Our special education programs teach you the skills to work with students with disabilities in US schools. You will work with several mentors as you learn skills and responsibilities of a public school special education teacher. Courses are 100% online, including Zoom video teleconferencing to learn from members of your cohort, expert faculty, and professionals in the field. Because the program is online, it accommodates full-time work. You'll only need to consider scheduling for the Zoom meetings.
The Master of Arts in Education: Special Education is a 32-credit program. Upon completion, you may apply to the Colorado Department of Education for an endorsement as a Special Education Generalist.
You can complete this program and earn you Master of Arts in Education: Special Education; in 32 credit hours, building off your existing teaching license.
If you do not already have a teaching license, you may add 6 credits of coursework to the MAE program (for a total of 38) and complete 800 hours of student teaching to prepare you for initial licensure.
The Special Education Endorsement is a 24-credit program, including 240 internship hours in a special education classroom, or engaged in administrative or professional development activities. If you already have a teaching license, you may want to add a special education endorsement to your teaching qualifications. Through our program, you will be able to monitor progress for students with disabilities, advocate for students with disabilities, plan transitions for a variety of settings, and process and identify strategies for Response to Intervention (RtI).
The Special Education Alternative Certification is an 8-credit program that allows someone without a special education license who has been hired as a special education teacher to earn a Special Education endorsement (or initial licensure when needed). The Alternative Certification program may be completed in 1-2 years, depending on your pace of progress through course content. You must be hired in a special education position and secure a Statement of Assurance that the school/district will provide. You will receive guidance and support from mentors as you work full-time and pursue a special education endorsement/initial license. Through our program, you will be able to monitor progress for students with disabilities, advocate for students with disabilities, plan transitions for a variety of settings, and process and identify strategies for Response to Intervention (RtI).
The Colorado Department of Education offers this emergency program to assist school districts that are unable to fill special education teaching positions with a licensed special education teacher. It is a rigorous program that requires concurrent employment as a special education teacher-of-record while completing intensive alternative certification coursework. See an overview of the coursework. The Master of Arts in Education or Endorsement program is the standard Special Education endorsement pathway and we strongly recommend these options as more in-depth programs to prepare you for a special education career.
See learning outcomes for all of our Special Education programs.
Go to Catalog for course descriptions
ED 677: Special Education Alternative Licensure I (4 credits)
ED 678: Special Education Alternative Licensure II (4 credits)
Completing a graduate course in two weeks requires approximately 50-60 hours per week. You should plan to be available on campus or on-line for synchronous class meetings, independent work, small-group discussions, and individual conferences between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for the two weeks that this course is running. There will be some flexibility for independent assignments during those hours, but the compressed nature of the courses require fast turn-around and precise sequencing, so students need to be prepared for a full-time commitment during this course.