Earn Your Master's in Inclusive Education

The Inclusive Education Master's Degree Program at Stonehill College prepares teachers to be leaders and critical thinkers. Schools today are complex and diverse communities — reflecting a landscape rich with individual differences. Teachers in our program are prepared using a unique combination of theoretical and practical experiences. This approach ensures their ability to create and lead equitable spaces where difference is valued while at the same time preparing them for the realities and challenges of the classroom and the profession.

Our courses have a heavy emphasis on access to the curriculum, and cover:

  • Educational equity, social justice and democratic education
  • The Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
  • Positive Behavior Support (PBS)
  • Curricular innovations, assistive technology and accessibility
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
  • Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Choose Your Specialization

The master's program requires a core of inclusive education courses designed to foster innovation, transformation and leadership. These courses prepare educators to create a classroom environment that encompasses a range of student needs and is rich with differences. After completing these core courses, students select either a licensure track or a community education specialization.

Teacher Licensure Options

This inclusive education track leads to a master's degree and Massachusetts initial licensure in math/science, 5-8.

Learn more about this track

This inclusive education track leads to a master's degree and Massachusetts initial licensure in special education, PreK-8.

Learn more about this track

This inclusive education track leads to a master's degree and Massachusetts initial licensure in special education, 5-12.

Learn more about this track

Stonehill Teacher Residency candidates complete an intensive field-based residency in a partner district alongside their graduate coursework. It leads to a master’s degree in inclusive education and Massachusetts initial licensure in special education, PreK-8 or 5-12, or math/science, 5-8.

Learn more about Stonehill Teacher Residency

Community Education Options

This community education option leads to a master's degree and a specialization in diversity, equity and inclusivity.

Learn more about this specialization

This community education option leads to a master's degree and a specialization in autism.

Learn more about this specialization

Sample Courses

Educational Equity & Inclusivity

EDU 609
This course introduces students to the reality of schools as diverse spaces encompassing a range of student needs and examines efforts to ensure equity in education. Issues of race, class, culture, language, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, and ability will be discussed & examined, especially how they intersect to reproduce inequality. Students will reflect on individual beliefs in relation to social justice education and democratic education and examine unintended consequences of policy/practice that create or perpetuate inequitable environments and opportunities in schools. Strategies for promoting educational equity and inclusivity will be discussed. 

Contemporary Issues in Education

EDU 610
This course examines and unpacks contemporary issues in the field of education and provides prospective teachers with a beginning foundation for understanding the teaching profession and the US education system, including policy and governance. The historical, legal, ethical, and pedagogical foundations for social justice education and democratic education will be explored, as well as the education reform context and emerging policies. The course will include an examination of professional ethics and standards. Required field experience.

Positive Behavior Supports & Strategies

EDU 612
This course explores supportive, preventative, and proactive approaches to addressing the social and academic behaviors of students with disabilities and other diverse populations. Strategies for developing a positive classroom climate to support social and emotional development, including trauma and anxiety, will be central to the learning of the course. A variety of approaches, including the connection between communication & behavior, identifying contributing factors to challenging behavior, functional behavioral assessment (FBA), and behavior support plans, will be explored.

Why Stonehill?

  • 30–36 credits based on prior coursework
  • Experiential learning via research, partnership and community opportunities
  • Social justice mission that fosters graduates who think, act and lead with courage
  • Accessible and well-resourced campus
  • Faculty with well-established expertise in field

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Our Inclusive Education Program is unique in its focus on the application of teaching pedagogies in a range of settings, providing quality preparation for teachers entering the profession. The combination of theory, method and practical experiences fosters critical thinking skills and helps students understand course concepts in practice as early as their first term.

Students have the opportunity to work with faculty on research in a variety of areas. In 2019, three students worked with Elizabeth Stringer Keefe to examine the process of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) from the perspective of both parents and educators and presented their findings at the Massachusetts Council for Exceptional Children Annual Conference.

Licensure students complete practica placements at both urban and suburban sites as well as specialized locations. This is an opportunity for students to observe, assist and teach in a range of educational settings. All licensure students are required to complete a field experience or internship.

Stonehill has partnerships with several area school districts as well as specialized locations. Teacher residency students can work with a particular population of students at our partner sites, including the League School and South Shore Educational Collaborative, among others. 

Off-Campus Partnerships

Stonehill at Riverview

Students pursuing a master's degree leading to initial licensure in special education, PreK-8 or 5-12, can complete their degree coursework at our off-campus instructional site, Riverview School, in Sandwich, Massachusetts.

Rigorous Academics and the Support to Succeed

Stonehill's graduate teacher education programs in inclusive education recognize the challenges graduate students face in prioritizing work, family, personal and graduate school commitments. Our Graduate Student Support, Access and Success (SSAS) Framework is designed to support students' success from program start to finish.

Specifically, this approach provides:

  • A proactive vs. reactive framework for supporting graduate students' variable needs within their program
  • Clear benchmarks for assessment of candidate readiness
  • Indoctrination to the field and to the profession
  • MTEL support and planning

From the admission process to graduation, students have a clear understanding of both expectations and the support available to help them achieve their goals.

Flexibility to Fit Your Life

Students can select among the following schedules for completing the program:

On-campus and off-campus courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening during the fall and spring semesters and/or during two summer terms. Master's students are required to complete 30 to 36 credits.

Stonehill's Inclusive Education Program challenges us to think differently, beyond the traditional model of school. We're creating ways to keep students in need of specialized instruction in the general education classroom.

Graduate Education at Stonehill

Stonehill College's graduate inclusive education programs aim to prepare knowledgeable, reflective, caring and flexible educators who embrace learning, scholarship, community and advocacy in their work. Social justice and democratic education are at the center of our work and underpins all programs, courses and experiences. We believe education can disrupt systems and processes that perpetuate injustice and inequity and embrace diversity and individuality as strengths.

We advance our mission by modeling the creation of democratic spaces in the graduate classroom that reflect equitable, accessible and inclusive learning environments where students' voices and perspectives help to shape the construction and the provision of their learning.

Three tenets guide our program philosophy:

  • Social justice education
  • Democratic education
  • Anti-oppressive education

Program Outcomes

Our graduates

  • Foster care, connection and community with students, colleagues and families
  • Promote inclusivity, diversity and equity in educational spaces
  • Work to disrupt systems that perpetuate oppression and inequity
  • Embrace teaching practices that foster social justice and democracy
  • Lead by making education accessible for all learners
  • Elevate student voices and perspectives in education
  • Act purposefully to continue to learn and contribute to the profession

Contact Information

Duffy – 124/126

The Office of Graduate Admission assists prospective students as they explore graduate and professional opportunities offered at Stonehill College. 

Meet the Director

Elizabeth Stringer Keefe

Elizabeth Stringer Keefe

Associate Professor of Education, Director of Graduate Teacher Education