Director of Special Education and Pupil Services (DSEPS)

If you’re ready to become the director of a special education program, we’ve got the program to get you there.

Key Program Information
Categories Degrees, Certificates, and Courses for Contemporary Learners, Education, Online
Program Type Credit
Delivery Format Online
Next Session Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring

Who Should Attend

If you hold a Master's degree in Special Education, School Psychology, or School Administration along with relevant licensure and teaching experience, you are qualified to apply for admission to this program, leading to Wisconsin DPI Educational License 80

Program Description

Becoming the leader of a special education program is a compelling calling. If you’re up for the challenge and you have a year to learn, we’ve got the program to take you there. You’ll gain fresh knowledge, new vision and strong leadership skills to offer your fellow special education professionals in providing the best education to your students.

This 13-credit online graduate program offers:

  • A flexible, completely online program
  • Complete access to required readings, numerous libraries, online sources and a textbook
  • Small class size
  • Real connection with others in the program
  • Personal attention from instructors who facilitate discussions
  • Relevant, real-life assignments
  • Practicum/field experience during the last course with a licensed mentor - preferably within your district
  • Skills that can be applied toward immediate career advancement
  • Completion in as little as one year.

The program:

  • Is pre-approved by the Wisconsin DPI
  • Fully prepares you to apply for Wisconsin DPI Certification (License Code 80)
  • May be applied toward a master’s degree in Special Education (M.S.E.) from UW-Eau Claire
  • Can serve as an "add-on" to your current master’s degree
  • Is supported by the Wisconsin Council for Administrators of Special Services (WCASS)

Course Content

  • SPED 782 - Special Education Law
  • SPED 786 - Leadership in Special Education
  • SPED 787 - Leadership in Pupil Services
  • SPED 695 - Special Education and Pupil Services Budget and Finance
  • SPED 789 - Practicum: Leadership in Special Education and Pupil Services

NOTE: Minimum grade of B in each course required in order to be recommended for licensure.

Applying for License 80

Once you have completed the UW-Eau Claire DSEPS program, to apply for DPI License 80: Director of Special Education and Pupil Services, follow these steps:

  • Go to the DPI website for License Application Process instructions and forms.
  • Complete the application, attaching any and all required documentation, including a check to the DPI to cover the application fee.

NOTE to School Psychologists: Be sure to attach a copy of the letter from your supervisor confirming your 540 hours of classroom experience working with special needs students. If you did not keep a copy of that letter, contact UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education and ask the Education Program Manager or Associate to forward you a copy from your DSEPS application file.

  • Mail the completed application, documentation, and check to:

Verifications Office, College of Education & Human Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
PO Box 4004
Eau Claire WI 54702

After verifying successful completion of the DSEPS program, they will forward your completed application for License 80 to the DPI.

Due to state authorization regulations, we are unable to offer our online programs at this time to residents of Louisiana.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose the UW-Eau Claire Program?

  • Community of learners utilizing Desire2Learn (D2L) asynchronous instruction - Enhance your career from the comfort of your own home!
  • Complete the program in as little as one year!
  • Approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Apply for Wisconsin License 80, Director of Special Education and Pupil Services, as soon as you've completed the coursework. When finished, you'll be prepared to lead! 

I work full time - Will I be able to keep up?

 Here are some facts that may help you decide:

  • SPED 782 and 786 (3 cr. each) are offered over 4 work- intensive summer weeks. Think of each one as a 4-week full-time job!
  • SPED 787 (3 cr.) is offered in the Fall semester.
  • SPED 695 (1 cr.) is offered in the 3-week "Winterim" - between the New Year Holiday and the start of the spring semester.
  • SPED 789 (3 cr.), your final Practicum, is offered in the spring semester.

What about the Practicum?

It is your responsibility to request release time from your District and/or Supervisor before applying for this program. You will be required to devote 8-10 hours per week (most during the regular work day) throughout your school's semester in order to fulfill the experiential requirements of the course.

It is your responsibility to find a qualified mentor - preferably someone who works in or near your district. This person will oversee and evaluate your Practicum experience. Your mentor must meet the requirements of the Wisconsin DPI, and be approved in advance by the DSEPS director or representative. If an approved mentor becomes unavailable for any reason or decides not to participate at any point, the candidate's progress in the program will be postponed until he/she finds another suitable mentor.

Please use the Responsibilities of the Mentor Administrator and Documentation of Qualifications as a resource for choosing a qualified mentor. Share this information with any potential mentor to provide a description of the role of the mentor in the practicum experience, and the minimum educational and professional requirements to serve as a mentor.

Twice during the Practicum, you will be observed by a qualified UW-Eau Claire representative. This person will meet with you and your mentor, and will also evaluate your work.

Am I certain to be admitted if I meet the relevant minimum requirements listed above?

All complete applications received by the deadline will be reviewed. Those candidates deemed to be the most qualified will be admitted, as space allows. Note: Priority will be given to applicants who hold degrees and licensure in either Special Education or School Psychology, and who currently serve in a position under that license.

How do I apply?

Apply Online

When is the Application Deadline?

Only completed applications received between January 1st and March 15th will be considered. Applicants will be notified of acceptance or denial no later than April 15th.


What are the tuition rates and fees?

The current tuition rate for 2016-2017 is $495.11 per credit for in-state residents and $575 per credit for out-of-state residents. An additional special course fee is also charged for the practicum.

If admitted, when will I start?

We will hold an orientation in May via distance media. The exact date and time of the orientation will be sent to you in April. Your first class, SPED 782, will begin in June. 


Where do I go for more information?

  • Refer to the prerequisites details on this page
  • Contact the UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education office and ask for the DSEPS Program Manager.

Instructions

Standard UW-Eau Claire tuition rates and fees apply.

Prerequisites

Apply Online

Do you have a graduate degree from an accredited program and institution in Special Education? These are your requirements:

  • Current Educational Licensure and Professional Position: Must have a current license in one of the following AND work in that position: WI License Code 801 (Cross-Categorical SpED), WI License Code 810 (Cognitive Disabilities), WI License Code 811 (Learning Disabilities), or WI License Code 830 (Emotional Behavioral Disorders).
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • **Professional experience in an academic setting with Special Needs Students: Three years successful employment in Special Education
  • Additional Requirements: None

Do you have a graduate degree from an accredited program and institution in School Psychology? These are your requirements:

  • Current Educational Licensure and Professional Position: School Psychology
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • **Professional experience in an academic setting with Special Needs Students: Three years successful employment including experience with students with special needs
  • Additional Requirements: DPI requires that School Psychologists must verify, within program application, at least 540 hours of successful teaching experience working directly with Special Education students. Acceptable teaching experience may include classroom instruction, consultation with classroom teachers, and/or direct work with an individual student. (Time spent in activities such as IEP meetings may not be included.) (Complete the School Psychologists 540 Confirmation Form or include documentation within letters of reference from relevant school administrator.)

Do you have a graduate degree from an accredited program and institution in Educational Administration / Leadership –AND– Education in another area approved by the Wisconsin DPI? These are your requirements:

  • Current Educational Licensure and Professional Position: Administration / Leadership -AND- Teacher Licensure
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • **Professional experience in an academic setting with Special Needs Students: Three years successful employment including experience with students with special needs
  • Additional Requirements:  Completion of three pre-requisite Special Education courses taken after July 2006: 1 – Introduction to Special Education, 2 – Inclusion of Special Needs Students, 3 – One graduate-level Special Education course.
  • Please contact the Program Manager before enrolling in coursework from another institution to ensure equivalency.

No graduate degree? These are your requirements:

  • Current Educational Licensure and Professional Position: Currently enrolled in UW-Eau Claire Master of Special Education degree program
  • Minimum GPA: Graduate plan of study listing all DSEPS courses
  • **Professional experience in an academic setting with Special Needs Students: Advisor approval
  • Additional Requirements: Completion of at least 15 credits toward the M.S.E. (only SPED 782 may be taken within the first 15 credits)

** All documented administrative and teaching experience must be in US schools which function under IDEA-2004 Rules and Regulations. This includes special education programs in public schools as well as private schools whose sole purpose are to educate children with disabilities in accordance with IDEA mandates.

Please Note: With the exception of the prerequisite courses, no credit will be accepted in transfer from another institution to the UW-Eau Claire DSEPS program. There are no course substitutions for any of the required coursework

Questions?

Phone: (715) 836-3636
Toll Free: (866) 893-2423

103 Garfield Avenue
Old Library 1108
Eau Claire, WI 54702

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