The Special Education Master’s and Graduate certificate programs at George Mason University provide you with the skills needed to successfully help people with disabilities reach their potential. Choose from Autism Spectrum Disorder or Applied Behavioral Analysis specializations or graduate certificate programs. Request Information
Purdue University's online MSEd in Special Education program combines a unique view of the entire education landscape with practical experience addressing the latest breakthroughs in assessment, instructional strategies, and evidence-based practices for teaching students with disabilities. Four Different tracks are available to meet your career needs. Request Information
With a Master's in Special Education from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, you’ll develop an inclusive teaching approach that goes further to help students achieve their full potential. Our program is designed to help you fully understand the unique needs of learners with a wide range of disabilities. Learn how to more effectively customize your instruction to meet students at their skill level. Request Information
The online Master of Science in Education - Special Education from Saint Joseph's University offers tracks in Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement, Wilson Reading System® (WRS) certification, and Applied Behavior Analysis. Request Information
Winthrop University offers an NCATE-accredited online Master of Education (M.Ed) In Special Education Intervention that prepares you to build, lead, and participate in intervention programs. Request Information
The George Washington University Master in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners provides instructional techniques and research methods to ensure student success and prepares graduates to sit for the ESOL PRAXIS and SPED PRAXIS exams. Request Information
Special Education in Tennessee
The National Center for Education Statistics reports that 12.1 percent of the student population in Tennessee has an Individualized Education Program, below the national average of 13 percent. The state hires 7,320 special educators to serve 1,791 public schools and 20 charter schools that are organized into 140 school districts. The state also has 494 private schools. In its analysis of the ability of each state to meet the needs of its students with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Education rated Tennessee as “Needs Assistance.” The Tennessee Department of Education (TDE) oversees issues related to education in the state. Its Division of Special Education promotes educational programs and services for students with special needs.
Types of Licenses
Special Education Degrees in Tennessee
The Department of Special Education at Vanderbilt Peabody College has the notable distinction of being rated number one in the nation for its graduate special education offerings, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Research and effective practices are the focal points of this school’s degree and certificate programs, and the department indicates that most of its graduates receive multiple job offers upon graduation. Undergraduates engage in a course of study resulting in an interdisciplinary major in exceptional learning with a focus on mild and moderate disabilities, multiple and severe disabilities or visual impairment. They can also opt to combine a special education major with another complementary major such as human and organizational development, child development or cognitive studies. At the graduate level, Vanderbilt Peabody offers Master of Education programs in early childhood, high-incidence disabilities and visual disabilities, as well as a low-incidence disabilities program and an applied behavior analysis certification program. Most of these areas of focus are also available at the doctoral level. Refer to Vanderbilt Peabody’s SPED Student Funding Opportunities webpage for information about available grants and stipends for students.
For information on master’s in special education programs in Tennessee, click here.
Alternatives to Certification
- If you have at least a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of three years of teaching experience in the subject and grade level where you wish to teach, you may present that experience in lieu of student teaching.
- You may apply credit you earn from correspondence or extension instruction through a member institution of the National University Extension Association or the Teacher College Association for Extension and Field Services toward your license application, up to one fourth of the total credit required for the license.
Teaching Special Education in Tennessee
- Tennessee’s Troops to Teachers program supports eligible military personnel in transitioning to educational careers in Tennessee’s high-need classrooms and academic areas.
- The TDE operates Tennessee School For The Deaf in Knoxville, West Tennessee School For The Deaf in Jackson and Tennessee School For The Blind in Nashville.
- The instructional leadership page of the TDE website delineates the role of the Office of Instructional Leadership in professional development for Tennessee educators and provides links to staff development resources.
- Conferences and workshops for general and special educators are organized by the Tennessee Education Association.
- The TDE’s Teacher Leadership Development program pairs mentor educators with new teachers.
Tennessee Organizations for Special Educators
- The National Education Association-affiliated state teacher’s union, the Tennessee Education Association, organizes conferences and workshops, as well as takes part in advocacy work. Its 46,000 members include public school teachers, administrators, education support professionals, public university faculty and people studying to become teachers.
- The TDE’s Advisory Council for the Education of Students with Disabilities meets a few times per year to discuss and interpret policy relating to Tennessee’s people with disabilities.
- The Arc Tennessee supports people with developmental and intellectual disabilities through advocacy work.
Tennessee Special Education e-News
- Tennessee Voices for Children: This advocacy organization publishes a quarterly e-newsletter, as well as fact sheets pertaining to Tennessee children who have special educational needs.
- The Arc Connection: The quarterly newsletters of The Arc Tennessee contains profiles of advocates for those with disabilities, as well as coverage of relevant events.
- Peabody Journal of Education: The country’s second-oldest publication focused on educational policy, research and practice provides information about general and special education.
- Tennessee Disability Pathfinder: A statewide database of disability-related resources, including a multilingual helpline and a comprehensive system of early intervention services.