Oct 24, 2021  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

Accelerated Graduate Pathway Leading to Initial Certification in Special Education

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The Accelerated Special Education Initial Certification Pathway allows USM undergraduate students with an interest in special education certification to have courses taken in their undergraduate sequence apply toward the Master’s of Science in Special Education degree. This allows for exposure to education related courses over multiple years and a reduced course load while in the graduate program.

Requirements at the undergraduate level:

Recommended Courses and Core

  • HRD 200 - Multicultural Human Development (Sociocultural Analysis - SCA)
  • SED 300 - Ethics & Youth w/Exceptionalities (Ethical Inquiry)
  • EDU 310 - Purpose of Schools in a Democracy (Ethical Inquiry/International)

Required Courses (12 credits)


  • SED 235 - Students with Exceptionalities in General Education (Core Diversity), grade of “C” or better
  • EDU 305 - Foundations of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (Core Diversity)
  • SED 425 - Multi-Tier Instruction and Assessment for Mathematics
  • SED 427 - Multi-Tier Instruction and Assessment for Reading

Apply for Accelerated Program prior to enrolling in any 500-level courses.

Requirements at the graduate level:


Application Requirements and Instructions

Deadline: rolling

Submit the following:

  1. Graduate Application to the Special Education Initial Certification program. Application to the program must be submitted while completing last 300-level course work and prior to any 400-level course work.
  2. Free Admissions Account and Application in Tk20: In addition to the materials listed below, you must also complete a free Tk20 Admissions Account and Application in order for your accelerated pathway application to be reviewed. Submit the accelerated pathway application via the Tk20 Assessment System.
  3. Three Recommendations: One each from field placement supervisor/mentor, education professor, and major professor. Each must have a separate form for recommendation.
  4. Essay: a brief essay (300-500 words) that responds to the following prompt: Please describe what you think it means as a teacher to provide equitable learning opportunities for all students. How do you see yourself providing equitable opportunities to learn for your students? Illustrate your thinking by using specific examples.

Admission to the M.S. in Special Education for the Accelerated Special Education Initial Certification Pathway

  • Students will apply to the M.S. in Special Education program using the standard graduate admission application; to be considered for admission via the accelerated pathway, a student must have satisfactorily completed the BA degree requirements, and have maintained a GPA of 3.0 for courses in the program, with grades no lower than a C in the following courses: SED 425 and SED 427. The graduate application can be found here: https://www.applyweb.com/usmaine/
  • Recommendations, Resume, and Essay from Accelerated Special Education Initial Certification Pathway application will be used as part of the submission requirements of the graduate admission application.
  • Students will become fully matriculated in the M.S. in Special Education program once all conditions for admission have been met.

Scholarships: There are scholarships for education students and we highly suggest you apply for them, while applying to the program, or afterwards: http://usm.maine.edu/sehd/financial-aid.

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