Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development

Why you should consider this program

At Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, you’ll build upon your experience in the Peace Corps through an academically rigorous, service-oriented master’s program that prepares you for a career as a special educator. Our program supports you in developing the knowledge, skills, and practices that will enable you to effectively support all learners in accessing the general curriculum and reaching learning goals.

Within the program, you will choose a track focused on serving children in either PreK-grade 8 or Grade 5-12. You will engage in a full-time teaching internship supporting under-served urban populations, and be supported in that work with a stipend and on-site mentorship, while taking graduate classes at BU Wheelock in the evenings and over the summer.

Through this combination of service and practice, you’ll learn how to assess learning strengths and areas of need in children; to collaborate with families and teams to promote positive learning environments; and to create adaptations that enable children in diverse educational settings—public, charter or private; inclusive or special education—to engage in meaningful learning and development.

Program options include a 36-credit program in special education (without state licensure) or one of these two programs that lead to state licensure: 52-credits program for grades preK- grade 8, or 58-credit program for grades 5 - 12.

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 28,160 $ 9,134 $ 19,026
Out of state $ 28,160 $ 9,134 $ 19,026
* Net cost is equal to tuition/fees minus fellowship value. For some universities, the fellowship value includes non-tuition/fee benefits such as health insurance or housing—see the first point below for more details.

Where the cost savings value of the Coverdell Fellowship comes from

33% scholarship on student’s actual tuition charges each semester

Fellowships awarded per year (average)

Two per year.

Other benefits or opportunities

Potential teaching assistantships as arranged with program coordinator.

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 21,905

Application fee waived?



Fellows will participate in a one year paid teaching internship with a partner public school in Boston or other surrounding high-need community. BU Wheelock maintains long-standing partnerships with public, charter, and pilot schools serving students with special needs who may require intensive educational supports.

Once preliminarily accepted as a Peace Corps Coverdell Fellow by BU Wheelock, Fellows are interviewed by a special education faculty member to identify their teaching goals (e.g., subject areas, type of school, age range of children, licensure). The faculty will then refer the Fellow to a school and offer support to prepare the Fellow for the last step in the admissions process, seeking to be hired for a year-long internship. Fellows are interviewed by the school administrator(s) and teacher(s) with opportunities to observe classrooms; the school will make the final decision on hiring. Once hired, the Fellow will be offered full admission to the program.

Fellows will be supervised by the school teaching faculty who holds a special education license as well as by a BU Wheelock faculty supervisor. Fellows seeking a Massachusetts teaching license will follow the necessary protocols set by the state and monitored by the school and college supervisors; this includes multiple observations and a review of reaching teaching goals.

Jobs for program alumni

Qualified special education teachers are in demand across the country. Peace Corps Fellows completing the special education program are teaching full-time in Boston-area public schools. A master’s degree with a license allows you to co-teach in inclusive general education classrooms, teach small groups of students in resource classrooms, in separate classrooms, or independent schools for students with special needs. The population of students you would be working with may have a range of mild to moderate disabilities such as specific learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, and emotional and behavioral issues. Recent Fellows work as:

  • Learning Specialist at a public charter school in Boston
  • Special Educator in Brookline Public Schools (adjacent to the city of Boston).

Other details

Program length

Depends on licensure, part-time and full-time studies; approximately 2 years including summers.

Application requirements

Applicants for the Coverdell Fellowship will submit all materials requested of general cohort applicants, which include: Statement of Qualifications & Objectives, Equity & Inclusion Statement, Recommendations, Transcripts, and the online application itself.

Admissions process

Provide the Description of Service (DOS) if you are a RPCV, or letter from the country director if you are current in a RPCV that will be finishing service on time for enrollment. The DOS will be required prior to start of classes.

Program begins

September 2020

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



Stephanie Cox Suárez, Clinical Associate Professor, Special Education

Boston University, Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, 25 Pilgrim Road, Boston, MA 02215
Office 203A
Boston, MA 02215