2020-21 Catalogs

MS in Special Education - Pre-Service (Teaching Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities)

The Master of Science in Special Education is designed for people seeking initial certification to teach exceptional children, whether new to the profession or already having experience. The Special Education master's provides:

  • courses and internships for initial teacher certification in teaching students with mild to moderate disabilities,
  • coursework in various specialty areas such as teaching students who are gifted and talented and students on the autism spectrum, and
  • preparation to collaborate effectively in school-wide, multi-tiered systems of support, e.g., Response to Intervention (RTI).

Current general education teachers, specialty area professionals such as occupational therapists, special education teachers, education technicians, and people with a bachelor's degree seeking initial certification and a new teaching career in special education are among those for whom the program is intended.

Pre-Service: Teaching Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities

Program Requirements: 39 credits, plus prerequisite

Prerequisite:  Maine certification Exceptionality Course SED 540, SED 335, or course approved by the Maine Office of Certification.  Passing scores for Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.

  • EDU 562 Cultural and Linguistic Diversity
  • SED 518 Targeted and Individualized Instructional Strategies for Students with Disabilities
  • SED 615 Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports
  • SED 625 Multi-Tier Mathematics Instruction and Assessment
  • SED 627 Multi-Tier Reading Instruction and Assessment
  • SED 653 Assessment in Special Education  
  • SED 682 Special Education Regulations, Procedures, and IEP Team
  • SED 687 Technology for Communicating and Learning
  • SED 688 Internship in Special Education for Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities - 6 credits 
  • SED 693 Transitions Among Agency, School, and Community 

Recommended for 282 certification following completion of internship, above coursework, and meeting Maine passing scores for Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, and Praxis II Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications

Continuing coursework for Master’s degree:

  • EDU 600 Research Methods  
  • SED 699 Special Education Research Capstone


Tk20 by Watermark is the comprehensive web-based, assessment management and reporting system used by all students in Educator Preparation programs at USM. All undergraduate and graduate students who matriculate into an Educator Preparation program at USM and are accepted as a candidate for their internship/student teaching year are required to subscribe to Tk20. Students use Tk20 to provide evidence they have mastered state and professional standards for their profession. The subscription fee of $103 covers some of the expenses related to the administration and assessment of the program. For loan purposes, Tk20 is eligible for consideration as part of educational costs. The subscription is a one-time payment and must be made by each student after they have passed their candidacy process and before the first semester of their internship year. Subscription instructions are posted on the Office of Educator Preparation website at http://usm.maine.edu/educator-preparation.

Please note Professional Education Council Policy: In order for USM’s Education Preparation Unit program completers to be recommended by the institution to the Maine Department of Education for certification or licensure, the candidate must provide evidence of meeting all certification requirements including proficiency on the standards relevant to her/his state-approved professional program and this evidence must be compiled and assessed within the context of the Unit’s data management system (i.e., Tk20).

Professional Licensure and Certification Notice

Students who are pursuing degrees leading to application for professional licensure or certification, and/or who will be participating in clinical placements, internships, or practica through their USM program should be aware that their host facility may require a criminal background check, finger printing, or drug screening. In such situations, each student is responsible for obtaining and paying for the background check or other screening process and for delivering required documentation to the facility. Although the University will make reasonable efforts to place admitted students in field experiences and internships, it will be up to the host facility to determine whether a student will be allowed to work at that facility. Students should further be aware that a criminal record may jeopardize licensure by the state certification body. Students may consult the certification body corresponding to their intended occupation for more details. Successful completion of a program of study at USM does not guarantee licensure, certification, or employment in the relevant occupation.