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Special Education

The Special Education graduate program prepares educators to meet the diverse learning needs of all students. The program will renew and strengthen your understanding of special education and broaden your qualifications as a professional working with students with disabilities. This program leads to licensure in Special Education for Cross Categorical (801) and Specific Learning Disabilities (811) at both the 72 and 73 levels.

The Special Education program has four options:
  • Teachers who hold a valid Wisconsin teaching license and want additional certification but do not want a Master of Arts in Education degree.
  • Teachers who hold a valid Wisconsin teaching license and want additional certification and also want a Master of Arts in Education degree.
  • Teachers who hold a valid Wisconsin Special Education license and want a Master of Arts in Education degree with a Special Education emphasis.
  • The Special Education Program offers an alternative pathway to certification for non-traditional students who possess a baccalaureate degree and are interested in making a career change.
  • Recertification (variable credits).

Teacher Education Department Graduate Programs: Special Education

Special Education Program Mission:
The mission of the Special Education Program is to develop teacher leaders who acknowledge that every learner has an equal right to an appropriate and challenging education and that every child will develop and learn. Our program emphasizes an equal responsibility for learning shared between the teacher and student. Paramount to the successful growth of a child are positive teacher/student relationships and knowledge and use of evidence-based practices, curriculum and assessments that target strengths and needs of individual learners.

Special Education Program Outcomes:
After completion of this program, candidates will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of research based literacy and other academic instruction, including the role of curriculum and assessment, and apply this understanding when designing lessons and teaching students with special needs.
  2. Develop an appreciation for diversity of student learning needs and ways to accommodate for them in the regular education classroom.
  3. Know and apply the essential processes needed for effective co-teaching experiences.
  4. Define the characteristics, causes, and ways of diagnosing special education disabilities/disorders.
  5. Develop the professional writing skills required for documentation of Individual Education Plans, Behavioral Intervention Plans, academic intervention plans (tier II) and Transition Plans for students in pre-referral and formal stages of placement in special education programming.
  6. Apply appropriate collaboration and consultation strategies to lead, support, and teach other professional educators, parents and the local community about special education law, intervention planning, state and federal initiatives, transition opportunities and other essential information impacting students with special needs.


Special Education candidates who go on to achieve the MAE will achieve all of the above outcomes plus:

  1. Be able to identify educational questions or problems, review the literature, plan a research strategy, collect and analyze data, take action based on results and share their findings. (CV - Learning)

31-37 credits as follows:

9 credits:

SPE 600 Orientation to the Program, 0 cr.

SPE 644 Special Education Law: Families and Students, 3 cr.

SPE 674 Learning with Technology: Effective Strategies for Students with Disabilities, 3 cr.

TDE 618 Advanced Educational Psychology, 3 cr.

17-23 credits:

SPE 621 Reading Instruction for Students with Disabilities, 3 cr.

SPE 624 Collaboration and Consultation in Special Education Programs, 3 cr.

SPE 626 Curriculum and Instruction for Students with Disabilities, 3 cr.

SPE 634 Diagnosis and Assessment of Students with Disabilities, 3 cr.

SPE 637 Classroom Management Applications, 3 cr.

SPE 642 Professional Portfolio, 1 cr.

SPE 645 Field Experience Seminar, 1 cr.

SPE 655 Clinical Practice and Seminar (required for WI Code 801 - CC), 3 cr.

AND/OR

SPE 665 Clinical Practice and Seminar (required for WI Code 811 - SLD), 3 cr.

Field experiences and clinical practice not required for special education teachers who are already licensed and just getting a master's degree.

5 additional credits for master's degree:

TDE 612 Action Research, 3 cr.

TDE 613 Action Research in Education: Reporting the Findings, 2 cr.

Licensure only students do not need to take Action Research
Pencil (UG and Grad students)

Fun Fact

Marian enrolls more than 1,600 undergraduate students and 500 graduate students (Source: Marian University Office of Institutional Research, June 2014).

Campus Info

Marian University - Main Campus
45 S. National Ave.
Fond du Lac, WI 54935-4699

CALL: 1-800-2-MARIAN (1-800-262-7426)
EMAIL: admission@marianuniversity.edu  

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