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Graduate Special Education FAQs

1) What is new about the SPED program?

Through the redesign of our graduate programs in special education to an online delivery, this partnership program will greatly increase the accessibility for teachers and aspiring teachers throughout the state. The program is online with a low residency requirement on predefined Saturdays. All the courses use student-friendly, highly engaging technological tools to ensure an easy to access, rich and rigorous experience. Full training and support is available for students to ensure their aptitude to be successful in this new environment.

2) What is the low residency on pre-defined Saturdays?

Some classes will require Saturday meetings. The instructor will lead a face-to-face session in a classroom on campus. These Saturdays will allow for interactive collaboration and networking amongst peers. Not all classes will have the required session. A schedule of the classes and dates with Saturday requirements will be available for students to make the necessary plans.

3) What makes your program special?

First and foremost: the course content remains the same high-quality, rigorous content that is expected from a graduate program in Special Education from Fitchburg State University. No other public institution in Massachusetts offers an online graduate program in special education.

To ensure that the course and program design, faculty training, student orientation and support is carefully and appropriately planned a university team was constructed to prepare for the development and implementation of this online program. The team consists of faculty content experts, information technology staff, distance learning staff, a dean, marketing director and other administrators

Student support systems such as an orientation to the technology to start the program and ongoing 24/7 technology support as well as video-on-demand training throughout the program.

4) What makes these courses highly interactive?

The carefully selected and easy to use technology selected for this program. Blackboard is the learning management system where the class content is accessed. It is the gold-standard in learning management systems. With Blackboard IM, students and instructors can easily see who's online and available so they can instantly communicate and interact in real time with instructors and classmates.

Blackboard Collaborate is an online collaboration platform providing web conferencing. An environment that allows real-time online teaching, learning, and collaboration in ways that are engaging, personal, and meaningful to today’s learners, a generation of learners determined to participate actively in their education.

Meaningful interactions with your peers and instructor through regular communications and a host of rich, multi-media content.

5) Do I need to be a “Techie” to be in this program? What supports are in place for me as a student?

You do not need to be a tech-savvy person. A good rule of thumb is that if you have ever made a purchase online, then you have the basic skills to take an online course at Fitchburg State. In addition to carefully choosing easy to use technologies, the University provides a full array of training and support. They include a student orientation to the technology to start the program and ongoing 24/7 technology support as well as video-on-demand training throughout the program.

6) Are there specific technical requirements for these programs?

Yes. Please click on the link provided to visit the SPED student Spec sheet page to view the requirements.