Master of Science in Education – Special Education (MSEd-SE)

The MSEd-SE is an approved program in the State of Maine

Admissions Requirements | UNE Academic Catalog | Interactive State Certification Map

The Master of Science in Education – Special Education (MSEd-SE) program prepares educators to become special education teachers, and is an approved program for preparation for the Teacher of Students with Disabilities 282 Endorsement in the State of Maine. The 282 Endorsement earned will correspond to the educator’s current level of teacher certification in the State of Maine (i.e. 282E-Elementary K-8 or 282S-Secondary 7-12).

Within this program, students will learn co-teaching instructional practices, how to model, teach, and nurture behavioral skills, and much more. Our faculty members include highly qualified and experienced educators with first-hand knowledge of inclusion best practices.

What is Special Education?

An inclusive classroom provides students with disabilities the opportunity to learn alongside their peers in age-appropriate, general education classrooms. Integrating students with disabilities into a general education classroom is a challenging but worthwhile endeavor. Our program strives to give you the skills to successfully lead an inclusive classroom.

Special education is a distinguished profession facing a major challenge: Forty-six of fifty states report a shortage of special education teachers and related personnel,¹ with an average of 1 dedicated educator for every 17 special education students.² Within the profession, 82% of special educators and Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (SISP) from across the nation say there are not enough certified instructors available to meet the needs of students with disabilities.¹
¹. U.S. Department of Education Teacher Shortage Areas 2021-2022 Report
². 2018 Education Week Research Center analysis of IDEA and CCD data.

Who Should Enroll in the Master of Science in Education – Special Education Program?

If you’re a current, certified teacher looking to earn your master’s degree, or expand your skill set, these in-depth courses and UNE’s expert faculty will help you as a teacher, develop the skills necessary to lead an inclusive classroom.

Educators with this endorsement have wider career prospects, as certified special education teachers are always in demand in Maine and across the country. More importantly, the skills you develop will help you become a better teacher for all of your future students regardless of their ability level.

Educators practicing in the State of Maine can make sure they’ve completed all necessary requirements for certification as outlined on the Maine Department of Education’s website –

Educators from outside of Maine pursuing special education certification need to have their coursework officially approved by their state’s Department of Education. Links to individual state requirements can be found here:

Program Highlights

  • 30-credit hour program
  • Complete your degree in just under two years
  • Multiple start times: spring, summer, and fall
  • 100% online – no campus visits required
  • Leads to a 282 Endorsement for Teachers of Students with Disabilities in the State of Maine
    • The 282 Endorsement earned will correspond to the educator’s current level of teacher certification in the State of Maine (i.e. 282E-Elementary K-8 or 282S-Secondary 7-12)
  • Dynamic faculty of practitioners, researchers, and educators
  • No GRE required
  • Regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

MSEd – Special Education Coursework

This course enhances classroom-based experiences by linking them with professional research skills. Educators in this course will learn to locate and critically review a wide range of professional resources, articulate knowledge from a research-based framework, and collaborate with their peers on navigating school cultures. This course highlights the roles and responsibilities of leaders in a school setting.

Laws, regulations, and judicial decisions relating to the education of students with special needs are discussed. Methods of conflict resolution, mediation, and ethical standards are examined. Students will be required to apply what they learn as they analyze real-life case scenarios.

This course introduces students to the use of technology in the education of individuals with special needs. Methods and techniques for evaluation and determination of appropriate uses of technology are included. A range of assistive technologies are covered as well as teaching strategies that support the implementation of technologies. Using technology in universally-designed educational environments is examined. Participants will be expected to have access to and use selected teaching and learning technologies with students with disabilities.

This course focuses on assessment approaches for identifying students with disabilities and assessing progress toward learning goals and standards. Participants examine formal assessment tools and procedures used in the diagnosis of disabilities and identification of the instructional and behavioral needs of students. Participants will explore a range of student strengths and exceptionalities as they determine best educational practices to meet the needs of all learners in the least restrictive setting.

This course focuses on methods and strategies for teaching students with special needs. Current issues of concern, learning standards, promising practices, behavioral strategies, and methods for individualizing, differentiating, creating, and providing universally designed instruction are covered. Participants will be expected to conduct observations in schools and plan and implement instructional activities with students with disabilities. Participants can pursue an elementary or secondary strand.

*EDU 723 meets the “Teaching Exceptional Students in the Regular Classroom” requirement for the State of Maine.

This course will help participants identify and prioritize essential behavioral skills in their work with students. They will explore how to model, teach, and nurture behavioral skills and analyze differentiation strategies at Tier 1 of a Positive Behavior Intervention and Support model and prepare for intervention and monitoring at Tier 2 and 3. The course will engage participants in addressing factors that influence a school’s response to behavioral considerations such as available resources, parent collaboration, and school and community culture.

This course will focus on the use of data to create inclusive environments for all students. Participants in this course will apply the components of the Continuous School Improvement Framework (Plan-Implement-Evaluate-Improve). Participants will use data readily available in their classroom, school, or district. Several protocols for analysis will be used. Themes will include using data to support a shared vision and using data to examine school core values.

This course will deepen participants’ understanding of the factors that affect a learner’s ability to access their education. Participants will explore the current research in neuroscience and its connection to social and emotional learning. Participants will review and understand practical strategies to address the social and emotional learning needs of all learners and develop a social and emotional learning plan including the development of self-regulation skills in all learners.

This course explores Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as foundational inclusive practice. It addresses the elements of effective design for learning variability across educational settings including those found in K-12, higher education, and corporate environments. Participants will practice designing meaningful learning experiences that meet the needs of every learner.

In this course, educators will explore action research within their own work setting. Educators will formulate a problem statement, conduct a literature review, design a study, identify which data to collect, conduct the study, analyze data, report the results of the analysis, and develop an action plan. The resulting product will be a professional quality action research report. Through a systematic and collaborative process, participants will utilize action research to reflect, analyze and enhance their professional practice. Educators will also develop technical writing skills which are important for professional communication, grant-writing, and administrative reporting tasks.




New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NECHE) accredits the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) at UNE

Accreditation is the review of the quality of educational institutions and programs. In the United States, accreditation is a major way that the public knows that an institution or program provides a high quality education. The University of New England is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Learn more »




Suggested next steps:

  1. Admissions requirements: MSEd SE
  2. Commonly asked questions
  3. Interactive State Certification Map
  4. Review our other MSEd degree options



If you have any questions about the graduate programs in Education coursework or the program requirements, please speak to one of our enrollment counselors at the email or phone number below.