School of Education launches new MA

The British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education has approved Trinity Western University’s application to offer a new Master’s degree. The Master of Arts in Educational Studies – Special Education will launch in July 2014.

The program will provide advanced education for teachers who wish to improve their capacity to fulfill the BC Ministry of Advanced Education mandate to maintain inclusive classrooms that “enable all learners to meet their individual potential” and will increase the number of educators with the skills to provide assessment services.

“TWU’s School of Education has always had a commitment to ensure all learners are included and supported in their educational journey by teachers who have been prepared to understand, appreciate, and address diversity,” said Dean Kimberly Franklin, Ed.D. 

Trinity Western was among the first in BC to require a course in special education preparation for all education students. “Our students are consistently inspired to further their learning after taking this course, and many choose to do a minor in special education as one of their teachable subject areas,” Franklin said. “We are looking forward to providing a high-quality Master’s level program to support teachers in their desire to continue to grow and develop in this area.”

The new Master’s program, developed by long-time TWU Professor of Education Ken Pudlas, Ed.D., is based on a cohort model, in which students form a cooperative learning community. By sharing challenges and solutions, cohort members will enhance their own abilities to meet students’ diverse needs. “This degree is for teachers already in the system who want to empower themselves to more effectively meet the needs of all students—even those with exceptional needs,” Pudlas said. “Our hope is that the program will bring together the confluence of head, heart, and hands into inclusive praxis.”

It is estimated that one in four classrooms have four or more students with special needs, and some 10 per cent of the school population are learners with identified special needs. “The challenge of enabling learners with special needs has never been more evident,” said Pudlas. “Children who have special needs are often at the margins. They are not a surprise to God—so why wouldn’t we try to help enable them to learn, to remove barriers to their success?”

The Master of Arts in Educational Studies – Special Education will launch this summer with an expected cohort of 15 students. For more information, or to apply for admission, please contact the School of Education by email at school.education@twu.ca or phone 604.513.2072.

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