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Division of Special Education


quoteIt is in identifying yourself with hopes, dreams, fears and longings of others that you may understand them and help them.quote1
-- W.A. Peterson

Individuals in this program specialize in working with students identified with disabilities. The program certifies graduates as childhood and middle childhood education special education teachers (1-6). Graduate students in this program complete internships in classrooms for students with disabilities.

Strong emphasis is placed on integrating university course work content and applied experiences in the classroom in order to support individuals’ acquisition of the specific skills and competencies they will need to work successfully with students with disabilities.

The year-long program begins with a summer of introductory courses and five to six weeks of supervised field placement. Specialized courses in Special Education begin in the fall and complement a field-based placement in the schools. Individuals continue to work in schools during the spring semester while also completing special education coursework at the university.

What Graduates say about the Program in Special Education:

"Throughout the first month of school I have implemented so many of the different concepts/ideas/beliefs that I acquired through my work in your program. My classroom has middle school students on a variety of levels, including 5 nonreaders. Words Their Way and Strategies that Work have been a great help due to the early elementary needs. Last year's spring internship served as a learning experience like no other and I am grateful for skills that it has given me. Thank you for everything... this year is going much more smoothly and enjoyable because of your guidance last year! "

Program Requirements
Full Time Study (35-38 credits)
Evening course work and field experiences during the school day (possible assignment to on-line courses)
Study begins in June and continues for 1 calendar year

Appropriate Applicants are Individuals…
with initial certification in childhood education (1-6)
with an undergraduate average of 3.0 or better
with a strong interest in working with students with disabilities at the childhood and middle childhood levels.

Certification Earned:

Initial and Professional Certifications:Teaching Students with Disabilities at the Childhood Level (1-6), Middle Childhood Generalist, and Students with Disabilities Middle Childhood Generalist (5-9)
Professional: Childhood (1-6)

Application Deadline: See graduate admissions

How to Apply

  • Complete the application at
  • Submit transcript and 3 letters of recommendation, including at least one from someone who has observed you teach
  • Submit a copy of your teaching certification(s)
  • Submit a copy of your test scores on the LAST, ATS-W, and Multi-Subject Content Specialty Test
  • Complete the Departmental Statement of Purpose and Questionnaire (Special Education Data Sheet and Written Statement) at

Special Education Typical Program

ESPE 653
Managing Behaviors of Students with Disabilities at the Childhood and Middle Childhood Levels (3)
ERDG 500
Introduction to Literacy Teaching and Learning, B-6 (3)
ESPE 580
Practicum: Teaching Students with Disabilities (3)
ESPE 650
Educational Environments for Preparing Students with Disabilities to Meet the Learning Standards (3)
ESPE 651
English Language Arts and Social Studies Instruction for Students with Disabilities (3)
ESPE 669
Special Education for Students with Emotional and Behavior Disorders (3)
ESPE 680
Internship: Teaching Students with Disabilities (3)
ESPE 681
Seminar: Teaching Students with Disabilities (1)
Special Education electives, including ESPE 567 Inclusive Middle Childhood Education, and others by advisement  (3-6)
ESPE 562
Math, Science and Technology Instruction for Students with Disabilities (3)
ESPE 654
Using the Learning Standards to Teach Students with Severe and Multiple Disabilities (3)
ESPE 680
Internship: Teaching Students with Disabilities (3)
ESPE 681
Seminar: Teaching Students with Disabilities (1)

Please note: The special education programs, including the special education and literacy programs, are in the process of being revised. The content on the website reflects the current programs, so may not reflect the revised programs that will be in effect beginning in summer 2013. 

Website under revision. Please refer to the graduate bulletin for the most accurate information.

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