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Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education

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Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

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Special Education Leadership Programs

MSU’s online graduate programs in Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) answer a growing and critical need in our schools: developing advocates who are equipped to support the needs of all students.

With a Master of Arts in Special Education Leadership: Multi-Tiered Systems of Support or Graduate Certificate in Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, aspiring leaders will be prepared to make a lasting impact in elementary and secondary schools.

Improving student success

MTSS principles at the foundation of our courses improve student achievement and reduce problem behavior by accurately identifying students’ needs and providing research-based strategies to create a positive school climate.

Graduates will become experts in developing educational and behavioral systems to respond to challenges and encourage student success.

Join one of the most dynamic and impactful learning communities in the nation. Who will make a difference for the next generation of students? Spartans will.

Guiding principles of MTSS

Our programs prepare students to become leaders in the implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), a comprehensive framework of research-based strategies designed to meet the individual needs of all learners. Graduates will gain expertise in whole school, small group and individual support levels, and be able to create personalized plans of action to better serve K-12 students.

MTSS programs are guided by:
-Data-based decision-making
-Universal and formative assessments
-Evidenced-based practices
-Tiers of support

Students in a classroom

About the Program


Learn more about being an online master’s student at MSU’s College of Education from Grace Gimesky, a special education teacher based in Ypsilanti, MI. Grace balances her studies in the M.A. in Special Education program with working full time as an educator. Here she discusses what drew her to the field of special education, how she chose Michigan State for her master’s degree, and how she juggles graduate school with her professional and personal obligations.

Leaders in the field

MTSS students have the opportunity to learn from faculty members who are experts in their fields. Our special education faculty have extensive experience as researchers, teacher educators and special education classroom teachers.

The College of Education is recognized for its commitment to excellence and is currently ranked among the nation’s top-10 online master’s programs in special education.

Read more about the college’s online rankings
Special Education faculty collage

Points of distinction


Earn a graduate certificate or your MA in MTSS with our 100% online programs


Apply what you learn at MSU directly to your current work


Courses are taught by accomplished scholars in the field of special education


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Michigan State University
620 Farm Lane, Room 335 Erickson Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824-1034
P: (517) 353-1837