Marian University to offer a special education master’s & certification program

August 25, 2012

October 24, 2011


Marian University was recently approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to offer a master’s degree and certification program in special education, beginning in January 2012.

The program is designed for educators who seek recertification credits, a master’s degree in special education, a certification in special education or both a special education certification and master’s degree. The DPI endorsed the degree program for special education/cross categorical with a concentration in specific learning disabilities for grades K-12.

“There has been a significant and steady increase in the number of students requiring special education, and current legislation emphasizes specific training for special education teachers,” said Dr. Sue Stoddart, dean of the School of Education at Marian.

The program is designed to offer courses during the evenings, on weekends and during the summer. Some of the courses will be offered face-to-face and online, or in a combined hybrid format. Students who enroll in this program will be able to complete the necessary components for licensure and master’s degree in approximately two years.

“There is an increase in the need for special education teachers across the state and country, especially as special education needs will increase for most school districts based on federal mandates that will require all students to receive the same educational opportunities,” said Dr. Deborah Watry, department chair for the teacher education program at Marian.

The program will provide professionals with the tools to diagnose and assess students with disabilities, plan for applicable instruction, examine special education law, design effective classroom management programs and accommodate students with disabilities through assistive technology application in the classroom.

“School districts in Wisconsin are seeking teachers who are dual certified, with one of the certifications being in special education cross-categorical. The new special education program at Marian opens up increased employment opportunities for Wisconsin teachers,” said Watry.

For additional information on the special education program at Marian, contact the School of Education at

or at 920-923-8100.