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Director of Special Education Graduate Certificate

Help students realize their full potential

Are you ready to take the lead in ensuring a quality education for every student? At Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, we are dedicated to preparing aspiring leaders like you to make a significant impact in the field of special education through our administrative licensure program.

Our online program is meticulously designed for individuals seeking a Director of Special Education license in Minnesota, requiring a master’s degree in any field and a minimum of three years of teaching experience in special education. In less than two years, you will embark on a transformative journey, acquiring practical management skills and the expertise needed to navigate the complexities of special education settings.

Discover how to oversee, evaluate, and supervise special education programs with confidence. Gain a deep understanding of applying leadership competencies to develop and implement specialized programs, while effectively evaluating curriculum assessments. Refine your skills and uncover innovative tools to become a respected leader in special education.

At Saint Mary’s, you’ll be empowered to adapt to complex challenges and become a creative problem-solver — and you’ll learn to do so with integrity to serve students and communities. We’re committed to preparing educational leaders of both character and integrity. Enroll in our graduate certificate to empower yourself and those you serve.

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30

credits

$560

cost per credit

SeptJan

start dates

2 years

completion time

Online

30

credits

$560

cost per credit

SeptJan

start dates

2 years

completion time

Online

Director of Special Education Certificate Program Highlights

  • Summer Institute unites students to delve into character education, hear inspiring speakers, and grasp educational leadership. Graduates can return for continual inspiration and growth.
  • Courses led by active Minnesota administrators offer authentic, timely learning experiences rooted in current school system challenges.
  • You will have a dedicated university advisor with experience in education that supports you from admission to completion, providing assistance with academics, field experiences, and program-related queries. Your success is our priority.
  • Discover scholarships available through our partnerships with several regional and national employers. See if your employer is part of our Trusted Partnership Program. Learn more.

What You’ll Learn in Our Director of Special Education Licensure Program

  • Promote, create, and monitor appreciation and cultivation of diversity
  • Organizational operations including human, financial, and physical resources
  • Interpret, develop, and implement local, state, and federal policy and law
  • Facilitate planning and development of curriculum, assessment, and instruction
  • Design, implement, and support instruction, assessment strategies, and behavior management
  • Practice ethical leadership, ensuring the best interest of all learners

Information Session

Join us for an information session to learn more about the program, the application process, and more. We offer live information sessions where you can meet program staff, as well as an archive you can view on your own time.

Apply for Admission

Ready to apply? Take the next steps here.

    • Applicants must possess a master’s degree in an education-related field, including at least 21 credits from among any of the following: teaching techniques, curriculum design, communication skills, education research/assessment, education leadership or administration. If additional credits are required to meet the entrance requirement, those credits must be earned before starting the Educational Administration – K-12 Principal program coursework. According to the Board of School Administrators for the State of Minnesota, an applicant for licensure as a principal shall have three years of successful classroom teaching experience while holding a classroom teaching license valid for the position or positions in which the experience was gained.
    • Applicants may apply for admission at any time during the year. A master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, for which applicant maintained at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, is required for admission.

  • Your application must include the following items:

    • A completed application form
    • An official transcript(s) issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor’s degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution.
    • Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated on a course by course basis by a university accepted evaluation service, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards). Evaluations from an approved member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES.org) will also be accepted.
    • All applicants must submit a personal statement which includes:
      • Brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience and,
      • Statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and their reasons for seeking admission to this program and,
      • Description of the areas which the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities and,
      • Personal information the applicant wishes to share.
    • Two letters of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability and,
    • A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.

    Official Transcripts should be sent to Office of Admission:

    Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
    2500 Park Avenue
    Minneapolis, MN 55404
    Or electronically: tcadmission@smumn.edu

    Please reach out with any questions about the application process.
    Phone: (612) 728-5100
    Toll-free: (866) 437-2788
    E-mail: tcadmission@smumn.edu

  • Applicants must submit the following:

    1. Completed application form.
    2. An official transcript(s) issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor’s degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution.)
      • Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated on a course by course basis by a university accepted evaluation service, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, One Earth International Credential Evaluators or any approved member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES.org) and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards.
      • Saint Mary’s can order and cover the cost of transcripts from institutions that allow third-party requests for eligible degree-seeking applicants. Contact your enrollment counselor for more information.
      • Official Transcripts should be sent to Office of Admission
        • Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
          2500 Park Avenue
          Minneapolis, MN 55404
        • Or electronically: tcadmission@smumn.edu
    3. A personal statement which includes:
      • brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and,
      • statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and his or her reasons for seeking admission to the program and,
      • personal information the applicant wishes to share.
    4. Names of two people (including title, organization, email, phone number) who could serve as professional references, if needed, during the application review process. The best references are those who know you in a professional capacity, such as current or former supervisors.
    5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.

    • Fall 2024: August 2, 2024
    • Spring 2025: December 2, 2024
    • Summer 2025: April 4, 2025

     

    The priority application deadlines are listed but these are general as not all of our programs have a start every semester.

     

     

    • Fall September 3, 2024
    • Spring: January 6, 2025

  • You can expect to be notified about your acceptance approximately two weeks following your application completion date.

Tuition and Fees

We help you find ways to finance your education. Talk to your Enrollment Counselor about scholarships, loans, and other ways to make education affordable.

Course Catalog

You’ll take courses such as:

  • The Special Education Director
  • Legal Issues in Special Education
  • Resource Allocation for Special Education Directors

The course catalog provides complete information about course requirements.

Career Outlook

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that in 2019-20, students with disabilities in public schools accounted for 14% of all students, demonstrating the need for strong leadership in administrative roles.1

Director of Special Education

$111,728 per year 2

Frequently Asked Questions

  • At Saint Mary’s, we want you to succeed, and we help you do so, inside and outside of the classroom:

    Student Central: Your one stop for student services

    Library: Resources and services are available 24/7 to all students.

    Writing Center: Offers virtual and face-to-face services to support students.

    Career Services: Can help you develop your career-readiness skills at any point in your education.

  • The only thing virtual about your online experience is the classroom. Our flexible online programs offer the rigor and reputation you expect from Saint Mary’s.

    Explore more here.

  • If you are in a degree-granting program and enrolled at least half time, you may be eligible for financial aid.

    Learn more here.

  • Life gets busy. Whether you’re raising a family, pursuing your career, or playing an active role in your community, we know you want to keep up with what you love while you take the next step in your career. That’s why Saint Mary’s online programs are flexible and designed to fit your demanding life.

  • The annual Summer Institute, held on Saint Mary’s Minneapolis Campus, enhances the curriculum of the Ed.S. program with an emphasis on character, virtue, and ethics. The Summer Institute features speakers and formation activities aimed to equip you to become a leader of character and lead schools of character. It’s a transformative experience that is professionally and personally rewarding.

News and Information from the School of Education

 

On Sunday, April 14, 2024, Her Excellency, U.S. Ambassador Karen Hideko Sasahara received the Very Reverend Father James P. Burns, Read more
Downwind advocates for marginalized students Chrissy (Koch) Downwind M’17 admits she doesn’t sugarcoat. “When I introduce myself, I usually include Read more

Sources and Disclaimer

  1. National Center for Education Statistics, Annual Reports and Information Staff, Students With Disabilities at https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator/cgg#:~:text=In%202019%E2%80%9320%2C%20the%20number,of%20all%20public%20school%20students (visited April 13, 2023).
  2. Salary.com, Director of Special Education Salary in Minnesota at https://www.salary.com/research/salary/posting/director-of-special-education-salary/mn#:~:text=How%20much%20does%20a%20Director,falls%20between%20%2499%2C452%20and%20%24125%2C075. (visited April 13, 2023).