This spring 2021, St. Mary’s College will begin offering a special education minor in the educational studies program. With the special education minor, students will be eligible to apply to the SMCM Master of Arts in Teaching program with certification in elementary/middle school special education (grades 1-8).

According to Katherine Koch, associate professor/associate director of teacher education, “Students will gain a solid foundation in special education theory and practice with a special education minor. Our students work closely with local K-12 schools to gain hands-on, practical experience.”

The minor in special education includes six courses that offer a basic foundation in the field of special education. These courses are also required for the MAT program with certification in special education, starting with the July 2021 cohort. This minor is recommended for students who are interested in pursuing careers related to special education, such as counseling, school psychology, and speech/language pathology but do not necessarily plan to teach in K-12 settings. Commonly paired majors include history, psychology, and sociology.

Students completing the 10-month MAT program, which runs July-May, receive a degree that is recognized in all 50 states. In addition to the special education certification, MAT certifications are offered in elementary with early childhood, elementary (grades 1-6); secondary (in history, English, math, social studies, biology, chemistry, physics, theater: grades 7-12); and PreK-12 (art or music) or a foreign language (French, Spanish, or Chinese).

The special education minor and new MAT special education certification were approved by St. Mary’s College in 2019, and recently approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission and Maryland State Department of Education.

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