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Graduate Catalog | 2005-2007
College of Education

Special Education

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Master of Arts
Master of Education
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Education

Facilities for Graduate Work

A number of facilities at the University and in the community offer outstanding opportunities for observation, research, and study. For example, the Learning Technology Center in the College of Education houses the Assistive and Instructional Technology Laboratory, with a wide array of hardware and software used to prepare students to use assistive and instructional technology in working with individuals with disabilities. It also houses the Advanced Applications Laboratory, with a number of full multimedia and Internet workstations; the Educational Software Preview Center; several distance learning classrooms; and a Collaborative Learning Laboratory. Students may also work with special education faculty members in the Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts (VGCRLA) in the College of Education. The center works closely with the Texas Education Agency and school districts throughout Texas and conducts a number of research and professional development projects at the state and national levels. The nearby Perry-Castaneda Library contains extensive holdings in special education and related fields. Students also have access through the University Libraries Web site to an array of electronic databases, journals, and books related to special education. Practicum and internship opportunities are provided by a number of local schools, state facilities, and community agencies.

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Areas of Study

The Department of Special Education offers master's and doctoral degrees. Graduate study in special education prepares students for leadership roles in fields that serve children, youth, and adults with exceptionalities. Cultural and linguistic diversity and life span needs are emphasized in all program areas. The graduate faculty encourages the development of students' knowledge and skills in a variety of fields, including research, teaching, consultation, counseling, assessment, and administration. Graduates have the opportunity to prepare themselves for a variety of positions in public, private, and state schools; clinics, educational centers; government agencies; and universities.

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Areas of Specialization

Early childhood special education focuses on the development of early intervention programs for children from birth through six years of age, reflecting a family-centered philosophy and application of the most recent theoretical concepts in natural and inclusive settings.

Learning disabilities/behavioral disorders provides advanced coursework in learning disabilities and behavioral disorders, instructional design, and assistive technology, and field-based experiences to prepare students for leadership roles.

Multicultural special education focuses on critical issues, knowledge, and skills related to the complex relationships among culture, race and ethnicity, language, and disability. This specialization is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in the provision of culturally and linguistically responsive educational services for exceptional children and youth from diverse backgrounds.

Autism and developmental disabilities provides opportunities for students to develop skills in designing, implementing, and evaluating educational interventions for people with autism and developmental disabilities.

Rehabilitation counselor education is designed to prepare students to counsel youth and adults with disabilities who are experiencing difficulties related to personal and vocational adjustment.

Special education administration offers students advanced training appropriate to general and special education administrative positions, creating an interface between general education administration and special education. This specialization is available only to doctoral students.

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Graduate Studies Committee

The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee in the spring semester 2004-2005.

Diane Pedrotty Bryant
Carolyn Denton
Shernaz Bhathena Garcia
Sylvia Linan-Thompson
Melissa L. Olive
Mark O'Reilly
Alba A. Ortiz
Randall M. Parker
Herbert J. Rieth
James L. Schaller
Jeff Sigafoos
Benjamin W. Smith
Audrey McCray Sorrells
Keith D. Turner
Sharon Vaughn
James R. Yates
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Degree Requirements

Master of Arts. The Master of Arts degree is offered in all concentrations except special education administration. The Master of Arts requires at least thirty-three semester hours of coursework, including six hours for researching and writing a thesis. The general requirements for the master's degree set a minimum standard. Information about additional requirements is available from the graduate coordinator.

Master of Education. Two Master of Education degree plans are available in each concentration except special education administration. The Master of Education degree with report requires at least thirty-three semester hours of coursework, including three hours for preparing the report. The Master of Education degree without thesis or report requires at least thirty-six semester hours of coursework. The general requirements for the master's degree set a minimum standard. Information about additional requirements is available from the graduate coordinator.

Doctor of Philosophy. The Doctor of Philosophy degree program emphasizes research and professional development along with college teaching. The student must demonstrate competence in areas determined by the Graduate Studies Committee by producing a literature synthesis that receives the committee's approval and by earning a grade of at least B in the doctoral core courses. In addition, the student must fulfill requirements in the area of research design and data analysis.

Doctor of Education. The Doctor of Education degree program focuses on preparing students for predominantly nonresearch positions. Programs are designed to prepare professionals to apply theory and research in various settings. Professionals completing the program of study are expected to be prepared to assist individuals with disabilities to function independently and productively in society. The requirements for admission to candidacy and course requirements are similar to those for the Doctor of Philosophy degree.

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For More Information

Campus address: George I. Sanchez Building (SZB) 306, phone (512) 471-9857, fax (512) 471-2471; campus mail code: D5300

Mailing address: The University of Texas at Austin, Graduate Program, Department of Special Education, 1 University Station D5300, Austin TX 78712-0371



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Graduate Catalog | 2005-2007 Special Education program | courses

Fields of Study

    Office of the Registrar     University of Texas at Austin copyright 2005
    Official Publications 16 Aug 2005