Expedited Master of Arts in Special Education with Initial Teaching Certification

Master of arts

Program details

Credits required to degree: 32-38

Credits required for additional certifications: 14-20 

Industry highlights

In the 2020-2021 WMU Post-Graduation Activity Report, 98% of the Department of Special Education and Literacy Studies graduate degree recipients were actively engaged, full-time in the teaching area they were endorsed in and 90% were employed within the state of Michigan.

Admissions

  • Applicants must hold a 4-year bachelor’s degree in any area, have experience working with children, and complete a Candidates Disposition Inventory as part of the interview process.

    Applicants are evaluated on:

    • Undergraduate GPA
    • Experience working with children, especially those with special education needs
    • Writing skills
  • Application guide
  • The deadline for applications to start spring semester 2024, is Nov. 27.

Program overview

This program is offered fully online with synchronous and asynchronous courses.

This innovative master’s program is the first in the state to offer an expedited 18-month master’s level program in Special Education that results in an initial teacher certification with a special education endorsement in autism spectrum disorder, emotional impairments, or learning disabilities. The College of Education and Human Development has implemented this program to keep up with the State of Michigan’s high need for special educators and to increase accessibility to those seeking a first-time teacher’s license. Select "Main Campus" and "Special Education: Clinical Teaching - MA" when you apply. 

Why the Expedited Master of Arts in Special Education with Initial Teaching Certification at Western Michigan University?

  • Program completion leads to State of Michigan initial teaching certificate and endorsement in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), emotional impairments (EI), or learning disabilities (LD).
  • Funding options are available including graduate teaching assistantships, scholarships, and Urban Teacher Residency stipends.
  • Cohort model provides a community of professionals with shared interests and goals to progress through the program together.
  • 96% of CEHD Graduates are actively engaged in their field shortly after graduation.
  • Top 100 ranked public Graduate School of Education.

Who should apply?

Aspiring teachers who currently hold a bachelor’s degree and are seeking their initial teaching certification with a desire to work with students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), emotional impairments (EI), or learning disabilities (LD). Select "Main Campus" and "Special Education: Clinical Teaching - MA" when you apply.

Career opportunities

A Master of Arts in Special Education with endorsements in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), emotional impairments (EI), or learning disabilities (LD) is designed to lead students to a career as a Special Education teacher.

Funding

Students enrolled in this program may qualify for up to a $20,000 stipend through funds provided by the Urban Teacher Residency fund. All students are encouraged to apply, especially those working in Kalamazoo Public Schools and Benton Harbor Schools.

The College of Education and Human Development has awarded $2.2 million in scholarships over the last five years. View all scholarships.

The Department of Special Education and Literacy Studies typically hires 3-4 teaching assistants to assist faculty with teaching during the fall and spring semesters. Graduate students wishing to be considered for one of these positions should send a letter of interest and a resume to the chair.

If your employer has a tuition reimbursement program, such as Kalamazoo Public Schools, find out about WMU’s deferment program for employer paid tuition. 

View the FAQs

Faculty

Dr. Kate LaLonde, Program Coordinator