Urban Teacher Residency Program - Special Education

URBAN TEACHER RESIDENCY PROGRAM - Special education

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.

Program overview

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

**Currently recruiting for the special education cohort that will start Fall 2024**

The Urban Teacher Residency Program at Western Michigan University works to develop an affordable pathway for long-term substitute teachers and paraprofessionals to become certified teachers in Benton Harbor Area Schools and Kalamazoo Public Schools. Urban Teacher Residents receive a $20,000 stipend to participate in the program with a new cohort of 25 Resident Teachers launching annually in July. 

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. 

Visit the Special Education graduate home page for other available program pathways.

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

  • Funding of up to $26,000 is available through the Urban Teacher Residency Program
  • Program completion leads to State of Michigan initial teaching certificate and endorsement in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), emotional impairments (EI), or learning disabilities (LD).
  • Ample funding opportunities 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 $26,000 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. 

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