Special Education, MA

College of Education

Program Description:

The Special Education Program at the, University of New Mexico (UNM), offers graduate work leading to the Master of Arts (MA) to qualified students. The MA student may choose from two concentrations: Concentration I, Mental Retardation and Severe Disabilities: Studies in Educational Equity for Diverse Exceptional Learners (which includes mental retardation, severe disabilities, autism, severe psychiatric disabilities, intensive communication needs, cultural and linguistic diversity, and inclusive education); and Concentration II, Learning and Behavioral Exceptionalities: Studies in Instruction, Curriculum, Collaboration, and Transition of Diverse Learners (which includes learning disabilities, emotional & behavioral disorders, bilingual/multicultural, early childhood, and secondary transition). The degree program can also lead to teacher licensure in special education if the student requests that option early in the program.

CONCENTRATION I

Intellectual Disabilities and Severe Disabilities: Studies in Educational Equity for Diverse Exceptional Learners:

The MA Program in Special Education Concentration I: Intellectual Disabilities and Severe Disabilities-Studies in Educational Equity for Diverse Exceptional Learners is guided by the vision that all children and adults with disabilities will be valued members of their communities, including their communities of learners. We believe people with intellectual and/or severe disabilities should have meaningful participation in all aspects of life. They should have choices and access to options that allow them to create for themselves personally satisfying lives. They should be supported in their choices to engage in all activities appropriate to their ages and should participate in diverse and inclusive educational environments. Therefore, all people should have the right to participate in an educational system that enhances human rights and provides educational opportunities to students and that does not systematically institutionalize or segregate individuals.

To this end, the faculty of Concentration I enhance and support these opportunities through actively collaborating with people with intellectual disabilities and other disabilities, their families and friends, teachers, and other professionals within the College of Education, UNM, and the community. The UNM Special Education Concentration in Mental Retardation and Severe Disabilities provides leadership in:

  • Teacher preparation
  • Comprehensive educational assessment
  • Professional development for other leaders
  • Research on issues affecting diverse exceptional learners
  • Policy development and implementation
  • Advocacy
  • Technical assistance and partnerships with schools and agencies

The Concentration also provides a forum in which current challenges surrounding a wide range of diversities and exceptionalities, especially those that lead to stigmatization, exclusion, and oppression, may be explored.

CONCENTRATION II

Learning and Behavioral Exceptionalities: Studies in Instruction, Curriculum, Collaboration, and Transition of Diverse Learners:

The MA Program in Special Education Concentration II: Learning and Behavioral Exceptionalities: Studies in Instruction, Curriculum, Collaboration, and Transition of Diverse Learners is structured around nationally prominent specialization areas. These areas remain in the forefront of the field because their associated issues, principles, and strategies continue to hold compelling interest for students, families, educators, and policymakers. These specialization areas address major exceptionalities as well as critical needs that cross exceptionalities:

  • Learning Disabilities
  • Emotional & Behavioral Disorders
  • Early Childhood Special Education

The faculty of the concentration in Learning and Behavioral Exceptionalities: Studies in Instruction, Curriculum, Collaboration, and Transition of Diverse Learners strongly advocate their vision to model and inspire passionate, just and compassionate responsiveness to the diverse strengths and needs of children and adults with learning and behavioral exceptionalities. The Program of Study in Concentration II embraces exceptionality issues and broad special education competencies that teachers of these students need to acquire, including collaboration skills and transition planning.


Admission Requirements:

Application can be found at www.unm.edu/apply/, or the Special Education program web site, or by contacting the Special Education Academic Advisor (information above). The following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application:

  • Complete Graduate Application online http://www.unm.edu/apply/
  • $50.00 non-refundable application fee (pay with credit card online as part of Graduate Application)
  • One official transcript from each college you have attended (Exception: UNM transcripts)
  • One unofficial transcript from each college you have attended (Exception: UNM transcripts)
  • Letter of Intent
  • Department Application form
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (Recommend at least one letter from a college instructor, one from an employer, and one from another professional contact)

Contact Information:

Suzie McCalmant-Garcia: Program Advisor
(505) 277-5018
specialeducation@unm.edu