Jun 13, 2021  
Loyola Marymount University Bulletin 2014-2015 
Loyola Marymount University Bulletin 2014-2015 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Education, M.A.

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Academic Program Director: Nanette S. Fritschmann

Assistant Director: Catherine Foote


The Special Education program prepares candidates from a variety of academic backgrounds to work with students with exceptional needs. Candidates may pursue graduate work in the following areas:

  • The Education Specialist Credential: Mild/Moderate Disabilities authorizes candidates to teaches K-12 students with specific learning disabilities, mild to moderate mental retardation, attention deficit/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and serious emotional disturbance
  • Education Specialist Credential: Mild/Moderate Disabilities (Preliminary). Mild/Moderate Preliminary Credential in combination with a Master of Arts degree in Special Education with Cross-Cultural Emphasis.
  • Master of Arts Degree in Special Education with Cross-Cultural Emphasis
  • Certificate in Catholic Inclusive Education
  • Master of Arts in Catholic Inclusive Education

Learning Outcomes

Candidate Outcome 1: Professional Disposition

The candidate evidences a positive attitude toward learning, demonstrates intellectual and academic curiosity, and is a reflective practitioner embracing life-long learning. In addition, the candidate exhibits knowledge of ethical standards, professional practices and legislation related to the provision of services to individuals with special needs and their families.

Candidate Outcome 2: Positive Behavior Support

The candidate demonstrates an understanding and acceptance of diversity in learners through the use of evidence-based practices to establish and maintain an educational environment that is respectful, and proactive through the use of positive behavior support plans and interventions based on functional analysis assessments.

Candidate Outcome 3: Assessment

The candidate demonstrates knowledge of a variety of non-biased evidence based principles of assessment for the purpose of making ongoing program improvements, informing instruction, and evaluating the needs and achievements of general and special education students.

Candidate Outcome 4: Instruction

The candidate applies principles of equity and an understanding of the diverse characteristics of learners by planning engaging and developmentally appropriate instruction that employs higher order thinking skills and a variety of strategies including the use of technology in order to meet the needs of general education and special education students.

Master of Arts in Special Education, Combined with an Education Specialist Credential: Mild/Moderate Disabilities Program Elementary or Secondary Emphasis

Admission Requirements

Provisional Admission requirements for Master of Arts in Special Education and/or Credential:

1. Attendance at an Information Session (for credential candidates only): Contact the Admissions Coordinator at 310.338.7845 or soeinfo@lmu.edu to attend an information session. Applicants will receive an information packet that includes: Graduate Application; Candidate Information Sheet; two Recommendation Forms; Technology Self-Verification Form; Fingerprint information; program information

2. Submission of Graduate Application and Application Fee: Applicants may either submit the application to the Graduate Division or complete the online application.

3. Candidate Information Sheet: Applicants must submit the Candidate Information Sheet to the Graduate Division.

4. Statement of Intent: Applicants must write a 3- to 5-page essay describing how their experiences, qualities, and goals reflect the School of Education's motto-REAL (Respect, Educate, Advocate, Lead). See website for additional information on REAL at http://soe.lmu.edu. The Statement of Intent should be submitted to the Graduate Division.

5. Letters of Recommendation: Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation to the Graduate Division. At least one letter must verify the applicant's experience and familiarity with the age group appropriate to the candidate's interest.

6. Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement: A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher or a GPA of 3.05 or higher in the last 60 semester hours of the applicant's undergraduate degree or a GPA of 3.0 or higher obtained in 9 semester hours of graduate work. Students who do not meet this requirement may be recommended to the Exceptions Committee by the Program Director.

7. Transcripts: Applicants must submit to the Graduate Division two sets of official transcripts with their bachelor's degree posted. If applicants are in the process of completing the degree, they must submit official transcripts with their degree posted by the start of registration for the following semester. Candidates must submit two sets of official transcripts from each college/university attended.

8. Observation/Volunteer Hours Plan of Action: Candidates must complete at least 20 hours of experience working with culturally diverse youths in the required age level for the program (elementary, 5-12 years of age; secondary, 13-19 years of age).

9. Basic Skills Proficiency Requirements: All Multiple (Elementary) Subjects and Single (Secondary) Subject applicants must meet the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing requirements for basic skills by obtaining a passing score on the CBEST examination.

10. Subject Matter Competency Test (CSET) Plan of Action: Candidates must demonstrate mastery of the required subject matter by passing the appropriate subject matter exam (CSET). Candidates will provide a Plan of Action, and CSET Exam registration confirmation, on when the CSET will be taken. Candidates must provide an original passing score report to the School of Education.

11. Certificate of Clearance (COC): Information about fingerprint clearance (also known as Live Scan) is included in the Admissions information packet. Official results of the Certificate of Clearance must be received by the Credential Office prior to enrolling in education courses. All fees associated with fingerprint clearance are the responsibility of the student.

12. Tuberculin Test: Candidates must submit an official copy of their tuberculin skin test results, given within one year.

13. Technology Requirement: Candidates may satisfy the technology requirement by either completing a self-verification form or verifying the completion of an approved course through another institution. Candidates must register for LiveText during the first education course. The e-Portfolio fee is assessed during the first semester of enrollment.

14. Interview with the Academic Program Director/Assistant Director: Following the submission of all requirements to the Graduate Division, the candidate will be contacted to schedule an admissions interview with the Program Director or Assistant Director.

15. Admission Status: Following the interview, the candidate's application will be reviewed by the Assistant Dean. Candidates are admitted on either Controlled or Provisional Admission to the appropriate Master of Arts and/or Credential Program.

16. Advisement: Academic Advising: Immediately upon admission, the student must schedule an appointment with the Academic Advisor. The Academic Advisor advises candidates on appropriate course sequence and program information. All candidates are required to meet with the Academic Advisor once a semester.

Professional Advising: All candidates are required to meet with the Professional Advisor (Program Director or Assistant Director) once a semester. Candidates will discuss academic course progress, career plans and goals, dispositional issues, and other issues related to the teaching profession.

Formal Admission Requirements for Master of Arts in Special Education and/or Credential

Review by Committee by end of fall semester (credential requirement)

1. U.S. Constitution Requirement: Candidates may satisfy the U.S. Constitution requirement in one of the following ways:

  • Taking one of the following LMU courses:   upon approval or  ;
  • Completing an equivalent course at another institution. The course must be approved by the School of Education Admissions Coordinator. Candidates must present a course syllabus and course description;
  • Passing the U.S. Constitution Exam online at usconstitutionexam.com

2. CSET: Candidates must submit official passing score report to the Academic Advisor. Students who have not taken the CSET, must submit their CSET registration as proof of their intent to take the CSET.

3. Disposition Form: Signed Candidate Disposition Forms two faculty members in the School of Education with whom the candidate has had courses has had courses are required before a candidate is granted Formal Admission.

Benchmark (2,3) Review Committee: After all the steps outlined above have been completed, the candidates' file will be submitted to the Benchmark (2,3) Review Committee for review. It is the candidates' responsibility to ensure that all items have been completed, including the resolution of any incomplete grades received in any courses. Candidates will be notified of the committee's decision in writing.

Field Experiences

Students in the Education Specialist: Mild/Moderate Credential program choose one of three routes to the credential/Master of Arts Degree.

Note: During the program, if a traditional candidate changes to the intern track as a full-time teacher, the candidate must meet all the requirements of the intern candidate as state below, including four semesters of fieldwork, beginning when the candidate is issued an intern credential.

Traditional Candidates

Candidates following this path will complete all coursework before beginning their field experiences as student teachers. LMU will facilitate the candidates' placement as student teachers. All prerequisite requirements apply to the candidate choosing the traditional route.

University Intern Candidates

A candidate following this path is employed full-time at a public school in a district that has a partnership with LMU. The candidate takes courses while teaching full-time. This employment status, along with the required seminars and additional supervision in the classroom provided through LMU, fulfills the field requirements of the credential. Candidates seek out their own employment as Interns unless the candidates are in a cohort program where placement is facilitated through the program (e.g., Teach for America). Interns must be employed to teach at least 60% in the area of the credential, and the contract must state that the teacher is contracted to teach in the area in which the candidate is seeking a credential.

It is necessary that the student complete the program pre-service requirement and hold a University Intern credential in order to be enrolled in the Intern program. University Intern credentials are issued for new placements at the beginning of the fall semester only. Candidates must submit a Verification of Employment form, signed by the School District that holds a partnership agreement with Loyola Marymount University.

Teacher Practitioner Candidates

The teacher practitioner candidate is employed full-time at a non-public school. The candidate takes courses while teaching full-time. This employment status, along with additional supervision in the classroom provided through LMU, fulfills the requirements of the credential. The candidate seeks out his/her own employment as a teacher practitioner. The teacher practitioner must be employed at least 60% in the area of the credential. The teacher practitioner must fulfill all the field requirements listed including the program pre-service requirements.

Culminating Program Requirements

Additional Coursework Required for the Master's Degree and or Credential

Enroll in and complete:

Exit Interview

Candidate must schedule an exit interview with the Special Education Director or Assistant Director. The exit interview must be completed prior to submitting an application for a credential and Master's degree.

Application for Credential

When all requirements have been completed, candidates must complete an application for a preliminary teaching credential (fee required, see SOE website for more information).

Intern/Practitioner Credential Requirements

Eligibility for the Intern Credential is determined by the following guidelines set by the California Commission on Teacher Credential (CCTC).

Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)

After completing EDES 6202 Teaching Reading for Today's Learners  or EDES 6203 Reading and Content Learning in Middle and Secondary Schools  candidates are required to take, pass and submit an original score report of the RICA to the Special Education program advisor.

Application for Master of Arts Degree

Candidate must complete an application for a Master of Arts degree with the Office of the Registrar the semester prior to the completion of degree requirements.

Course Sequence

Traditional Candidate Course Requirements

Complete the following courses with a grade of "B" (3.0) or better prior to enrolling in student teaching (EDCE 5978 ):

Intern/Practitioners Candidate Course Requirements

Pre-Service Courses:

The following courses must be completed with a grade of "B" (3.0) or better:

All students entering the field as University Interns must complete the coursework for:

EDES 5002, EDSS 5300  and EDSS 5301  within one of two options:

  • Teach for America (TFA) students complete coursework during Institute.
  • Non-cohort students entering as University Interns must complete these two course during an Institute prior to entering the classroom.

Additional Coursework Required for the Master's Degree

Capstone Project

Students completing the MA are required to complete the Capstone Project as the culminating experience.

Exit Interview

An exit interview with the Special Education Program Director/Assistant Director must be completed prior to submitting applications for a credential and Master's degree.

Application for Credential

When all requirements have been completed, candidates must complete an application for a preliminary teaching credential. An additional fee required. See website for more information.

Application for Master's Degree

When all requirements have been completed, candidates must complete an application for a Master's degree with the Office of the Registrar.

Master of Arts in Special Education

The Master of Arts Degree in Special Education with a Cross-Cultural Emphasis enables candidates to develop a deeper understanding of theory, research, and practice in special education with particular concentration on students with mild/moderate disabilities from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Upon completion of the program, candidates should be prepared for a doctoral program and to make a significant contribution to the field of Special Education.

Program Requirements

Option I: This program is designed for candidates who may also be pursuing the Education Specialist Mild/Moderate Disabilities Teaching Credential. This program is a total of 30 semester hours. 5000/6000 level coursework and directed student teaching semester hours are not credited toward an academic degree. Candidates may choose to pursue additional coursework for the SB 2042 Multiple Subjects or Single Subject Teaching Credential. Please contact the Chairperson of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for more information.

Option II: This program is designed for candidates who want an advanced degree preparation for doctoral studies or specialization in the fields of Special Education. This program is a total of 30 semester hours and includes:

  • At least 3 semester hours in statistics and research methods ( 
  • A Special Education core of at least 15 semester hours
  • Appropriate restricted electives as approved by the Special Education advisor to complete the minimum number of program semester hours
  • Comprehensive Assessment: Capstone Action Research Project

Comprehensive Assessment

Thesis Option

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