About

Do you feel called to teach? Do you seek a fulfilling career you are excited about, a career through which you make a real difference in the lives of people with special needs?

The special education program at East Carolina offers a rich combination of mentoring and course work coupled with extensive field-based practices to further your knowledge and skills to teach students with special learning needs. The MAEd program in special education is the only totally online accredited program in the state. It is designed for you to take graduate courses part-time while continuing to work in your local community. The part-time program generally takes two years to complete, but you do have the option of full-time graduate studies.

All MAEd students are required to complete a series of core courses, followed by additional course work provided in your choice of four categorical areas: intellectual disabilities (ID), learning disabilities (LD), behavioral/emotional disabilities (BED), and low-incidence disabilities (LID).

Throughout this program, you will become a savvy consumer of education research in your licensure area and well poised to select and use evidence-based practices to further learning of your students. During your capstone action research or thesis research experience, you will extend your knowledge of assessment, technology, and culturally responsive teaching.

ECU Advantage

Candidates in the program participate in a two-semester in-depth case study project that incorporates knowledge and history of the field, student characteristics and learning needs, and educational programs with application of current research-based models, interventions, and strategies in a classroom setting. To complete this project, candidates work with one student with learning disabilities, teachers, other service providers, and families to plan and implement an evidence-based intervention to improve academic skills. Technologies such as video-recorded teaching demonstrations and teleconferencing are used to share information and provide feedback to candidates.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Sandra Warren (107-A Rivers Building; 252-328-2699; warrens@ecu.edu)

The program requires a minimum of 39 s.h. as follows:

Special education teaching area - 30 s.h.
  • SPED 6010 - Issues, Trends, and Law in Special Education
  • SPED 6011 - Integrating Technology into Special Education
  • SPED 6012 - Assessment in Special Education
  • SPED 6014 - Positive Behavior Intervention and Support
  • SPED 6015 - Facilitating Systems Change Through Collaboration and Co-Teaching
  • Choose 15 s.h. from one concentration area as follows:
      Behavioral/emotional disabilities:
      • SPED 6023 - Instructing Students with Behavioral/Emotional Disorders
      • SPED 6027 - Curriculum Development and Program Planning for Students with Behavior Disabilities
      • SPED 6994 - Research Review and Planning in Special Education
      • space
      • SPED 7000 - Thesis in Special Education or
      • SPED 7002 - Action Research Project in Special Education
      • space
      • approved electives
      Intellectual disabilities:
      • SPED 6020 - Curriculum Development and Program Planning in Special Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
      • SPED 6021 - Instructing Students with Intellectual Disabilities
      • SPED 6994 - Research Review and Planning in Special Education

      • SPED 7000 - Thesis in Special Education or
      • SPED 7002 - Action Research Project in Special Education

      • Approved SPED electives
      Learning disabilities:
      • SPED 6022 - Instructing Students with Learning Disabilities
      • SPED 6025 - Curriculum Development and Program Planning for Students with Learning Disabilities
      • SPED 6994 - Research Review and Planning in Special Education
      • space
      • SPED 7000 - Thesis in Special Education or
      • SPED 7002 - Action Research Project in Special Education
      • space
      • approved electives
      Low incidence disabilities
      • SPED 6030 - Curriculum Development and Program Planning in Special Education for Students with Low-Incidence Disabilities
      • SPED 6031 - Instructing Students with Low-Incidence Disabilities
      • SPED 6994 - Research Review and Planning in Special Education
      • space
      • SPED 7000 - Thesis in Special Education or
      • SPED 7002 - Action Research Project in Special Education
      • space
      • approved electives
Electronic portfolio requirement:

Demonstration of field-based master teaching, research, collaboration, and leadership skills developed throughout the SPED MAEd program

    Final product requirement:

    Completion of a thesis (SPED 7000) or a field-based project (SPED 7002); both require a presentation to faculty and students

      For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

      Careers With This Degree

      Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

      • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Dis
      • Special Education Teachers, Preschool, K and Elementary
      • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Dis

      Career Opportunities

      ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

      NC Tower

      This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

      • Self-employed;
      • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
      • Work outside of North Carolina.

      US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

      This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

      Degree-specific internships

      For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.