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Graduate Studies Catalog home

Course Descriptions


Master of Science in Education-Special Education

Certification Programs for Special Education Licensure



Special Education


The University of Wisconsin-Superior offers a graduate program that leads to the Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) in Special Education. The degree program can also lead to certification for licensure as a special education teacher by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Since the program must meet current DPI standards, program requirements are subject to change.


Graduate Faculty

Ms. Rebecca Ardren, Senior Lecturer

Dr. Jennifer E. Christensen, Assistant Professor

Dr. Peggy Marciniec, Associate Professor

Dr. Rhoda Robinson, Associate Professor


For additional information about the M.S.E. in Special Education program contact its coordinator, Dr. Rhoda Robinson, McCaskill Hall 115-A, (715) 394-8029, or Dr. Jennifer E. Christensen, McCaskill Hall 128-A, (715) 394-8144.


Master of Science in Education–Special Education

The M.S.E.-Special Education degree program is designed for licensed teachers who wish to pursue graduate work in the field of special education. The program is appropriate for elementary, secondary or K-12 teachers and 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 200 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 degree is designed for practicing teachers 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:

Application for all prospective M.S.E.-Special Education students requires:

1. admission to the Graduate Studies program,


2. evidence of current teacher certification,


3. experience working with children in an educational setting, and


4. criminal background check.

Degree Requirements


Core courses component:

TED 683 Introduction to Cross Categorical Special Education                          3 credits

TED 688 Learners with Exceptional Needs: CD, LD, EBD                              1-3 credits

TED 693 Classroom and Behavior Management Strategies                               3 credits

TED 681 Seminars in Special Education                                                           1-2 credits

(Seminars in Special Education are offered each fall and spring semester.
Each seminar may be taken for .5 credit.
These seminars focus on new and emerging research, issues and technologies.)

TED 772 Managing the Learning Environment                                                   3 credits

TED 797 Contemporary Issues in Special Education                                         3 credits


Methods courses component:

TED 665 Using Literacy Processes in the Content Areas                                   3 credits

TED 695 Methods of Adaptive Instruction                                                        3 credits

TED 701 Introduction to Reading Difficulties                                                     3 credits

TED 711 Mathematics Assessment and Strategies                                             2 credits


Research courses component:

TED 750 Research Foundations in Education                                                    3 credits

TED 752 Educational Research Project                                                            2-3 credits


Certification courses component:

TED 766 Assessing Learners with Special Needs                                              3 credits

TED 702 Practicum in Reading Difficulties K-12                                               3 credits

TED 775 Special Education Practicum                                                              1-4 credits

Based on licensure desired, students choose one or more disability area(s) for concentration and one or more age groups (elementary/secondary). Number of areas and age levels determines number of credits required in TED 775.


Students seeking only the M.S.E.-Special Education degree must complete a minimum of 30 credits from the courses in the Core, Methods and Research components.


Students seeking the M.S.E.-Special Education degree with Certification for Licensure must complete a minimum of 31 credits in the Core, Methods and Research components and a minimum of seven credits in the Certification component.


Certification Programs for Special Education Licensure

The University of Wisconsin-Superior 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


i. Cognitive disabilities,


ii. Emotional disturbance


iii. Learning disabilities


2. Categorical special education in the area of learning disabilities


3. Categorical special education in the area of cognitive disabilities


4. Categorical special education in the area of emotional/behavioral disabilities  

These certifications are available for working with students in middle childhood through early adolescence (Wisconsin MC-EA level licensure for ages 6-13) and for working with students in early adolescence through adolescence (Wisconsin EA-A level licensure for ages 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) in inclusive settings and in resource rooms. Although prepared to work with all three disability areas, students will concentrate on one particular disability area while completing their fieldwork, research and practicum.


Students seeking certification for categorical licensure will concentrate their curriculum, practicum and research on the chosen area of disability.