Make your teaching position matter by educating special-needs students using theory, fundamental techniques, and research based best practices.

Master of Education with Special Education Certification (Grades Pre K-8 and 7-12) prepares educators who hold another teaching certification to be successful in a variety of inclusive special education classroom settings.

Special attention is given to individual and state-wide planning, as well as new technology to support today's differentiated instruction. Important trends in programs and services, and strategies to develop reading skills for students are also studied. This program provides both historical and current knowledge of legislation, laws and research findings, existing and emerging theory, and methods of assessment for this population.
The program in Special Education leading to a Master of Education is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.The curriculum complies with current Pennsylvania and national standards. In addition to coursework that focuses on young students with special needs such as learning disabilities, social/emotional disorders, and autism, the certification program includes coursework in technology, literacy and teaching strategies and methods for the instruction of students. Certification students are required to complete classroom field experiences to enhance their understanding of working with children with various abilities and disabilities.


Evaluation of Credentials (required prior to entering program):
Verification of Valid Pennsylvania Elementary Certification or    
Verification of Valid Pennsylvania Secondary Certification

Praxis Examination:
Praxis - Education of Exceptional Students: Core Knowledge and Application
Test 0354 or 5354
* Must be passed prior to applying for Special Education Certification

Background checks and clearances (required prior to all field experience placements):
Act 34 – Child Abuse               
Act 114 – FBI Fingerprinting Background Check
Act 151 – PA Criminal Background Check   
Tuberculosis Screening


Academic Advisor

Sister Margaret Anne Dougherty, RSM, Ph.D.

Coordinator, Graduate Programs in Education



Admissions Staff

Kelly Burr, M.Ed.

Coordinator of Graduate Admissions & Student Services,School of Graduate and Adult Education

610-796-8296 (phone) 610-796-8367 (fax)


Cynthia Mensch

Director of Schuylkill Center

1544 Route 61 Hwy S. Suite 6190

Pottsville, PA 17901



Dana Baker

Director of Philadelphia Center

1355 West Cheltenham Avenue

Melrose Park, PA 19027



What educators say about us

“The M.Ed. and graduate certification programs at Alvernia University employ a values-centered approach to prepare highly-qualified, caring educators and school leaders. Through coursework and field work, students become ready to address many needs of diverse populations we now see in today’s schools.” ~ Ellen Engler, B.S., M.S.Ed., Associate Professor of Education


“The M.Ed. program at Alvernia University has provided an academically challenging experience which is relevant to my career as a teacher.” ~ Steph Snavely, M.Ed. ’10


“Alvernia University strives to integrate a variety of different teaching methods to ensure success.” ~ Michelle Salloum, Special Education Certification ’08

MED Special Education Emphasis
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