Why Special Education?

Historically, students with disabilities were denied access to school. Powerful federal laws enacted over the last several decades now mandate that all students with disabilities have a right to a free and appropriate public education. Nationwide, over 6,000,000 children are now being served in special education in the public schools.

Throughout the United States, there is a shortage of well-trained special education teachers. Graduates of the Special Education program will find that their skills are in high demand, the job opportunities numerous, and their work students with disabilities demanding, yet exceptionally gratifying.

How long does the program take?

Most of our M.Ed., Ed.S., and Endorsement Only program students are working teachers who take one class a quarter during the academic year and one or two classes during the summer. With that schedule, you can complete the program in two to three years. You need to work closely with your advisor throughout the program to ensure that you maintain the most efficient sequence of courses. The Master in Teaching with Special Education Endorsement may be completed in six quarters of study (four full time quarters during the academic year and two summer quarters). The completion of the Endorsement Only program in Special Education is dependent upon the amount of prior coursework.

What is the difference between the MEd in Special Education and the Master in Teaching with Special Education Endorsement?

The MEd in Special Education is for certified teachers who are pursuing an advanced degree and an endorsement in special education. The Master in Teaching with Special Education Endorsement is for those who do not have an initial teaching certificate. In this latter program, students may earn an initial teaching certificate, a master's degree, and the special education endorsement simultaneously.

Can I enter the MEd or EdS degree programs without a teaching certificate?

Students who wish to earn the MEd or EdS degree but who do not have a teaching certificate and do not plan to teach in K-12 schools are welcome in the program. However, in order to earn the primary Washington state teaching endorsement in special education, you must already hold a Washington state teaching certificate. If you plan to be a special educator in the public schools, you need to have a Washington state primary teaching endorsement in elementary education or in a secondary subject area. If you do not already have a Washington state initial teaching certificate, you may want to investigate the Master in Teaching with Special Education Endorsement program.

Can you tell me how many credits I will need to take in order to complete my endorsement?

Students with prior extensive coursework in special education may have their transcripts reviewed for a nominal fee by the special education program director. Students must contact Beth Armitage (armitagb@seattleu.edu) in the certification office to set up this review. This review will determine what additional coursework is required to complete the special education endorsement. Endorsements are only given to students who are completing one of the special education, or other College of Education, degree or endorsement programs. The State of Washington requires 45 credits of special education in order to complete the endorsement. Once students have 24 credits of special education, students may apply for a pre-endorsement waiver.

Can you tell me how many credits I will need to complete my degree?

Once a student is admitted to the program, an advising appointment is set up. During this advising appointment, a plan of study will be established in order to complete endorsement and degree requirements. The M.Ed. requires 48 credits. The Ed.S. requires 45 credits. The university will accept up to 10 credits of graduate coursework completed at another institution.

I am not sure if I want to go into special education or into some other field. Can you talk to me about this?

We would love to explore career options with you. A great place to do this is at one of the graduate open houses. The University has a graduate open house every quarter. We could sit and brainstorm. And, you could immediately talk to another discipline if you would like to explore other options.

For more information:

Access the Seattle University Graduate Catalog for additional information and course descriptions. The faculty is always available to discuss the programs. The University has a graduate open house every quarter.

Seattle University College of Education
Special Education Program
Loyola Hall 408
(206) 296-5759
Email: specialed@seattleu.edu.


Please note: The Special Education master’s program has been suspended. We will continue to offer a Special Education endorsement. Please email specialed@seattleu.edu with any questions.