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.
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 in 31 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 37) and complete 800 hours of student teaching to prepare you for initial licensure.
Upon completion, you may apply to the Colorado Department of Education for an endorsement as a Special Education Generalist.
Below is the course schedule for the MAE in Special Education and additional licensure courses. Please note where the sequence differs based on enrollment in an even or odd year.
View course descriptions in catalog
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).
To add Initial Licensure
The Special Education Alternative Endorsement 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.
Completing an intensive summer graduate course requires approximately 50-60 hours per week. Be prepared for a full-time commitment.
You are responsible for in-person or synchronous virtual class meetings, independent work, small-group discussions, and individual conferences.
While independent assignments have flexibility, the compressed nature of these courses requires fast turnaround and precise sequencing.