This 21-credit hour program prepares you for leadership roles in exceptional needs at the school and district levels.
To earn this license, candidates must:
Hold a master's degree in special education, communication disorders, or school psychology. A master's degree in educational leadership or other related field will suffice if the undergraduate degree is in special education, communicative disorders, or school psychology.
Have at least two years of full-time teaching experience
Complete the program course work, including 18 credit hours in educational leadership, three (3) credit hours in program evaluation and assessment, and 8–12 credit hours in special education
Candidates from school psychology and communications disorders majors may require 12 credit hours of special education course work.
The certificate is open to anyone who is interested in special education leadership. Completion of this program will result in a license for Director of Special Education.
Coursework generally takes 2 years to complete. However, it is possible to complete coursework in less time. The minimum time for completion is a year.
A wide variety of school professionals including:
Public and private school teachers;
School leaders including special education coordinators, principals, department heads, school psychologists and others
Candidates for this program must hold a professional license in one of the following areas: special education, communication disorders, or school psychology. Candidates must have a master’s degree or be enrolled in a master’s program. You will need to apply for the program.
Some non-cohort courses are online. However, there are three courses that are completed as a part of a cohort, and these courses are face to face courses. We believe that the face to face contact and cohort concept for the three Special Education leadership courses is important and our experience (and feedback from students) is that this cohort experience creates a professional bond with a group of colleagues that is invaluable as a network of support after completion of the license.
Currently, there are three courses in this program that are taken as a cohort: A 675, A735, and A695. The cohort begins in Spring of each year with A675, Leadership in Special Education. This course meets one day a month from January to May at a location in Indianapolis. The second course, A735, Unified Systems meets for a full week in the summer in Bloomington. The final course, A695 is a fall practicum and is completed in the student’s home district.
All other courses for this licensure can be taken outside of the cohort at the student’s convenience.
The Director of Special Education licensure program is 21 credits (exceptions are School Psychology and Communication Disorder majors who may require additional special education courses).
We begin new cohorts every January.
Yes, many students complete the Director of Special Education licensure program and also enroll in the Ed.D. Educational Leadership program. Students who intend to complete both the Director’s license and Ed.D. should consult with Dr. Sandi Cole.
As of 2016, IU in-state tuition for a graduate student is $420/credit (out-of-state is $1,420/credit). Students should check the Bursar’s website for future increases.
It is possible to take up to two courses before being formally admitted but students who start the program before being formally admitted are not guaranteed admission. If a student is not admitted into the Special Education Leadership Program, s/he might be able to transfer these courses into another university. Please contact Cindy Wedemeyer to discuss this option.
According to U.S. News and World Report, we are ranked as the #13 Educational Leadership Program in the U.S. (and the highest ranked program in the state).
It will generally take 6-8 weeks after your full application is complete.
Your Special Education Leadership cohort courses will be taught by Dr. Sandi Cole, Director of the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning and the program coordinator for the Special Education Leadership program. Your non-cohort courses will generally be taught by full-time faculty members at Indiana University. Our professors have worked as teachers, principals, superintendents, lawyers, and have published widely in their areas of expertise. Several of the faculty members have been school and district administrators Indiana and/or other states.
We consider your undergraduate and if relevant, any graduate grades as well as your personal statement and recommendations. We are interested in students with a genuine interest in school legal issues who demonstrate strong academic abilities.
The program is coordinated by Dr. Sandi Cole, Director of the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning at Indiana University. Please feel free to contact her (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like additional information.