Clarion U. adds graduate-level degree and more

The Clarion University School of Education has added a graduate-level degree, certifications and endorsements.

Graduate-level degree opportunities have broadened with the addition of the Master of Science in Special Education. The degree is designed for those individuals who currently hold a special education certification.

The program is offered in an online, seven-week-semester format, with the exception of one research methods course offered in a 15-week-semester format.

Other Master of Education degree programs include the M.Ed. with special education concentration and M.Ed. pre-K-8/7-12 with reading concentration.

Beginning this past academic year, students were able to earn new master’s-level certifications and endorsements, in addition to their degrees.

The online instruction endorsement is a 12-credit graduate program, approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, for teachers with Pennsylvania Level 1 or Level 2 certification. This online program is designed to provide educators with essential tools to engage students in online learning environments.

The online instruction endorsement can be completed as a stand-alone program or as part of the Master of Education with technology concentration. This program is only offered online.

The reading specialist certification is obtained upon successful completion of the Master of Education with a reading concentration. Students also may obtain the certification without the degree by completing a specific sequence of courses. The courses are offered only online.

The autism spectrum disorders endorsement for certified school personnel who hold Level I and Level II teaching certificates has also been developed. This endorsement will be an addition to the school personnel’s existing Level I and Level II certificates and will be issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The required 12 hours of graduate level coursework include classes in autism spectrum disorders, advanced applied behavior analysis, collaboration and cooperation and advanced methods for people with autism and severe disabilities. This program is offered only at the Clarion campus.

“Students with autism are in every classroom. General and special educators need to continually upgrade their skills in this area,” he said. “The autism endorsement allows for these professional development opportunities at both pre-service and in-service levels.”

The gifted endorsement is the first step toward required training for teachers of the gifted. It typically consists of four courses. Clarion University is one of four state institutions whose gifted endorsement is approved by the Department of Education.

Clarion’s education programs are accredited by the Council Accreditation for Education Preparation, the only recognized national accreditation agency for education programs.

Only 30 percent of education programs in Pennsylvania meet CAEP’s strict accreditation standards for content and instructional effectiveness.