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M.Ed. Urban Multicultural Special Education

Program Description

The M.Ed. in Urban Multicultural Special Education program is an interdisciplinary program designed for K-12 special education teachers who work with multilingual learners (MLLs).

Program Goals

The program prepares professionals to work with MLLs and culturally diverse students. Program candidates will develop

  • knowledge of the structure and acquisition of language, and of the socio-cultural contexts in which English is learned as an additional language;
  • knowledge of the nature and role of culture and cultural groups, and ability to create positive learning environments for MLLs;
  • ability to provide culturally and linguistically responsive practices in RTI, special education evaluation and IEP development;
  • ability to design and deliver standards-based ESL, literacy and content instruction;
  • ability to collaborate with families, educational personnel, and community agencies; and
  • disposition to advocate for best practices for ELs and their families.
Ying Hui-Michael Ying Hui-Michael
Associate Professor
Building 2, Rm 122
(401) 456-8024

Course Requirements

View course details.

Statements from Graduates

Throughout my time at Rhode Island College, I have enjoyed working with phenomenal and exceptional professors. My experience working under distinguished faculty of such high caliber has taught me to take pride in my work as a special education teacher and to see my students as the greatest “teachers.” The Special Education/ESL Cohort Program has challenged me with the rigor, understanding and compassion it takes to be a teacher with dual interest in both students with special needs and English learners. Lastly, I have learned to incorporate a variety of teaching strategies to use with ELs, including TPR and visuals intertwined with the WIDA Levels. In short, my experience at RIC has prepared me for my new position next year, as I transition from being a special educator for three years to an EL coach at an elementary school.

Alexandra Puleo, Cohort 2014

As a teacher it is important to motivate, educate and inspire students. Students who are engaged in the learning process will not only retain information, but will be motivated to learn more. The Urban Multicultural Special Education M.Ed. program has prepared me to motivate my English learners, special education and general education students. The great thing about this program is that the professors provide teachers with different strategies and techniques to help students gain important skills. Teachers in this program learn how to teach ELs with special needs, work with parents and families of different cultures and languages and utilize assessment that is unbiased and valid. The program prepared me to effectively work with ELs with special needs. As an ESL teacher, I feel that this program has helped me become a stronger and more knowledgeable educator.  

Sara Desjarlais, Cohort 2012

Off-campus Cohort

ESL Certification Cohort for Special Education Teachers

Advantages of ESL Certification Cohort

  • Complete a Rhode Island ESL certificate and M.ED. in Special Education in four semesters
  • Conduct meaningful classroom-related course projects to apply to your learning.
  • Get peer support from other practicing teachers.
  • Study with a nationally-recognized TESOL teacher education program.
  • Work with full-time faculty and seasoned ESL/SPED professionals.

ESL Certification Course Requirement




 SPED 551

Introduction to Urban Multicultural Special Education


 SPED 552

Dual Language Development and Intervention


 SPED 553

Content-Based ESL Instruction for Exceptional Students


 SPED 554

Applied Linguistics for Exceptional MLLs


 SPED 555

Literacy for MLLs with Special Needs


 SPED 557

Assessing MLLs with Special Needs


SPED 654

Internship in Urban Multicultural Special Education


Additional Requirements to Complete the M.Ed. in Special Education Degree




 SPED 648

Interpreting and Developing Research in Special Education


 SPED 534

Involvement of Families in Special Education


SPED 655

Capstone Study in Urban Multicultural Special Education


For more information, please contact Dr. Ying Hui-Michael at (401) 456-8604 or​​

Page last updated: September 30, 2020