Practical Experience, Flexible Education

Special Education Intervention Specialists work with schools and communities to ensure that students with disabilities are given the same learning opportunities as non-disabled students. Designed to prepare teachers for leadership roles in special education, this fast-track program enables you to complete your master’s degree in just two years, entirely online. You’ll work toward your degree one class at a time, for eight weeks per class. Assignments focus on practical applications that are meaningful to jobs, with lessons enriched by the real-world experience of top faculty.

An Online Degree with a Personal Touch

At UNC, we create an online experience in a classroom that is accessible 24/7. You’ll interact with instructors, collaborate on assignments, share information and discuss course topics 1-on-1 or with the whole class. It’s why we are the top-ranked university in Colorado for online graduate programs in education—and are nationally recognized for excellence in teacher education.

Degree Details

Credits Required:

31-34

Location/Delivery:

Online

Time to Completion:

2 years

Cost Estimator

Degree Options

The Special Education: Intervention Specialist degree offers two areas of emphasis: Applied Behavior Analysis and Academic Coaching and Leadership and a graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) 

Prepare to lead in schools and communities in the area of applied behavior analysis. Focused on understanding behavior and how it is affected by the environment, this degree works with people through the entire lifespan. The ABA coursework is a Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB) approved course sequence, so when you complete this emphasis you’ll be eligible to take the examination for certification as Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA).® Preferred by many states to practice in schools, this certification can open the way to numerous and diverse career paths.

Take the next step! Explore courses, contact information and admission requirements for these programs.

Online Program

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Certificate

UNC also offers an online certificate designed to fit around your schedule, with an accelerated delivery that lets you focus on one course at a time.

Online Program

Academic Coaching and Leadership

Designed especially for special education teachers who are seeking more advanced graduate training, this emphasis will prepare you for diverse leadership roles in special education. In addition to working with students, you’ll learn how to effectively work with parents, teachers and others who play an important role in students’ lives. In addition to working closely with experienced education instructors, math and literacy classes are taught by professors in the Math and English departments.

Take the next step! Explore courses, contact information and admission requirements for these programs.

Online Program

Related Programs

Your Future in Special Education

Intervention specialists make a real difference in the lives of students and their communities. More and more, school districts are looking for qualified leaders who can address complex challenges.

Consider UNC's M.A. in Special Education: Intervention Specialist if you are:

  • Seeking graduate training to take the next step in your career
  • Interested in working closely with students, teachers, parents and other members of the community to enhance learning opportunities for people with disabilities
  • Looking for a flexible program you can complete while working full time

You’ll learn:

In Applied Behavior Analysis emphasis,

  • Application of applied behavior analysis through the lifespan, including individuals with cultural and linguistic diversity, autism, traumatic brain injury and extremely challenging behaviors
  • Identifying functions or problem behavior
  • Designing, implementing and evaluating interventions

In Academic Coaching and Leadership emphasis,

  • Highly-qualified special educator literacy and mathematics skills
  • Research-based instructional interventions to meet students' needs
  • Culturally responsive approaches to address the needs of diverse students and their families

Sample courses:

  • Legal and Policy Foundations of Special Education
  • Leadership in the School Community
  • Research and Reflective Practice
  • Introduction to Graduate Research
  • Assessment and Intervention for Students with Challenging Behaviors
  • Concepts and Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis

Tracy Gershwin Mueller

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

Tracy Gershwin Mueller, Ph.D.
Professor of Special Education

Tracy Gershwin Mueller, Ph.D., teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the special education licensure program and coordinates the Intervention Specialist M.A. program.

She's a doctoral-level board-certified behavior analyst and a Colorado-trained mediator who specializes in interventions for children and youth with challenging behaviors, family-school partnerships, special education law, conflict prevention and alternative dispute resolution in special education.

Dr. Gershwin Mueller has received nine research grants and published numerous articles and other writings based on her work. Recently, her publication, “Fathers’ Experiences with Special Education: The Overlooked Voice,” was cited as one of the top-read research articles published in Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities. She is active with both the state and national Council for Children with Behavior Disorders (CCBD) division, among many other organizations within the field of special education.

Learn More

Where can your degree take you?

Regardless of the emphasis you choose, your master’s degree will open the way to a variety of leadership and career opportunities, including:

  • Early intervention specialist
  • Behavior analyst
  • Special education teacher
  • Academic coach

Our graduates have gone on to careers in diverse settings, including public and private schools, hospitals, community centers and private education companies.

Building Partnerships and Resolutions

In addition to being skilled mentors, our professors are noted researchers in their fields. Our current research undertakings in special education include:

Dispute Resolutions in Colorado Schools

Tracy Gershwin Mueller, Ph.D., Professor of Special Education 

Conflict between parents and school districts has been a topic of high importance, with Congress focused on implementing dispute resolution procedures that encourage meaningful problem solving and shared decision making. Gershwin Mueller is an active collaborator with the Colorado Department of Education, where she's helping to research and build a continuum of dispute resolution options for school districts across the state.

Dispute resolutions

What You Need to Know Right Now