Master of Science in Special Education: Adaptive Concentration

Thank you for your interest in our Adaptive Special Education program.  The program is designed to support the needs of the students, teachers, schools, and special education administrators in Kansas.  All candidates shall apply for the Master of Science degree progam in Adaptive Special Education. The MS degree will be awarded to candidates who successfully complete the approved 24 hours of Adaptive Special Education endorsement course work through ESU and 12 additional hours of electives selected from approved graduate courses. Candidates may apply to the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) for endorsement upon completion of 24 hours of approved Adaptive Special Education endorsement course work, demonstration of competency in meeting Kansas teaching standards for Adaptive Special Education plus achieving a passing score on the state required Praxis test in which ESU must be designated as a score recipient. The Adaptive Special Education curriculum meets the endorsement standards for two levels: Early Childhood through Late Childhood (Grades K to 6) and Early Adolescence through Late Adolescence (Grades 6 to 12).

Application Process

Candidates can take up to nine hours of graduate adaptive special education courses without formal acceptance into the Adaptive Special Education Program.  Acceptance into the Adaptive Special Education graduate program in the Department of Elementary Education/Early Childhood/Special Education is a two-level process. At the first level, the candidate applies to be admitted to do graduate study. At the second level, the candidate applies for admission into the Adaptive Special Education Program for degree candidacy.

Undergraduate eligibility to begin course work in the Adaptive Special Education Program:

  • University policy indicates that when BSE candidates are seniors (i.e. completed at least 90 credit hours), they can begin taking course work toward the Adaptive Special Education Provisional endorsement.
  • Prior to actually enrolling in a 700 level course for graduate credit, the student must secure a "Request for Graduate Credit" form from the graduate office.
    • Complete the form including signatures from the student's advisor, the chair of the Special Education Department in lieu of the course instructor, the graduate dean and the registrar.  This form must be submitted to the graduate office prior to enrollment.  Once this form has been received and approved, the SD700 level classes will be flagged for graduate credit.

Level 1: Admission to begin graduate study:

The candidate must:

Submit the following to the office graduate studies:

  1. A completed application for admission to graduate studies.  The application form is available here and is submitted electronically.
  2. An application fee of $40.00
  3. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. 

Level 2: Admission to the Program:

The candidate must:

1. Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and be eligible for a teaching licensure.

2. Have a minimum grade point average of 2.75 based on a 4.0 scale.  The average may be on the total undergraduate record or on the last 60 hours.

3. Submit the following items to the Office of Graduate Studies, Campus Box 4003, Emporia State University, 1 Kellogg Circle, Emporia, KS 66801-5415:

  • Three letters of recommendation from professionals in the field of education, psychology, or related disciplines that support the candidate's request for admission, and address the candidate's academic skills and personal attributes, strengths and/or weaknesses.
  • A personal letter that describes preparation, ability, interests, goals, and reasons for applying to the program.
  • After downloading and printing the Special Education Dispositions Assessment file (this is a 4-page pdf file so you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader):
    • The signed copy of the Disposition Assessment Procedures, indicating that you have read and understood the Disposition Assessment Procedures.
  • Three Disposition Assessments completed by professionals in the field of education who are aware of your work with children in school settings.
  • A copy of your current teaching license.

4. Candidates with completed folders are then reviewed by the Adaptive Special Education Admissions Committee.

Admission to Degree Candidacy

Degree candidacy is granted when a candidate admitted to graduate study has:

1. Successfully completed a minimum of six semester hours of course work in the graduate program of study.

2. File a degree plan with the department no later than completion of the 12 hours of course work. The degree plan must be approved by the candidate's advisor and the department chair.

Candidates must have a grade of A or B on all courses on the plan of study.

Requirements for Provisional Endorsement in Adaptive Special Education

Provisional endorsement earned when the following courses are completed:

SD700 Characteristics of Individuals with Mild/Moderate Disabilities

SD702 Strategies for Individuals with Mild/Moderate Disabilities

SD708 Supervised Practice, Elementary Adaptive I

OR

SD709 Supervised Practice, Secondary Adaptive I

Under current Kansas regulation, the candidate may teach up to two years on a provisional endorsement while working toward completion of the Adaptive course work within the master's program. The provisional endorsement may be renewed once for an additional two years if the candidate has completed an additional 50% of the required course work after the first provisional Adaptive Special Education was issued by KSDE for the approved Adaptive Special Education endorsement.

Scholarships and Tuition Payment Options

Scholarships are available for students admitted into the Master of Science in Special Education: Adaptive concentration program.  The application can be downloaded as a PDF file by clicking here. Please complete the form and email it as an attachment to the Department Office.  Indicate in the body of the email that you are sending a scholarship application for the Adaptive Special Education program.  The deadline for scholarship applications is February 6, 2015.

Emporia State University provides several tuition payment options.  To access these options along with other pertinent information including paying tuition, explanation of fees, and campus contacts, please click here.

Requirements for a Waiver

1. Be admitted into the Master of Science in Adaptive Special Education degree program.

2. Have a completed and approved degree plan.

3. Be enrolled in at least one course during the same semester the waiver application is made by the district cooperative.

4. Once Steps 1, 2, and 3 are complete, Andra Baldwin, Emporia State University's Licensure Officer will submit the paperwork for the waiver to the teacher's cooperative or interlocal and to the Kansas State Department of Education.

Master of Science Degree

Curriculum and Program Completion

The Master of Science Degree requires the successful completion of a specified 36 approved hours and the passing of a written comprehensive examination. Recommendation for endorsement in Adaptive Special Education requires the completion of 24 approved graduate hours, the completion of a written comprehension examination and a passing score on the state required Praxis exam.  ESU must be a designated score recipient. 

All courses in the Adaptive Special Education curriculum depend on the Internet, Blackboard, and class email. The candidate will need continual and dependable access to a computer with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The candidate will need sufficient computer skills to complete class activities and assignments.

To complement the Internet courses in the program, the faculty require many assignments that are designed to be completed in school-based settings through two practicum courses--either SD708 or SD709 and SD808 or SD809.  Before starting a practicum, candidates must complete and submit to their advisor the Practicum Approval Form.  Candidates for this program need to realize that having access to students in school-based settings is a requirement for the program. For example, candidates may be required to participate in consultation and collaboration activities, observe students in the classroom, record behaviors, participate in confidential individual education program meetings, conduct a functional analysis, or student assessments. The two practicum experiences require the candidate to have the time and authority to engage in all of the activities required to deliver instruction to students with special needs.

Prerequisite Course

SD 550 Survey of Exceptionality (or an approved survey course in special education)

Adaptive Special Education Endorsement Courses

EL 812 Reading Instruction for Diverse Learners, 3 hours

SD 700 Characteristics of Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities, 3 hours         

SD 702 Strategies for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities, 3 hours

SD 800 Consultation/Collaboration, 3 hours

SD 802 Seminar In Behavior Management, 3 hours

SD 820/SC815 Assessment in Schools, 3 hours

SD 708 Supervised Practice, Adaptive-Elementary I, 3 hours

OR

SD 709 Supervised Practice, Adaptive-Secondary I, 3 hours

SD 808 Supervised Practice, Adaptive- Elementary II, 3 hours

OR

SD 809 Supervised Practice, Adaptive-Secondary II, 3 hours

Total hours for Endorsement: 24        

Additional Courses for the Master of Science Degree

Required Courses       

ER 752 Analysis of Research, 3 hours

SD 801 Seminar in Current Issues in Special Education, 3 hours   

Electives approved by the advisor, 6 hours

Total hours for the MS Degree: 36

Two semesters prior to graduation, the candidate will submit to the Office of Graduate Studies the Intent to Graduate form. The form may be accessed here. The Office of Graduate Studies will conduct a final review of the candidates' file to determine if the candidate has fully completed all requirements for the MS degree. Candidates are expected to maintain a "B" average and must have a grade of A or B on all courses on the plan of study with a SD or EL prefix.  Candidates who earn a grade of C or lower will be allowed to retake the course ONE time.

At the completion of course work and prior to sending a recommendation to the ESU Licensure Officer, the faculty will establish that the candidate has achieved the objectives and standards of the program. All objectives on the practicum must be achieved at the Proficient level or higher (see the next section Completion of Endorsement Standards for additional information).

Completion of Endorsement Standards

Each candidate will be required to successfully complete all course requirements that have been designed to meet Kansas State endorsement standards. Upon completion of each course, the faculty will verify that the candidate has achieved competency on each standard. If a candidate has not achieved at a proficient level, the candidate will be given options to successfully complete identified unmet standards. Options could include but are not limited to independent work or taking the course for a second time. Note: A candidate could earn a passing grade for the course and still have unsuccessfully completed competencies at a level to meet proficiency in program standards. Levels of proficiency on course standards are defined by the faculty.

A candidate must successfully complete two practicums (SD 708 Elementary Practicum I or SD 709 Secondary Practicum I and SD 808 Elementary Practicum II or SD 809 Secondary Practicum II) with a minimum grade of a "B" to be recommended for a Kansas endoresment in Adaptive Special Education.  Before starting a practicum, candidates must complete and submit to their advisor the Practicum Approval Form.  The candidate is required to meet all Practicum II requirements at the "proficient" or above level as defined in practicum documents. Practicum standards are assessed using two methods: (1) the candidate will develop a professional portfolio demonstrating competency in knowledge and skills related to specified Adaptive Special Education standards and (2) the candidate will be evaluated by content and pedagogy supervisors using a checklist.

The faculty advocates for specific, objective standards and rubrics when appropriate. However, practicum experiences often require a component of professional judgment by the faculty. At the conclusion of a practicum, the faculty will make a judgment on each candidate's performance, taking into consideration information provided by field supervisors, candidate self-ratings, portfolio products, and related indicators. One of three possible decisions will be made on each candidate:

1. Faculty determined that the candidate did not demonstrate the knowledge and/or skills to meet the Emporia State Adaptive Special Education program standards at the proficient or above level . The candidate will not receive recommendation for provisional or full Kansas endorsement.

2. The candidate did not demonstrate the knowledge and/or skills necessary to receive a rating of proficient or above on all practicum competencies as signed to the Practicum II of the Emporia State Adaptive Special Education program. The faculty will meet to determine the level of proficiency met on each practicum competency. and may elect to recommend the candidate for a provisional endorsement. The candidate is required to reach the level of proficiency or above on all standards before a final recommendation will be made for full Kansas endorsement.

3. The candidate demonstrated the knowledge and/or skills necessary to receive a rating of proficient or above on all practicum competencies assigned to the Practicum II of the Emporia State Adaptive Special Education program.

Upon successful completion of all program course work, practicums, and the written comprehensive examination, the candidate may be recommended for full endorsement if a passing score on the state required Praxis exam has been received for the candidate directly from ETS.  ESU's code to be a designated score recipient is 6335.

Adding a Second Level of Endorsement

Candidates will complete the requirements for either the Early Childhood through Late Childhood (Grades K to 6) level or the Early Adolescence through Late Adolescence (Grades 6 to 12) level. Candidates who wish to add a second level of endorsement will complete a program consistent with standards adopted by the Kansas State Department of Education.

State Endorsement Required Exams: Praxis II

Upon completion of the approved Adaptive Special Education program, the candidate must complete the Kansas State Department of Education endorsement exam. The following Praxis II exam is currently required: 0543 (Paper Test) or 5543 (Computer Test), Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications.  You can locate more information and sign up for this test at www.ets.org/praxis.  When registering to take this test, ESU must be designated as a score recipient.  ESU's code is 6335.

Time Limitation Policy

All course work for graduate degrees at Emporia State University must be completed within seven (7) years from the date of the first enrollment. In the case of compelling circumstances, the Department offering the degree may consider a petition from the candidate for a one-year extension of old course work. The Graduate Council may consider a petition, with Departmental approval, to validate course work in the ninth or tenth years, dating from the first enrollment. Validation may be accomplished by certification of current competence with the subject matter either through examination or using the content on the job or additional approved work. No transfer work can be validated. No work over ten years old can be used to satisfy the requirements for graduate degrees at Emporia State University.

Additional Policies

1. The Master of Science degree candidate must be enrolled during the semester of graduation.

2. Up to nine (9) hours of approved graduate course work with B or better grades can be transferred from another institution into the program with the permission of the advisor.

3. Knowledge of and compliance with additional requirements for any graduate degree are the responsibility of the candidate. Consequently, careful reading and study of the Graduate Policy Handbook and other official publications are expected as a self-imposed prerequisite on the part of the candidate engaged in graduate study.

4. Out-of-State Practicums:  The ESU Adaptive Special Education Practicum courses are developed to address documented field experience requirements that meet standards for the Kansas State teaching endoresment in the area of Adaptive Special Education.  Requests to enroll in an ESU Adaptive Special Education Practicum course with an Out-of-State placement shall be considered on an individual basis, and must meet additional requirements as stipulated by the Adaptive Special Education Department after the application materials have been reviewed.

Approval of an Out-of-State practicum experience for the purpose of completion of the ESU Adaptive Special Education course work, in no way guarantees the acceptance of the course work by another state or institution.  Knowledge of and compliance with additional requirements for any graduate degree are the responsibility of the candidate.  If seeking licensure/certification in another state, it is the candidate's responsibility to know what that state's requirements will be.

Important Forms

Graduate Application

Dispositions Assessment Form

Scholarship Application Form

Practicum Information/Approval Form

Intent to Graduate Form

Additional Information

For additional information regarding the Master of Science Degree in Adaptive Special Education, please contact Sharon Pittman, Department of Special Education, Campus Box 4037, Emporia State University, 1 Kellogg Circle, Emporia, KS 66801-5415. Telephone: (620) 341-5445. Fax: (620) 341-5939. e-mail: spittma1@emporia.edu.