Special Education

The University of Wisconsin-Superior offers a graduate program that leads to the Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) degree in Special Education. The degree program also can lead to a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) certification as a special education teacher for Cross-Categorical or Categorical licenses. The faculty contact for this program is Dr. Rhoda Robinson, Assistant Professor of Education, McCaskill 115A; (715)394-8029; rrobinso@uwsuper.edu

Master of Science in Education –
Special Education

The M.S.E. degree in Special Education was designed for teachers interested in receiving both a graduate degree in special education and certification (in Wisconsin) to work in programs serving students who are identified as learning disabled, emotionally disturbed or cognitively disabled. With a Cross-Categorical license a teacher is prepared to work with students who have any or all of the high-incidence disabilities (Cognitive Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Emotional/Behavioral Disturbance) in inclusive settings and in a resource classroom. Although prepared to work with all three disability areas, graduate students will concentrate on one particular disability area while completing their coursework. For graduate students seeking a Categorical license, their concentration will become their categorical licensure area, either Learning Disabilities or Emotional/Behavioral Disturbance.

The degree program leads to DPI certification as a special education teacher for one or more of the following:

1. Cross-categorical certification with a concentration in one of the following subcategories:

a. Cognitive disabilities

b. Emotional disturbance

c. Learning disabilities

2. Categorical certification in Learning Disabilities

3. Categorical certification in Emotional Disturbance

DPI certification standards represent minimal requirements. Teacher education programs have the right to exceed minimal requirements.

The degree is composed of core courses in cross-categorical special education with course projects, field work, practicum and research in an area of concentration (Cognitive Disabilities, Emotional Disturbance or Learning Disabilities). Those seeking categorical certification will specialize their field work, practicum and research in one of the specified fields: Learning Disabilities or Emotional Disturbance.

The degree program requires completion of a minimum of 40 semester credits of graduate work.

Admission Requirements

  1. Admission into the Graduate Studies program.

  2. Evidence of certification as a regular education teacher.

  3. Experience working with children in an educational setting.

Degree Requirements

1. Completion of either

a. the approved Cross-Categorical program with a concentration in one of the three specified areas (Cognitive Disabilities, Emotional Disturbance, Learning Disabilities)


b. an approved specialization program in one of the specified Categorical Fields: Learning Disabilities or Emotional Disturbance.

2. Completion of a minimum of 200 hours of practicum experience under the supervision of an on-site special educator licensed in one of the specified disability categories and at the appropriate licensure level.

3. Completion of an approved research project within the chosen area of concentration or specialization.

Core Courses:
TED 688     The Exceptional Learner                                                         3 credits
TED 697     Contemporary Issues in Special Education                              3 credits
TED 683     Introduction to Cross-Categorical Special Education I             3 credits
TED 684     Introduction to Cross-Categorical Special Education II            3 credits
TED 693     Classroom and Behavior Management Strategies                     3 credits
TED 766     Assessing Learners with Special Needs                                   3 credits
Total Core Credits                                                                                    18 credits

Special Education Methods and Field Experiences:
TED 695     Methods of Adaptive Instruction                                                 3 credits
TED 772     Field Work in Best Practices in Special Education                       2-3 credits
TED 701     Introduction to Reading Difficulties                                              3 credits
TED 702     Practicum in Reading Difficulties K-12                                         3 credits
TED 711     Diagnostic and Remedial Mathematics                                         3 credits
Total Methods and Field Credits                                                                     14-15 credits

Capstone Components
The student must complete all 18 credits of the core courses (TED 688, TED 697, TED 683, TED 684, TED 693, TED 766) of graduate work toward the M.S.E. degree in Special Education before entering the Research Component capstone. The student must complete a minimum of 23 credit hours of graduate work toward the M.S.E. Degree in Special Education before entering the Practicum Experience capstone (which must include TED 695, TED 772).

Research Component:
TED 750     Research Foundations of Education                                 3 credits
TED 752     Educational Research Project                                         2-3 credits
Total Research Credits                                                                       5-6 credits

Practicum Experience:
TED 775     Practicum: Middle Childhood through Early Adolescence     3 credits
TED 776     Practicum: Early Adolescence through Adolescence             3 credits
                   (may choose one or both of these for program completion)
Total Practicum Credits                                                                             3 – 6 credits

Total Program Credits                                                                         40–45 credits