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M.S. in Education: Special Education K-12

Overview     Application    Courses    Cost     Faculty

Zoom webinar session to learn more about the program:

If you have a disability that may require some accommodation in order to participate in a Western Oregon University class or activity, please notify the Office of Disability Services at 503-838-8250 or at least three (3) business days in advance.

Learn more about the new Bilingual and Diverse Teacher Scholars program. 

Where this degree can take you:

  • Teaching PK-12th grade
  • Preparation for administration or doctoral programs

Designed for:

Individuals who want to become teachers who work with students with mild or severe disabilities. Candidates who successfully complete this program fulfill the requirement of the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) and are eligible for initial teacher licensure in Oregon.

To start, you need:

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Desire to become a special education teacher

Get the details on admission requirements, processes, and timelines

Finishing will take:

  • 2 years (6-7 terms)
  • Minimum 45 credits
    • Must meet with advisor to create a program contract
  • A professional portfolio

Begin your master’s degree in special education:

  • Fall term

Where you will take classes:

  • Online (synchronous meetings)

Technology you will need:

  • Computer with internet connection
  • Video conferencing capability (e.g., Zoom)

What you will learn:

The Special Educator initial endorsement program prepares special education teachers to work with students with mild disabilities and students with severe disabilities. 

The Special Educator I program is designed for teachers who hold or are eligible to hold a valid initial teaching license. Six quarters of full-time training are required to complete the program.

The Special Educator II program is designed for students who do not hold a teaching license. Seven quarters of full-time training are required to complete this program.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Effectively teach students who have a wide range of cognitive, physical, emotional, and learning disabilities.
  2. Understand current, credible research findings on disability, instruction, assessment and behavior management.
  3. Provide enriched learning opportunities for students with disabilities in self-contained classrooms, resource rooms or general education classrooms.


If you haven’t found the information you need or are still not sure where to direct your question, contact Olivia Flores at or 503-838-8675

"Being a student in the M.S. in SpEd program at Western Oregon University gave me the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills that equipped me to become an effective teacher. The professors in this program provide both challenge and motivation in the classroom setting through the support, knowledge, and enthusiasm that they exhibit in their teaching practices. Aside from establishing positive relationships with the professors, I also had the opportunity to build relationships with mentors in a nearby school district, while completing my field experience requirements. Receiving mentorship and guidance in the special education field before beginning my teaching career, helped me apply the knowledge that I had gained in my classes to support students in their academic and/or functional development. Overall, this program helped me grow so much as a person and a teacher, and I know it will do the same for you."

Nicolette Wise
M.S. In Ed. Special Education

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