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Special Education

Degrees Offered: Ph.D., M.A., M.Ed.

Members

Professors

D. Butler, C. Holbrook, J. Jamieson, P. Mirenda, N. Perry.

Associate Professors

J. Cannon, R. Ervin, J. Lucyshyn, S. Mercer, K. Zebehazy.

Assistant Professors

O. Lo, W. McKee.

Professors Emeriti

M. Porath, L. Siegel.

Program Overview

The Special Education area concerns the habilitation and education of students with exceptionalities, such as students with visual impairments, physical disabilities, emotional or behavioural disorders, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, and students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The program also includes a focus on gifted and talented students. The master's programs focus on both research and practice. The M.A. is a research degree, appropriate preparation for doctoral studies, and incorporates a research thesis. The M. Ed. provides advanced professional preparation in areas of Special Education. Topics addressed in the master's programs include cognitive, language, and social development; learning and instructional design; and cultural and individual differences in relation to exceptional students.

UBC does not offer an undergraduate degree in special education.

The undergraduate courses in special education are open to students enrolled in the regular B.Ed. program or in one of the following post-B.Ed. special education programs: (1) Master of Education (M.Ed), (2) Master of Arts (M.A.), and (3) Diploma in Special Education. Most undergraduate courses are also available to Unclassified students.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Typically, doctoral students in Special Education enter with extensive practical experience in general or special education, school administration, speech-language pathology, school psychology, or related professions. Doctoral education follows the scientist-practitioner model, with preparation in both research and professional skills.

Program Requirements

Graduates are prepared to assume leadership roles in a wide variety of educational, academic, community, private practice, and research settings. The Ph.D. program is developed for each student, reflecting program requirements, individual professional and academic preparation, and career goals.

All Special Education doctoral students are required to: develop competence in at least two research methodologies; complete comprehensive examinations; and complete coursework that is determined on an individual basis. The major requirement for the Ph.D. is completion of a research dissertation meeting the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requirements.

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum requirements established by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Applicants require completion of EPSE 312 (Introduction to the Study of Exceptional Children) or EPSE 317 (Development and Exceptionality in the Regular Classroom), EPSE 482, (Introduction to Statistics for Research in Education or equivalent, and EPSE 481 (Introduction to Research in Education or equivalent and have attained teacher certification. Applicants with equivalent academic preparation will be considered. The requirement of teacher certification may be waived where the applicant has met the University and ECPS Program requirements for admission and has adequate professional experience related to the field of Special Education.

Program Requirements

Students completing a Master of Arts degree in Special Education can choose courses in the following concentrations:

  • Supporting Inclusive Education
  • Autism/Developmental Disabilities
  • Behaviour Disorders
  • Blindness and Visual Impairment
  • Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • High Ability
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Orientation and Mobility

M.A. concentrations require the completion of a minimum of 30 credits, including coursework (24 credits) and thesis (6 credits). The Blindness and Visual Impairment Concentration requires 45 credits (39 credits coursework, 6-credit thesis), and the Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Concentration, 56 credits (50 credits coursework, 6-credit thesis). The Orientation and Mobility Concentration requires 39 credits (33 credits coursework, 6-credit thesis).

For B.C. teachers: Teacher Qualification Service requires a capstone experience (e.g., thesis).

Master of Education

Admission Requirements

Admission is granted to those applicants who have completed EPSE 312 (Introduction to the Study of Exceptional Children) or EPSE 317 (Development and Exceptionality in the Regular Classroom), EPSE 483 (Reading and Interpreting Research in Education) or equivalent, and who have attained teacher certification. The requirement of teacher certification may be waived where the applicant has met the University and ECPS program requirements for admission and has adequate professional experience related to the field of Special Education.

Program Requirements

Students completing a Master of Education degree in Special Education can choose courses in the following concentrations:

  • Supporting Inclusive Education
  • Autism/Developmental Disabilities
  • Behaviour Disorders
  • Blindness and Visual Impairment
  • Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • High Ability
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Orientation and Mobility

Concentrations require the completion of a minimum of 30 credits. The Blindness and Visual Impairment Concentration requires 39 credits and the Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Concentration, 47 credits. The Orientation and Mobility Concentration requires 33 credits. Credits include the graduating seminar at the end of the student's program in which a professional portfolio is completed.

For B.C. teachers: Teacher Qualification Service requires a capstone experience (e.g., EPSE 590 Graduating Seminar).

Contact Information

Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education
2125 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604.822.5351
Fax: 604.822.3302
Email: alex.allen@ubc.ca
Web: www.ecps.educ.ubc.ca
Alex Allen, Graduate Program Assistant

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