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Online master's degree in special education: curriculum

Curriculum Details

66–76 total credits required

You can complete the online MAT in Special Education in five semesters.

As you prepare for Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) certification, you’ll complete one area of content concentration. Choose from language arts, mathematics, reading, science or social studies.

This degree program includes in-person field experiences and student teaching in various settings.

View the course catalog.

Prerequisite/Placement Courses


This course focuses on writing papers in response to readings in a variety of genres. Students develop, draft, revise, and edit original compositions. Placement is determined by standardized test scores.

Note(s): Minimum grade of C required for graduation.

This course focuses on reading texts and writing research papers. Students will prepare and develop critical analyses that integrate secondary materials.

Prerequisite(s): EH 101
Note(s): Minimum grade of C required for graduation.

An introductory course covering basic algebra operations, equations and inequalities, and graphs in the Cartesian plane, including linear, quadratic, polynomial, and rational functions. The course covers algebraic operations of functions, including composition. Emphasis is on problem solving and applying mathematics to real-world situations. Some students will take MS 101L in addition to 101 based on placement score.

Prerequisite(s): Completion of MS 100 with a minimum grade of “C” or an appropriate Brenau Math Placement test score.

Professional Development (30 hours)


Introduction to Teacher Education is designed to provide the initial, basic information and resources required to participate effectively in education course work to all students enrolled in programs leading to initial teacher licensure. The overall goal of the course is to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to progress successfully within the teacher education program.

Note(s): This course contains a field experience component.

This seminar is designed to provide MAT students the information and resources needed to effectively participate in both clinical experiences as well as education course work aligned to all required clinical experiences, leading to graduation and initial teacher licensure. This seminar requires attendance at three online seminars with dates announced in advance. Some assignments in this course have required fees.

Note(s): Graded pass/fail.

This course provides students with an introduction to the field of special education and the methodologies used to teach students with disabilities in the general education classroom. Broad areas to be covered in this course are areas of exceptionality, major trends and issues in special education with emphases on collaboration and inclusion, service delivery models, roles of general, special class teachers and related professionals.

This course introduces the student to understand a study of child and/or adolescent development and how to design a positive learning environment based on the needs of the learners. Students will apply knowledge of the physical, cognitive and psychosocial development of children as they develop effective classroom management plans.

An introduction to basic lesson planning skills needed to provide a variety of teaching methods, media, materials and resources essential for supporting effective teaching practices in the classroom. Students will also be introduced to methods of assessment in order to meet the varying challenges of accountability, standards based instruction, and state mandated testing. Students will identify school curriculum and testing trends, issues, and materials to support classroom instruction. The Georgia Professional Standards will be reviewed as a basis for public school instruction.

Required for all candidates in the Masters of Arts in Teaching program, this course is designed to acquaint students with instructional strategies and philosophies for teaching in the content areas; to familiarize students with structures for use in the planning of daily and long term instruction; to give students opportunities to acquire strategies for integrating content knowledge with effective methods of instruction; and to provide students with pre-teaching experiences designed to build proficiency in teaching in the content areas. This is a placement embedded course; a 48-hour field experience placement in a regionally accredited school is required during the course. Permission from the Clinical Experience Office is required.

Note(s): Clinical component.

Designed for the in service teacher to develop skills in the use of the microcomputer. A non technical survey course in the effective and efficient use of computers as an instructional medium. The integration of computer software into the curriculum is stressed.

To prepare classroom teachers for teaching content courses in an online format.

This course is a survey of the legal basis for education; rights and responsibilities of teachers and students, and due process actions for each. This course will enable teachers to become better informed of both the legal issues which can naturally occur as they are interacting with students, peers, and administrators as well as the consequences resulting from these interactions if they are violated. Teachers will develop a sense of awareness that actions have consequences and that constitutional rights are afforded to students as well as themselves.

Major emphasis is given to the further development of skills in unit and lesson planning, lesson presentations, and evaluation of student progress through a critical thinking approach. This course is in conjunction with student teaching/clinical internship.

Applying theories of human development to an understanding of how children learn is needed to better inform and guide instruction. A focus on cognitive, social, and emotional development is provided to create understanding of the learning processes exhibited by students, including those with diverse needs. A theory-to-practice approach is utilized to create an understanding of human development as well as awareness of how current issues, such as poverty, trauma, or family crisis, can impact student learning.

Reading and Writing


This course provides candidates with the foundational knowledge and understandings of literacy. Experiences, both theoretical and practical in nature, will enable the prospective or practicing teacher to demonstrate the knowledge base for teaching the major components of literacy. The most current research findings on literacy development will be examined. This is a placement embedded course; a 48-hour field experience placement in a regionally accredited school is required during the course. Permission from the Clinical Experience Office is required to register.

Prerequisite(s): ED 500, ED 605, ED 612
Note(s): Clinical hours required.

This course examines the reading, writing, and thinking connection and strategies that can be used with adolescents. Fiction and nonfiction will be used to develop students reading comprehension and writing abilities. In order to facilitate these competencies, this course will focus on appropriate instructional methods, strategies and materials as well as providing experiences, both theoretical and practical in nature. These will enable the pre-service or practicing reading teacher to acquire and/or upgrade competencies at an advanced level. This is a placement embedded course. A 48 hour field experience in a regionally accredited school is required during the course. Permission from the Clinical Experiences Office is required to register.

Prerequisite(s): ED 607
Note(s): Students who preregister for this course and do not earn a grade of “C” or higher in the prerequisite will be administratively withdrawn by the department.

Special Education


This course provides students with an advanced study of assessment with emphasis on interpretation for educational and other decisions. This is a placement embedded course. Permission from the Clinical Experience Office is required to register.

Note(s): Permission from the Clinical Experience Office is required to register.

This course provides an advanced study of applied behavioral analysis based on the discipline devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior. Emphasis is placed on designing procedures to systematically evaluate and intervene with socially important behaviors using single-subject research designs. This is a placement embedded course. Permission from the Clinical Experience Office is required to register.

This course is an in-depth study of students with mild disabilities. Theories of learning and their implications of teaching are explored, along with the framework of clinical teaching. The history of special education, current trends, educational settings and the role of the family are covered. Students develop an understanding of diversity and individual learning differences and how they impact instructional planning. This is a placement embedded course. Permission from the Clinical Experience Office is required to register.

Prerequisite(s): SE 300 or SE 604

This course is a survey of teaching methods, strategies, and techniques for specific content areas in an inclusive learning environment. Laws pertaining to special education, and their implications for general education and special teachers are explored. The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is introduced and specially designed instruction is taught. Co-Teaching and collaborative skills are examined to improve programs, services, and outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities. This is a placement embedded course

Prerequisite(s): SE 604, SE 607, SE 608, SE 710
Note(s): Permission from the Clinical Experience Office is required to register.

Additional Courses


The major in special education has one area of content concentration (outside of the special education and reading requirements) with subject matter from one of the following disciplines: language arts, mathematics, reading, science or social studies.

Each concentration area requires 12-16 hours of coursework. Please visit the course catalog to view course options for each concentration.

Note: The science concentration requires 16 hours. One of the science electives must be a four semester-hour lab science.

A total of 9-12 hours of clinical experience is required. Choose from student teaching (9 hours) for one semester or the internship experience (12 hours) over several semesters.

Field Experience: Will have field experience in each of the following grade levels: P-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12 in designated courses.

Student Teaching:

  • SE 730 – Student Teaching Mild Disabilities


  • SE 740A – Internship in Mild Disabilities
  • SE 740B – Internship in Mild Disabilities

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