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Physical Education - Special (Adapted) Concentration

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Details

Credits Required: 36
Location(s) Offered
  • Kalamazoo - up to 18 credit hours available
  • Online - up to 33 credit hours available

Program Type(s)

Industry Highlights

  • The number of special education teachers is expected to increase by 17% 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 - Special (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 Special (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.

Program benefits

  • Graduates will gain knowledge, skills and experience teaching fundamental motor skills, patterns, and physical and motor fitness to students with disabilities. Skills in aquatic, dance, individual and group games and sports, and 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 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.

Career opportunities

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.

"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. 46 based on the economic value students receive per dollar.