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Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education

Angela Crespo Cozart, Ph.D
Program Director

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) Special Education is nationally accredited by the Council for Exceptional Children and by the South Carolina Department of Education. Most coursework in this program is taught by full-time faculty members (holding terminal degrees in their fields), who have extensive teaching experience and maintain active research and service agendas. Coursework is offered in late afternoon and evening sessions Monday through Thursday for fall and spring terms and in day and evening sessions during the summer terms. Students may enroll as part-time or full-time candidates. Full-time graduate students may be eligible for graduate assistantships through the Graduate School.

Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education (K-12)

The M.A.T. in Special Education is designed for individuals with undergraduate degrees in areas other than education who want to become licensed special education teachers. The program includes three areas of study: emotional disabilities, learning disabilities and mental disabilities. The Program of Study currently requires a minimum of 39 hours of graduate credit. If candidates have not recently taken a course in human growth and development or developmental psychology, they must take that course.

Successful completion of the M.A.T. Program of Study, including the teacher education requirements, leads to recommendation for licensure in South Carolina in the student’s area of concentration. Teacher education requirements include successful clinical practice during a full-time semester, passing the specialty Praxis exams, and other School of Education, Health, and Human Performance and South Carolina Department of Education requirements that can be found on the program’s website. Candidates should consult this website for changes in program or state requirements.

Minimum Admission Requirements for the M.A.T. in Special Education

Candidates should submit the following application materials to The Graduate School.

  • A completed application form with a nonrefundable application fee of $50.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework. An earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required. Applicants are required to have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Undergraduate coursework should represent a broad liberal arts background.
  • A statement of goals stating why the candidate seeks to be part of the program and is pursuing a teaching career.
  • Two letters of recommendation. Letters should be from persons most familiar with previous academic and/or work experience and should indicate evidence of potential for graduate studies.
  • A professional résumé
  • Results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), if English is not the primary language of the candidate
  • Official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • A statement of ability to perform essential teaching duties under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

These requirements are subject to change before the next catalog is printed. Application packages are available through the Graduate School or online. The deadline for Fall applications to the M.A.T. in Special Education for students planning to attend full-time is April 1. However, applications may still be reviewed until July 15 if there are slots left unfilled after the April 1 deadline. Potential applicants should contact the program director to determine if this is the case.

* Applicants who plan to, at least initially, complete the program on a part-time basis, may apply for admission during fall, spring or summer semesters in order to begin taking courses the following semester.

Transfer Credit Policy

An applicant or student from the M.A.T. in Special Education program can seek approval from the program director to accept up to six transfer credit hours from an accredited program. The courses proposed for transfer will be reviewed by the faculty advisors in the discipline area for relevancy to the program. These courses must have a grade of B or higher, and may count toward the degree requirements. Courses with a grade of “Pass” or “Satisfactory” will not be accepted.

Degree Requirements for the M.A.T in Special Education

The M.A.T in Special Education is awarded to candidates who successfully complete an approved, performance-based program of study consisting of a minimum of 39 semester hours of credit with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0.

Requirements for recommendation for licensure by the South Carolina Department of Education are described in the teacher education program information packet and the Clinical Practice Handbook. Successful completion of clinical practice requirements and passing scores on the Praxis specialty exams corresponding with the candidate’s area of concentration are two of the requirements for licensure recommendation. The Praxis specialty exams should not be taken prior to specialty coursework completion. It is the candidate’s responsibility to register for these exams and have scores sent to the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance and the South Carolina Department of Education.

Title II Report Card

The College of Charleston Title II Report Card can be located by going to the South Carolina Department of Education Title II website, Additionally, copies of the report can be requested by contacting the director of the Office of Student Services and Certification at 843-953-5613 or 86 Wentworth Street, College of Charleston, Charleston, S.C. 29424-0001. To discuss the College of Charleston Title II Report Card, contact the dean of the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance at 843.953.5613.

For the purposes of Title II reporting, a program completer is defined as a candidate who has successfully completed clinical practice.

Professional Development for Certified Teachers

Certified educators can enroll in professional development courses through the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance's Office of Professional Development in Education (OPDE). These courses, known as professional development courses (EDPD), are used to modernize instructional strategies and offer content enrichment opportunities while leading to recertification points and pay scale advancements. These professional development credits offered through OPDE do not count toward the completion of an advanced degree such as the Master of Education or Master of Arts in Teaching. For more information regarding professional development courses, contact the OPDE Office at 843.953.7651.

Please note that EDPD courses differ from catalog courses. Courses that appear in the College of Charleston graduate catalog are considered catalog courses and have been approved as part of a course of study in a graduate level program. These courses are typically offered at the downtown or north campus. In some cases, schools or districts contract with the College of Charleston to offer catalog courses that lead to M.A.T. or M.Ed. degrees or to certificates (i.e., English for Speakers of Other Languages, Special Education, Gifted and Talented Education).