HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from William Carey University.
The William Carey University School of Education is now offering two new advanced degrees for educators working with children with emotional or behavioral disorders and a new concentration for early childhood education.
Beginning in August 2016, the school will begin offering Master in Education and Education Specialist degrees in emotional and behavioral disorders. The degrees will prepare teachers or mental health practitioners to develop and implement instructional plans and monitor children and youth with emotional and/or behavioral disorders in schools and residential facilities.
"The new master's and specialist degree programs in emotional and behavioral disorders will fulfill a tremendous need in this critical shortage area of teaching," said Dr. Brenda Thomas, associate professor of education in the department of special education and educational leadership. "The program will provide the necessary instruction, practicums, and internships to enable teacher candidates to fill
a void in Mississippi for behavior specialists and day treatment teachers in public schools, while adding to the expertise of practitioners in institutions and related environments."
Both degrees require 30 hours of course work including a practicum and internship. The education classes will be offered online in order to accommodate working professionals. Students can complete the program in 18 months (five terms).
The degrees are designed to allow students to progress through the program at an individual pace within six years of initial enrollment at William Carey University. Students also have the option to pursue or renew an add-on teaching endorsement in emotional and behavioral disorders. The endorsement requires 12 hours (4 courses) in emotional and behavioral disorders.
The School of Education pursued adding these degrees after receiving requests for this type of instruction from teachers and mental health professionals in the area as well as the Gulf Coast, Jackson, and the Millcreek Rehabilitation Center, which operates five centers across the state.
According to the Mississippi Data Profile Report, the rate of students with emotional and behavioral disorders increased from 0.22% in 2002 to 0.62% in 2011. The increase represents 1,958 students over the nine-year period. The Mississippi Department of Education job postings show this certification as a critical needs degree.