After admission to the program, a student will be assigned an advisor with whom the student will meet to plan the details of his or her program. The plan is developed in consideration of the requirements of the degree, the student's previous training and experience, and the student's career goals.
All graduate work for the Master's degree must be completed in six (6) years or less from the date of matriculation in the program. Each student will be encouraged to complete a minimum of eight (8) graduate credits each academic year.
A maximum of 12 credits earned in UNH graduate courses on or off the Durham campus may be applied to a student's degree program if taken prior to or in process when the official letter of admission is written. A student may petition for the transfer of a maximum 2 courses, up to eight (8) graduate credits earned at another accredited graduate school provided that these credits are of a grade of at least B. These credits may be applied toward the degree only if recommended by the advisor and approved by the Graduate School. The student should consult the Graduate Catalog for other specific information on academic regulations and degree requirements.
Grades and Credit Hours
The M.Ed. degree requires a minimum of 44 hours of graduate level credits. The exact number of credit hours will depend on the student's background, competencies, and professional goals, and will be determined by the advisor.
Graduate credit is normally granted only for coursework completed with a grade of B- or higher. Any grade below B- will not count for graduate credit and will count toward the accumulation of nine (9) failing credits which may require the student to withdraw from the program.
Consult the Graduate School catalog for additional information concerning academic standards.
All students will be required to spend at least two semesters in a supervised internship setting. This experience is individualized and determined by the student's needs. For students with minimal experience and no certification, the first part of the internship allows movement from exploratory experiences and observations to responsibility for preparing and implementing a program for one learner, to small group instruction, to responsibility for the total educational program for a full class of learners. Those students having certification and more experience, in conjunction with their advisor and internship coordinator, may determine other activities to expand their experiences or to develop other competencies.
Interns are expected to indentify their own internship sites. Some students will choose an internship in which they are not paid. Other students may work as aides or paraprofessionals. In these cases, it must be clearly delineated that their role as an intern goes beyond the typical expectations for an aide/paraprofessional. Positions as one-to-one para-professionals are not acceptable as internship placements. Still other interns may choose to complete their internship in their own classroom.
Internship sites must be approved by the internship coordinator. All interns are expected to spend a significant proportion of each day in an inclusive setting. Interns will be expected to participate in all phases of the special education process from observations of children who may be referred, to making classroom modifications, to implementing a child's IEP.
Interns will work under the direct supervision of a school staff member designated as a cooperating teacher. These are experienced teachers who serve as role models providing daily support and guidance. Other students who may have some experience and prior certification choose to complete their internship in their own classroom. These interns must identify someone in the school with whom to develop a peer support and modeling relationship. In addition to the support, guidance and daily interactions with the cooperating teacher or peer, a university intern supervisor will provide supervision and feedback. It is expected that the intern, the cooperating teacher or peer, and the university supervisor will meet periodically to discuss the experience and professional growth of the intern. This is also a time to develop expanded goals and new experiences.
The university supervisors and the group of special education interns will participate in weekly seminars. These seminars allow interns to share experiences, analyze and integrate the practical experiences in their classrooms with their coursework, and lead and respond to the group process, as a critical component of working successfully with children. During these seminars, students will demonstrate new instructional techniques, share strategies for managing classroom behaviors, and use problem solving and critical thinking skills to deal with issues. Seminars will also allow students to obtain assistance in writing IEPs, conducting and interpreting assessments, and working effectively with children, parents, and other professionals. In addition to their experience teaching as interns, all students will be expected to observe or participate in other special education programs. A variety of programs, as well as age groups, is suggested. It is also expected that the intern will become a member of a professional organization and attend conferences/workshops.
Interns will also be expected to particiapte in a variety of interactions with parents. These experiences may include observation of and participation in the IEP meetings, individual parent conferences, or home visits. Interns will be expected to demonstrate the ability to develop positive parent-professional relationships.
The Special Education Internship Checklist will be used to document activities and skills during the Internship experience. Interns will also be expected, with the support of their supervisor, to develop a set of goals to individualize and structure the internship experience.
All students who are seeking to complete an internship in special education through UNH must file an "intent to intern" form for special education. This form must be filed by October 1 of the year prior to the internship. Students must file this form even if they have not been admitted to the program, but are in the process of applying. Due to limited internship spaces in the program, internship placements will be approved on a first filed, first placed basis.