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Director of Special Education and Pupil Services (DSEPS)

If you’re passionate about special education and want to take the next step in your career, this online Director of Special Education and Pupil Services Certificate program will prepare you to be successful.

Key Program Information
Next Session Summer

Deadline to Apply: March 16, 2020

Admission decisions will be made by April 3, 2020

Delivery Format Online

Become a leader in Special Education

This 15-credit online certificate program is for individuals who are ready to step into the important leadership role as directors of special education and pupil services. The UW-Eau Claire DSEPS program has a long-standing reputation for excellence; our graduates are well prepared and ready to lead.

Throughout this year-long program, you will be challenged to think from a big picture, systemic point of view by licensed, experienced directors of special education and pupil services. After successful completion of the program, you will be ready to apply for the Wisconsin DPI License #80, and you will earn a UW-Eau Claire Graduate Certificate.

How to apply for admission to program

Course topics and dates:

  • Summer 2021: SPED 786.681 Systemic Leadership & Ethics (3 cr)
    • May 24 – June 27, 2021
  • Summer 2021: SPED 782.681 Special Education Law (3 cr)
    • June 28 - August 6, 2021
  • Fall 2021: SPED 787.681 Leadership in Special Education & Pupil Services (3 cr)
    • September 1 - October 15, 2021
  • Fall 2021: SPED 788.681 Special Education & Pupil Services Budget and Finance (3 cr)
    • October 18 - December 14, 2021
  • Spring 2022: SPED 789.681 Practicum: Leadership in Special Education & Pupil Services (3 cr)
    • January 31 - May 13, 2022

Why Should I Choose this Program?

  • The UW-Eau Claire program has earned a reputation for excellence.
  • Admitted candidates can complete the program in only one year.
  • All instructors are currently or were recently working as DSEPS in K-12 schools -- you'll learn from their practical experience.
  • All of the classes are online-asynchronous, except for the practicum experience.
  • With successful completion of the program, you'll be eligible to apply for Wisconsin DPI License # 80.
  • Earn a graduate certificate from UW-Eau Claire, transcribed on your permanent academic record.

Program Eligibility & Required Documentation:

All applicants must have direct academic teaching experiences with learners who receive special education services.

Requirements for Special Educators:

  • Earned Master's degree in Special Education
  • Possess WI Teacher licensure in Special Education
  • Minimum of three years full-time paid teaching experience as a special educator, or the equivalent

Requirements for Other School Professionals:

  • Earned Master's degree in: School Psychology, Speech Pathology, School Counseling, Administration (Principal/Superintendent), or Educational Leadership
  • Possess WI Administration and/or Pupil Services licensure 
    *Out-of-state applicants should include comparable licensure types for their state or verification that the state does not require a license for their role.
  • Minimum three years full-time paid experience in Pupil Services and/or Administration, or equivalent
  • Can verify at least 540 hours of directly teaching students who receive special education services in an academic setting. Examples may include providing academic interventions within the MTSS of their district or co-teaching. *NOTE: Conducting educational assessment or participating in IEP meetings are not included in the 540 hour requirement.

How Much Does it Cost?

Tuition is at the reduced rate of $465 per credit.

The program does not meet qualifications for federal financial aid, but some students have been able to obtain private educational loans or have been subsidized by their districts.


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Female teacher outside of classroom

Who Should Attend

If you hold a Master’s degree and licensure in Special Education, School Psychology, Speech Pathology, Guidance and Counseling, Administration (Principal/Superintendent), or Educational Leadership plus a minimum of three years successful experience directly teaching academic content to children with special needs, you may be eligible for admission to our program, leading to Wisconsin DPI Educational License 80.

Disability Accommodations

UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education encourages children and adults with disabilities or other special needs to participate in our programs whenever possible. If you require a reasonable accommodation, please notify us at least two weeks in advance of the program so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Contact Continuing Education at 715-836-3636 / toll-free 866-893-2423, or use the Wisconsin Relay System (711). All requests are kept confidential.

An EEO/Affirmative Action employer, University of Wisconsin provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title IX and ADA requirements.

Cancellation Policy

Refund of credit fees due to withdrawal from class will follow the UW-Eau Claire refund policy. Please refer to Refund Policy. Contact UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education for assistance.

There are currently no upcoming dates for this program. To make sure you are notified when dates are scheduled, please join our mailing list.

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