Holistic Special Education Added to Antioch University New England MEd Offerings

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A new holistic special education concentration in Antioch University New England's Master's in Education program prepares students for dual state certification as an elementary teacher and as a special education teacher.

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The best teacher can meet a wide range of needs, and we are teaching that already.

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Holistic Special Education, a new concentration in Antioch University New England’s (AUNE) Master’s in Elementary Education degree program, was approved by the New Hampshire Board of Education January 16.

The new program prepares students for a dual state certification by studying both elementary and special education. With this degree, a graduate will be ready for a job as a special education educator, as a general classroom teacher, or both.

The program meets the need for teachers to plan for and include children with special challenges in all general classroom instruction. Employment demand for such teachers is strong. Special education is an educational “critical shortage area” in New Hampshire, which means there are far too few qualified educators in the state. It’s a nation-wide phenomenon, exacerbated by new, more stringent No Child Left Behind (NCLB) standards.

The standard approach to special education in the past has been to sharply divide teaching responsibilities between general classroom teachers and the special education teachers, said Teri Young, faculty in AUNE’s Department of Education. That has changed with the federal NCLB law.

AUNE’s elementary teacher certification program is already rooted in the philosophy of integrated learning and “inclusion” – teaching children of all abilities and challenges. The AUNE faculty has long experience in teaching differentiated instruction; its strategies and approaches are interwoven through all of the education courses. “It’s in our DNA,” said Jane Miller, director of the Elementary Teacher Certification and Early Childhood Teacher Certification program. “The best teacher can meet a wide range of needs, and we are teaching that already.”

Program Requirements
Students choosing the Holistic Special Education concentration will be required to take 42 credits to earn their Master’s in Education. With the emphasis on inclusion by AUNE’s Department of Education, students within the degree program are already well on their way to meeting special education requirements. Only four additional courses are required to address preparation for special education.

AUNE’s Elementary Teacher Certification and Early Childhood Teacher Certification master’s degree program typically takes sixteen months to complete. In addition to Holistic Special Education, there are two other concentrations: Arts and Humanities, and Science and Environmental Education.

Applications to the program are open, and the first students will matriculate in fall 2013. Find out more about the program here.

A visiting day for the Elementary Teacher Certification and Early Childhood Teacher Certification program will be held on February 21.

Can We Do Better?: Alternative Approaches to Special Education, a professional development conference scheduled for May 8, 2013, will highlight the new concentration's philosophical approach and upcoming courses. Stay tuned for more information.

About Antioch University New England (AUNE)
Antioch University New England offers highly respected doctoral, master’s, and certificate programs in education, environmental studies, management and psychology. Located in Keene, New Hampshire, this unique institution serves approximately one thousand students each year. Our graduates have gone on to be leaders of positive change, working toward a more just and sustainable society. Founded in 1964, Antioch University New England is the oldest of Antioch University’s graduate campuses. Learn more at: http://www.antiochne.edu.

About Antioch University
Inspired by the work of pioneering educator Horace Mann, Antioch University, a private, non-profit, 501(c) 3 institution, provides learner-centered education to empower students with the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives and to advance social, economic, and environmental justice. With campuses in Keene, New Hampshire, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Seattle, and Yellow Springs, Ohio, Antioch University is a bold and enduring source of innovation in higher education. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

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