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Online Master of Arts in Special Education FAQ

In what jobs and careers will the online Master of Arts in Special Education prepare me to excel?

Our students channel their talents and the skills they’ve developed in the program into a wide variety of career roles, including classroom teachers, learning specialists, professors, adult educators, bilingual teachers, tutors, researchers, program heads, policy makers, arts coordinators, curriculum specialists, and educational game designers.

Within six months of completing their programs, 93% of American University’s College of Arts and Sciences graduates are working, continuing their education, or both. Though American University cannot guarantee employment after graduation, we do everything we can through our career services programs to help students identify the right career pathways and opportunities for them.

Can I qualify for acceptance into the program even if my prior degree and/or work experience is not in the field of education?

We do not require from our applicants any specific set of prior degrees or experiences, in an educational field or otherwise. We value a wide range of backgrounds in the applicants we ultimately accept. If our social mission resonates with you, and you value the flexibility of the online format, we encourage you to apply.

What is the pedagogical grounding for the special education instruction in this program?

Students in this program receive practical, individualized training in diagnostic-prescriptive teaching based on American University’s Sally L. Smith Methodology. Through a blend of clinical training incorporating art and play to achieve learning outcomes, special education students learn evidence-based instructional approaches to support children, adolescents, and adults with language-based learning disabilities.

How quickly can I complete this degree?

The majority of students complete the online Master of Arts in Special Education in two years.

What hands-on experience will I gain as a student in this program?

Hands-on experience is a crucial element in all of American University’s College of Arts and Sciences programs.

At least six credit hours must come from a hands-on student-teaching experience or other internship, where students can apply the practices and theoretical frameworks they’ve studied to the classroom. We work with students to ensure that they find a collaborative student-teaching experience convenient to them.

What are the partnerships and organizational collaborations that help round out this program, and how do those partnerships benefit students?

American University has an established partnership with the Lab School of Washington —a pioneering, arts-based scholastic day school for students (kindergarten through sixth grade) with learning disabilities that was founded by Sally L. Smith in 1967—which allows students in our online program to hone their ability to provide multi-sensory, hands-on instruction that helps all students flourish.

Our online Master of Arts in Special Education is also accredited locally by OSSE, based in Washington, DC, and nationally by CAEP.

Professional Licensure Disclaimer Statement

This program meets the requirements for professional teaching licensure in Washington D.C.  American University cannot guarantee whether the program meets requirements for professional licensure in any other states. American University recommends that you consult with the appropriate licensing agency or board in the state or territory for which you seek to obtain licensure prior to beginning your course of study.

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