Hawai‘i Teacher Licensure Programs
Curriculum Research and Development Group
Institute for Teacher Education
Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science
Learning Design and Technology
*M. J. Noonan, PhD (Chair)—moderate and severe disabilities, autism, early intervention
Degrees and Certificates Offered: Initial teacher licensure in special education: BEd in elementary/special education, BEd in early childhood/special education, post-baccalaureate in special education. Non-licensure: MEd in special education, PhD in education, track in exceptionalities
The Academic Program
Special education (SPED) is a component of general education. Its basic purpose is to assist individuals who do not benefit from traditional educational programs. Special educators teach and help others teach persons who have special learning needs. They individualize and adapt instruction to help individuals with special needs become independent and contributing members of society.
Faculty in the Department of Special Education prepare students at the undergraduate and graduate levels to work in both school and non-school settings. Professional roles include teacher, resource manager, consultant, infant specialist, and transition specialist. On campus and statewide programs are offered.
The special education program is accredited through the College of Education by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and nationally recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
Advising of students in the BEd and PBSPED programs is the responsibility of the Office of Student Academic Services (OSAS), College of Education. Students should meet regularly with their OSAS academic advisor.
Upon acceptance into a special education program, students are assigned to a special education faculty coordinator. Coordinators review program requirements and progress, plan program course work, complete departmental preregistration forms for the next semester, and sign course registration materials. Coordinators may accept previous course work on an individual basis. Coordinators have the responsibility of reviewing and individualizing students’ programs to complement their needs. Coordinators ensure that students have appropriate knowledge and applied skills to perform as competent special educators. Given this responsibility, advisors may require additional course work and/or practicum experience for certain students. Changes made in students’ programs must be approved by their coordinators.
Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC)
The Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC) is an active organization open to anyone interested in special education. SCEC members participate in professional development activities and sponsor special community projects. For more information, call (808) 956-7956.
The College of Education offers a BEd elementary/special education program that culminates in teacher licensure in both elementary and special education. The BEd Exceptional Students and Elementary Education (ESEE) program consists of fully integrated course work in elementary and special education, co-taught by teams of faculty from both departments. Candidates complete supervised field experiences in classroom settings with students with and without disabilities. One semester of full-time student teaching is required.
In addition to the elementary focus, the College of Education also offers a BEd Blended Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education program that leads to PK-3 licensure in both early childhood and special education. It is a statewide hybrid program with synchronous on-line class meetings at 4:00 p.m. or later, and some weekend face-to-face class sessions at UH Manoa (financial support is provided for neighbor island students who need to travel to Oahu for the face-to-face weekends). Supervised field experiences and a one-semester student teaching are required.
For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.
The College of Education offers a post-baccalaureate certificate in special education for individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field and desire licensure to teach special education. The program consists of 33 semester credit hours including 12 credit hours of supervised field experience. Candidates must take a 1-credit seminar prior to beginning program course work, scheduled for candidates upon admission into the program. The PB-SPED program offers two special education teacher training options: (1) specialization in mild/moderate disabilities (mental retardation, learning disabilities, emotional/behavior disorders); or (2) severe/multiple disabilities and autism. Program sheets listing the specific course requirements for the post-baccalaureate programs are available in the College of Education’s Office of Student Academic Services.
Admission is through the Office of Student Academic Services. Classified status in the College of Education is necessary for registration in the post-baccalaureate program. Program sheets listing the specific requirements are available in the Office of Student Academic Services and in the Department of Special Education. Students must fulfill all program requirements in effect for the semester in which they are admitted into the college.
All applicants to the post-baccalaureate certificate in special education program will be evaluated competitively and considered for admission on the basis of a profile composed of the following criteria:
Admission requirements are subject to change. Call the Office of Student Academic Services for updated information.
Master’s Degree in Special Education
The MEd in special education program is available statewide and offers interdisciplinary studies for candidates who wish to engage in a graduate course of study in the field of special education. The MEd interdisciplinary non-licensure program consists of 30 semester credit hours in special education and related fields. The MEd in Special Education also includes a Literacy Specialist track and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst track. Candidates must participate in a special education orientation prior to beginning the program.
Applicants must submit to Graduate Division the completed Graduate Application, and official transcripts. Candidates must also submit an application through the College of Education Makalei (manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/content/special-education). Application materials include: (a) three letters of recommendation attesting to academic and professional strengths, (b) unofficial transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work, and (c) the statement of objectives. An interview by the department's selection committee is required.
The MEd in interdisciplinary studies/special education consists of a minimum of 30 credits, including 12 credits of required professional courses, and 18 credits in selected specialty areas (e.g., BCBA, literacy specialist). The specialty credits may be within special education or related areas (e.g., general education, psychology, social work, public health).
MEd candidates who desire to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) may choose this track as their area of emphasis in the MEd in Special Education program. Candidates would take 6 prescribed courses in the BCBA sequence as their elective specialty area and complete the 4 required professional courses. The 6 course sequence is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB) as meeting the course work requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements as outlined by the (BACB) to qualify.
MEd candidates may choose the literacy track as their area of emphasis. This program is a prescribed elective course sequence comprised of six literacy courses (18 credits), three courses from the Special Education Department and three courses from Curriculum Studies covering the International Dyslexia Association and International Reading Association standards, respectively. Graduate students with at least three years of teaching experience may apply. This course sequence may be taken outside of a graduate degree program, as a post-baccalaureate unclassified student, or as the elective course sequence within the Master of Education degree in the Special Education or Curriculum Studies departments. Courses within this program may also be taken as electives by any graduate student with an interest in language and literacies. Graduates of this program may apply to the HTSB to add the licensure field of literacy specialist to an existing teaching license.
Both Plan A thesis and Plan B project are offered. Six credit hours of SPED 700 are required for Plan A, and additional work in statistical analysis and research design may be necessary. Plan B requires a master’s paper/project and may require 3 credits of SPED 695.
Graduates of the interdisciplinary studies program do not qualify for teacher licensure but may seek positions in related fields and services.
Master of Education in Teaching Dual Secondary/SPED
The MEdT dual licensure program in Secondary & Special Education is a statewide, two-year, field-based program designed for those pursuing careers in teaching who have earned baccalaureate degrees in fields other than education. This program allows candidates to received two teaching licenses: one in a secondary content area (e.g. Math, Science, English, Social Studies, or Hawaiian Language) and one in special education (Mild/Moderate disabilities), while also obtaining a Master’s degree.
See the Institute for Teacher Education, Master of Education in Teaching section for application and admission requirements.
The PhD program with a track in exceptionalities prepares professionals to work as leaders in the education and support of individuals who have unique needs, often due to disabilities. The field is broad, addressing life-span concerns and involving such services as advocacy, family support, community services, vocational training and support, and special education. Graduates of the program are expected to assume leadership roles addressing local, regional, national, and international issues related to research and higher education and/or program development and evaluation. The program varies in the number of credit hours required, depending on the candidate’s qualifications, and includes courses required by the college, courses in the specialization, courses that provide an emphasis/breadth, a field project/internship or an apprenticeship in college teaching, and the dissertation. See the section on graduate programs in the College of Education.
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