Multi-Categorical Special Education

This area of emphasis is designed individuals desiring a comprehensive overview of special education as well as educators with existing elementary certification or secondary certification in English, Math, Science, or Social Studies, who desire to acquire an additional endorsement in special education. Incorporating practical, classroom-based experiences and assignments, coursework prepares educators with the knowledge and skills to educate students with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, intellectual disabilities, and emotional behavior disorders. For those qualified educators, completion of the Area of Emphasis courses can be preparation for the appropriate state certification test.

The M.A.Ed. requires 36 credit hours (12 courses) and can be completed in 1-2 years depending on the number of courses taken each semester. Each course is held in an 8-week session, and each semester (fall, spring, summer) has 2 sessions. The Education Core courses are offered either online or face-to-face each semester. Face-to-face courses are held one day a week from 5:00 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. at the West Liberty University Highlands Center.

Education Core Courses (18 hours)

Each of these required courses are offered every semester.

  • EDUC 502 Professional Writing
  • EDUC 503 Technology Applications
  • EDUC 506 Motivation and the Development of Creativity
  • EDUC 512 Assessment and Analysis for Teaching – Learning
  • SPED 532 Historical Perspectives and Case Law
  • EDUC 581 Research and Capstone (must be taken during the last semester)

Area of Emphasis Courses (18 hours)

These required courses must be completed in this order.

Fall I

  • SPED 552 Advanced Assessment and Instruction for Students with ID

Fall II

  • SPED 520 Collaborative Teaching

Spring I

  • SPED 551 Policies, Procedures, and Current Issues of Special Education

Spring II

  • SPED 548 Advanced Assessment and Instruction for Students with EBD
  • SPED 555 Advanced Assessment and Instruction for Students with LD

SPED 541 Characteristics of Students with High Incidence Disabilities is a required leveling course for anyone who has not previously had a special education survey/intro course as an undergraduate.


One additional SPED elective is required and can be selected from any SPED course including: SPED 501 Autism I taught during Summer I.

To view the descriptions of the above courses, click on the current WLU Catalog and go to pages 204-206 and 213-214. Admitted students can view their degree plan in DegreeWorks by accessing WINS.

For more information, please contact the advisor for this area of emphasis:

Dr. Leann DiAndreth-Elkins
Associate Professor of Educationand Coordinator of M.A.Ed. Program
West Liberty University Highlands Center
Office Number 224
304-217-2800 ext. 3
[email protected]