Skip to Content

College of Education

  • speech therapist and student

Special Education, M.A.T.

The M.A.T. in Special Education will provide the knowledge and skills to prepare you to become an effective teacher for students with disabilities, as designated by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). The M.A.T. program provides initial certification in Special Education to career changers or those persons deciding to become teachers after graduation from college with a degree in an area other than education. The program’s goals emphasize preparing future special education teachers to respect the diverse characteristics and needs of individuals with disabilities and their families by upholding the CEC professional ethical principles, practice standards, and professional policies.

The current curriculum meets the accreditation standards set by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the state of South Carolina’s certification requirements for teachers.


What kinds of work will I be able to do?

Upon completing the M.A.T. in Special Education, you will be able to apply for a South Carolina license to teach K-12 students with disabilities. Special Education teachers are in great demand and our graduates are highly sought after for teaching positions across the state. If you choose to add on additional certification areas or endorsements, a range of professional positions may become available to you, such as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, or Secondary Transition Specialist.


Will I be able to specialize?

Yes. You will specialize in Multi-categorical Special Education or Severe and Multiple Disabilities. 

In the Multi-categorical concentration, you will develop the expertise to work with students with various disabilities, including students with mild intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, and emotional behavior disorders. This concentration leads to the SC Multi-categorical Special Education certification.

In the Severe and Multiple Disabilities concentration, you will develop the expertise to work with students with high support needs, including students with autism, multiple disabilities, those requiring behavioral supports, and students requiring specialized equipment. This concentration leads to the SC Severe Disabilities Special Education certification.


Typical Coursework

The program can typically be completed in 1.5 years for those attending full time. Part-time students typically finish in just over 2 years.

The professional core is designed to help you build a foundation and understanding in areas important to all special education teachers. You will get an overview and introduction to the special education profession and learn classroom management issues and strategies, principles of applied behavior analysis, and special education assessment methods.

You will complete practicum and internships throughout the program. An early clinical experience will give you opportunities to observe and recognize diverse cognitive and developmental characteristics of students with different types of disabilities. During your final semester, you will put into practice all that you have learned by working with a coaching teacher and university supervisor as you teach and manage a classroom for students with disabilities in your concentration area.

These courses will introduce you to knowledge and skill components unique to your concentration area. 

The Multi-categorical concentration covers many topics including: personal, social and educational implications of a mild to moderate multi-categorical disability; theories and applications of procedures for teaching children with mild to moderate multi-categorical disabilities; communication and collaboration skills and strategies for creating and maintaining effective partnerships with a variety of stakeholders involved in educating students with disabilities; and materials and methods for learners with disabilities.

The Severe and Multiple Disabilities concentration includes: instruction for teaching students with significant disabilities; design, development, adaptation, and implementation of curriculum, language and communication instruction for students with significant disabilities; nature and causes of intellectual disabilities; and the nature and characteristics of autism.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.