Master of Arts (MA)
Credits required: 36
The number of special education teachers is expected to increase by 17 percent between 2010 and 2020.Bureau of Labor Statistics
Helping a special population do incredible things
Do you have a passion for working with young people with special needs? Want to help improve their lives through physical education? Physical education—adapted concentration master's program at WMU satisfies these passions and more. Students receive a comprehensive physical education immersion experience that prepares them to emerge as experts in the field of special/physical education.
Why adapted physical education at Western Michigan University?
This unique program, offered by WMU's Department of Human Performance and Health Education and entirely funded by the U.S. Department of Education, prepares students for jobs that are increasingly in-demand throughout the United States. The program is conducted almost entirely online.
- Graduates will gain knowledge, skills and experience teaching fundamental motor skills, patterns, physical and motor fitness to students with disabilities. Skills in aquatic, dance, individual, group games, sports, leisure and recreational skills are also addressed.
- Online coursework can be completed anywhere. Face-to-face components can be completed at colleges near you (with advisor approval).
- Program capstone can be either a thesis or research.
- This government-funded program may offer funding, in some cases, for the full cost of the program. Contact Dr. Jiabei Zhang for application information.
What about certification?
With a valid Michigan teaching certificate in K-12 physical education or K-12 special education, graduates may be endorsed to teach K-12 physical education for children with disabilities in the state of Michigan. Students who hold a valid K-12 physical education or special education teaching certificate in a state other than Michigan need to follow their state guidelines for adding a special physical education endorsement. Please note that this program does not lead to initial teacher certification nor does it provide an endorsement to those not already holding a valid teaching certificate in physical education or special education. Learn more about the teacher certification process in Michigan.
Who should apply
Those individuals who hold a valid Michigan teaching certificate in K-12 physical education or K-12 special education who wish to add a K-12 special physical education endorsement. Students who hold a valid K-12 physical education or K-12 special education teaching certificate in a state other than Michigan need to follow their state guidelines for adding a special physical education endorsement. Individuals who desire to work with the special needs populations in careers that do not require teacher certification may also benefit from the program.
For those individuals holding a valid K-12 teaching certificate in physical education or K-12 special education, this program prepares professionals to teach physical education to young people with special needs or to supervise others who do the same (please see the previous sections for information on teacher certification requirements). This program also prepares individuals to work with special needs children in which a teaching certificate is not required.
This online program requires an internship or field placement. If you plan to complete this activity outside of the state of Michigan, you must complete the activity request form at the time of enrollment for this course.Activity Request Form
Employer tuition reimbursement
If your employer has a tuition reimbursement program, find out about WMU’s deferment program for employer paid tuition.
"Best bang for the buck"
Washington Monthly placed WMU on a list of national universities that offer "the best bang for the buck." WMU came in at No. 50 based on the economic value students receive per dollar.