Program Overview

University of Hawaii offers a Master of Education degree in Special Education for students and educators who want to work with children from Kindergarten to 12th grade who require special assistance in order to function and learn in a classroom setting. Through the program, educators may learn how to work with students who live with physical, emotional, educational, and mental disabilities and handicaps that prevent them from functioning in a classroom. Students will learn about the educational and care techniques and may also develop the knowledge necessary for special preparation and special care to help them function and learn.

Through the curriculum, students should develop the understanding of specialized care necessary for special needs children. Those classes include Special Education Laws and Compliance, Seminar in Issues in Special Education, Seminar on Applied Research and Special Education, and Research Practicum in Special Education.

Those completing the program should have demonstrated their capabilities and qualifications to serve as an educator of special needs children. These qualifications include the ability to advocate for legal and ethical policy that supports high quality education for individuals with exceptional learning needs, provide leadership through effective communication and use of technology to promote practices and procedures that support and respect all individuals and result in positive, productive work environments, and utilize educational research to increase expertise, improve instructional and intervention techniques and materials, and foster an environment that supports instructional improvement. Lastly, students should be able to plan, present, and evaluate professional development for self and others that focuses on supporting student access to learning through effective teaching strategies, curriculum standards, and assistive technology.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Master

    Delivery Format: Hybrid

    Accelerated Degree:

    Accreditation & Licensing

    Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission

    School Overview

    The University of Hawai’i System first opened as a land grant institution called the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Honolulu in 1907. By 1920, the school gained university status, changing its name to the University of Hawai’i. By the 1930s, UH began expanding its physical campus by adding other schools and awarding its first doctorate degree. World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor halted growth for a short period. However, expansion resumed in the 1950s, as the university introduced the Hilo Branch and the Asian Theater program. Throughout the twentieth century, campuses were established on the various islands, and academic programs continued to develop. The main campus in Manoa is the largest and oldest of the college campuses and is a land grant, sea grant, and space grant research facility. 

    More than 600 degree programs are offered through the University of Hawai’i, including bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and graduate and professional certificates. Distance learning degrees extend from certificate and bachelor’s degrees to online master’s and doctorate programs.


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