URI adds master of arts degree in special education

Posted on
New academic program to begin in Fall of 2009

KINGSTON, R.I. – June 2, 2009 – The University of Rhode Island will offer a new master of arts degree in special education in the fall.

The graduate program in special education will enable students to meet the Council for Exceptional Children standards and the requirements for Rhode Island special education certification in the area of mild/moderate disabilities at the elementary and middle school levels (grades K-8).

“There is a social justice agenda being addressed with the addition of this program at the University of Rhode Island,” said David Byrd, director of URI’s School of Education. “There is a shortage of special educators both nationally and in the region. Our goal is to prepare highly qualified special education teachers to work in inclusive classrooms. We want to stress enhancing learning opportunities and high expectations for all students.”

Upon completion of the master’s degree program, students will be able to assess learners with disabilities and design educational interventions based on data. Students also will learn to collaborate on an ongoing basis with general education teachers, paraprofessionals, related service providers, parents and others regarding student progress.

Joanne Eichinger professor/coordinator of special education, said the program will complement the existing programs in the School of Education, while also helping URI become more engaged and interactive on a state level in terms of developing education policy.

The degree is earned through a full-time three-semester, 36-credit program designed to provide graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills and dispositions to work collaboratively with other school professionals to plan and implement high quality inclusive educational programs for students with mild or moderate disabilities.

The application deadline for the fall semester is July 10. The University will accept 12 to 15 students for next fall.

For more information on the program including admission requirements, call Eichinger, professor/coordinator of special education, at 874.4068 or visit www.uri.edu/hss/education/special_ed/index.html.