Students interested in applying to graduate programs for special education are encouraged to follow this major map in addition to that of their undergraduate major. This advising map details key courses, activities, organizations and resources that can best prepare you for successful candidacy for graduate study.
The Master of Education in Special Education prepares scholar-practitioners to hold teaching and leadership roles in special education. The curriculum provides educators with the requisite knowledge, skills, and experiences to make a difference in the lives of children, youth, and adults with disabilities through research, teaching, and service. In addition to the instruction from our nationally-recognized faculty, our graduate students take advantage of field experiences available through in-house laboratories and programs like Virginia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (Va-LEND).
Successful completion of the Master of Education meets one criterion for teaching licensure and endorsement in the Commonwealth of Virginia endorsement in specialty areas like early childhood special education or general education. The Master of Education may also be taken as part of the Richmond Teacher Residency program, an innovative graduate teacher residency that pairs candidates with an experienced scholar-practitioner in a nearby school district; recent mentorship placements have included the public schools of the City of Richmond, Chesterfield County, Henrico County, and the City of Petersburg.
Because special education is the top critical shortage teaching endorsement area in the Commonwealth, the Master of Education seeks to partially fill this gap by preparing our graduates to empower others and effect change in the lives of students at any level of learning including K-12, postsecondary, vocational, or community. Students are trained in the relevant, up-to-date theory and practice of different disabilities and in the support of learners in any educational setting. Career pathways vary depending on the age group and type of educational setting in which our students want to work and may include non-profit or policy careers the Richmond Teacher Residency (RTR) program, AmeriCorps, America Reads, or The Literacy Lab.
Admissions requirements for graduate study at VCU: VCU graduate application, official transcripts, statement of intent, bachelors degree, three letters of recommendation, GRE or MAT, 3.0 GPA in last 60 credits of coursework, and personal interview.
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