Secondary Special Education and Transition Services

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Master of Arts in Education & Human Development

Department of Special Education & Disability Studies

The Master's degree in Secondary Special Education and Transition Services prepares professionals as change agents in teaching, leadership and support roles that assist youth with disabilities and youth at-risk to make successful transitions through high school to post-secondary education, employment and independent adulthood. This program offers a variety of areas of concentration for master’s level study focused on working with adolescents and young adults with disabilities. The following options are available:

Interdisciplinary Services Degree Tracks

  • Interdisciplinary Transition Services - This focus allows for individuals to specialize in the planning, provision, and evaluation of transition services. The program plan for the 2015-16 academic year can be found here. Contact: Dr. Michael Ward at mjward@gwu.edu.

  • Interdisciplinary Services for Individuals with Acquired Brain Injury– This highly specialized degree prepares professionals to work as brain injury specialists. Contact Theresa Armstrong at tjsacchi@gwu.edu.

Teacher Preparation Degree Tracks

This program meets requirements for licensure in special education in DC, Maryland and Virginia and is accredited by the NCATE. The program offers three options for individuals interested in becoming a licensed special educator working with adolescents and young adults.

  • Adolescents with Learning, Emotional and Intellectual Disabilities (in partnership with Fairfax County Virginia Schools)- This 2 year program allows for students to complete a full-time internship, and work as a provisionally licensed teacher. The program plan for the 2015-16 academic year can be found hereContact Dr. Deanna Ortiz at ssets.gwu@gmail.com. 

  • Adolescents Emotional & Behavioral Disabilities (EBD) –This intensive one-year program offers students the opportunity to complete a two-semester clinical internship during the day and attend courses at night.  The program plan for the 2015-16 academic year can be found here. Contact TeachEBD@gwu.edu.

  • Brain Injury Special Educator – This 2 year program prepares educators to serve school-age children and youth with brain injuries. Internship requirements are completed in school and community settings, and courses are online and on campus. Contact Theresa Armstrong at tjsacchi@gwu.edu.

Program Faculty

Karen Ihrig, Assistant Professor, Special Education & Disability Studies
Joan Kester, Visiting Assistant Professor, Special Education & Disability Studies
Elisabeth Rice, Associate Professor, Special Education & Disability Studies
Juliana Taymans, Professor, Special Education & Disability Studies
Beth Tuckwiller, Assistant Professor, Special Education & Disability Studies

Contact Us

Office of Student Life