Special Education (MAT)

Volume 1: 2019.2020

Effective 1 June 2019 through 31 May 2020

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This page was modified on 14 June 2019.
Please see the Graduate Catalog Addendum to view changes that were made.

This program is offered by the School of Education, and is available only at the St. Louis home campus.

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 (K-12). Coursework is specifically directed towards knowledge of characteristics of learners with special needs, assessment practices, research-based behavior and academic interventions and inclusive practices.

Learning Outcomes

The goals of the MAT in special education are 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.
  • Capable of recognizing, valuing and responding to the unique individual abilities and differences of students with special needs.

Degree Program Requirements

The following 37 hours of courses and 13 hours of field experiences are required to earn the MAT in special education. Of the 50 total hours required for the MAT, students must complete a minimum of 37 hours in residence, with courses required in residence marked below with an asterisk.

Students are advised that initial teacher certification in special education (K-12) may require more hours than are listed for the MAT degree program. Students must consult an advisor to obtain a personalized program of study. To receive Missouri teacher certification in mild/moderate disabilities: cross-categorical (K-12), students are required to complete 49 hours of courses and 13 hours of field experience.


  • CMAT 5000 Teaching in a Diverse Society* (3 hours)
  • CMAT 5505 Psychological Foundations of Education^ (3 hours)
  • EDTC 5410 In-Service Topics in Educational Technology (1 hour)
  • SPED 5030 Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities* (3 hours)
  • SPED 5245 Counseling for Life's Transitions* (3 hours)
  • SPED 5240 Psychoeducational Assessment* (3 hours)
  • SPED 5050 Language Development (3 hours)

^ CMAT 5505 meets the requirements for Child Psychology, Adolescent Psychology, and Educational Psychology.


  • COMM 5960 Differentiated Reading Instruction (3 hours)
  • EDUC 5080 Planning for the Inclusive Classroom* (3 hours)
  • SPED 5010 Differentiated Mathematics Instruction (3 hours)
  • SPED 5250 Behavior Management for Children with Special Needs* (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)

Clinical Experiences

  • SPED 5090 Special Education Practicum* (3 hours)
  • SPED 5091 Apprentice Teaching: Special Education* (9 hours)
  • EDUC 4000 Apprentice Teaching Seminar* (1 hour)

* Courses must be taken in residence.

Total: 50 hours

Other Certification Requirements

  • SPED 5860 Psychology of the Exceptional Student (3 hours)
  • COMM 5820 Foundations in Reading Instruction (3 hours)
  • COMM 5840 Reading and Writing as Cognitive Processes (3 hours)
    or COMM 5920 Reading and Writing in the Content Field (3 hours)
  • MTHT 4310 Elementary-School Mathematics Methods (3 hours)

Elementary Content Emphasis

To gain additional expertise in elementary content and better prepare for Missouri licensure assessments, students may choose to complete an additional 12 hours in an elementary content emphasis.

The following coursework is required for an elementary content emphasis:

  • COMM 5440 Integrated Language Arts (3 credits)
  • COMM 5000 Fiction, Non-fiction, and Poetry for Children (3 credits)
  • CMAT 5020 Inquiry Methods for STEM and Social Sciences (3 credits)
  • COMM 5199 Teaching Writing
    or COMM 5340 Language Arts Seminar (3 credits)


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.
  • Grade of B- or better in a college-level math course.
  • Grade of B- or better in a college-level composition course.

Send all admissions materials to:

Office of Admission
Webster University
470 East Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) represents a significant milestone in a candidate's academic career. Candidates who successfully advance to candidacy have demonstrated mastery of program standards and may continue enrolling in courses to complete their major. In the case of the MAT, ATC means that a student is formally enrolled in the initial teacher certification program.

Advancement to Candidacy occurs provided that a student:

  1. Completes 15 hours of graduate credit with grades of B or better (including CMAT 5000)
  2. Completes Passport 1
  3. Is accepted into the Teacher Certification program (contact the School of Education Teacher Certification Office for more information)
  4. Remains in good academic standing and maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.0

After 15 hours of graduate credit, candidates will be restricted from registering in further coursework until advanced to candidacy.

Requirements for MAT Degree and Missouri Initial Teacher Certification in Special Education (Grades K-12)

Transcript Evaluation

Students must make available official academic transcripts to the coordinator of Teacher Certification in the School of Education in order to complete an evaluation of coursework. Based on this transcript evaluation the coordinator of Teacher Certification will identify the exact number of credit hours that an MAT candidate will require to complete initial teacher certification with respect to Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requirements. Prior coursework, such as transfer courses and content area courses, will be identified from the students' transcripts. Using this evaluation, an academic advisor, in conjunction with the coordinator of Teacher Certification, will prepare a personalized program of study for the student.

Background Checks

Students are required to obtain various annual background checks prior to field experiences. The state requires current fingerprint clearance prior to issuing the teaching certificate.

Certification Hours

To achieve Missouri state certification in special education, candidates are required to take more than 37 credit hours (plus 13 credit hours of field experiences).

State Assessments

To obtain a teaching licensure in Missouri, students are required to complete a number of state assessments. State required assessments are administered by designated agencies, and students are required to pay all associated fees. All state assessments are administered in computer based format. Students must pass the state-required Missouri Content Assessment before Apprentice Teaching Orientation.

Application to Special Education Practicum

Registration in Special Education Practicum: Cross-Categorical must be approved by the student’s advisor by September 15 for Spring placement and by February 15 for Fall placement. A grade of B or higher is required for successful completion of the practicum.

Application to Apprentice Teaching: Special Education

Successful completion of Apprentice Teaching: Special Education is required to meet the graduation requirements of the MAT in special education. Application and registration in Apprentice Teaching and CMAT 5096 Apprentice Teaching Seminar must be approved by the student's advisor and the Office of Field Experience by September 15 for Spring placement and by February 15 for Fall placement. Students who are full time paraprofessionals or teachers in an approved educational setting may be eligible to earned credit for Apprentice Teaching through an assessment process.

Eligibility requirements for acceptance to Apprentice Teaching: Special Education

  1. Students must have successfully completed all but two required courses for Missouri initial teacher certification in mild/moderate disabilities.
  2. Students must have passed with a score equal to or greater than the Missouri qualifying score in the state-required Missouri Content Assessments
  3. Students must have successfully completed Special Education Practicum: Cross-Categorical with a grade of B or higher.

This page was modified on 14 June 2019.
Please see the Graduate Catalog Addendum to view changes that were made.