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Master of Arts in Education – Teacher as Leader in Special Education Online

This online master's program prepares you to help exceptional children and young adults thrive in an inclusive academic environment.

03/01/23 Next Application Due Date
03/13/23 Start Classes

Program Overview

The NKU Online Special Education Master’s Degree Experience

$12,480 Total Tuition
As few as 18 months Program Duration
30 Credit Hours

Gain the specialized skills and content knowledge you need to provide exceptional support to students with special needs with the Master of Arts in Education – Teacher as Leader in Special Education from NKU. This 100% online program is designed for general education teachers who want to work with children with exceptionalities, as well as become a more effective teacher for all children.

Learn how to assess students with disabilities, plan differentiated lessons, and use applied behavior analysis techniques applicable to all special need students. You will also study intellectual and orthopedic disabilities, learning and behavior disorders, and collaboration and inclusive practices. Taught by the same distinguished faculty who teach on campus, this online special education degree program also allows you to attain Rank 2 teaching certification in Kentucky.

In this online Special Education program, you will:

  • Explore effective strategies for improving the classroom behavior of students, as well as the fundamentals, assessment processes, and strategies used to ensure that all students succeed
  • Gain expertise in research, instructional design, and behavioral management
  • Be able to create a strong learning environment for students who have emotional, behavioral, and learning disorders
  • Develop and demonstrate culturally relevant and responsive approaches to meeting the needs of students
CAEP Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation logo

The educator preparation programs at Northern Kentucky University are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

Have questions or need more information about our online programs?

Online Education Programs Also Available:

Northern Kentucky University offers a variety of graduate education programs online. Check out our other quality online education programs.

Some programs may be TEACH Grant eligible. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for more information.*


Learn More about Our Affordable Tuition as Low as $12,480 at NKU

The MAEd – Teacher as Leader in Special Education online program features the same affordable, pay-by-the-course tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Tuition breakdown:

$400 Per Credit Hour
$12,480 Program Tuition

View full tuition breakdown

Program Per Credit Hour Required Fees Total With Fees
Master of Arts in Education – Teacher as Leader in Special Education $400 $480 $12,480
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Our Application Deadlines and Class Schedules

With six start dates a year, the MAEd – Teacher as Leader in Special Education online program is flexible and convenient. View the calendar to find the best start date for you, along with corresponding deadlines.

Now Enrolling:

03/01/23 Apply By
03/13/23 Start Classes

View full calendar

Session Program Start Date Application Deadline Document Deadline Registration Deadline Tuition Deadline Last Class Day
Spring 1 01/09/2023 01/03/2023 01/05/2023 01/06/2023 01/09/2023 02/24/2023
Spring 2 03/13/2023 03/01/2023 03/06/2023 03/09/2023 03/13/2023 04/28/2023
Summer 1 05/08/2023 04/26/2023 05/01/2023 05/04/2023 05/08/2023 06/23/2023
Summer 2 06/26/2023 06/14/2023 06/19/2023 06/22/2023 06/26/2023 08/11/2023
Fall 1 08/21/2023 08/09/2023 08/14/2023 08/18/2023 08/21/2023 10/06/2023
Fall 2 10/18/2023 10/05/2023 10/10/2023 10/13/2023 10/18/2023 12/08/2023

Ready to take the next step toward earning your degree online from Northern Kentucky University?


Are You Ready to Apply? Check Our Admission Requirements First

The admission process is the first step toward pursuing your MAEd – Teacher as Leader in Special Education online. Requirements include:

Official transcripts of all coursework from accredited institutions
2.75 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale
Valid teaching certificate or out-of-state equivalent

View full admission requirements

MAEd – Teacher as Leader in Special Education Online Admission Requirements

  • Complete online application for admission
  • Pay $40 non-refundable application fee
    • If you are an NKU alumni or active/veteran military member, your application fee will be waived
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) coursework from an accredited institutions
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA
  • Teaching certificate: Submit a copy of current teaching certificate or out-of-state equivalent. New teachers in Kentucky may submit a Kentucky Statement of Eligibility.
  • Teacher as Leader Admission Agreement: Print, sign, and submit the Teacher as Leader Admission Agreement to the Office of Graduate Education
  • Supplemental application
  • Submit official scores for the Graduate Record Examination (general test) taken within the past five years
    • The GRE requirement is waived for applicants who have an undergraduate grade point of 3.0 or higher, and for applicants who have already earned a master's degree from an accredited institution

Official documents may be mailed or emailed to:

NKU Office of Graduate Education
302 Lucas Administrative Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099

[email protected]

Have a question? Call us at 800-985-7215.


What You’ll Learn in Your Online Special Education Degree Courses

In order to earn the MAEd – Teacher as Leader in Special Education online, students must complete 12 courses for a total of 30 credit hours.

Expand All [+]

Students must take the following courses:

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 0

Orientation to the Master of Arts in Education Teacher as Leader program including graduate policies and procedures, selection of a specialization/endorsement, advising services, certification, educator dispositions, professional behaviors, online learning, and the action research sequence.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course is an introduction to school leadership. Students will engage in a thorough investigation of contemporary leadership research, scholarship, theory, and practice. This course will introduce the concept of “transformative” change in schools, classrooms, and in individuals. Participants will create personal and professional growth plans to enhance their effectiveness.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Introduction to education research enabling candidates to become effective consumers and users of research in education. It will improve candidates’ ability to apply research findings appropriately in school settings and will lay a foundation for an original action research project.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Research, theory, policy, and practice in multicultural and diversity education; recognizing race, class, gender, learning, and linguistic diversity within home, schools, and community settings; developing and demonstrating culturally relevant and responsive approaches to meeting the needs of students.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Research-based best practices and models of instructional design to meet the needs of all learners in a school setting.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 2

(Students will repeat this course for a total of 2 credit hours: two 7-week sessions)
Methods and skills needed to design, conduct, interpret and apply action research to address issues in classrooms and schools through data driven decision making; develop a research proposal related to a specific P-12 educational issues, secure permission from a local educational agency to conduct research, comply with regulations related to human subjects research, and develop an implementation plan for the proposed research project.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 1

(Students will repeat this course for a total of 1 credit hour: two 7-week sessions.)
This course examines various aspects of conducting applied educational research. Students will complete a research project addressing a specific educational issue leading to enhanced P-12 student learning, including data analysis, written summary of research findings, and present their findings to faculty and peers.

Students must take the following courses:

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Study of historical, theoretical and philosophical influences on school curriculum and of current trends in curriculum development; familiarization with models of PK-12 curriculum development.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Definitions, etiological factors, assessment, and remedial approaches for learning and behavior disorders.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Characteristics and educational programs for students who have intellectual disabilities or orthopedic and/or health impairments.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Principles of behavior analysis applied to curriculum, methodology, and management of students with disabilities; behavioral teaching methods contrasted with alternative management techniques.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Legislation and instructional practices relating to the education of students with exceptionalities. Course covers various methods of co-teaching as well as locating, adapting, and developing materials and methods for including students with disabilities in general elementary, middle, and secondary classrooms.

*The maximum grant amount can vary by year. TEACH Grants are available to qualified applicants and require approved recipients to sign a service agreement for certain teaching service obligations for four academic years. If obligations are not met within eight years after graduation, the grant will turn into a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that must be repaid with all accrued interest from the date of disbursement. For more information, please visit: or contact the NKU Financial Aid Office.

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