Special Education

Online Master's Program

Whether you’re a practicing teacher or new to the field, our special education teaching program will provide you with the skills and training to lead in the classroom and help special needs children to realize their greatest potential.

In this Exemplary Program (as certified by Quality Matters), you’ll learn from experienced professionals and receive practical training from mentor teachers in local schools. Graduates will have mastery of the Council for Exceptional Children standards for special education teachers: learner development and individual learning differences, learning environments, curricular content knowledge, assessment, instructional planning and strategies, professional learning and ethical practice and collaboration.

Special education teachers are in high demand and jobs for our graduates are practically guaranteed. If you’re not already a certified teacher, you can earn initial teaching certification along with the master’s degree. If you are a certified regular education teacher, you can earn a special education endorsement along with the master’s degree.

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Why Study Special Education at UAF?

Special education teachers make a crucial difference in the lives of children with special needs. Earning your master’s degree will enrich your skills as an educator and provide the foundation for career advancement. Here are reasons to earn your master’s in special education online at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Earn your master’s degree in special education entirely online

  • Designed with flexibility to fit your schedule, the special education degree is delivered online with synchronous (same time) class meetings, using Blackboard Collaborate, throughout the semester. Most classes require field work experience in K-12 special education classrooms.

Benefit from high-quality online education

  • UAF's Special Education program is the first (and only) program in the nation to earn Exemplary Status by Quality Matters, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that is recognized as a leader in quality assurance for online education. All courses include quality online activities and evaluations that are research-supported and practice-based. All courses have been peer-reviewed as a part of the rigorous certification process.

Earn your master’s degree with initial certification or an additional endorsement

  • Earn initial teacher certification or an additional endorsement along with your master’s degree. The certification program is designed for students who are not certified teachers. The endorsement option is for students who are already certified teachers in another area.

Gain specialized training for teaching in Alaska

  • Our program integrates resources, knowledge and experiences unique to Alaska, preparing culturally responsive educators who honor the communities they serve. Our graduates are also well prepared to teach special education elsewhere in the United States and in international schools.

Take part in the Alaska student chapter of CEC

  • The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is a professional organization that sets the standard for children and youth with exceptionalities, making sure that their education needs are met in legislation, establishing professional standards and pushing initiatives forward to improve the field.



What Can You Do With a Master’s in Special Education?

School districts in Alaska need special education teachers. In fact, the city of Fairbanks ranks third in the nation for metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs for special education teachers at the kindergarten and elementary school level.

Earning your special education master’s degree will help you develop your professional teaching skills and open the door to new career pathways. It’s also a great way to boost your earning potential. The salary of special education teachers with a master’s degree will typically be at the higher end of the salary ranges.

Career outlook for special education master’s graduates

Graduates of our online special education master’s program enjoy an almost 100% job placement rate. Not only are special teachers in high demand in Alaska, our School of Education has partnerships with school districts throughout the state that offer diverse professional opportunities for our students. Many of our students are working in the field well before they graduate.

Special education salaries

Based on recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Alaska is one of the top paying states in the nation for special education teachers at the middle and secondary school level, with annual mean wages of $75,530 and $77,210, respectively.

The average annual income for special education teachers in Alaska at the kindergarten and elementary school level is $72,770.



Get Started on Your Online Master’s in Special Education

Take the next step toward earning your master’s in special education online at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. We have the resources to help you get started.