accessed and submitted electronically online at sfasu.edu/graduate/101.asp. Please complete the application as a M.Ed.-seeking student. Please do not submit a Research and Graduate Studies application before completing these requirements as the $50 application fee is non-refundable.

Admission to any of the graduate special education programs is contingent upon admission to Research and Graduate Studies; therefore, a student applying to the graduate program must meet the criteria for admission to Research and Graduate Studies. Criteria for admission to Research and Graduate Studies include a 2.5 overall GPA for provisional admission and a 2.8 overall GPA for clear admission. The GRE is waived for individuals who hold a M.Ed. in a related field or for individuals with an overall or last 60 hours GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Admission to SFA Research and Graduate Studies

  • Application to Research and Graduate Studies that includes official transcripts indicating all college-level enrollment.
  • A $50 application fee
  • Transcripts are sent to the following address:
    • Office of Research and Graduate Studies
      Stephen F. Austin State University
      P.O. Box 13024, SFA Station
      Nacogdoches, TX 75962
    • The program director for special education programs is:
      Dr. Paige R. Mask
      Stephen F. Austin State University
      Department of Human Services
      Human Services Building, Room 313B
      P.O. Box 13019
      Nacogdoches, TX 75962
      (936) 468-1076

Degree Requirements

The educational diagnostician program provides graduate-level preparation in the area of special education, assessment and law. An educational diagnostician is a master's level professional who works within the public school system to ensure that special education services are provided to eligible students in accordance with all applicable federal laws and regulations, state statutes, Texas Education Agency, and the Commissioner of Education. The program consists of graduate-level coursework and preparation for certification as an educational diagnostician.

An individual possessing a master's degree in a related field may be eligible for the option of seeking certification only as an educational diagnostician. In order to determine the number of hours needed for the Educational Diagnostician Certification (M.Ed. holders only), applicants must submit a copy of both undergraduate and graduate transcripts and teacher certification record to the program director.

Required courses:

  • SPE 544 - Psycho-educational Assessment Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 545 - Individual Intelligence Testing Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 554 - Practicum in Professional and Ethical Practice Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 555 - Practicum in Diagnostic Evaluation Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 560 - Children with Behavioral Disorders Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 561 - Educating Students Phy/Health Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 562 - Instructional Strategies for Exceptional Learners Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 564 - Early Childhood Special Education Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 565 - Educational Programming-Autism Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 566 - Assistive Technology Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 567 - Trends in Educating Exceptional Children Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 571 - The Educational Diagnostician Credit(s): 3
Note:

SPE 539 - Introduction to Behavior Analysis or an equivalent is a prerequisite for coursework. SPE 555 should be taken as the last course.

*To obtain a professional certification as an educational diagnostician, a master's degree from an accredited institution of higher education must be completed; the person must pass the TExES #153 exam, and have two years of classroom teaching experience in a public or accredited private school. Candidates also must pass the #161 Special Education TExES or hold an equivalent teacher certification.

Special Education without Initial Teacher Certification, M.Ed.

Before you complete an application to Research and Graduate Studies at SFA, please contact Dr. Paige 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 Research and Graduate Studies application before completing these requirements as the $50 application fee is non-refundable.

Pre-admission Items:

  • Copy of undergraduate transcript and, if applicable, copy of graduate transcript
  • Initial teacher certification only: complete and return a provided initial teacher certification seeking tracking form. A copy of this form may be obtained from Dr. Paige Mask (maskp@sfasu.edu). This certification tracking form will not be submitted until you are admitted to the program and enrolled in your first semester of coursework.
  • Three letters of recommendation (two 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.
  • Current résumé
    A typed, double-spaced written statement (minimum three to five 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.
  • A video introducing you to program faculty members in a professional manner. This video is to be no longer than five minutes. A free video-recording resource is located at screencast-o-matic.com. Please include the following information in your video:
    • Name
    • Current employment
    • Years of teaching experience and/or types of teaching experiences
    • Teacher certifications (if applicable)
    • Qualities and competencies you possess that would make you a good candidate for our program and a future professional in the field
    • Statement regarding your ability and motivation to participate in a rigorous program.
  • All pre-admission items will be uploaded to a shared folder (via invitation email sent by Dr. Paige 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. Mask. When your Microsoft account has been created and you are ready to upload your pre-admission items, please email 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 complete and you been notified of your acceptance to the program, you may apply to Research and Graduate Studies. The application can be accessed and submitted electronically online at sfasu.edu/graduate/101.asp. Please complete the application as a M.Ed.-seeking student. Please do not submit a Research and Graduate Studies application before completing these requirements as the $50 application fee is non-refundable.

Admission to any of the graduate special education programs is contingent upon admission to Research and Graduate Studies; therefore, a student applying to the graduate program must meet the criteria for admission to Research and Graduate Studies. Criteria for admission to Research and Graduate Studies include a 2.5 overall GPA for provisional admission and a 2.8 overall GPA for clear admission. The GRE is waived for individuals who hold a M.Ed. in a related field or for individuals with an overall or last 60 hours GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Admission to SFA Research and Graduate Studies

  • Application to Research and Graduate Studies that includes official transcripts indicating all college-level enrollment.
  • A $50 application fee
  • Transcripts are sent to the following address:
    • Office of Research and Graduate Studies
      Stephen F. Austin State University
      P.O. Box 13024, SFA Station
      Nacogdoches, TX 75962
    • The program director for special education programs is:
      Dr. Paige R. Mask
      Stephen F. Austin State University
      Department of Human Services
      Human Services Building, Room 313B
      P.O. Box 13019
      Nacogdoches, TX 75962
      (936) 468-1076

Degree Requirements

  • SPE 532 - Educational Appraisal of Exceptional Children Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 538 - Transition: Birth Through Early Adulthood Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 539 - Introduction to Behavior Analysis Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 560 - Children with Behavioral Disorders Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 562 - Instructional Strategies for Exceptional Learners Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 561 - Educating Students Phy/Health Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 564 - Early Childhood Special Education Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 565 - Educational Programming-Autism Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 566 - Assistive Technology Credit(s): 3
  • SPE 567 - Trends in Educating Exceptional Children Credit(s): 3
  • plus six hours elective planned/approved by advisor.