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Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Special Education (M.Ed. advising track)

School of Education

Concentration(s):
Early Childhood, General Education, Severe Disabilities
Program description

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.

Career opportunities

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.  

Change of major requirements

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.


Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Developmental Specialist
  • Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
  • Educational Policy Analyst
  • Special Education Teacher
Plan of study in Bulletin

    N/A

Highest level of math required
  • STAT 210
Science required
  • 1-2 additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 3.0+ cumulative GPA in last 60 credits of undergraduate coursework
Department name:
Department of Counseling and Special Education
Building/room location:
Oliver Hall Education
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
804-828-8160
Email:
soeadvising@vcu.edu 

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Complete SEDP 330.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Review the Partnership for People with Disabilities website and attend an event.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Attend an SOE information session or Open House.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Complete SEDP 505 and/or EDUS 305.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend presentations and conferences pertinent to intercultural dialogue, history and issues.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Connect with ACE-IT to learn about the buddy program
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Attend the VCU Careers in Education Symposium.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Complete SEDP 630 with approval from the School of Education.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Apply for Substitute Teaching the VCU Way through the School of Education.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Special Education (M.Ed. advising track)

School of Education

Concentration(s):
Early Childhood, General Education, Severe Disabilities
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Complete SEDP 330.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Review the Partnership for People with Disabilities website and attend an event.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Attend an SOE information session or Open House.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Complete SEDP 505 and/or EDUS 305.
  • Attend presentations and conferences pertinent to intercultural dialogue, history and issues.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Connect with ACE-IT to learn about the buddy program
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Attend the VCU Careers in Education Symposium.
ExcelYear 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Complete SEDP 630 with approval from the School of Education.
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Apply for Substitute Teaching the VCU Way through the School of Education.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
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