What will I learn?

The Program

Full-Time Option

This cohort-based model is designed for students wishing to study full-time on the VIU campus. All formal coursework is completed over two semesters. The Field Inquiry and Major Project components are completed during the third semester. Students may complete this semester with online support. Students may complete their Field Inquiry and Major Project components over two semesters. This will expand the program into a full two-year option.

VIU's M.Ed. in Special Education embodies an innovative approach to the field of Special Education. Grounded in current research and evidence-based practices, our program challenges each educator to critically examine historical and contemporary Special Education policies and approaches to formulate a best practice specific to her/his own context. Faculty bring their expert knowledge and extensive experiences to guide, support and maximize student learning in each part of the program.

The 40-credit program is nested in four frames of reference:

  • Context for Development and Learning: Students consider the context for development and learning including characteristics of the individual with special needs; issues such as social context, cultural perspectives, poverty, and mental and social health; and implications of research.
  • Informative Assessment: Students focus on the purposes, processes, and implications of assessment information.
  • Responsive Teaching: Students demonstrate the ability to develop, implement, and evaluate an Individual Education Plan (IEP) in consultation with classroom teacher(s), parents, students, and district and community resource personnel for students with a variety of special needs.
  • Re-imagining Special Education: Students think beyond current practices and examine critical issues in the field of Special Education that impact children with special needs and their families in order to re-imagine the field of Special Education.

Graduates of the program will command content knowledge, develop skill-specific competencies and acquire relevant experiences prescribed by the BC Ministry of Education for Special Education specialist teachers, as well as, have the capacity to offer leadership in Special Education areas.

Career Opportunities

Domestic graduates of this program will be well-poised to assume Special Education positions at the school and district level. School districts in British Columbia report great difficulty in recruiting qualified Special Education teachers.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Education

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
CAD$12,500.00 (US$ 10,104) per year
CAN $25,000 Per Program
Start date

6 September 2022

Venue

Vancouver Island University

Nanaimo Campus,

900 Fifth Street,

NANAIMO,

British Columbia (BC),

V9R 5S5, Canada

Online/Distance (2 years)

Tuition fees
CAD$12,500.00 (US$ 10,104) per year
CAN $25,000 Per Program
Start date

6 September 2022

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have minimum “B” average in the final 2 years of a Bachelor’s degree. English Language Requirements: IELTS score of 7.0 (no band below 6.5); TOEFL iBT score of 93 (no section below 20); CAEL score 70 (no band below 60); Pearson (PTE) score of 65 (no section below 60); Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with 185 overall; Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) with 185 overall.

For international students

Completion of a Bachelor's degree with a cumulative grade point average of "B" in the final two years.

A record of at least two years of successful teaching is preferred.

Two current, confidential assessment reports.

A letter of intent explaining why the applicant wishes to pursue graduate work in this area.

Additionally for international applicants whose undergraduate study was not in English:

Meet one of the following VIU English language requirements: IELTS 7.0 (with no band below 6.5); TOEFL iBT 93 (with no band below 20); CAEL 70 (no band below 60); Pearson (PTE) 65 no section below 60; Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) 185 overall; Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) 185 overall.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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