Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Initial Special Education Certification

Grades PreK-12

Online 36 credits * 2.5 years

Affordable Tuition


*if using financial aid

How to Pay
Classes begin in May and August - reserve your seat today!
8 week courses • Blended Format or Online

Program Highlights & Benefits

Asynchronous online format

2.5 year completion time, including holiday breaks

Finish one course every eight weeks

No weekend classes


This program is designed to provide individuals who have undergraduate degrees in fields other than education with the opportunity to pursue a career in teaching students receiving special education supports and services in grades Pre K – 12. While earning a Master of Education degree, students also meet state requirements for Pre K – 12 special education teacher certification in Pennsylvania.

What You Learn

The hallmark of students who complete a program of studies in the School of Education at Holy Family University is a love of learning, a passion that manifests itself in two ways. The first is a drive for both personal and professional growth, resulting in the mastery of content to be taught and the pedagogical skills needed to create effective classrooms. The second is an affirmation of the dignity of each human person. Students take the initiative to learn about others and the diverse viewpoints they contribute to society. Their passion for learning is rooted in their deep respect for students, parents, and colleagues; a respect that prompts them to provide the kind of instruction that will maximize student achievement and challenge themselves and others to think deeply about their experiences and their learning. As a consequence, our graduates lead by example and model for their students and colleagues the intellectual and moral rigor that characterizes the very best of educators.

How You Learn

This program is offered in an asynchronous online format with the exception of the student teaching seminar which meets weekly for one hour in a synchronous remote format. Cohorts of students enroll in two eight week sessions per semester and summer for the majority of the program and take one course per eight week session. Asynchronous online activities which include assignments, webinars or chats, case studies, discussion threads, assessments and/or collaborative group activities completed electronically using the Canvas learning management system.

As part of the program, you will complete three different methods courses that are linked with field-based practicum experiences. This arrangement affords you the opportunity to design and deliver learning experiences for children and youth receiving special education supports and services in the PreK-12 classroom under the supervision of mentor teachers. The practicum may be completed within an inclusion general education classroom or in a special education classroom setting with a cooperating certified special education teacher in the PK-12 grade range. For each practicum, you are on-site at a school for a full day each week for three consecutive eight week sessions. In addition, you will complete at least one practicum in both the PK-8 and 7-12 grade ranges.

The student teaching experience is held during a 15 week semester and you also participate in a weekly synchronous remote seminar meeting. Students who work in schools may complete student teaching at their place of employment if the placement is appropriate (state-approved school, special education or inclusion classroom in grades PK-12) and the school administration approves. If you maintain continuous enrollment, you may complete the program in approximately 2 and one-half years.

*Occasionally classes are offered in 14 week sessions over the summer-Summer courses will be completed in 6 1/2 weeks

Career Outcomes

Upon completion of this program students will have earned a Master of Education degree and will be eligible for PA Special Education certification in the state of Pennsylvania for grades PK-12. Students must pass the PRAXIS exam to earn Special Education certification.

Degree Requirements

M.Ed. with Initial Special Education Certification Grades PreK-12

EDSP 571Foundations of Inclusive Education3
EDSP 572Assessment in Inclusive Education3
EDSP 573Effective Instruction in Inclusive Education3
EDUC 556Addressing Needs of ELL3
EDSP 574SE Systems3
EDSP 577Instructional Design in SE3
EDSP 5XXPracticum I1
EDSP 578Positive Management Strategies3
EDSP 5XXPracticum II1
EDSP 575Including Students with Significant Support Need3
EDSP 5XXPracticum III1
EDSP 579Communication Lit & Tech3
EDSP Supervised Field Experience: Student Teaching2.5
EDSP Student Teaching Seminar*.5
EDSP Supervised Field Experience: Student Teaching2.5
EDSP Student Teaching Seminar*.5
 Total Credit Hours:


Candidates may be asked to provide GRE/MAT scores, taken within 5 years, if their undergraduate GPA is below 3.0.

Please Note:

This is only an introduction to the program. Coursework may be taken in a different order than the sequence listed above.

*denotes the synchronous courses