Initial Teaching Certification In Special Education

K - 12 Post-Baccalaureate Certificate of Completion or Master of Education in Special Education

    The program will provide individuals who possess a bachelor's degree and who complete the necessary prerequisites requirements (see below) with specific training in the area of special education.  Students in this initial program will complete two clinical practice placements. The program prepares K-12 special education teachers who can effectively understand state and national education issues and respond appropriately to those that are specific to Alaska. Special education candidates will progress through a series of developmentally sequenced field experiences for all ages, types and levels of abilities and collaborative opportunities. All those who complete the program will provide evidence of meeting the national Council for Exceptional Children content standards at a beginning special education level.

    Prepares K-12 special educators at the graduate level with specific training in the areas of disabilities, assessment, interventions strategies, current law and the implementation of programs including development of legally defensible federal IDEA documents.      

    Graduates will have mastery of the Council for Exceptional Children standards for special education teachers: foundations in special education, development and characteristics of learners, individual learning differences, instructional strategies, learning environments and social interactions, communication, instructional planning, assessment, and professional and ethical practice.

    The program, which shares a strong common core with the special education programs at UAA and UAS, provides development in collaboration/consultation models and program development in multicultural settings. Completion of this program meets requirements for Alaska licensure as a K-12 special education teacher.

Initial Special Education Certification

Certificate of Completion and Master of Education Program Requirements


Certification Only: 42 credits (15 pre-requisite credits, 27 program credits)


Certification With Master of Education: 54 credits (15 pre-requisite credits, 39 program credits)



    1.  Complete the following admission requirements:

            a. Admission requirements for the graduate program.

            b. Baccalaureate degree with the following prerequisites:

                    i. Documented recent experience (minimum of 12 hours) in an educational setting with children experiencing disabilities

                    ii. UAF prerequisite courses or comparable transfer courses:

                        ED F245--Child Development--3 credits
                        ED F201--Introduction to Education (3)
                        or EDSC F205--Introduction to Secondary Education (3)
                        or EDSC F415--Foundations of Modern Educational Practice (3)
                        or ED F624--Foundations of Education in Alaska: From Segregation to Standards--3 credits

                    iii. EDSE F482--Inclusive Classroom for All Children--3 credits

                    iv. An Alaska studies course approved by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

                    v. A multicultural education/cross-cultural communication course approved by the Alaska Department of Education and                                Early Development.

                    vi. Passing scores on the Praxis I or another test acceptable to the Alaska Department of Education and Early                                               Development before or during the first semester of classes. Acceptable test scores include:
                            Praxis I--Writing 174; Reading 175; Math 173
                            or CBEST: 123, no individual score less than 37
                            or WEST-B: Writing 240, Reading 240, Math 240

                   vii. Passing score on the following Praxis II before or during the first semester of classes:
                            0014 Elementary Content Knowledge: Minimum score 143
                           or 0041 English Content Knowledge: Minimum score 158
                           and 0061 Math Content Knowledge: Minimum score 116

    2.  All prerequisite courses must be completed with a minimum final grade of "B. Once the admission requirements, prerequisite                 courses and testing requirements have been met, applicants will be formally admitted to the program.

    3.  Complete the general university requirements.

    4.  Complete the M.Ed. degree requirements.

    5.  All students not possessing a current Alaska teacher certificate are required to take six credits of clinical practice. Clinical Practice         courses are taken the last two semesters of the program. To enter the clinical practice, students must apply for authorization from          the state of Alaska. This includes fingerprinting and a background check. Fingerprint clearance may take up to six months to                    complete. Submit the clinical practice application two semesters prior to the desired placement. Failure to comply with the                        requirement, falsification of information, or evidence of a criminal conviction that is named in the law or the Professional Teaching            Practices Commission (PTPC) is considered an ethics violation. This will result in denied access to field placement in Alaska                 school districts. Authorization is required before clinical practice can begin.

    6. Complete the following:
            EDSE F610--Assessment of Students with Disabilities--3 credits
            EDSE F612--Curriculum and Strategies I: Low Incidence--3 credits
            EDSE F622--Curriculum and Strategies II: High Incidence--3 credits
            EDSE F632--Special Education Law: Principles and Practices--3 credits

    7. Complete one of the following:
            EDSE F605--Early Childhood Special Education (3)
            or EDSE F625--Teaching Mathematics to Special Learners (3)
            or EDSE F677--Reading Assessment, Curriculum, and Strategies--3 credits

    8.  Complete one of the following:
            EDSE F624--Social/Emotional Development, Assessment and Intervention (3)
         or EDSE F633--Autism: Communication and Social Disorders (3)
         or EDSE F640--Collaboration and Consultative Methods (3)
         or EDSE F642--Autism and Asperger Syndrome: Social and Behavioral Issues--3 credits

    9.  Complete the following courses:
        EDSE F680—Special Education Clinical Practice – 6 credits

        EDSE F681--Special Education Portfolio**--3 credits

For the Master of Education in Special Education complete the following:

    10.  Complete two graduate level special education electives approved by candidate’s graduate committee – 6 credits

    11. Complete the following classes:

      ED F601--Introduction to Applied Social Science Research--3 credits
      ED F603--Field Study Research Methods (3)
      or ED/CCS F604—Documenting Indigenous Knowledge Systems –3 credits

    12. Complete comprehensive examination***

* Additional fee required. Charges are added to fee statements every semester.

** Students pursuing a K-12 Special Education certificate must complete a Clinical Practice and Portfolio in a public school setting.

***Must be enrolled in 3 graduate credits the semester the comprehensive exam is completed.

Click here for a PDF flyer with information about UAF's Initial Teaching Degree in Special Education.

Degree Checklist for Initial Teaching Certification Program:

Joanne Healy,
Sep 10, 2013, 11:47 AM