Program Description This cohort-based model is designed for students wishing to study full-time on the VIU campus. All formal coursework is completed over two semesters. The Field Inquiry and Major Project components are completed during the third semester. Students may complete their Field Inquiry and Major Project components over two semesters. This will expand the program into a full two-year option. VIU's M.Ed. in Special Education embodies an innovative approach to the field of Special Education. Grounded in current research and evidence-based practices, our program challenges each educator to critically examine historical and contemporary Special Education policies and approaches to formulate a best practice specific to her/his own context. Faculty bring their expert knowledge and extensive experiences to guide, support and maximize student learning in each part of the program. The 40-credit program is nested in four frames of reference: Context for Development and Learning: Students consider the context for development and learning including characteristics of the individual with special needs; issues such as social context, cultural perspectives, poverty, and mental and social health; and implications of research. Informative Assessment: Students focus on the purposes, processes, and implications of assessment information. Responsive Teaching: Students demonstrate the ability to develop, implement, and evaluate an Individual Education Plan (IEP) in consultation with classroom teacher(s), parents, students, and district and community resource personnel for students with a variety of special needs. Re-imagining Special Education: Students think beyond current practices and examine critical issues in the field of Special Education that impact children with special needs and their families in order to re-imagine the field of Special Education. Graduates of the program will command content knowledge, develop skill-specific competencies and acquire relevant experiences prescribed by the BC Ministry of Education for Special Education specialist teachers, as well as, have the capacity to offer leadership in Special Education areas.