Master of Arts in Special Education Teaching (Education Specialist Early Childhood)

Total Units for Completion of MAT: 30

Program Description

The MAT coursework focuses on inquiry-based education which includes hands-on instruction with problem-based learning and issues-centered curriculum and a focus on reflection during the teaching and research process. The program foundation rests in social justice and equity in education for all children and youth, including those with disabilities and their families.

Throughout the MAT program, candidates will learn how to critically examine evidence-based practices, policy issues, and current research on teaching and learning in the field of special education. Candidates will be expected to apply analytical skills to develop and implement standards-based curriculum in diverse settings using best instructional and inclusive practices that positively impact the learning of all students, including English Learners and children and youth with disabilities. Candidates also will conduct original teacher action research using practice-based methods in diverse educational settings. The materials and associated activities presented in the MAT coursework are highly integrated to support candidates with successful completion of the Master of Arts in Teaching culminating exam at the end of the program. 

Master of Arts in Special Education Teaching (Early Childhood Special Education)

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact the Academic and Program Services Office in Eureka Hall 401, (916) 278-6639, an advisor in the Student Success Center, or the MAT program website for the most current admissions procedures.

Program Admission Requirements

  1. A Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university;
  2. Completion of a preliminary teaching credential in the corresponding concentration;
  3. To successfully complete this program, students must actively serve as the permit teacher or designated teacher of record in a classroom setting during the research phase. This requirement ensures the practical application and direct implementation of learned concepts in a real-world educational environment.
  4. Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in last 60 semester or 90 quarter units as evidenced from official transcripts from every college/university attended.

Students who have deficiencies in admission requirements that can be removed by specified additional preparation may be admitted to the degree program with conditionally classified graduate status.

Admissions Procedures

  1. For students completing the Sacramento State teaching credential program concurrently, an internal application process is required.
  2. For returning students who have completed the Sacramento State teaching credential program within the last four years, a university application will need to be submitted that includes:
    1. A graduate writing sample
    2. Two references

For applicants who have completed a teaching credential program at a university other than Sacramento State, please contact the College of Education at prior to applying.

Minimum Units and Grade Requirement for the MAT Degree 

Units required for the MAT degree: 30

Minimum Cumulative GPA for the MAT degree: 3.0

Additional Information for All Admitted Program Candidates: MAT Degree

Grade Requirement for the Master’s Degree: Courses required for the Master of Arts in Teaching degree require a grade of B- or better in order to be used to satisfy the requirements of the Master’s degree. If a student receives below a B- in any course required for the Master’s degree, the course must be successfully repeated with a grade of B- or better in order to satisfy the requirements of the degree program.

Delays: Candidates who have to delay progress in this program will file a "Program Delay Petition" in the Teaching Credentials Office. In addition, candidates will need to file a Leave of Absence form with the University. A student returning after a delay may be accommodated on a space available basis. Candidates must return and complete the program within the seven-year limit for graduate programs.

Advancement to Candidacy Procedures: Each student working toward a Master of Arts in Teaching degree must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy for the degree. The purpose of this application is to provide certification to the Office of Graduate Studies that the student will complete the necessary requirements and coursework for the Master’s degree. The student must be advanced to candidacy the semester prior to enrolling in EDSP 500.

This procedure should begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • Completed 21 units in the graduate program with a minimum 3.0 GPA; and
  • Met the Graduate Writing Requirement through completion of the Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course, EDSP 281, with a B grade or better.

Advancement to Candidacy forms are available online through the Office of Graduate Studies. The student should complete the form in consultation with the MAT Program Coordinator. The form must be submitted online with the Office of Graduate Studies for approval.

Culminating Experience Enrollment: Before enrolling in EDSP 500, the student must submit a reservation form for a Culminating Experience to the MAT Program Coordinator.

Continuous Enrollment in the Master's Degree: Enrollment in EDSP 500 for the culminating experience is for one semester. The expectation is that students will complete the culminating experience during EDSP 500. Up to three semesters of continuous enrollment (EDSP 599) are allowed if the Culminating Experience advisor deems a reasonable amount of progress has been made and assigns a grade of "RP" for EDSP 500. If students fail to make adequate progress while enrolled in EDSP 500 and there are no mitigating circumstances (e.g., illness), a grade of "no credit" is given, and the student must re-enroll in EDSP 500.

Program Requirements

MAT in Special Education Core Courses (18 Units)
EDSP 281Critical Issues in Special Education Research and Practice 6
EDSP 282Classroom Inquiry Methods in Critical Special Education3
EDSP 283Critical Analysis and Interpretation of Classroom Inquiry3
EDSP 209Developing Augmentative & Alternative Communication Systems: Assessment and Intervention3
Culminating Experience
EDSP 500Classroom Inquiry/Action Research Portfolio-Culminating Experience3
Early Childhood Special Education Concentration Courses (12 Units)
EDSP 210Assessment and Evaluation in Early Childhood Special Education3
EDSP 208Positive Behavioral Supports and Evidence-Based Practices for Youth with Autism and Related Issues3
EDSP 212Inclusive Curriculum, Intervention Strategies, and Environments in ECSE II: Preschool & Kindergarten3
EDSP 218Advanced program planning/instruction: Students with Extensive Support Needs/Multiple Disabilities3
Total Units30
Total Additional Units for the Credential (35-52 UNITS) 1
Additional Coursework for the Early Childhood Special Education Credential (22 Units)
EDSP 119Legal and Social Foundations of Inclusive Education3
EDSP 200Seminar I: Early Childhood Special Education1
EDSP 201Developing Collaborative Partnerships with Families, Professionals, and Communities in ECSE3
EDSP 211Curriculum, Intervention Strategies, and Environments in ECSE I: Infants & Toddlers3
EDSP 213Early Language and Literacy Development, Instruction, and Intervention in ECSE3
EDSP 217Foundations of Positive Behavioral Supports: Creating Safe and engaging Learning Environments3
EDSP 238Culminating Seminar for Education Specialist Candidates3
EDSP 293Strategies for Inclusive Classrooms3
Total Units22

Variable additional units refer to the student taking either the Resident Pathway OR the Intern Pathway to fulfill their Field Experience requirement. 

EDSP 474ECSE Early Fieldwork Experience I3
EDSP 476ECSE Student Teaching: Infants & Toddlers4
EDSP 477ECSE Student Teaching: Preschool/Kindergarten6
Total Units13

Students can take the Resident Pathway OR the Intern Pathway to fulfill their Field Experience requirement.

EDSP 474ECSE Early Fieldwork Experience I3
EDSP 475ECSE Early Fieldwork Experience II3 - 9
or EDSP 478 ECSE Intern Teaching
EDSP 476ECSE Student Teaching: Infants & Toddlers4 - 9
or EDSP 478 ECSE Intern Teaching
EDSP 477ECSE Student Teaching: Preschool/Kindergarten6 - 9
or EDSP 478 ECSE Intern Teaching
Total Units16-30

Students can take the Resident Pathway OR the Intern Pathway to fulfill their Field Experience requirement.