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Master of Education in Special Education (Low-Incidence) Master of Education in Special Education (Low-Incidence) Master of Education in Special Education (Low-Incidence)

Master of Education in Special Education (Low-Incidence)


Total Credit Hours: 36

Transfer Credits: Up to 6

Prepare yourself for advancement in your education career with your master’s degree in special education (low incidence). The online curriculum allows learners to continue work in the classroom and balance their lives while pursuing their master’s level college education. Courses are taught in 12-week sessions and start five times per year. Instructors are experts in the field of education themselves, bringing real-world application and expertise to the online classroom.

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Special Education – High Incidence
Curriculum and Instruction


The Master of Education Special Education Low-Incidence Disabilities is designed for those who wish to earn an endorsement in special education as part of their graduate degree. A minimum of 36 credit hours is required for the graduate degree. Endorsement in low incidence disabilities may be earned with 33 credit hours. A minimum of nine credit hours is required for a provisional endorsement.

Anyone interested in the program who resides in a state other than Kansas must check with that state’s department of education to determine specific licensure requirements for teaching within that state and the acceptability of out-of-state licensure.

Admission Process

  1. Complete graduate application forms
  2. Provide current resume
  3. Submit two professional letters of recommendation (at least one from a current or former employer)
  4. Turn in one-page personal essay
  5. Submit official transcript from a bachelor’s degree-granting institution.
  6. Be a current, licensed teacher and provide a copy of your teaching license

Core Major Requirements

EDUC514: Introduction to Special Education: Individual Educational Plan Development

Course will provide training in the procedures for developing high quality individual education plans for students with disabilities, based on state curriculum standards and meeting all of the requirements of state and federal special education laws and regulations. This course can be taken in conjunction with EDUC524.

EDUC528: Collaboration with Parents and Professionals

This course focuses on the techniques of collaboration with general education teachers, parents, other professionals, and paraeducators in providing appropriate educational services to exceptional children of all ages. The course will explore instructional approaches that allow all students to be educated in an inclusive setting.

EDUC529: Legal Issues in Special Education

The focus of this course is on the legal and professional issues in special education. It will include an in-depth study of special education laws and their impact on programs for exceptional children and youth.

EDUC534: Transitions in Education

The focus of this course is on the theoretical constructs and practical considerations in programming for students with disabilities from the preschool through the secondary and post‐secondary level.

EDUC714: Characteristics of Children & Youth with Low‐Incidence Disabilities

This introductory course provides an overview of the characteristics of learners with significant needs for support. Learners will be introduced to the various classification systems and the implications of low‐ incidence disabilities, significant cognitive disability, various vision and/or hearing impairments, motor disabilities, and health impairments. The diversity of curriculum needs for students at the functional level will be addressed, including cognitive, physical, social, and emotional needs across the developmental spectrum. The course prepares learners for more advanced study in specific areas, such as assessment, instructional methodology, behavior management and transition.

EDUC722: Functional Behavioral Assessment and Positive Behavior Support

This course provides a problem solving approach along with a framework for teaching in order to develop pro-social behavior for students with low incidence disabilities through a student-centered Functional Behavioral Assessment process. Through an emphasis on family and professional collaboration, learners identify problem behaviors, determine functions of the behavior, understand how to appropriately respond to challenging behavior, identify replacement skills and implement interventions that lead to pro-social behaviors in home, school and community settings.

EDUC724: Advanced Methods: Strategies For Students with Significant Sensory, Motor and Health Needs

In this course students learn instructional strategies for teaching children and youth with sensory and/or motor impairments and complex medical needs. Students will learn use of residual and alternative senses: proper positioning and transfer for students with motor impairments, nutrition, hydration, medical monitoring, and seizure activity. Students will develop appropriate goals and objectives in the sensory and motor areas, incorporate related services into inclusive educational settings, embed sensory and motor skills training into the general education curriculum, adapt materials and apply assistive technologies.

EDUC725: Foundations of Autism Spectrum Disorders

This course will provide an introduction to the unique characteristics, etiology and prevalence of autism spectrum disorders. Effective practices for instructing students with autism spectrum disorders will be presented; with special focus on environmental structuring and management, communication, social skill development and sensory processing differences.

EDUC735: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Evaluation

This course will develop the use of observation techniques and the administration and interpretation of test instruments and strategies including screening tests, formal and informal tests, norm and criterion‐ referenced tests, and diagnostic and achievement tests. Individual assessment of developmental skills, academic achievement, adaptive behavior and processes will be included. Tests will be evaluated for their usefulness in diagnosis, placement, and intervention in special education and remedial programs.

EDUC757: Communication and Literacy

This course will provide overall instructional practices in the area of effective communication and literacy for students with significant disabilities. Candidates will demonstrate the ability to collaborate with related service providers, community personnel, general education teachers, families and paraprofessionals in the pre-assessment, construction, implementation and reassessment of both high and low tech communication systems. Candidates will also demonstrate the ability to design literacy objectives that align to the Common Core state standards and create formative and summative assessments to support the objectives.

For Endorsement in Elementary Special Education (K-6)

EDUC758: Initial Practicum in Low-Incidence Special Ed, K-6

This is a field-based course relating theory to application. Candidates will be placed in settings where they will obtain experiences working with students with functional disabilities.

EDUC759: Advanced Practicum in Low-Incidence Special Ed, K-6

This is a field-based course relating theory to application. Candidates will be placed in settings where they will obtain experiences working with students with severe and profound cognitive disability, medically fragile, deaf/blind disabilities.

For Endorsement in Secondary Special Education (6-12)

EDUC748: Initial Practicum in Low-Incidence Special Ed, 6-12

This is a field-based course relating theory to application. Candidates will obtain initial experiences working with students with low-incidence disabilities at the 6-12 grade level.

EDUC749: Advanced Practicum in Low-Incidence Special Ed, 6-12

This is an advanced field-based course relating theory to application. Candidates will obtain experiences working with students with low-incidence disabilities at the 6-12 grade level.

Research Requirements

EDUC512: Action Research

This course will introduce students to action research, a form of self‐reflective systematic inquiry by practitioners on their own practice. The primary objective of the course is to prepare students to do action research in schools. There are three other goals: 1) the development of professional community; 2) the illumination of power relationships; and 3) students’ recognition of their own expertise.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Complete the specific program requirements for the master’s program
  2. Have an overall grade point average of 3.0, with no grade below a C (2.0)
  3. Complete a minimum of 36 credit hours

All degree requirements are subject to change. Please see Southwestern College Catalog for the most current degree requirements.

*Online courses in the Low-Incidence Special Education Program are 12 weeks long with the exception of one course. Please review the course catalogs for more information.

Special Ed Low-Incidence PDF

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