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Specialist in Education - Columbus State University

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Specialist in Education

Program Description

The Ed.S. program in Special Education at Columbus State University provides advanced professional and pedagogical studies that develop expertise in the knowledge, skills, and habits of accomplished teachers. Candidates choose to complete a specialization in either Special Education Administration or Adaptive/assistive Technology Services.

The Ed.S. candidate develops expertise in studies of content, pedagogy, research, reading, and psychological foundations. Programs develop the knowledge and skills reflected in the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) propositions.

Educator Preparation at Columbus State University is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), formerly the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

All educator preparation programs are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

Career Opportunities

The Ed.S. program is designed for teachers and other leaders who want to influence practice outside of the immediate classroom or school system. The degree leads to certification at the sixth year level.

Admission Requirements

  • A graduate degree from an accredited college or university in a major related to the planned field of study;
  • Possess or be eligible for a Georgia Professional Level Five Teaching Certificate (or equivalent) in Special Education;
  • Present a 3.00 GPA or higher on all prior graduate work attempted;
  • Have acquired at least three years of acceptable teaching experience in a K-12 school environment;
  • Provide two letters of reference attesting to a high level of professional skills;
  • Satisfactory scores on the verbal subtest and either the quantitative or analytical subtest of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or a valid renewable teaching license at the T-5 level;
  • Successfully complete a formal interview with special education faculty with a recommendation for admission;
  • Additional admission criteria may be applied at the department level. Admission decisions are appealable to the College of Education Graduate Appeals Committee.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program of study, students completing the EdS program in Special Education will have advanced knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to:
  • A self-selected area of professional interest conducive to assuming leadership roles within a school setting
  • The ability to read and interpret legal documents including statutes, regulations, and court opinions
  • Contemporary theory and research in the social construction of disability, especially as it applies to public institutional settings
  •  Constitutional, statutory, and regulatory requirements in special education legal rights issues
  • Special education system development based on federal, state, and local priorities

Additional Program Requirements

  • Students must earn a 3.0 GPA calculated on all graduate work attempted. "Academic Forgiveness" policy does not apply to graduate studies.
  • Students cannot graduate with a grade of "C" or below in more than two (2) graduate courses without an appeal to the College of Education Graduate Council.
  • A minimum of 24 semester hours required for the degree must be earned in residence (75%). Asynchronous (online) and distance learning courses administered through Columbus State University constitute courses taken in residence.
  • A maximum of six (6) semester hours of transfer credit or courses taken at CSU prior to full admission to a specialist degree program may be applied toward the degree. Courses with earned grades of "C" or below are not accepted. Courses must be approved by the major advisor and department chair.
  • An active LiveText account is a required resource for this program because selected assignments must be submitted electronically using this online platform. LiveText ( is used by the university to maintain our accreditation, to demonstrate the quality of our academic programs, and to improve teaching and learning.

Program of Study

Professional Core Required Hours: 9
EDCI 7359 Specialist Project
EDUF 7115 Psychology of Teaching
EDUF 7117 Quantitative Research Methods
EDUF 7118 Qualitative Research Methods

Special Education Concentration Required Hours: 9
SPED 7125 Special Education Law
SPED 7158 Program Leadership in Special Education
SPED 7725 Sociology of Special Education

Specialized Strand Required Hours: 10

EDUF 6795 Foundations of Collaborative Student Support
EDUL 6279 Leadership for Improving Student Achievement
EDUL 7106 Curriculum Design for School/System Improvement
EDUL 7797 Budget Alignment to School/System Mission

Adaptive and Assistive Technology
SPED 7135 AAC: Systems and Support
SPED 7245 Classroom Integration of Assistive Technology
SPED 7275 Assistive Technology and Literacy Support

Total Hours Required: 30

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