10Sped 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 10-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

Courses are offered in a blended format which includes online and face-to-face components. The face-to-face portion of each semester is held at a centrally located college and a southern Wisconsin hotel/college to allow access to students from anywhere in the state. These are typically held in the Stevens Point and Madison areas.  Sleeping rooms are not included in the price of tuition.

Each cohort must have at least 10 students to run the 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.

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, 3 and 4 on Fridays 6:30- 9:30 pm and Saturdays 8:00 am - 3:00 pm.

Semester II- EDWN 606 Individual Development is a 3 credit blended course which meets face to face during Sessions 5, 6 and 7 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 after attending Sessions 5 and 6 which includes reading development.

Semester III - EDWN 608 Academic and Behavior Management for the Child with Disabilities is a 3 credit blended course which meets face to face over during sessions 8, 9 and 10 on Fridays 6:30 - 9:30 pm and Saturdays 8:00 am -3:00 pm.

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 an emergency permit/license, 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.  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.

Program Fees (Subject to Change without Notice)

  • Enrollment Fee -$ 500 (due one month prior to the semester start date)
  • Semester I-$ 3,400 - Payment due by the 15th of the month following the start of Semester I.
  • Semester II- $ 3,400 - Payment due by the 15th of the month following the start of Semester II.
  • Semester III- $ 3,400 - Payment due by the 15th of the month following the start of Semester III.
  • Student Teaching- $2,200 - Payment due by the 15th of the month following the start of Semester IV
  • A $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.

Fees include 12 graduate credits from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota awarded upon successful completion of each semester & payment in full. 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 10Sped 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 emergency 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 preK-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 preK-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.

How do I Apply?

There is a two-step process to apply for the 10 Sped Program. 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. You will need to enter your SMU Student ID number into your 10 Sped Account. 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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