COVID-19 Updates

We are preparing for a safe, flexible return to campus this fall.


Course offerings reflect the 2020-2021 Elmhurst University Catalog. All graduate courses are 3 semester hours unless otherwise noted.

Core Special Education Courses

Most courses do not have prerequisites and may be completed in any order. The following six courses are required for the M.S.Ed. in Special Education.

This course is designed for teachers to examine the development and the diverse educational, physical, motor, communication, social-emotional and cognitive needs of students with disabilities. Research on and implications for appropriate diagnosis, service delivery, and instructional methodology are examined. Summer Term.

An advanced study of the educational assessment processes and strategies with a review of legal provisions, regulations and guidelines. Focus areas include the uses and limitations of formal and informal assessments, the administration and interpretation of information obtained from both formal and informal measures, strategies for modifying and adapting formal measures (local, state and national), and the Illinois Alternative Assessment Process. Summer Term.

This course provides a foundation for developing instructional practices that classroom teachers may use to respond to the issues of the 21st century. Teachers will examine the learning outcomes of P-12 students with and without special needs in inclusive classrooms and the social issues faced by teachers, counselors, and administrators. Additional focus areas will include topics such as professional collaboration, differentiated instruction, strategies for modifying and adapting instruction, cooperative learning, problem-based learning, interdisciplinary instruction, and classroom applications of the theory of multiple intelligences.

This course offers an investigation of the special methodology, materials and approaches for teaching students with mild to moderate disabilities in the academic curriculum (K-12). Educational assessment strategies, components in individualized education programs, and the design of such programs are also studied. Fall Term.

An advanced study of the assessment, curriculum development and instruction in meaningful curriculum design including functional academics; critical life skills; and communication, social and mobility areas. Authentic assessment strategies, components in individualized education programs, and the implementation of functional curricula across settings are studied. Spring Term.

In this course, teachers will be introduced to the laws and legal implications of court decisions affecting schools and professional educators. Teachers will analyze and discuss constitutional law, case law and legal issues affecting educational policy and practice.

Required Research Courses

Teachers must complete four research courses as part of degree requirements. All research projects are focused on special education.

A purpose of this course is to take the classroom practitioner from theory to practice. With professor supervision, teachers will learn how to use action research methods as a means of collecting data that can inform and improve practice as well as be applied in their graduate research projects. Topics will reflect current educational issues and areas of research.

.25, .50 or .75 credit as needed to earn 8.50 credits

This seminar represents the culminating experience for all teachers. This seminar is completed during the final Fall or Spring Term in the program to facilitate the completion of a final master’s project in special education.

Choose two of the following to complete the research requirement:

  • MTL 521 Building Professional and Community Relationships through Collaboration
  • MTL 538 Improving School Climate and Learning
  • MTL 597 Promoting Professional Development for School Improvement

Two Elective Advocacy and Leadership Courses

Teachers choose two additional courses from among teacher leadership courses to complete the 34-semester-hour graduation requirement. For course descriptions, see the M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership courses.

Connect with #elmhurstu