Mild/Moderate Disabilities (MAT)

School of Education

Program Description

This is a graduate degree program designed to provide the foundation for teacher preparation leading to initial Missouri teacher certification in Mild/Moderate Disabilities: Cross-Categorical. Coursework is specifically directed towards special education practice. The culminating project is a portfolio developed during SPED 5091, Apprentice Teaching.

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Learning Outcomes

The goal of the mild/moderate disabilities major is to cultivate graduates who are:

    • knowledgeable of the history of special education, characteristics of students with disabilities, and principles and foundations underlying best practices;
    • proficient in designing, adapting, and modifying effective assessment plans, instructional strategies and curricula, and/or intervention plans based on current research regarding cognitive, social, and emotional development in students with disabilities;
    • reflective about their roles as educators to improve learning outcomes, and who collaborate with families and other members of the community in order to advocate for inclusive and equitable educational opportunities for persons with disabilities; and
    • capable of recognizing, valuing, and responding to the unique individual abilities and differences of students with special needs.

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Requirements for Missouri Initial Teacher Certification in Mild/Moderate Disabilities

Students are advised to contact Webster University's Teacher Certification Office for a transcript evaluation and information regarding teacher certification. Successful completion of a portfolio may be required prior to a recommendation for an initial teacher certification from the university to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Successful completion of the MAT degree program in Mild/Moderate Disabilities does not guarantee the issuance of a Missouri teacher certificate in Mild/Moderate Disabilities

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Program Curriculum

The MAT in mild/moderate disabilities requires a minimum of forty (40) hours of coursework in special education, including successful completion, with a B- or better, of eight (8) hours of SPED 5091, Apprentice Teaching. Students are advised that the full initial certification in Mild/Moderate Disabilities: Cross Categorical (K-12) may require more than the forty hours required for the MAT degree.

Required Coursework

The following SPED courses, for a total of nineteen (19) hours, are required for the MAT in mild/moderate disabilities and must be taken while in residence with Webster University:

  • SPED 5091 Apprentice Teaching (8 hours)
    (may be fulfilled by Credit by Examination)
  • SPED 5090 Practicum: Mild/Moderate Disabilities: Cross-Categorical (2 hours)
  • SPED 5030 Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities (3 hours)
  • SPED 5380 Methods for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities I (3 hours)
  • SPED 5381 Methods for students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities II (3 hours)

In addition to the above coursework, a minimum of twenty one (21) semester hours of coursework from the following special education courses* are required to complete the MAT degree requirements:

  • SPED 5860 Psychology of the Exceptional Student (3 hours)
  • SPED 5500 Socio-emotional Development: Children w/ Special Needs** (3 hours)
  • SPED 5660 Cognitive Development: Children w/ Special Needs** (3 hours)
  • SPED 5300 Communicating with Families and Disabled Persons (3 hours)
  • SPED 5240 Psycho-educational Assessment I (3 hours)
  • SPED 5050 Language Development for Exceptional Students (3 hours)
  • SPED 5010 Methods of Teaching Mathematics for Disabled Learners (3 hours)
  • SPED 5040 Analysis and Correction of Reading Disabilities (3 hours)
  • SPED 5250 Behavior Management for Children with Special Needs (2-3 hours)
  • SPED 5260 Career Preparation for Students with Special Needs (3 hours)
  • SPED 5020 Assistive Technology for Students with Special Needs Computer Software Adaptations (2-3 hours)
  • EDUC 5080 Planning for the Inclusive Classroom (3 hours)

*All of the above courses are required to complete the requirements for initial Missouri teacher certification in Mild/Moderate Disabilities: Cross-Categorical.

**Both courses are approved substitutes for Child Psychology, Adolescent Psychology, and Educational Psychology.

The following courses (or equivalent courses) are also required for a Missouri initial teacher certificate in Mild/Moderate Disabilities: Cross Categorical.

In each of the three curricular areas below, one course must be taken in residence and will count toward the degree.

  • EDUC 5220 Contemporary Educational Issues
    or CMAT 5000 Teaching in a Diverse Society (3 hours)
  • MTHT 4310 Elementary-School Mathematics Methods*** (2 hours) 

*** May not be used to meet the requirements of a MAT degree.

Two courses from the following (minimum of 5 hours):

  • COMM 5820 Foundations in Reading Instruction (2-3 hours)
  • COMM 5830 Emergent Literacy (2-3 hours)
  • COMM 5840 Reading and Writing as Cognitive Processes (2-3 hours)
  • COMM 5920 Teaching Reading in Content Fields (2-3 hours)
  • COMM 5960 Differentiated Reading Instruction (3 hours)

Methods II Review and Application to SPED 5090, Practicum

Immediately following SPED 5381, Methods for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities II and prior to registration in SPED 5090 Special Education Practicum (Mild/Moderate Disabilities: Cross-Categorical), students are required to demonstrate proficiency in the pedagogical competencies required for Missouri initial teacher certification in Mild/Moderate Disabilities, based on Missouri Standards for Teacher Education Programs, and the Council for Exceptional Children Knowledge and Skill Base for All Beginning Special Education Teachers of Students in Individualized General Curriculums. Students are advised to contact their advisor for more information regarding the Methods II review. Registration in SPED 5090, Special Education Practicum (Mild/Moderate Disabilities: Cross-Categorical) must be approved by the student's advisor.

Application to SPED 5091, Apprentice Teaching

Successful completion of SPED 5091, Apprentice Teaching, is required to meet the graduation requirements of the MAT in mild/moderate disabilities. This requirement may be completed by registration in a traditional 16-week apprentice teaching experience. Students who are full-time paraprofessionals or teachers in an approved educational setting may be awarded credit through credit by experience. Application and registration in SPED 5091 must be approved in writing by the student's advisor and the program coordinator.

Eligibility requirements for acceptance to SPED 5091, Apprentice Teaching

  • Students must have successfully completed all but two required courses for initial teacher certification in Mild/Moderate Disabilities.
  • Students must have passed with a score equal to or greater than the Missouri qualifying score the Praxis II Content Knowledge examinations in Mild-Moderate: Cross Categorical Disabilities (K-12) prior to registration in SPED 5091, Apprentice Teaching. Students are limited to no more than two opportunities to pass the examinations.
  • Students must have successfully completed, with a grade of B or better, the requirements of SPED 5090, Practicum (Mild/Moderate Disabilities).

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Students who are interested in applying to this degree program should see the Admission Section of this catalog for general requirements.

Admission Requirements

  • Receipt of official transcript from the baccalaureate-granting institution.
  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher.
  • B- or better in a college-level math course.
  • B- or better in a college-level composition course.

Send all admission materials to:

Office of Admission
Webster University
470 East Lockwood Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63119-3141

Completed application files will be reviewed by the Multidisciplinary Studies Department

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Advancement to Candidacy

After completing 9 credit hours in the major, and before twenty-one hours (21), all MAT students majoring in mild/moderate disabilities are required to advance to candidacy. Students are required to have successfully completed with a grade of B- or better, one of SPED 5860 Psychology of Exceptional Students (or its equivalence) or EDUC 5220 Contemporary Educational Issues (or its equivalence), and SPED 5030, Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities. Students must be accepted into the Mild/Moderate Disabilities Teacher Certification program (contact the School of Education Teacher Certification Office for more information). Students may be restricted from registering in further coursework, until advanced to candidacy. Please refer to the Advancement to Candidacy section in this catalog for specific guidelines.

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Transfer of Credit

Students may request to transfer up to twelve (12) hours of graduate-level credit from another accredited graduate institution. Students who have graduated from Webster University may transfer up to twelve (12) hours of 4000 level coursework in special education. The course(s) being transferred must meet the following criteria:

  • The course is required to achieve the program goals and is relevant to the student's major.
  • The course carries upper division (4000) or graduate credit toward an accredited master's degree program at the sponsoring institution.
  • The course was not used to fulfill requirements for another degree.
  • The course must carry a grade of A, B, or Credit.
  • The course must have been completed within five years before admission into the program.
  • The course is not on the list of required courses to be taken while in residence at Webster University.

Students may request approval of the transfer courses at any time after admission to the program. Approved transfer hours are not used in evaluating advancement-to-candidacy or probation and dismissal actions.

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