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How to Become a Special Education Teacher in Wisconsin

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Special education teachers have a challenging and rewarding job. It’s a wonderful opportunity to change the world one moment at a time. Forming bonds with the students and their families also changes the teacher’s life. If you’re looking for reasons to become a special education teacher, this may be the most compelling: “From simple improvements to huge leaps, the impact a special education teacher can have on a student can truly be life changing.”

Preparing for Licensure and Tests in Wisconsin

There is a high demand for special education teachers in Wisconsin, and the University of Wisconsin-Superior (UW-Superior) is the only University of Wisconsin System institution that offers a fully online graduate teaching degree in special education. This program prepares you for Wisconsin licensure and testing.

Students will research federally identified disability groupings of exceptionalities, historical perspectives, legislation and litigation. Additional research delves into behavior theories, strategies and programs. In addition, students will investigate reading issues and interventions, methods in adaptive instruction, math assessment and strategies, curriculum design and evaluation, collaboration, and time management.

This program also addresses the study of measurement theory and basic statistics needed for understanding assessment of learners with exceptionalities. Students will complete an action research project surrounding an issue of interest/need in the classroom or program through the use of a single subject design.

Finally, students who are not licensed in special education will participate in a special education internship and choose one or more concentrations in learning disabilities, cognitive disabilities or emotional/behavioral disabilities.

Career Outcomes for the Master of Science in Education – Special Education

The MSE-Special Education professional has multiple career options:

  • Elementary, secondary, middle and high school special education teacher.
  • Resource, exceptional student, severe/profound mental disabilities, learning support, resource programs, severe emotional disorders elementary, emotional disabilities, special education resource, inclusion, learning support, exceptional children (EC), exceptional student education (ESE), self-contained, learning support, learning disabilities special education (LD), career and transition and interrelated special education teacher.
  • Teacher of children with disabilities.
  • Intervention specialist and early interventionist.

The UW-Superior Master of Science in Education – Special Education Is a Fully Online Program

For experienced K-12 educators who would like to move into special education, the fully online program from UW-Superior offers flexibility and allows you to continue working while pursuing your advanced degree. There are multiple start dates each year and students receive the same instruction as they would on campus, with the added bonus of being able to learn on their own schedule. The faculty is made up of committed professionals with experience as special educators in K-12 settings.

Student can complete the coursework in as few as 12 months. The 30 credit hours include three Program courses (9 credit hours), four Method courses (12 credit hours), one Research course (3 credit hours), and two Certification courses (6 credit hours). Students already licensed in special education can take one elective (3 credit hours) in place of the clinical internship. This program is approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Students in the MSE-Special Education Program May Be Eligible for the TEACH Grant

TEACH Grants are available to qualified applicants enrolled in UW-Superior’s Master of Science in Education – Special Education degree. The maximum award for 2017-2018 is $3,736. The 2018-19 maximum award amount will be announced in October 2018. Awards may vary based on government regulations.

For more information on the TEACH Grant, contact the university financial aid department.

Learn more about the UW-Superior Master of Science in Education – Special Education online.


Sources:

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction: Information for Educators

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction: State Budget Licensure Changes

Special Education Careers: 7 Reasons to Become a Special Education Teacher

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