Master's in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners

Offered Online

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.

Highlights

Why a GW Master’s in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners?

  • ESOL and SPED PRAXIS: You will develop a professional portfolio and are prepared to sit for the ESOL PRAXIS and SPED PRAXIS exams at the end of your program. The program prepares you to work with students who have disabilities and those in the process of second language acquisition.
  • Theory-to-Practice Model: Build the skills and knowledge to effectively understand and address the unique needs of exceptional students with a progressive curriculum and field experiences that are built around an understanding of policy, best practices and competences in the areas of assessment, lesson planning, cultural competency and teaching.
  • Applied Coursework Focusing on Policy and Research: Utilize data, research and skills obtained through real-world examples and frameworks that can be applied directly to instruction design, materials development and student assessment. Notable focus is on creating data-driven, research focused teachers who are versed in current state and national policy. Therefore, they are able to critically assess the most effective approaches for this classroom population.
  • Scholar-Practitioner Faculty: Learn from faculty members who are working professionals, gaining real-world insights and diverse perspectives.
  • SPED Praxis and Grade Level Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) Exams:You will develop a professional portfolio and be prepared to sit for the SPED Praxis and Grade Level PLT exams at the end of your program. The program prepares you to work with students who have disabilities and those who are in the process of second language acquisition.
Curriculum

Master’s in Special Education Courses

GW’s Master’s in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners is a 33-credit master’s degree and can be completed in as little as 1.5 years.

The program emphasizes theory-to-practice. The coursework and field experiences are built around an understanding of policy, best practices and competences in the areas of assessment, lesson planning, cultural competency and teaching.

Curriculum (33 credit hours)

  • CPED 6551 Second Language Instruction (3 Credits)
  • CPED 6556 Linguistic Applications in English as a Second Language (3 Credits)
  • CPED 6627 Teaching Second Language Reading and Writing (3 Credits)
  • EDUC 6114 Introduction to Quantitative Research (3 Credits)
  • SPED 6266 The Development of Language and Literacy (3 Credits)
  • SPED 6268 Development of Children with Disabilities (3 Credits)
  • SPED 6275 The Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Student with Disabilities: Policy, Research, and Trends (3 Credits)
  • SPED 6276 Academic and Psychosocial Assessment of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners (Parts A & B, 6 credits)
  • SPED 6277 Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students with Disabilities (3 Credits)
  • SPED 6997 Internship: Educational Intervention for the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Student with Special Needs (3 credits)

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
Faculty

Program Faculty

Assistant Professor
(202) 994-1509
Career Outlook

Career Outlook

The Master's in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners from the George Washington University (GW) prepares you for a career in a variety of roles in special education, including diversity coordinator, early K-12 teacher or instructional coach for a wide range of educational systems.

Within this field, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports job growth of 6% over the next ten years 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 with job growth expected to reach 16% by 20221, of which there is a particular demand for special education teachers who possess the skills to teach culturally and linguistically diverse learners.

Special Education Career Opportunities

  • Assessment team leaders for special education for culturally and linguistically diverse learners
  • 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

  • Alternative schools
  • Curriculum development and publishing companies
  • General education schools
  • P-12 charter, public, private schools
  • Residential or correctional facility schools
  • Tutoring company

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm

Certificate

Certificate Offered

GW offers a Graduate Certificate in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners. Should you wish to pursue the Graduate Certificate, you can transfer all 18 credit hours into the Master's program.

Admissions

Admissions

Program Entry: Summer, Fall
Prerequisites: Bachelors Degree
Campus: Online

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts (unofficial)
  • Application Fee

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants
For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.

We encourage you to apply as early as possible for the next available start term. Please contact the admissions team with any questions.

Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the MA in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners program located on campus (202-994-9283) or online (844-386-7323) and gsehdonline@email.gwu.edu.

In the News

In March, Dr. Doran Gresham conducted a series of workshops on “Inclusive practices through models of co-teaching" for the Division of Special Services in the US Virgin Islands. These sessions were attended by teachers, administrators and curriculum developers for the school district in St. Croix. Educators walked away with hands-on activities and ideas to boost student engagement, rigor and the relevance of cross-curricular content in co-taught classrooms."

On March 3rd, Dr. Doran Gresham and GSEHD doctoral student Mary Bonnell (Special Education and Disability Studies) led a teacher workshop at the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities and Diversity in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Dr. Doran Gresham and GSEHD alumna Dr.

GSEHD alumnus Dr. Antonio Ellis (master's, Special Education and Disability Studies) published an article (with Dr. Nicholas Hartlep) entitled "Struggling in Silence: A Qualitative Study of Six African American Male Stutterers in Educational Settings" in the Journal of Educational Foundations.

GSEHD alumnus Topher Kandik (master's, English and special education) published a piece on the Education Post's blog entitled Every Book You Teach Is a Political Choice. Make It a Step Towards Social Justice. Mr. Kandik was also the 2016 Washington, D.C. Teacher of the Year.

For more information, please request information or contact our admission office at gsehdadm@gwu.edu or 202-994-9283.