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Special Education

The program is designed to prepare individuals for Pennsylvania certification in special education. The Master of Science program with Special Education certification option is not designed for previously certified special education teachers, since it prepares individuals for state certification nor is it appropriate for international students due to the Pennsylvania certification requirements. 


As of June 20, 2014 PDE released an update to the previous certification guideline. The new policy by PDE, “allows instructional certificate holders to add Special Education certification to a K-12 certificate if they successfully complete a Special Education PK-8 or Special Education 7-12 certification program and meet all requirements.”

To be eligible for admission into the Master of Science program with Special Education certification option, applicants must possess a previously earned Pennsylvania instructional certificate in one of the areas below and present a copy of the certificate during the admissions process. An applicant who is certified in another state may contact the Pennsylvania department of education (PDE) at http://www.pde.psu.edu/ to apply for PA certification, prior to admission to Wilkes University.

Candidates applying to Wilkes University for special education will apply for one of the following grade bands:

     PK-8 or 7-12

     Depending on their previously obtained certifications, per PDE regulations released 6/20/14, as follows:

·       Special Education PreK-8 Option:

    • Candidates with previous PA certificates in early childhood N-3, elementary K-6 or PreK-4, middle school 4-8, K-12 and certified reading specialists are eligible for this option.

·       Special Education 7-12 Option:

    • Candidates with previous PA certificates in secondary education grades 7-12(content areas), K-12 and certified reading specialists are eligible for this option.


Department of Education Standards for Special Education.
The Graduate Special Education Program requires 30 graduate credits to obtain the masters degree and three additional prerequisite courses for certification. Students can follow a fast track for certification by taking the certification courses first (certification courses are indicated by asterisks on the attached requirements checklist). Students will consult with the program advisor for prerequisite analysis and fast track requirements.

The state will require candidates to take the new Special Education Certification tests called the PECT (Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests) available at: http://www.pa.nesinc.com.  There are two PECT modules for each grdade band.  Candidates will select the appropriate grade band modules; either PK-8 or 7-12.

Special Education Program Requirements are outlined at this link. Students should consult with their advisors to be sure they meet all necessary program requirements.

The EDSP courses are only available at the Wilkes campus in Wilkes-Barre location. The EDSP courses are all face-to-face courses with the exception of EDSP 501.

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