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Special Education, M.A.

Degree Program: Special Education
Degree: Master of Arts (M.A.)
Program Code: MA-SPCD
Licensure Preparation: Special Education (Pre K-12)

Department: Special Education
Program: Special Education

M.A. Concentrations:

  • Concentration I: Intellectual Disability and Severe Disabilities: Studies in Educational Equity for Diverse Exceptional Learners
  • Concentration II: Learning and Behavioral Exceptionalities: Studies in Instruction, Curriculum, Collaboration, and Transition of Diverse Learners 

Description

The Special Education Program at the, University of New Mexico (UNM), offers graduate work leading to the Master of Arts (MA) to qualified students. The MA student may choose from two concentrations: Concentration I, Intellectual Disability and Severe Disabilities: Studies in Educational Equity for Diverse Exceptional Learners (which includes intellectual disability, severe disabilities, autism, severe psychiatric disabilities, intensive communication needs, cultural and linguistic diversity, and inclusive education); and Concentration II, Learning and Behavioral Exceptionalities: Studies in Instruction, Curriculum, Collaboration, and Transition of Diverse Learners (which includes learning disabilities, emotional & behavioral disorders, bilingual/multicultural, and secondary transition). The degree program can also lead to teacher licensure in special education if the student requests that option early in the program.

Concentration I

Intellectual Disability and Severe Disabilities: Studies in Educational Equity for Diverse Exceptional Learners:

The MA Program in Special Education Concentration I: Intellectual Disability and Severe Disabilities-Studies in Educational Equity for Diverse Exceptional Learners is guided by the vision that all children and adults with disabilities will be valued members of their communities, including their communities of learners. We believe people with intellectual and/or severe disabilities should have meaningful participation in all aspects of life. They should have choices and access to options that allow them to create for themselves personally satisfying lives. They should be supported in their choices to engage in all activities appropriate to their ages and should participate in diverse and inclusive educational environments. Therefore, all people should have the right to participate in an educational system that enhances human rights and provides educational opportunities to students and that does not systematically institutionalize or segregate individuals.

To this end, the faculty of Concentration I enhance and support these opportunities through actively collaborating with people with intellectual disability and other disabilities, their families and friends, teachers, and other professionals within the College of Education, UNM, and the community. The UNM Special Education Concentration in Intellectual Disability and Severe Disabilities provides leadership in:

  • Teacher preparation
  • Comprehensive educational assessment
  • Professional development for other leaders
  • Research on issues affecting diverse exceptional learners
  • Policy development and implementation
  • Advocacy
  • Technical assistance and partnerships with schools and agencies

The Concentration also provides a forum in which current challenges surrounding a wide range of diversities and exceptionalities, especially those that lead to stigmatization, exclusion, and oppression, may be explored.

Concentration II

Learning and Behavioral Exceptionalities: Studies in Instruction, Curriculum, Collaboration, and Transition of Diverse Learners:

The MA Program in Special Education Concentration II: Learning and Behavioral Exceptionalities: Studies in Instruction, Curriculum, Collaboration, and Transition of Diverse Learners is structured around nationally prominent specialization areas. These areas remain in the forefront of the field because their associated issues, principles, and strategies continue to hold compelling interest for students, families, educators, and policymakers. These specialization areas address major exceptionalities as well as critical needs that cross exceptionalities:

  • Learning Disabilities
  • Emotional & Behavioral Disorders

The faculty of the concentration in Learning and Behavioral Exceptionalities: Studies in Instruction, Curriculum, Collaboration, and Transition of Diverse Learners strongly advocate their vision to model and inspire passionate, just and compassionate responsiveness to the diverse strengths and needs of children and adults with learning and behavioral exceptionalities. The Program of Study in Concentration II embraces exceptionality issues and broad special education competencies that teachers of these students need to acquire, including collaboration skills and transition planning.

The Dual License program is participating in the District Partners Teacher Residencies (DPTR) program. 

Teacher residency is a paid year-long rigorous guided apprenticeship with an experienced co-teacher. Residencies occur in partner Districts or Charter Schools that intend to employ the resident for three years post-residency.

Learn more about DPTR

Application Deadlines

Application Deadline for Domestic Applicants:
Rolling Admissions

Application Deadline for International Applicants:
Spring Semester
Priority: May 1 (for scholarship consideration)

Summer Semester
Domestic Applicants: March 1 International Applications: Dec. 1

Fall Semester
Priority: March 1 (for scholarship consideration)
Final: May 1
Post-offer materials: Must be received June 1

Special Education Graduate Programs Coordinator 

505-277-5018 (phone)
specialeducation@unm.edu

Erin Jarry, PhD
Faculty Graduate Contact
505-277-0731
ejarry@unm.edu

Concentration I
Dr. Julia Scherba de Valenzuela
devalenz@unm.edu

Concentration II
Dr. Allison Nannemann
nannemann@unm.edu


Special Education Teacher Training (SETT)

SETT is a partnership between the Albuquerque Public Schools, Albuquerque Teacher’s Federation, and the University of New Mexico (UNM) to train highly qualified special educators. Teaching students with disabilities is a deeply fulfilling and impactful career that is in high demand. Our vision is to facilitate the development of supportive, effective, and culturally responsive environments for individuals with disabilities and their families. We seek individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to contribute to this growing field.

In this comprehensive one-year program, you will:

  • Take practice-focused graduate courses in a cohort with fellow Teacher Residents.
  • Work in a K-12 special education classroom collaboratively with a master teacher.
  • Receive wrap-around support from your co-teacher, APS, and UNM faculty.
  • Practice effective, student-centered pedagogy, become proficient in classroom management, and acquire essential expertise in special education case management.

Eligibility

  • Must have a BA by August 2024 with a minimum 3.2 GPA
  • Be legally authorized to work in the United States
  • Successfully complete APS and NMPED background checks and requirements for licensure
  • Spend one year as a teacher resident while taking full-time graduate courses at UNM
  • Commit to teaching in APS for 3 years post-residency

Benefits

  • First-year teacher salary (minimum $50,000) with health benefits
  • Paid tuition for 24 graduate licensure credit hours with opportunity to continue working towards completion of a master's degree
  • Work in a classroom with a cooperating teacher 4 days a week; take UNM classes one day a week
  • Support to obtain special education teacher license, content endorsements, and TESOL endorsement
  • Wrap-around support from APS, UNM, and ATF for successful completion of program requirements
  • Guaranteed employment with APS for three years post-residency

2024-2025 Application Timeline

Best Consideration: December 1, 2023
Early Admission: February 16, 2024
Final Deadline: April 1, 2024
Class begins: June 2024

Ready to apply? https://grad.unm.edu/prospective-students/apply-now.html

For more information, email Layla Dehaiman: Ldehaima@unm.edu

Professional Licensure Disclosure

Our program has determined it meets professional licensure requirements in the state of New Mexico. It has not determined it meets professional licensure requirements in any other state.