Special Education | Fort Lewis College | Durango CO

Education for all

Teacher education Master's student work together in a classroom

Everyone deserves an education. You value and appreciate every person's uniqueness and thrive connecting with people.

Grow as a mentor, role model, and educator as you help young people overcome challenges and find joy in discovery.

This online program has no scheduled course meetings, so it fits various schedules. You can enroll in an additional six credit hours to qualify for teacher licensure while earning your graduate degree or receive a special education endorsement to your existing teaching license.

Cohorts begin every fall semester.

Special Education program options

Program options

Endorsement Pathway & Certificate

Earn a certificate as you seek an endorsement in special education to augment your existing teaching license and expand your practice as a teacher. 

24 credits

Alternative Endorsement Pathway

Enroll in our alternative endorsement pathway program to become a licensed special education teacher when you hold district-approved employment in special education. 

8 credits

Master of Arts in Education

Earn a degree with a one-year program that focuses on students with disabilities in US schools. You may also add six additional credits (37 total) to satisfy requirements for initial licensure.

31 credits

Program overview

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 the 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 the Zoom meetings.

  • Work closely with mentors as you develop the skills and responsibilities to become a public school special education teacher.
  • Process and identify strategies for Responsive to Interventions

  • Receive mentoring from a school or district experienced educator and from a college supervisor
  • Plan transitions for a variety of settings

  • Learn how to advocate for students with disabilities
  • Monitor progress for students with disabilities

Program requirements

Minimum eligibility for Graduate Studies

Bachelor’s degree 

You have earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. 

Grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher 

You need a 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 GPA scale for undergraduate and prior graduate coursework.

*Note: This is true for coursework, even if it did not lead to a degree. We will calculate a cumulative GPA if you have multiple transcripts. 

GPA exceptions 

If your GPA is below 3.0, and you still wish to apply, you can write a letter to the Admission Committee that includes: 

  • Why you did not meet the 3.0 GPA requirements.
  • An action plan addressing those reasons with specific strategies to balance coursework (including class time and homework) and personal commitments. Your strategy may include:
    • Creating and adhering to a schedule
    • Using FLC’s writing support program and other campus resources
    • Setting regular meetings with faculty
    • Following specific study plans 
Requirements to apply to Special Education program

Testing requirements

You need to pass the PRAXIS Elementary Education exams for admission. Coursework cannot be substituted for the Praxis content exam according to the Colorado Department of Education requirements. You will take the Praxis Special Education Generalist exam and Teaching Reading exam after your coursework is completed.

Alternative certification

Admission criteria for alternative certification is aligned with the Colorado Department of Education alternative certification criteria.

  • Passing the PRAXIS Elementary Education exams are required for admission. You will take the Praxis Special Education Generalist exam and Teaching Reading exam after your coursework is completed.
  • You must have a contract with a school/district for employment as a teacher-of-record in Special Education

Teaching experience

While teaching experience in K-12 schools is not required for this program, we encourage you to apply if you:

  • Have full-time or part-time employment in a teaching position (or are on leave from a teaching position) in a school setting
  • Are a para-professional looking to gain licensure in special education
  • Have access to students if you are not employed as a teacher 

Note: Full-time or part-time volunteers in schools are eligible for consideration under special situation

Technology requirements

Teacher Education graduate programs require specific computer technology. Graduate students can use a personal device that meets these requirements or have full access to the campus computer labs

View the full list of requirements on the Admitted Student Checklist.

Career Possibilities

Adrea Bogle headshot

"[The FLC Special Education Alternative Licensure program] is an incredible asset to our region. This program tailors content and student support to the unique and diverse needs of our regional school communities by offering local mentorship and instruction with a flexible learning platform. As the special education director, it is critical that our special education teachers come with the toolkit to support positive student outcomes and this FLC program ensures these educator skills. "