Special Education

Special education has, as its primary objective, the education and training of professional educators to serve children and adolescents who have exceptional challenges and require specialized support through educational, social, cognitive, rehabilitative, and/or behavioral management approaches to attain their maximum learning potential. In line with this primary objective, special education sees its role as contributing leadership in the areas of theory; assessment; understanding differences among children and youth with disabilities; the development and implementation of curriculum and intervention strategies; and the improvement of teacher-teacher, teacher-child, and teacher-parent relationships.

Graduate candidates may choose one of several sequences of study leading to certification, including the Master of Arts degree and the Sixth Year Certificate of Advanced Study (SYC). Undergraduate candidates may enroll in the Five-Year Integrated BA/MA Special Education program. These programs provide the preparation required by the Connecticut State Department of Higher Education, the Connecticut State Department of Education, and the Council for Exceptional Children. Candidates may pursue a program leading to a Connecticut Initial Educator Certificate in teaching individuals with exceptional learning needs in grades K-12 (Comprehensive Special Education) or to a Cross-Endorsement in comprehensive special education when certification in classroom teaching has already been earned.

In view of the essential responsibility of the program to assure the protection of the healthy development of children and adolescents served by special educators, the faculty reserve the right to discontinue the program of any candidate, at any time during their program, whose academic performance is marginal, whose comprehensive examination results are not rated as passing, or whose personal/dispositional qualities are deemed not appropriate to the field. Such a candidate may be denied recommendation for certification. In addition, the Disposition Statement presented in this catalog is applicable to the special education programs as it is to all programs offered by the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions.


Application deadlines are listed online.

A group or individual interview with faculty members is required for admission to the Special Education program. The interview is intended to clarify the applicant's understanding of the program and the profession, and to evaluate the applicant's potential success as a candidate. After admission, each candidate is required to meet with a faculty advisor to outline a planned program of study.