Special Education

Program Contact Information
Denise Clark
Program Coordinator
Office: Nursing/Education 406
Telephone: (920) 424-3421
Web Site: www.uwosh.edu/coehs/departments/department-of-special-education/graduate-program/department-of-special-education-graduate-program
E-mail: speced@uwosh.edu

I. Faculty


II. Purpose

The graduate program in special education is designed to provide a master's degree. The degree can include teaching licensure in the elective portion of the program.

III. Degree
Completion of the program will lead to the degree: Master of Science in Education (MSE).

IV. Additional Admissions Requirements Information

In addition to the requirements of the Office of Graduate Studies specified in the first section of this Bulletin, the program has established the following policies and procedures for admission:


Admission in Full Standing
The minimum overall undergraduate grade point average for full standing admission in the graduate program is 3.00.

Admission with Deficiencies
Applicants who lack adequate undergraduate preparation may be admitted with deficiencies and will be expected to complete up to 18 credits in general professional licensure requirements.


Conditional Admission
Students who do not have passing scores on PPST and Praxis II but have met all other requirements for admission to the Special Education graduate program, will have three semesters from the initial interview date with the graduate program coordinator to submit passing scores for both tests to the special education department or the student will no longer be allowed to register for classes.


Admission for Licensure
Admission to graduate studies is ordinarily required for post-baccalaureate students pursuing licensure, even if completion of the M.S.E. is not intended. Renewal of provisional/emergency licensure similarly requires admission to graduate studies.


Determination of Emphases
On the Application for Admission to Graduate Studies form, applicants are requested to explicitly indicate intention to complete special education licensure or degree-only without licensure.


Qualified applicants should contact the program coordinator to arrange for an interview.


Applicants must provide two letters from professionals in education, special education, or related disciplines.


Academic Advisers
The Graduate Program Coordinator will serve as the academic adviser for all graduate students.

V. Summary

A. Structure
Students must pass a written comprehensive candidacy examination. The exam is prepared and the results are evaluated by the Advancement to Candidacy Committee (three graduate faculty from the department selected by the student). It is strongly recommended that students complete this exam as early as possible (e.g., at the end of the second semester for most students). The program offers a choice of three (3) elective emphases in combination with the M.S.E. degree. These are: (1) non-licensure/degree only, (2) cross categorical special education licensure: middle childhood through early adolescence (ages 6-13) and/or early adolescence through adolescence (ages 10-21) and (3) early childhood special education (ages birth through 8). The cross categorical special education licensure program prepares individuals to teach in a classroom that serves students who are identified as having learning disabilities (LD), emotional/behavioral disorders (ED) or cognitive disabilities (CD).

B. Academic Plans of Study
The following are the descriptions for the Special Education plan(s) of study:
Cross Categorical Special Education Licensure
Early Childhood Special Education
Non-Licensure/Degree Only

C. Minimum Unit (Cr.) Requirements
Thirty (30) units (crs.) applicable to the graduate degree constitute the minimal requirement for all students.

D. Admission to Candidacy
Students must satisfy fully the Office of Graduate Studies requirements for advancement to candidacy as stated in the first section of this Bulletin. Students must meet with their program coordinator to plan and receive program approval for their admission to candidacy. Ordinarily, the candidacy application is filed while taking Special Education 781, Introduction to Advanced Studies in Special Education. The Office of Graduate Studies gives final approval to Admission to Candidacy.

E. Graduation Requirements
Candidates must satisfy all program and Office of Graduate Studies academic, culminating and degree requirements to be eligible for graduation and degree conferral.

F. Culminating Experience
Students may choose Special Education 794-Field Report in Special Education or Special Education 795-Thesis as the culminating experience.

G. Course Availability
Some Special Education licensure and M.S.E.-degree required courses are not offered every semester or summer session. Long- and short-term planning necessitates contacting the department office or academic adviser to keep abreast of course offering schedules, recommended course sequences and prerequisites.

H. Program of Studies
An initial program of studies is prepared for the applicant at the time of admission to Graduate Studies. Credentials, experience and goals are used to determine waivers and requirements.

I. Course Sequencing
In general, 700-level graduate courses are to be taken after completion of non-licensure or licensure requirements. Licensure requirements have specific sequencing.

J. Special Education Concentration Areas
In the cross categorical special education licensure program, students must complete a concentration in one of the disability categorical areas of (1) learning disabilities, (2) emotional/behavioral disorders, or (3) cognitive disabilities. This area of concentration will be completed through a portfolio process interwoven throughout the special education licensure coursework.

VI. Degree Requirements

The M.S.E. degree program requires a minimum of 30 credits, of which 15 credits are required and 15 credits are electives.  At least 15 of the 30 total credits must be taken at the 700-level.

The option without licensure is designed to meet the needs of professionals in related fields; e.g., elementary or secondary education, occupational, physical or speech therapy. In addition, special educators who already possess licensure and do not desire additional licensure can complete the M.S.E. degree program.


Core Courses

Emphases Requirements

A. Non-Licensure Emphasis

A course about children and youth with disabilities in general education (Special Education 352/552) or an equivalent introductory special education course is required as a prerequisite. Credits earned in this course will not apply to the degree.

Courses Required
Courses required for the MSE non-licensure emphasis include:

Core Courses

Non-Licensure Electives

All students are required to take nine (9) credits of electives. Students may choose elective credits from the following list as well as from licensure/specialty courses. Pre-approval from graduate academic adviser is required for all electives.

B. Licensure Emphases

All post-baccalaureate licensure applicants seeking Wisconsin licensure are ordinarily required to be admitted to the graduate program.

Licensure requirements, as determined by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, are comprised of three parts: (1) general professional, (2) special education core curriculum and (3) middle childhood through early adolescence and/or early adolescence through adolescence coursework (for the cross categorical special education license) OR early childhood special education and early childhood PK-3 coursework (for the early childhood special education license).

A maximum of 15 credits related to licensure are applicable to the M.S.E. degree requirements. No general professional coursework may be applied toward the M.S.E. degree program.


General Professional Coursework Required for Licensure

The professional education course content requirements cover the following areas: educational foundations, curriculum and instruction, reading education and health education.

Educational foundations requirements consist of courses in educational psychology, child and adolescent development.  The area of curriculum and instruction includes early childhood and elementary and secondary methods courses.

Courses in reading education include reading methods and strategies, literature and language arts for the young child and reading and language arts in the content area.

A health education requirement reviews health concerns facing elementary schools. This course is only required for students specializing in early childhood special education.

In addition, applicants without a prior teaching license will be evaluated for compliance with state requirements governing human relations experiences and Praxis scores.


Cross Categorical Special Education Licensure Requirements

Cross categorical special education licensure prepares individuals to teach in classrooms that served students who are identified as having learning disabilities (LD), emotional/behavioral disorders (ED), or cognitive disabilities (CD). In addition, all students are required to have a portfolio of evidence documenting that the standards required for teacher licensure have been met.


Cross-Categorical Special Education Core Curriculum Requirements:

Middle Childhood through Early Adolescence and/or Early Adolescence through Adolescence Requirements:

For graduate students without any prior teaching license, a 10 credit student teaching experience is required.

Early Childhood Special Education Licensure Requirements:

Early childhood special education licensure prepares individuals to teach in classrooms serving children with disabilities ages birth through eight.

Early Childhood Special Education Core Curriculum Requirements:

Early Childhood PK-3 Requirements:

Early Childhood Special Education & Early Childhood PK-3 Requirements:

For graduate students without any prior teaching license, a 10 credit student-teaching experience is required.

Additional Program Information:

VII. Course Descriptions