Special Education for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities (EBD) is an intensive, one-year, full-time master’s program that prepares graduate students to be highly qualified educators of students with learning, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Using a Psychoeducational approach, graduate students in the program gain the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to facilitate effective instruction and improve outcomes for students in this unique and challenging population. The hallmark of the program is its emphasis on clinical preparation, as graduate students have the opportunity to work directly with students with disabilities in a therapeutic school during the day, as well as to complete graduate level courses in the evenings. The program offers graduate students the opportunity to apply their coursework directly to practice in the classroom while being mentored by school-based cooperating teachers and university faculty and staff. Using a Professional Development School model (see below for description) university faculty and staff work closely with the schools to provide a supportive and enriching environment to gain the skills necessary to teach in this high need field of education.
This program is focused on preparing teachers of students with EBD in grades K-8. If you are interested in working with students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities in grades 9-12, please explore our Secondary Special Education and Transition Services program.
A Professional Development School (PDS) model blends the theory and practice of learning to teach so that concepts learned in a university classroom can be applied the next day to work with students with EBD. In the PDS model, graduate students learn about best practice and research-based interventions through their coursework, while being able to apply them concurrently in their full-time, clinical internship in a therapeutic school setting. Currently, our program partners with both public and non-public schools throughout the DC, VA, and MD area. Graduate students are not only matched with a partnership school for internships, but also with a Cooperating Teacher, who serves as a mentor and support in the school building. University faculty and staff provide bi-weekly supervision and individualized feedback on teaching progress, as well as weekly seminars that provide a forum for professional growth and peer-driven emotional support.
Our graduates are Special Educators in both public and non-publics schools throughout the nation. In addition to classroom teaching, our graduates are also administrators of special education programs, advocates in the policy arena, researchers and faculty in higher education, and educational consultants.
"The professors taught me more than instructional methods and behavior management strategies; they taught me how to be self-reflective and to always ask ‘whose needs are being met?’ I left this program not only a better teacher, but also a better person."
Brian Ernest, program graduate