Master's in Special Education for Cultural Responsiveness and Equity in Teaching
Make a Positive, Lasting Impact on Students' Lives
GW's Master's in Special Education for Cultural Responsiveness and Equity in Teaching (SECRET) is one of the few programs in the country that will provide you with the latest instructional techniques and research methods needed to ensure you can meet the cultural, language, social, and learning needs of a growing number of students with diverse backgrounds, as well as those with social or learning disabilities.
This program is designed for initially licensed teachers who wish to further their expertise regarding culturally responsive instruction, assessment and service practices, and ultimately improve the quality of learning for children with diverse needs. The program prepares you to work with students who have disabilities and those who are in the process of second language acquisition.
Progressive curriculum and field experiences provide an in-depth understanding of policies and best practices in teaching, instruction design, student assessment, and cultural competency.
The SECRET program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
The program leads to advanced certification in non-categorical special education.
Prepare for Praxis + PLT
Develop a professional portfolio and be prepared to sit for the SPED Praxis and Grade Level Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exams.
Whether attending on-campus or online, a GW education is unlike any other. Our online courses replicate the classroom experience while providing you with the flexibility of distance education. The program’s dynamic curriculum enables you to develop close working relationships with peers and our scholar-practitioner faculty as you gain the skills that will not only advance your career, but the education of your students. As working professionals, faculty are able to share real-world insights and diverse perspectives, providing you with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage the changing demographics of the modern classroom.
Notable focus is placed on creating data-driven, research focused teachers who are versed in current state and national policy, ensuring graduates are able to critically assess the most effective approaches for this classroom population.
Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in the Field of Special Education for Cultural Responsiveness and Equity in Teaching
Special Education and Disability Studies
- Our Mission
Designed for initially certified teachers and educational service providers currently working in schools who are passionate about improving the quality of learning for children with diverse needs, the Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners empowers you to make a positive, lasting impact on the lives of your students.
Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the George Washington University’s program is one of only eight in the country that will provide you with the latest instructional techniques and research methods needed to help ensure the success of students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds as well as those with social or learning disabilities.
This Special Education degree utilizes cutting-edge research and the field experience of our practitioner faculty to equip you with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage the changing demographics of the modern classroom. You will graduate prepared to address the cultural, language, social, and learning needs of a variety of exceptional students.
The following requirements must be fulfilled: 33 credits in required courses, successful completion of the master of arts in education and human development comprehensive examination, and completion of the relevant teacher licensure assessments (see below).
Course List Code Title Required CPED 6551 Second Language Instructional Methods CPED 6556 Linguistic Applications in English as a Second Language CPED 6627 Teaching Second Language Reading and Writing EDUC 6114 Introduction to Quantitative Research SPED 6266 The Development of Language and Literacy SPED 6268 Development of Children and Youth with Disabilities SPED 6275 The Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Student with Disabilities: Policy, Research, and Trends SPED 6276 Academic and Psychosocial Assessment of the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Student (taken twice) SPED 6277 Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students with Disabilities SPED 6997 Internship in Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students with Disabilities (taken for 3 credits) Master of Arts in Education and Human Development comprehensive exam required Completion of the relevant teacher licensure assessments (i.e., PRAXIS) required by the District of Columbia Educator Licensure Services Office
- Program Outcomes
As a graduate of GW’s Master’s in Special Education program, you will be prepared to work with students who have disabilities as well as those in the process of second language acquisition, utilizing skills that span knowledge, diversity, assessment, and collaboration, including:
- Understanding the effects an exceptional condition can have on student learning
- Developing individualized instructional plans based on a student’s abilities and needs as well learning environment, cultural and linguistic factors
- Mastery of the major theories and research related to teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students
- Demonstrating knowledge and skills to apply and evaluate assessment information for diverse educational decisions
- Understanding of the legal policies and ethical principles of measurement and assessment related to referral, eligibility, program planning, instruction and placement for students
- Ability to work collaboratively with peers, family, service providers and community agencies to improve learning and support for students
To be considered for admission, applicants must submit the online application form as well as the following required supporting documents. There is no application fee.
Prerequisite: Bachelor's Degree
Statement of Purpose
Two Letters of Recommendation
Transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities
*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants.
This program prepared me to address the cultural, language, social, and learning needs of all students. It also prepared me to work with a diverse population and understand their needs by validating, affirming, building, and bridging within the classroom.
Multilingual Support Specialist
Within this field, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports job growth of 4% over the next ten years1 with better screening and identification of various disabilities in children increasing the demand for special education services. In addition, children with disabilities are being identified earlier and enrolled into special education programs. This is increasing the need for special education preschool teachers and a particular demand for special education teachers who possess the skills to teach culturally and linguistically diverse learners.
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Special Education Teachers, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm (visited September 08, 2022).
- Special Education Career Opportunities
In addition to becoming highly effective Special Education Teachers, our graduates are prepared to take on other critical roles in the education of students with disabilities, including:
- Assessment team leaders for Special Education for Cultural Responsiveness and Equity in Teaching
- Compliance coordinators
- Curriculum development for special education and/or ELL Students
- Diversity coordinators
- Early- K-12 ESOL teachers
- Early- K-12 special education teachers
- IEP team leaders
- Instructional coaches and leaders
- Policy research
- Special education and/or ESOL school team leaders
- Potential Employment Settings
Graduates are prepared to work with children in multiple settings including:
- Alternative schools
- Curriculum development and publishing companies
- General education schools
- P-12 charter, public, private schools
- Residential or correctional facility schools
- Tutoring company