Special Education Program

Graduate Faculty Top of Page

James M. Geidner, Assistant Professor
Rhoda Robinson, Associate Professor

Special Education Program Description Top of Page

The M.S.E.-Special Education degree program is designed for licensed teachers and other professionals who wish to pursue graduate work in the field of special education. The program is appropriate for professionals working with people with disabilities, as well as elementary, secondary, or K-12 teachers. For licensed teachers, the program can lead to special education certification for licensure.

An action research project must be completed prior to being granted the M.S.E.-Special Education degree. A minimum of 30 graduate credits including a minimum of 500 hours of working in an educational setting with children who have special needs must be completed before the action research project is undertaken.

The M.S.E. Special Education degreeis designed for practicing teachers and other professionals who want to increase their knowledge about and improve their skills for working with students who have special needs. The degree without certification for licensure is specifically designed for regular education teachers who have students with special needs included in their classrooms and wish to gain new knowledge and skills for working with these students.

The M.S.E. Special Education degree with Certification for Licensure is designed for practicing teachers who want to work directly with children who have special needs. Preparation is included for working in both resource rooms and collaboratively with regular education teachers.

Admission Requirements & Removal from Program Top of Page

Admission Requirements:

In addition to the requirements for entry to UW-Superior Graduate Studies, applicants for admission to the MSE Special Education degree program must submit:

  1. three (3) letters of reference (one or two academic letters from post-secondary instructors and one or two letters from employers) that speak to the candidate's ability to succeed in graduate school;
  2. a typewritten Autobiographical Essay (1,000 word maximum) outlining professional goals;
  3. a bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited institution; and
  4. a current teaching license if getting certified for licensure in Special Education, or a criminal background check.

Removal From M.S.E. Special Education Program
Students can be removed from the MSE Special Education Degree Programs. Any violation occurring that is outlined in the University of Wisconsin System Code Chapters 14 and 17 respectively are grounds for disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. In addition, students can be removed or expelled from the program based on grades and violations of the code of ethics for Special Education. No grade lower than a B- counts toward degree completion. Also, students must be aware of and responsive to life circumstances beyond academic preparation that would exclude them from licensure/certification (e.g., legal history, and/or past professional disbarment).

Master of Science in Education - Special Education Requirements Top of Page

30 to 44 credits required

Core Component courses (12 credits required):

The Exceptional Learner -- 3.00 credits
Neurocognition -- 3.00 credits
Behavior Analysis and Intervention -- 3.00 credits
Contemporary Issue and Transitions -- 3.00 credits

Methods Component courses (15 credits required):

Introduction to Reading Difficulties -- 3.00 credits
Reading Difficulties Practicum -- 3.00 credits
Mathematics Assessment and Strategies -- 3.00 credits
Methods of Adaptive Instruction -- 3.00 credits
Collaboration and Consultation in Special Education -- 3.00 credits

Research Component courses (6 credits required):

Research Foundations of Education -- 3.00 credits
SPED Research Project -- 3.00 credits

Certification Component courses (4-11 credits required):

Assessment of Learners with Exceptionalities -- 3.00 credits
Special Education Internship: MC-EA -- 1.00 - 4.00 credits
Special Education Internship: EA-A -- 1.00 - 4.00 credits

Students seeking only the M.S.E. Special Education degree must complete a minimum of 24 credits from courses in the Core and Methods components, and 6 credits from the research component.

Students seeking the M.S.E. Special Education degree with Certification for Licensure must complete a minimum of 27 credits in the Core and Methods components, 6 credits in the research component, and a minimum of 7 credits in the Certification Component

Certificate Program for Special Education Licensure Top of Page

The Special Education program offers courses approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for certification for licensure as a special education teacher.

The program leads to certification for licensure in one or more of the following areas:

1. Cross-Categorical Special Education with a concentration in one of the following:

  • Cognitive Disabilities;
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Learning Disabilities

2. Categorical Special Education in the area of:

  • Cognitive Disabilities
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Learning Disabilities

These certifications are available for working with students in middle childhood through early adolescence (MC-EAages 6-12/13)and for working with students in early adolescence through adolescence (EA-Aages 10-21).

Students seeking certification for cross-categorical licensure will be prepared to work with any or all students with severe to mild high incidence disabilities (cognitive, learning, emotional/behavioral). Although prepared to work with all three high-incidence disability areas, students will concentrate on one particular disability area while completing their fieldwork, research, and internship. Students seeking certification for licensure at both the MC-EA and EA-A levels will complete an internship experience at both licensure levels.

Students seeking certification for categorical licensure will concentrate their curriculum, internship, and research on the chosen area of disability. Students will design their individual program plans for categorical licensure with the program advisor. A minimum one-credit internship is required. Students seeking licensure at both the MC-EA and EA-A levels will complete an internship experience at both licensure levels.

For additional information regarding the Special Education program, contact Dr. Jennifer E. Christensen, Marcovich Wellness Center 1420, (715) 394-8144 ,or http://www.uwsuper.edu/graduate/.