Special Education Master’s Level Licensure Program
The special education pre-professional program enables students to become knowledgeable about the characteristics, diagnosis and remediation of children with disabilities accessing the general education curriculum. Students completing the fiveyear licensure program are prepared to serve as teachers of students with disabilities in a variety of educational placements and delivery models.
The licensure program is designed to prepare resilient, culturally responsive educators who are advocates for children and youth with disabilities that are not only qualified for the complexity of their professional roles but also are reflective problem-solvers.
The program includes extensive field experiences. Assessment of candidate performance includes evaluation of performance in individual courses and practicum, as well as other criteria. At various points throughout the program, there are formative and summative assessments where faculty committees review the overall performance of each candidate. Formative assessments will be used to advise candidates and develop a plan of action for addressing any concerns that have been identified by the faculty. Summative assessments will be used to identify those candidates who are not making satisfactory progress towards advancement to the next sequences of courses and experiences. If progress is unsatisfactory, the candidate will not be allowed to continue until any identified deficiencies are corrected. In some cases, a candidate will be allowed to continue in the next semester, but there will be a plan of action for addressing any concerns that have been identified by the faculty.
Students should consult with the program coordinator and their teacher education adviser early during the first year or, as soon thereafter as possible to obtain information concerning General Education, IDLS or any other liberal arts or science majors, and special education requirements as well as the requirements for admission to teacher education.
Every student is assigned two advisers. One adviser is the adviser for the education pre-professional licensure program who will guide the student through the licensure program requirements. The other adviser is their major adviser who will guide the student through their major requirements. Students should plan on consulting both advisers regularly. Typically, the education adviser is assigned when the student meets with the head coordinator of his/her licensure program and elects the licensure program. This may be as early as the first semester of the first year. Their major adviser is assigned when the first-year student advising folders are transferred to the appropriate office (second semester, first year). Students are required to check with advisers regularly to ensure timely graduation.
It is important for students to understand that they must meet the requirements for a baccalaureate degree and successfully complete all undergraduate pre-professional courses and experiences prior to being fully admitted to the M.A.T. program. Students must complete the M.A.T. program satisfactorily in order to be recommended for a teaching license in special education through JMU.
Students should note that prerequisites and corequisites are required for many of the courses included in the pre-professional special education program. Exceptions to meeting those requirements must be approved by the Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities department head.
Students should also be aware that program requirements may change at any time reflecting changes in teacher licensure enacted by the Virginia Department of Education or other accrediting agencies after the catalog copy is approved. Therefore, it is especially important for students to confer with their advisers and the program coordinator on a regular basis.