The College of Education’s online Master of Science in Special Education program will be growing this fall.
As part of Project OPERATE, the school has received 1.25 million dollars in grants that will pay for the tuition of nine students. The grant will fund education for students who are accepted to the accelerated master’s degree program every year through 2020. By having this grant, the school will become more competitive and even allow students from out of state or overseas.
Associate Professor Elizabeth Cramer says that they hope to target educators who have already worked with students on the autism spectrum. She also says that because the number of autism diagnoses are increasing, there is a need for more teachers who possess the expertise to work with them.
Elizabeth Lane-Smith, 22, is currently obtaining her master’s degree in this program. She says that she likes it because instead of having to go back and get an autism endorsement, this program allows students to get a certification in both special education and autism.
Lane-Smith also says that there is a great amount of flexibility within the program. Although there aren’t many interactions with teachers and peers, students are able to take two classes at a time and log in at any location.
Students who will be receiving the grant as part of their tuition payment will be required to a research project to present at the annual South Florida Education Research Conference. They will also be participating in three professional development seminars online.
By Sejal Sheth