(Posted August 1, 2023)

HUNTINGDON, Pa.— Demand for teachers in grades kindergarten through 12 is predicted to increase dramatically by 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To better prepare educators for the future, Juniata College and Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11 (TIU) have partnered to provide employees serviced within the catchment area of TIU with the opportunity to pursue a Master of Education in Special Education (M.Ed.).

TIU is a regional educational service agency meeting the needs of public and nonpublic schools in Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, and Mifflin counties. The Juniata College Master of Education is a 30-credit, practitioner-oriented degree designed for educational professionals.

“Given the teacher shortage, this partnership with Juniata College comes at an opportune time as the demand for trained, licensed and highly qualified teachers of Special Education are nearly universal, not escaping the schools within the TIU11 catchment area,” said Kelly Lawler Zurybida, director of special education at TIU. “A master’s degree in special education would provide an educator with a broader and deeper understanding of the challenges of children with special needs. It will not only make any teacher a more qualified applicant, but the advanced education would also enhance skills to make for a more effective teacher.”

TIU employees accepted into the Juniata College program will receive a reduced tuition rate. The program focuses on evidence-based practices to support children and youth, with coursework ranging from special education law, behavior management, and assessment to effective instruction and culturally-responsive teaching. As a liberal arts college, Juniata has created a unique experience for graduate students to learn the content knowledge and skills that will positively impact learners with special needs and those at-risk.

“This collaboratively-established agreement creates the foundation for both Juniata College and TIU to work together as partners in addressing critical teacher shortages nationally and throughout our region,” said Jason Moran, vice president for enrollment at Juniata. “A partnership connects perfectly to Juniata’s mission of providing an engaging personalized educational experience empowering students to develop the skills, knowledge, and values that lead to a fulfilling life of serve and ethical leadership.”

To qualify for this program, candidates must have completed a bachelor’s degree with a 2.75 GPA, apply for admission, submit a resume and statement of purpose, and maintain a 3.0 GPA to complete the graduate degree program. For more information or to apply, please visit https://www.juniata.edu/academics/graduate-programs/master-of-education-special-education

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.