Special education certification in the state of Wisconsin has undergone changes in the grade levels associated with specific licenses. The UWM Special Education program is adapting curriculum to prepare students to teach in K4-12 settings, including extensive fieldwork. This program prepares students to work in urban settings and takes place in close partnership with local school districts.

The UWM School of Education’s urban mission is upheld in the special education program’s commitment to preparing pre-service teachers to meet the needs of diverse populations. Students are admitted into the program upon admission to the University and completion of pre-professional coursework. It is possible to complete the program in four years. This is a field-based program involving gradual and extensive work in urban schools. Upon successful completion of all student teaching requirements, including state required assessments, students will be licensed to teach in special education.

Requirements

General Education Requirements (GERs)

UW-Milwaukee has General Education Requirements that must be met in order to earn a bachelor’s degree. Some of the requirements of your program may fulfill the campus GERs. Please review the requirements and consult with your academic advisor.  

Admission to Program

Program Core

MATH 175Mathematical Explorations for Elementary Teachers I (OWC-QLA)3
MATH 176Mathematical Explorations for Elementary Teachers II (OWC-QLB)3
COMMUN 103Public Speaking (GER-HU)3
ED POL 375Cultural Foundations of Education3
SOCIOL 224Race and Ethnicity in the United States (GER-SS, CD)3
CURRINS 300Introduction to Teaching: Colloquium and Fieldwork3
ED PSY 330Introduction to Learning and Development3
CURRINS 545Reading in the Content Areas: Middle, Junior, and Senior High School3
Choose one:3
The Exceptional Individual
Survey of Exceptional Education
Child, Learner, Disabilities
Highly recommended (fulfills GER)
Introduction to Children's and Young Adult Literature
Teachers as Writers (Preferred course; GER-UWCB, HU)
Multicultural Art and Visual Learning in Elementary Education (Preferred course; GER-A, CD)
Survey of Communication Disorders (Preferred course; GER-SS)
Choose one: 1
American Indian Peoples of Wisconsin (GER-CD, SS)
Western Great Lakes American Indian Community Life of the Past (GER-CD, SS)
Introduction to American Indian Literature: (GER-CD, HU)
North American Indian History Since 1887 (GER-CD, HU)
Total Credits27

Professional Requirements 

Year 1 - Fall
CURRINS 306Clinical Experience Grades K4-31
CURRINS 536Literacy 1: Assessing and Teaching Early Literacy3
CURRINS 561Mathematics Learners in Special Education I3
EXCEDUC 586Teaching Experience I1
EXCEDUC 595Technology Applications for Diverse Learners3
EXCEDUC 635Individualized Planning & Instructional Methods3
Year 1 - Spring
CURRINS 562Mathematics Learners in Special Education II3
EXCEDUC 486Linking Seminar: Developing Reflective Practice1
EXCEDUC 586Teaching Experience I1
EXCEDUC 636Curriculum Accommodations3
EXCEDUC 681Literacy II3
EXCEDUC 662Collaborative Strategies3
Year 2 - Fall
CURRINS 541Principles and Methods of Teaching ESL3
EXCEDUC 532Assessment and Monitoring3
EXCEDUC 587Teaching Experience II3
EXCEDUC 601Behavioral Supports3
EXCEDUC 679Critical Issues in Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities3
Year 2 - Spring
EXCEDUC 488Linking Seminar: Professional Development1
EXCEDUC 588Teaching Experience III9
EXCEDUC 574Curriculum Accommodations II: Primary/Middle3
Total Credits56

Exceptional Education Degree, K4-12 Special Education Submajor Completion Requirements

  • Completion of University GER;
  • At least 30 program credits must be earned in residence at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, following admission to the program; and
  • Completion of a minimum 120 degree credits.

Certification Requirements

Second Degree, One Year Pathway

For individuals with a bachelor's degree and previous education certification.

Professional Requirements 
Summer 1
EXCEDUC 662Collaborative Strategies3
EXCEDUC 680Literacy I3
Fall 1
EXCEDUC 587Teaching Experience II3
EXCEDUC 635Individualized Planning & Instructional Methods3
EXCEDUC 601Behavioral Supports3
CURRINS 561Mathematics Learners in Special Education I3
Spring 1
EXCEDUC 588Teaching Experience III 23
EXCEDUC 636Curriculum Accommodations3
or EXCEDUC 574 Curriculum Accommodations II: Primary/Middle
EXCEDUC 681Literacy II3
Summer 2
EXCEDUC 679Critical Issues in Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities3
Choose one:3
Urban Education: Foundations
Students Placed At Risk (Causes)
Educating Students Placed At Risk
Total Credits33

Second Degree, Two Year Pathway

For individuals with a bachelor's degree and no previous education certification.

Professional Requirements 
Summer 1
EXCEDUC 605Child, Learner, Disabilities3
or EXCEDUC 600 Survey of Exceptional Education
EXCEDUC 662Collaborative Strategies3
EXCEDUC 680Literacy I3
Fall 1
EXCEDUC 586Teaching Experience I1
EXCEDUC 601Behavioral Supports3
EXCEDUC 635Individualized Planning & Instructional Methods3
Spring 1
EXCEDUC 587Teaching Experience II3
EXCEDUC 636Curriculum Accommodations3
or EXCEDUC 574 Curriculum Accommodations II: Primary/Middle
EXCEDUC 681Literacy II3
EXCEDUC 486Linking Seminar: Developing Reflective Practice1
Summer 2
EXCEDUC 679Critical Issues in Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities3
Choose one:3
Urban Education: Foundations
Students Placed At Risk (Causes)
Educating Students Placed At Risk
Fall 2
EXCEDUC 588Teaching Experience III3
EXCEDUC 532Assessment and Monitoring3
CURRINS 561Mathematics Learners in Special Education I3
Spring 2
EXCEDUC 488Linking Seminar: Professional Development1
EXCEDUC 574Curriculum Accommodations II: Primary/Middle3
or EXCEDUC 636 Curriculum Accommodations
CURRINS 562Mathematics Learners in Special Education II3
Total Credits48

Certification Requirements

  • Demonstration of content knowledge proficiency through one of the following:
    • Achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in prescribed content knowledge coursework;
    • A passing score on the PRAXIS Subject Assessment #5146; or
    • A Content Knowledge Portfolio.
  • Evidence of pedagogical knowledge proficiency;
  • Evidence of pedagogy and pedagogical content knowledge related to teaching reading;
  • Completion of ACT 31 requirement;
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 in all UWM and transfer courses; and
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 and a C or better in all professional courses. 

Advance to Major

Program Admission Requirements

  • At least 45 credits completed;
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5;
  • Grade of C or better in CURRINS 300 and a positive field evaluation or equivalent;
  • Grade of C or better in MATH 175 and ENGLISH 102 (or placement of 4 or higher on English placement test);
  • Approved CBC; 
  • Successful application and interview; and
  • For Second Degree candidates, bachelor's degree.

Benchmarks

Student Teaching

Students must complete paperwork in order to be assigned a student teaching placement. To determine your deadline (February or April), visit the Office of Clinical Experiences website at uwm.edu/education/academics/clinical-experiences/.

Content Knowledge Coursework

A 3.0 cumulative GPA in 6 of the content-focused courses below meets the DPI content knowledge proficiency requirement. 

English - choose two of the following:6
College Writing and Research
Teachers as Writers
Literacy II
Or course with equivalent content
Math - choose two of the following:6
Mathematical Explorations for Elementary Teachers I
Mathematical Explorations for Elementary Teachers II
Mathematics Learners in Special Education I
Mathematics Learners in Special Education II
Or course with equivalent content
Social Studies - choose one of the following:3
Race and Ethnicity in the United States
GER-SS
Or course with equivalent content
Science - choose one of the following:3
Introduction to Conservation and Environmental Science
GER-NS or NS+
Or course with equivalent content

Portfolio/Performance Reviews

Conducted at the end of each semester and formal portfolio review at the end of Year 1. A favorable performance review is required to continue in the certification program.

Evidence of pedagogy and pedagogical content knowledge related to teaching reading

  • Depending on pathway: CURRINS 536 and EXCEDUC 681 or EXCEDUC 680 and EXCEDUC 681 with a grade of B- or better;
  • Feedback and coaching from an expert of reading instruction;
  • Portfolio of evidence demonstrating competence in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, reading, comprehension, and fluency.

Undergraduate Advising

Our purpose is to provide collaborative, mentoring relationships which promote educational, career, and professional development. We value a student-centered, holistic, and ethical approach to advising based on strong partnerships with students, faculty and staff, and the larger campus community. We are committed to creating a respectful and supportive environment. We encourage students to be self-reliant through informed decisions and choices based upon dissemination of accurate information. We value our own continuous professional development to enhance the quality of the advising experience.

How to Prepare for an Advising Meeting

  • Review your Advisement Report in PAWS.
  • Come prepared with questions or topics for discussion.
  • Make a list of courses you think you should take.
  • Investigate opportunities to prepare for the job you want.
  • Keep a record of your academic progress.
  • Understand you are ultimately responsible for creating your educational, life, and career plans.
  • Maintain honest and open communication with your advisor.
  • Take responsibility for choices you make as a student and member of the UW-Milwaukee community.

Scheduling an Appointment

Office of Student Services
Enderis Hall, Room 209
(414) 229-4721
soeinfo@uwm.edu

Graduate Advising

If you are a School of Education graduate student, you may schedule an appointment with your faculty advisor by contacting your faculty advisor directly. Faculty contact information can be found in the People Directory. Your faculty advisor will be listed in your PAWS account. 

Accelerated Program Option

This program is offered as part of an accelerated bachelor's/master's program. For more information, see Accelerated Master's Degrees.

Honors in the School of Education

Dean's Honor List

GPA of 3.750 or above, earned on a full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.

Honors College Degree and Honors College Degree with Distinction

Granted to graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements, as listed in the Honors College section of this site.

Commencement Honors

Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December or May Honors Convocation. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g., 3.499).

Final Honors

Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.