Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Special Education advising map

School of Education

Concentration(s):
Early childhood, General education, and Severe disabilities
Program description

Students interested in applying to graduate programs for special education are encouraged to follow this Major Map in addition to the Major Map for their undergraduate major.   This advising map details key courses, activities, organizations and resources that can best prepare you for successful candidacy for graduate study.

The M.Ed. in special education prepares scholars for teaching and leadership roles in special education. The program provides aspiring educators with the tools they need to make a difference in the lives of children, youth and adults with disabilities through research, teaching, and service. In addition to the instruction from our nationally-recognized faculty, our master’s students can take advantage of field experiences available through Virginia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities training program as well.

Successful completion of our degree programs can lead to endorsement in areas such as early childhood special education, special education: general education curriculum, or special education: adapted curriculum.

The M.Ed. in special education can also be pursued as part of the Richmond Teacher Residency program, an innovative graduate teacher residency that pairs candidates with an experienced mentor in Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico and Petersburg Public Schools.

Career opportunities

A special education master’s degree enables our graduates to empower others and effect change in the lives of students in both the K-12, higher education, and community setting. Special education is the top critical shortage teaching endorsement area in Virginia. Students have an opportunity to engage with relevant, up-to-date understanding of different disabilities and how to support all students to thrive in an educational setting. There are wide variety of career pathways depending on the age group and type of educational setting students want to work. There are students who need your help to make the most of their educational experience by setting up support systems to help them succeed. Be part of the positive change today.

Change of major requirements

Admissions requirements for graduate study at VCU: VCU graduate application, official transcripts, statement of intent, bachelors degree, three letters of recommendation, GRE or MAT, 3.0 GPA in last 60 credits of coursework, and personal interview.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • *** Completion of a graduate degree may be necessary for the following job titles:
  • Developmental Specialist
  • Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
  • Early Intervention Service Coordinator
  • Job Coaches
  • Special Education Advocate
  • Special Education Instructional Assistant
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Transition Specialist
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
Science required
Foreign language requirements
Additional tuition/fees
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 3.0 GPA in last 60 credits of coursework
Department name:
Dean's Office
Building/room location:
Oliver Hall, 1015 W. Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23284-2020
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
804-827-2670
Email:
soeinfo@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Enroll in UNIV 291 - Urban Education freshman seminar.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
  • Complete PSYC 101 and STAT 210.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond’s museums, parks, festivals, and cultural events!
  • Apply to the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living and Learning Programs.
  • Get involved with VCU Student Government or one of over 450 clubs and organizations.
  • Learn about new cultures, food and music by attending one of Richmond's wide array of festivals!
  • Attend the Masters's level Poster Fair.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about your study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) website for programs, events, and resources.
  • Attend VCU’s annual Intercultural Festival.
  • Join a living-learning program such as VCU Globe.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore What Can I Do With This Major? to learn about employers in your field of study.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists.
  • Build a LinkedIn profile with Career Services.
  • Follow the School of Education’s social media for workshops and events
  • Review the RRTC website and attend an event.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete a Gap Analysis Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using Lynda.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility)

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based, value-added courses.
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Complete SEDP 330.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue at ConnectVA and HandsOnRVA.
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break.
  • Meet with your faculty mentor to discuss your interests and opportunities.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or events hosted by the School of Education (i.e. Harris Lecture series, Teach-In kick-off).
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Attend an event hosted by the Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity office.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Create a draft of your resume and go to drop-ins at VCU Career Services to have it reviewed.
  • Attend Career and Internship Fairs and events throughout the year. 
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest.
  • Review the Partnership for People with Disabilities website and attend an event.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.
  • Attend an SOE information session or Open House.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your advisor each semester to discuss degree progression and plans for elective coursework.
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research.
  • Complete SEDP 505 and/or EDUS 305.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Create a community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
  • Attend a Wellness Resource Center program.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by your home department or the School of Education.
  • Review the local professional organizations list on this Major Map to identify ways to get involved.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend presentations and conferences pertinent to intercultural dialogue, history and issues.
  • Develop exceptional communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary teams.
  • Consider becoming a diversity ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Seek research opportunities to refine your goals & to learn the rigors & discipline required for success.
  • Apply for summer research funding through UROP.
  • Meet with a career adviser to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
  • Connect with ACE-IT to learn about the buddy program
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to your advisors, faculty, and/or career services about whether graduate school or a job will be the best step for you after graduation
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least one year in advance of application deadlines
  • Complete admissions exams the summer before your senior year (GRE/MAT, PRAXIS, VCLA etc.)
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revist gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services.
  • Attend the VCU Careers in Education Symposium.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Complete SEDP 630 with approval from the School of Education.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year.
  • Serve in a leadership role or as a board member of a local community organization.
  • Attend professional conferences that offer student rates or scholarships.
  • Attend Virginia’s CEC Conference.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs I Love Diversity Week.
  • Attend OMSA Tunnel of Oppression.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your e-portfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other discipline- specific conference. 
  • Apply for Substitute Teaching the VCU Way through the School of Education.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Special Education advising map

School of Education

Concentration(s):
Early childhood, General education, and Severe disabilities
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Enroll in UNIV 291 - Urban Education freshman seminar.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
  • Complete PSYC 101 and STAT 210.
  • Complete a Gap Analysis Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using Lynda
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility)
Experience Year 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based, value-added courses.
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Complete SEDP 330.
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue at ConnectVA and HandsOnRVA
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break
  • Meet with your faculty mentor to discuss your interests and opportunities.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or events hosted by the School of Education (i.e. Harris Lecture series, Teach-In kick-off).
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.
  • Attend an SOE information session or Open House.
Year 3
  • See your advisor each semester to discuss degree progression and plans for elective coursework.
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research.
  • Complete SEDP 505 and/or EDUS 305.
  • Seek research opportunities to refine your goals & to learn the rigors & discipline required for success.
  • Apply for summer research funding through UROP
  • Meet with a career adviser to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
  • Connect with ACE-IT to learn about the buddy program
  • Talk to your advisors, faculty, and/or career services about whether graduate school or a job will be the best step for you after graduation
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least one year in advance of application deadlines
  • Complete admissions exams the summer before your senior year (GRE/MAT, PRAXIS, VCLA etc.)
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revist gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services
  • Attend the VCU Careers in Education Symposium.
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Complete SEDP 630 with approval from the School of Education.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs I Love Diversity Week.
  • Attend OMSA Tunnel of Oppression.
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your e-portfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other discipline- specific conference. 
  • Apply for Substitute Teaching the VCU Way through the School of Education.
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services