(M.Ed.) Degree Tracks

Special Education with Grades 7-12 PA Teaching Certification

This track is for is for students who presently hold a current Pennsylvania teaching certificate in secondary education or reading.

Working in a secondary education classroom can be challenging, but rewarding work. Seasoned teachers often site their motivation for teaching as the privilege of helping a student succeed, where that individual had previously struggled in conventional classrooms. Even greater satisfaction can come from the successful reentry of those same students back into the regular classroom. Yet for some students who have multiple disabilities, the special education classroom, under the care of a well-prepared teacher, is the ideal venue for growth and learning. Teachers of those individuals find the ultimate satisfaction comes when they see those students grow into young adults, attend prom, and graduate to a promising future.

Messiah College’s Graduate Program in Education Special Education with a Grade 7-12 Certification is designed to provide highly qualified educators with the skills they will need to become better prepared teachers to the students with disabilities already enrolled in their classes, or for those educators who want to become the teacher of record in a special education teaching position. We help train the teachers who will watch their students thrive.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, secondary special education continues to experience teacher shortages in many states, including Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey. Special education teachers are in high demand in urban and rural areas, and the need will continue to rise as enrollment increases. Within the next decade the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a significant number of special education teachers to retire nationwide, which will further increase the need for teachers in this field.

Graduate students in this track can expect to learn about transition services, including ongoing assessment, curriculum planning, and collaboration with community agency personnel, school administration, faculty, and parents. This track provides knowledge, skills, and competencies required of secondary special school personnel to assist youth and young adults as they transition to postsecondary, employment and independent living opportunities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for this field is $54,810, with some regions offering salaries as high as $83,410. (www.bls.gov).