10 Sped Program

Special Education License Areas

The 10 Sped program is a Wisconsin DPI approved alternative route to special education teacher certification. Students who successfully complete this licensed based equivalency program will be eligible for the following Wisconsin teaching certification:

  • Early Childhood Special Education (ages 0-8) and/or

  • Cross Categorical Special Education (ages 6-13, ages 10-21 or both age levels 6-21).
    • In addition to the Cross Categorical Special Education certification, students will also get an additional endorsement in one of the following concentration areas: Learning Disabilities, Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities, or Intellectual Disabilities.

St. Mary's University Partnership and Dual Enrollment

10 Sped partners with St. Mary's University of Minnesota (SMU) to offer graduate level courses. Embedded within the online 10 Sped Program application, students will be provided a link to apply to St. Mary's University. Upon submission of application materials to both 10 Sped and St. Mary's, students become dually enrolled.

The 10 Sped program meets the Wisconsin DPI special education teacher certification requirements and the partnership with St. Mary's University allows students to earn graduate credit and have access to financial aid. Official transcripts and financial aid disbursement are provided by St. Mary's.

Up to twelve graduate credits from the 10 Sped program can be transferred to St. Mary's University of Minnesota Master of Arts in Education - Wisconsin Program (32 credits).

Enrollment in the 10 Sped Program is contingent upon the student's acceptance and admission at St. Mary's University of Minnesota. 

Timeline to Complete

The 10 Sped program includes four semesters and takes approximately 18 months to complete. Each of the three semesters of coursework is four months long. Students attend 9-weekend sessions over the course of a calendar year. During the last semester of the program, students are required to student teach and follow the school district calendar during that semester (Fall or Spring).

Location of Classes

Semester courses are offered in a blended format which includes online and face-to-face components. The face-to-face portion of each semester is currently held in a centrally located technical college  to allow access to students from anywhere in the state. These are typically held in the Stevens Point area.  Sleeping rooms are not included in the price of tuition.

A minimum of  10 students is required for each cohort.

Program Structure

New cohorts begin each January, May and September. Application deadlines for each semester are December 1, April 1, and August  1  (respectively). See the class schedule for upcoming cohort dates.

Students are required to complete a 30 hour pre-student teaching requirement during  Semesters I, II and III before they will be allowed to student teach during Semester IV.

Semester I - EDWN 605 Special Education Law and Effective Practice is a 3 credit blended course which meets face to face during Sessions I, 2, an 3 on Fridays 6:30- 9:30 pm and Saturdays 8:00 am - 3:00 pm. 

It is recommended that the student complete 10 hours of the pre-student teaching requirement during Semester I.

Semester II- EDWN 606 Individual Development is a 3 credit blended course which meets face to face during Sessions 4, 5 and 6 on Fridays 6:30 - 9:30 pm and Saturdays 8:00 am -3:00 pm. It is recommended that students take the Foundations of Reading Test after attending Sessions 4 and 5, which includes reading development.

It is recommended that the student complete 10 hours of the pre-student teaching requirement during Semester II.

Semester III - EDWN 608 Academic and Behavior Management for the Child with Disabilities is a 3 credit blended course which meets face to face during sessions 7, 8 and 9 on Fridays 6:30 - 9:30 pm and Saturdays 8:00 am -3:00 pm.

It is recommended that the student complete 10 hours of the pre-student teaching requirement during Semester III. The  pre-student teaching must be completed by the end of Semester III.

Semester IV - EDWN 612 Student Teaching is a 3 credit practicum experience. Students choose up to 3 school districts where the student teaching will take place and our placement coordinator works with the districts in priority order to set up the placement. Student teaching occurs during the school year only (Fall or Spring) and follows the district calendar. Students who are working under a 1-year license with stipulations, may student teach on the job (as long as the age level is the same as the age level declared during admissions).

Application Deadline

The application deadlines are as follows:

January Start - Application deadline is December 1. All application materials AND enrollment fee MUST be received by that date or your program start date will be delayed until May.

May Start - Application deadline is April 1. All application materials AND enrollment fee MUST be received by that date or your program start will be delayed until September.

September Start  - Application deadline is August 1. All application materials AND enrollment MUST be received by that date or your program start will be delayed until January.

Financial Information

Financial Aid is available through our partnership with St. Mary's University. As part of the 10 Sped online application process, students must complete an application to St. Mary's University. On that application, students will select that they choose to enroll in St. Mary's University of Minnesota Master of Arts in Education - Wisconsin Program if they wish to apply for financial aid.  A student may opt to complete the St. Mary's Master's program at a later date. Students must complete an online FAFSA form and include the St. Mary's University Code 002380. When the financial aid is awarded from St. Mary's University, the student is issued a check directly from St. Mary's and must, in turn, pay eduCATE-WI for tuition in order to remain in good standing in the program.  Tuition is due on time to eduCATE-WI regardless of financial aid status.

Program Tuition (Subject to Change without Notice)

Enrollment Fee  $    500  - Due one month prior to the semester start

Semester I                  $3,400 - Tuition due on/before   the 15th of the second month of  Semester I

Semester II                $3,400 - Tuition  due on/before  the 15th of the second month of Semester II

Semester III             $3,400 - Tuition  due on/before the 15th of the second month of Semester III

Semester IV            $2,800 - Tuition  due on/before the 15th of the second month  of Semester IV/Student Teaching

NOTE: Tuition costs are the same for quarter (9 week) and semester (18 week) student teaching placements .               

 $150 administrative fee will be assessed for drops that occur before the first day of the semester. If the request to drop occurs after the first day of the semester occurs, no refund for that semester will be made.

Tuition includes 12 graduate credits from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota upon successful completion of each semester. St. Mary's will accept 12 graduate credits toward their 32 credit Master's Degree program.

Admissions Requirements

In order to be admitted to the 10 Sped Program, the following requirements must be met:

  1. A  Cover Letter which describes your interest in the program and becoming a special education teacher.
  2. A transcript that provides evidence that you hold a Bachelor's Degree (BA/BS), Juris Doctor Degree (JD), Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree (DDS) from an accredited college: or university or a foreign credential evaluation that verifies the equivalent to a BA/BS in the U.S. You will need to request that an official transcript, that includes the date your degree was conferred on, be sent by the University either through the mail or electronically through their parchment service to the 10 Sped Program in order for you to be admitted to the program.
  3. A Resume that includes verification of a current DPI license or permit as a teacher or a substitute teacher, or have been issued a DPI permit allowing you to teach in an area of high need. The license or substitute permit requirement may be appealed if you have worked or are working as an aide and hold the appropriate DPI license. Applicants who do not possess any pre K-12 DPI teaching license will be expected to provide evidence of 2 or more years of related child based experiences (Head Start, Certified Day Care, At-Risk tutoring, youth counseling, Juvenile Treatment facilities or other youth-oriented vocation). A minimum of 2 years of educationally relevant experiences. Experiences in a pre K-12 setting are preferred.   (This can include the 6 months of student teaching through the program)
    License or Permit Exceptions: The two-year experience requirement may be appealed if your degree was awarded after you spent at least two years on-the-job in your field of study. Please include the job experience on your resume and on the online application.
  4. Two Letters of Recommendation from employers/supervisors who can provide evidence to support your qualifications as a potential program participant assists are required.
  5. Students must be accepted at SMUMN to be admitted to this program. 

A   Criminal Background Check with no conviction or plea bargain for crimes which may impact school children and/or the maintenance of a safe and healthy school. The first criminal background checks will be conducted upon completion of the application process and prior to the first class meeting. The second criminal background check is conducted prior to student teaching.

Licensed Teachers

Provisional Educators (Tier II)  who have a license in an area other than special education AND  have not passed  the FoRT
Teachers who are adding a special education license to a general education teaching license and have not passed the Foundations of Reading Test are required to enroll in Semesters I, II and IV of the 10 Sped Program. Semester III (the edTPA preparation course)  is not required because the edTPA  is not required if you already have a teaching license.  The student teaching  requirement is  a  9-week placement (rather than 18 weeks required  for initial licenses). Provisional licensed students on this pathway will earn 6 graduate credits for two semesters of coursework (Semesters I and II) and 3 credits for student teaching  (Semester IV) for a total of 9 graduate credits. Refer to tuition information above to calculate program costs. This pathway can be completed in three semesters. Students must apply to the 10 Sped Program. Apply to 10 Sped                                            


Provisional Educators (Tier II)  who have passed   the FoRT; OR  teachers who have a Life or  Lifetime Educator License  (Tier III)  
Teachers  who have already passed the FoRT  or hold a Life of Lifetime license (in general education)  will  be required to enroll in Semesters I and IV of the 10 Sped Program. Students do not need to complete Semester II  (Foundations of Reading Test preparation course) or  Semester III (ed TPA preparation course). The student teaching requirement is a 9-week placement  (rather than   18 weeks for initial licenses).  Lifetime licensed students on this pathway will  earn 3  graduate credits for one semester of coursework (Semester I)   and 3 graduate credits for student teaching (Semester IV) for a total of 6 graduate credits. Refer to the tuition information above to calculate program costs. This pathway can be completed in two semesters.  Students must apply to the 10 Sped Program.Apply to 10 Sped                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    


Life OR Lifetime Educator License (Tier III)  in Special Education
Teachers who already have a Wisconsin Life or Lifetime  license in special education (Cross  Categorical Special Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Intellectual Disabilities, Specific Learning Disability, Emotional Behavioral Disabilities, Speech/Language Pathology, Deaf and Hard of Hearing , or Visually Impaired) and are adding a level or concentration (EBD, ID, or SLD)  can enroll  in an online/independent course  and student teach  for 9 weeks. Neither the edTPA or the Foundations of Reading Test (FoRT) is required.  Students must demonstrate content knowledge competency (either through minimum GPA or a passing Praxis II score). No graduate credits are available for this pathway. The pathway can be completed in two semesters. Students must apply to the  10 Sped edCert  program.Apply to EdCert                                                                                                                                                                                 
Start Date                                        Coursework Deadline                            Student Teaching 
January 5                                       February 15                                                  4th quarter
March 5                                           April 15                                                             1st quarter
 May 5                                                June 15                                                            1st quarter
 July 5                                                 August 15                                                      1st quarter
  September 5                                 October 15                                                     2nd quarter
 November 5                                  December 15                                               3rd quarter
Coursework is self-paced, however, students  may only begin on the  start dates listed about  and must meet coursework deadlines. Coursework and student teaching are graded pass/fail.                                                                         
The online coursework tuition is   $750  and student teaching is listed above under the Semester IV tuition .
NOTE: If coursework tuition is not received by the start date listed above,  the student has to  wait until the next start dated.   If the coursework is not submitted by the deadline  a failing grade will be issued.


How do I Apply?

If applying to the 10 Sped program, there is a two-step process to apply.. You must apply to both 10 Sped and St. Mary's University.

Step 1 - Create an account and complete the online application for the 10 Sped Program. (Apply Now for 10 Sped)

Step 2 - Complete the online application for St. Mary's University. ( St. Mary's University Online Application).

When your application has been accepted by St. Mary's University (SMU), you will receive an email from SMU that will include your SMU Student ID number. This verifies to 10 Sped that you have been accepted at SMU.

You will NOT need to register for courses through SMU - you will be automatically registered upon successful submission of your 10 Sped application.

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