Special Education, Behavioral Disorders, MEd

Shippensburg University's Special Education, Behavioral Disorders, MEd program is accredited by the Council for Exceptional Children and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. It is an advanced study of emotional and behavioral disorders.

What Will I Learn?

You will enhance your skills and learn evidence-based strategies for instruction and behavior management for early intervention and ongoing support of students with disorders. Student development, collaboration and legal implications are key aspects of the curriculum.

Core courses focus on:

  • Applied behavior analysis
  • Positive behavior supports
  • Instruction of students with social and emotional behavior disorders
  • Legal implications
  • Learning strategies
  • Behavior strategies

What Kinds of Experiences Could I Have?

Faculty in the program are teaching scholars. Each has a rich and varied research, presentation and publication agenda. You will learn from them in small classes, leading to personalized attention.

There are targeted clinical field experiences in local special education classroom settings prior to the student teaching semester. Field hours provide increased experience with students in educational settings. Responsibilities include:

  • Providing instruction using educational strategies and techniques
  • Collecting data
  • Designing interventions and instruction
  • Progress monitoring
  • Attending IEP meetings

There are also opportunities unique to Ship through:

  • Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School – The school provides a unique opportunity to observe and participate in elementary school activities and classroom teaching experiences with children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Ship is the only university in Pennsylvania with an on-campus public elementary lab school.
  • Bartos Child and Family Center – The center is adjacent to the lab school provides opportunities to observe and work with children ages one through five.
  • Head Start – This program on campus provides more opportunities for observations and to work with children.

There are also plenty of opportunities to conduct and present research during your time at Shippensburg University.

What Types of Careers Could I Get With This Degree?

Graduates have gone on to work a PreK-12 special education teachers in both public and private settings. Faculty have many connections across the country and districts regularly recruit our students before and after graduation. Our graduates work in learning support, emotional support, life skills, multiple disabilities, and self-contained classrooms; collaborative settings, transition to adulthood positions, early intervention settings and many others.

We help students and graduates find employment and prepare for the interview process through mock interviews with our local partner districts. The special education degree can be used to work with people with disabilities of all ages in community settings. For example, several of our graduates hold jobs in higher education as disability support directors; their work is to support college students with disabilities. Other graduates have gone on to work in day and residential programs.