M.A.T. in Special Education: Moderate and Severe Disabilities, P-12

Who should apply?

  • Individuals interested in teaching students with moderate and severe disabilities
  • Individuals with a bachelor's degree outside of the field of education
  • Individuals with strong academic credentials

Application deadline: March 15th for Summer admission and October 1st for Spring admission

Looking for Alternative Certification?

Find out all the information you would need to obtain your alternative certification in Moderate and Severe Disabilities (P-12).

MAT Alt Cert in MSD
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The special education licensure program provides a strong foundation in general education content, special education theory and methods, and teaching experience. Extensive classroom experience allows students to develop the skills, competencies, and confidence for successful teaching, including strategies for inclusion, behavior management, social skill instruction, and modifying instruction in the general curriculum. Students also benefit from the supervision and mentorship of experienced practitioners and field supervisors. The program's special education professors are experienced practitioners who are experts in their fields as researchers, teachers, and administrators.

Classes start in the Spring each year. Students must complete weekly field hours in school or community placements that serve individuals with moderate and severe disabilities. Prior to the end of the program a 12-week student teaching placement must be successfully completed. Completion of this degree/licensure program will only lead to certification as an MSD teacher (not an Elementary, Middle or Secondary content area teacher).

Licensure to teach students with moderate and severe disabilities prepares candidates to teach students with intellectual disabilities that impede academic achievement and adaptive behavior skills (e.g., communication, social behavior, and daily living activities). Elementary teachers work primarily with beginning or remedial skills in academic content (English language arts, math, science, and social studies) and adaptive behaviors. Middle Grades and Secondary teachers address these skills in addition to preparing students to transition to vocations or to post-secondary education. Students with moderate and severe disabilities may spend all or part of their time in traditional classroom settings, but may also receive special education instruction for part of the day in resource rooms, or in self-contained classrooms within the school. Students with moderate and severe disabilities may have intellectual disabilities, autism, multiple disabilities, or other health impairments.

Helpful Links

For details about curriculum information, visit the Graduate Catalog.

Suggested Sequence of Courses (39 hours)

Semester I (Spring)

  • EDSP 540: Introduction to Exceptional Children
  • EDSP 644: Applied Behavior Analysis

Semester II (Summer)

  • EDSP 546: Behavior Analytic Approach to Communication
  • EDSP 594: Foundational Concepts in Intellectual & Physical Disabilities

Semester III (Fall)

  • EDSP 609: MSD Curriculum and Methods I
  • EDSP 520: Assessment of Exceptional Learners (July)

Schedule Midpoint Review with Advisor after spring grades have been posted

Semester IV (Spring)

  • EDSP 611: MSD Curriculum and Methods II
  • EDSP 614: Transition Programs and Services for Children/Youth with Disabilities

Semester V (Summer)

  • EDSP 647: Teaching Mathematics to Students with Disabilities (June)

Semester VI (Fall)

  • EDSP 570: Autism: Introduction and Understanding
  • EDSP 608: MSD Student Teaching

Take PRAXIS

Schedule Final Review with Advisor after fall grades have been posted

Semester VII (Spring)

  • EDSP 639: Education Research in P-12 Setting
  • Elective (see advisor for approval)

Take PRAXIS again, if needed.

Apply for Graduation

Candidates to initial teacher certification programs are required to submit credentials supporting their academic ability, creativity and collaboration, communication and critical thinking skills, positive disposition, and commitment to the teaching profession. These credentials include test scores, transcripts, writing samples, and letters of recommendation which support the candidate's ability to succeed in a rigorous teacher education program. Competitive candidates will be invited to a formal, faculty interview.

Candidates for admission should review the Professional Code of Ethics for Kentucky School Certified Personnel [PDF] and the Character and Fitness Questionnaire [PDF], since candidates will be required to uphold the expectations and requirements of the teaching profession.

Application

Questions about the application should be directed to Trish Schneider at 502-852-0587 or trish.schneider@louisville.edu. Candidates will be notified via e-mail regarding the admission decision no later than six weeks after the application deadline. Applicants who are selected for admission will receive information about a mandatory orientation session.

Application Deadline: March 15th for Summer admission and October 1st for Spring admission by 5:00 p.m.

Please note: If the application deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, we will accept the admission portfolio on the Monday after the deadline by 5:00 p.m.

Admission Criteria

Candidates who meet the following criteria may be eligible to apply to the Master of Arts in Teaching program. Candidates considering application to the MAT program should attend an MAT Information Session or meet with a pre-MAT admissions counselor (teacher@louisville.edu) prior to applying for admission. Admission is competitive. Candidates who meet minimum academic requirements are not guaranteed admission to the program.

Need help preparing for the GRE or Praxis II exams? Sign up for a GRE or Praxis II Information Sessions.

  1. Application to Graduate School/MAT Program. This should be completed three to four weeks prior to the application deadline.
  2. Passing Test Scores
    Please note: when submitting test scores through ETS, use the general University of Louisville code, 1838.
  3. Bachelor's Degree from Accredited College or University with a Minimum 2.75 Grade Point Average (official transcripts required)
  4. Oral Communication Proficiency
  5. Written Communication Proficiency
  6. TOEFL
  7. Professional Statement
  8. Letters of Recommendation

Contact Us

Department of Teaching and Learning
Ginevra Courtade
College of Education and Human Development
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292

Program Faculty

Career Pathways Certification

Students would primarily be certified to teach in a Moderate/Severe Disabilities (MSD)classroom in Kentucky.

The program leads to MSD certification only. Individuals completing this program would not be certified to teach in a typical classroom (Elementary, Middle or Secondary) unless they completed an additional certification program.

General Information

For general information on financial aid resources, please visit the University of Louisville's Student Financial Aid office. The College of Education and Human Development has it's own web page dedicated to financial aid that contains some extra information not listed here.

When considering the cost of higher education, please consider the following items:

Awards can be combined with institutional aid up to the University's total direct cost of attendance. Direct costs include tuition, room, board, and books. The University of Louisville is required to adhere to all federal, state, and institutional guidelines. Policy information is available on-line at UofL's Student Financial Aid office.

College of Education & Human Development (CEHD) Scholarship

The CEHD has a long history of offering scholarships to prospective and current students pursuing an education degree program. The CEHD provides over $225,000 annually and selects recipients three times per year. Scholarship selection is competitive and applies to tuition only. Apply online for a CEHD Scholarship before the deadline (March 1st, June 1st and/or October 1st). Applicants should expect notification in four to five weeks after the posted deadline.

TEACH Grant

Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides up to $4,000 per year to those who intend to teach in a public or private elementary school that serves students from low-income families. Teachers must be certified in a high-need field. (Amount is pro-rated based on part-time or full-time status up to a maximum of $8,000 for graduate students.)

Applicants must complete the FAFSA (although financial need is not required) and be admitted to a teacher certification program. Applicants must score above the 75th percentile on a college admission test or maintain a cumulative gpa of 3.25 for eligibility.

Recipients must teach for a minimum of four years within eight calendar years of completing the teacher certification program. Those who fail to complete the service obligation must re-pay the loan, with interest charged form the first date of disbursement.

Minority Teacher Scholarship Program

Since 1985, the Minority Teacher Recruitment Project (MTRP) has been addressing the shortage of minority teachers in our nation's classrooms. The program is a partnership among the University of Louisville's College of Education and Human Development, the Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), and the schools of the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative (OVEC).

Scholarships of up to $5,000 annually are available to qualifying full- or part-time students of color pursuing initial teacher certification at UofL. Visit the MTRP webpage to view more information about the scholarship program.