Graduate Programs

Special Education

The Department of Education at Washburn University offers a Master's Degree and/or licensure in Adaptive Special Education, K-6 and 6-12. The requirements for provisional endorsement by the Kansas State Department of Education may be met prior to completion of the Master's Degree. Full endorsement is granted following completion of the full sequence of courses and two years of successful classroom teaching experience. Provisional licensure may be obtained with the completion of nine specified hours of graduate credit, including an appropriate practicum experience and admission to the Graduate Program.  

Most special education endorsements are granted at the level (e.g., elementary, secondary) for which a regular teaching licensure is held. Consequently, career placement options for licensed elementary and secondary education teachers include the self-contained classroom, the resource room, and the itinerant consultant teacher in the public school. Secondary special education teachers with a subject area specialization (e.g., history, mathematics, art, English, etc.) may also work in state or private institutions as well as in adolescent correctional facilities.   

The Licensure Only Program in Special Education is available for teachers with an elementary or secondary teaching license who wish to pursue a teaching license in adaptive special education without earning a master’s degree. Candidates who already have a master’s degree - or those not interested in obtaining a master’s degree - will be required to submit:
1) an application to the Department of Education,
2) a copy of their current teaching license,
3) two letters of reference, and
4) complete a plan of study with their advisor.

Licensure-only candidates can earn a provisional license which will be good for two years and can reapply for a second provisional license with successful completion of coursework. Candidates completing all coursework can apply for full licensure in adaptive special education. Candidates who are pursuing licensure-only can opt to apply for the master program no later than the date at which they apply for the second provisional license. Candidates who wish to be considered for the MEd program must

1) achieve passing scores on the GRE or MAT or pass the Graduate Admission Test,

2) have a GPA of 3.0 or better in graduate work attempted, and

3) have the recommendation of their advisor.   

Student Learning Outcomes for MEd – Special Education

  • At the conclusion of the Adaptive Special Education Program, candidates are expected to have:

  • acquired the ability to understand the philosophical, historical and legal foundations for special education; 

  • acquired the ability to understand and appreciate child development, diversity and support for learner needs; 

  • developed the ability to give, score and interpret a broad range of formal and informal assessments and use this information to plan and evaluate instruction; 

  • developed the ability to plan, implement and monitor instruction and have good classroom management skills; 

  • demonstrated effective communication with families, students and staff and have good collaboration skills; and 

  • acquired knowledge of appropriate legal and ethical issues in order to conduct activities professionally.


  • ED 565 Introduction to Educational Research

  • ED 568 Curriculum Development & Evaluation

  • RD 522 Readers at Risk

Adaptive Special Education Professional Courses

  • SE 510 Learning & Behavior Problems

  • SE 520/522 Educational Planning

  • SE 530/532 Methods & Materials

  • SE 535 Conferencing & Consulting in Special Education

  • SE 540/440 Individual & Group Management

  • SE 556/558 Practicum I

  • SE 557/559 Practicum II

  • SE 560/562 Assessment

  • SE 580 Resources for Families

Special Education Program of Study (PDF)

Capstone Options