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Ashford University Announces New Master’s Degree in Special Education
Degree program prepares students for careers in the special education field

Ashford University has announced a new Master of Arts in Special Education (MASE) degree program. Developed in accordance with national special education standards, the MASE degree will equip graduates with the fundamental skills, competencies, and knowledge required to meet the needs of learners with disabilities. The degree program is currently accepting students.

Since the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in 2001, and more recently, with the most current iteration of this federal legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ECSA), teacher preparation programs for students with disabilities have been on the forefront of the public education agenda. Although Ashford’s MASE degree does not lead to teacher certification, the curriculum will prepare certified teachers to meet 21st century academic standards in the field of special education. The Occupational Outlook Handbook reported that the employment of special education teachers is expected to grow by 17% between 2010 and 2020 as a result of the increased enrollment of K-12 students with special needs and the national demand for highly qualified special educators.

“The Master of Arts in Special Education is a rigorous program that will prepare students to be successful practitioners in the field of special education,” said Dr. Tony Farrell, executive dean of the College of Education at Ashford University. “The program is focused on providing students with the best curriculum and finest instruction possible.”

MASE is a degree-only program that will provide a strong focus on the practical application of knowledge paired with a foundation of theory-based learning to prepare students for careers in the field of special education. The program has been designed for certified teachers who want to pursue an additional endorsement on their current license in special education or a specialization in the field. It will also benefit students who want to pursue positions in the special education field not requiring certification. Additionally, this degree supports teachers working in general education to partner with teachers, parents, and students with greater insight and knowledge regarding special education services and interventions.

Prevailing employment opportunities for MASE graduates as non-certified educational professionals include positions as education consultants, mentors, paraprofessionals, and supervisors. Specific positions include, among others, Assistive Technology Specialists, Behavior Interventionists, Gifted and Talented Specialists, and Inclusion Specialists. Potential workplaces include P-12 public schools, alternative schools, hospitals or clinics, nonprofit organizations, residential facilities, and private tutoring. Students may also explore doctoral-level studies and other research endeavors after the completion of this degree.

For more information about the new Master of Arts in Special Education degree, please visit the degrees page at



About Ashford University

Where heritage meets innovation – that’s Ashford University. At Ashford, students discover relevant degree programs, innovative technology, and cherished tradition. Ashford offers associates, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs online, allowing students to balance life by providing the flexibility to do school work anywhere, anytime. For more information, please visit,,, or call Marianne Perez, Media Relations Manager, at 858.513.9240 x11636.