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Special Education

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Becoming a Special Education Teacher

The College of Education is in the process of moving to a four-year Teacher Preparation Program. Changes are being implemented across the website, but it may take some time before all changes are complete. For the most up-to-date information on this transition and how it may impact you, please speak with your academic advisor.

The Special Education Teacher Preparation Program combines elementary teaching certification and K-12 endorsement in the special education area of learning disabilities. Both certification and endorsement are awarded only after completion of an internship.


Preparing Future Educators

This unique Bachelor of Arts and special education endorsement program is designed to prepare students to be effective general and special education teachers. It places a high priority on helping students build connections between theory and practice in the inclusive classroom teaching situation, as well as the more traditional self-contained type of special education classroom. The internship experience, in particular, is designed to be an occasion where special education teacher candidates can benefit from continued instruction and mentoring from university and school faculty while working to refine and hone skills developed earlier in the program.

Our alumni are award-winning. In 2020, alumna Megan Sidge was the first autism specialist to be named Michigan Educator of the Year.

A Comprehensive Special Education Program

The special education faculty at MSU has developed a special education Teacher Preparation Program that addresses teaching for higher levels of understanding and provides teacher candidates with opportunities to gain the critical knowledge and skills needed to teach all children effectively.

Points of distinction


Gain more than 1,000 hours of classroom experience, including a full-year internship.

Learn from faculty members who are leading researchers and teacher educators in the field.


Be part of the top-ranked special education program in Michigan.

You will be prepared to

– Use teaching practices that promote understanding and growth for students with special disabilities

– Specialize in serving students who have learning disabilities

– Help students access and succeed in general education settings

– Hold new roles and leadership positions being created in schools


MSU Special Education by the numbers





Broad base of knowledge

The goals of the MSU Special Education program are to prepare prospective teachers who have:

1. thorough knowledge of the subjects they will teach.
2. understanding of the unique methods, analyses and examples which will promote maximum understanding and social and emotional growth in students.
3. knowledge of the cultural and social contexts in which students live and learn.
4. practical skills needed to manage the complexities of teaching for understanding in inclusive and self-contained contexts.
5. a commitment to high standards of professional practice and conduct.
6. understanding of the changing relationships among schools, the communities in which they reside and the world of work.

Lecture at the Kiva