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Teacher Preparation Program

Becoming a Special Education Teacher

The Special Education Teacher Preparation Program combines regular elementary teaching certification and K-12 endorsement in the special education area of learning disabilities. Both certification and endorsement are awarded only after completion of a fifth-year internship experience.

Special Ed Student Using Technology

Preparing Future Educators

This unique Bachelor of Arts and special education endorsement program is designed to prepare students to be effective general and special education teachers. It places a high priority on helping students build connections between theory and practice in the mainstream classroom teaching situation, as well as the more traditional "self-contained" type of special education classroom. The internship experience, in particular, is designed to be an occasion where special education teacher candidates can benefit from continued instruction and mentoring from university and school faculty while working to refine and hone skills developed earlier in the program.

A Comprehensive Special Education Program

The special education faculty at MSU has developed a special education teacher preparation program that addresses teaching for higher levels of understanding and provides teacher candidates with opportunities to gain the critical knowledge and skills needed to teach all children effectively, especially those who come to school less well-prepared than others for what the school traditionally offers.

Points of Distinction



Gain more than 1,000 hours of classroom experience, including a full-year internship.



Learn from faculty members who are leading researchers and teacher educators in the field.



Be part of the top-ranked special education program in Michigan.

You will be prepared to
  • Use teaching practices that promote understanding and growth for students with special needs
  • Specialize in serving students who have learning disabilities
  • Help students access and succeed in general education settings
  • Hold new roles and leadership positions being created in schools
student teaching

MSU Special Education By the Numbers

of graduates land teaching positions in special or general education
Graduate credits earned during teaching internship toward master’s degree at MSU
100% online
Master’s degrees in Autism Spectrum Disorders or Learning Disabilities
Broad base of knowledge

The goals of the MSU Special Education Program are to prepare prospective teachers who have:

  1. thorough knowledge of the subjects they will teach.
  2. understanding of the unique methods, analyses and examples which will promote maximum understanding and social and emotional growth in special needs populations.
  3. knowledge of the cultural and social contexts in which students live and learn.
  4. practical skills needed to manage the complexities of teaching for understanding in mainstream and self-contained contexts.
  5. a commitment to high standards of professional practice and conduct.
  6. understanding of the changing relationships among schools, the communities in which they reside and the world of work.