Making online learning real
Dr. LaRon Scott, assistant professor and director of Certifying Online Virginia Educators

LaRon Scott, Ed.D.

Assistant professor and coordinator for the general education concentration of the M.Ed. in special education

“There’s such an incredible shortage of highly-qualified special ed teachers across the country. It’s my job to change that.”

My story

Like so many of our students, I was inspired to pursue special education by a family member with a learning disability. The more I learned, the more I found I wanted to learn. The graduate special education program at VCU was so effective in bridging classroom theory with service learning projects and real work, and the faculty offers so much expertise in so many areas, I helped create a place for myself here. Now that I direct the online program as well as teach, my focus is on making it totally accessible and 100% doable — even for those with a full-time career and a family.

About the general education concentration

The M.Ed in special education’s general education concentration:

  • Provides the professional knowledge and skills needed to work in a variety of settings, including general education classrooms (where children with special needs are being taught collaboratively)
  • Trains graduates to help guide special education students through a variety of transitions, such as from special education classrooms to general education settings, or from high school to the workforce and independent living.
  • Equips candidates with special training in reading and language, behavior management and positive social skills
  • Is offered entirely online, meaning the coursework fits into your schedule — not the other way around.
  • Can be completed as part of the Richmond Teacher Residency program for those interested in face-to-face programs and working in urban settings

School of Education student Tiffany Ahmad stands in her school classroom

Tiffany Ahmad

Current M.Ed. student and early childhood special education teacher in Hanover County Public Schools

“I love that I am able to take what I am learning in my coursework and apply it directly to my teaching style and classroom environment.”

My story

This program always encouraged me to embrace continuous learning — I’m constantly shaping how my knowledge and experience work together with a family’s needs and resources for the best possible outcome. They take you outside the classroom to learn hands-on how to establish and maintain positive, culturally-aware collaborations. Those kinds of professional development opportunities, and being able to present at a national conference, really prepared me to be the best possible teacher for my students.

About the early childhood concentration

The early childhood concentration of the M.Ed. in special education:

  • Prepares students to work with young children (birth through age 5) with developmental disabilities and their families
  • Qualifies students for licensure with endorsement in early childhood special education
  • Follows a hybrid model, where both online discussions and face-to-face interaction with professors and peers provide opportunities for dynamic dialogues
  • Is learner-centered, interactive and collaborative
  • Can be completed in five to six semesters

How to apply

Interested in applying to our M.Ed. in special education program? Follow the instructions on the VCU Office of Graduate Admissions website. If you are interested in the online option for either of these programs, please indicate so on your application as well as on the personal statement you’ll submit as part of your application.

Additional information about the program, including admission and degree requirements, can be found at our M.Ed. in special education page.

Related programs

  • M.Ed. in special education, concentration in severe disabilities – In addition to the early childhood and general education concentrations, the M.Ed. in special education is also offered with a severe disabilities track for interested in working with students with the most significant support needs.
  • Certifying Online Virginia Educators (COVE) – The COVE program provides online, graduate-level courses at a reduced tuition rate for special education teachers holding a valid conditional or provisional license in Virginia. Participants can apply up to six credits toward the general education track of the M.Ed. in special education.

Contact us

Mary Ellen Huennekens, Ph.D.
Concentration coordinator, early childhood concentration
Phone: (804) 828-2663

LaRon Scott, Ed.D.
Concentration coordinator, general education concentration
Phone: (804) 828-6556