10 Sped FAQ's

Below are some frequently asked questions about the 10 Sped program.  For other questions or concerns, please contact us here, or at 715-246-6555.

Q:   Is the 10 Sped Program approved by the Department of Public Instruction?

A:   The Educate-WI 10 Sped program is a DPI approved route to special education teacher certification. Participants who complete the program will be fully licensed in Cross Categorical or Early Childhood Special Education.

Q:  What can I expect as far as workload for the 10 Sped Program?

A:  You will complete approximately 20 assignments/papers over the first three semesters, as well as keeping up with online weekly discussions that take around 60 minutes a week.

Q:  Will I need to purchase any textbooks?

A:  The 10 Sped program may require books to be purchased and used in class.  These books are normally for a nominal amount and are practical and relevant to the 10 Sped certification areas.

Q:   How does the 10 Sped Program differ from a traditional graduate level educator  preparation program?

A:  10 Sped is an accelerated program with most participants completing in 18 months. Students are enrolled in a cohort (stay with the same classmates and instructor) for the first three semesters of program coursework. Classes are fully online and designed for full-time professionals who have a demanding schedule and family commitments. 

Q:  What areas will I be certified in when I  complete the program?

A:  Participants can choose either Early Childhood Special Education or Cross-Categorical Special Education.

Early Childhood Special Education candidates will be certified to teach special education children birth through grade 3.

Cross Categorical Special Education candidates will be certified to teach special education children grades K-12.

Q: How often does the cohort/class meet?

A: The cohort/class meets according to the calendar posted on the website.

Semester I
4 weekends of face-to-face classes (via Zoom) held on Friday night from 6:00 pm-9:00 pm and Saturday 8:00 am - 11:30a m.

Semester II
4 weekends of face-to-face classes (via Zoom) held on Friday night from 6:00 pm-9:00 pm and Saturday 8:00 am - 11:30 am.

Semester III
4 weekends of face-to-face classes (via Zoom) held on Friday night from 6:00 pm-9:00 pm and Saturday 8:00 am - 11:30 am.

Semester IV - Student Teaching
No class meetings. Students will participate in an online course and student teach in a district near them.  The student teaching placement follows the school district's  calendar for the fall/spring semester.

Attendance is required for the above 12 weekends over the course of one calendar year.

Q: Can I start at any semester to take classes in order?

A: A new cohort starts every semester (January through April, May through August and September through December) so classes are always taken in order.


Saint Mary's University of Minnesota FAQ


Q: How many graduate credits can I earn?

A: Semester I = 3 graduate credits

Semester II = 3 graduate credits

Semester III = 3  graduate credits

Semester IV - 3 graduate credits

Total = 12 graduate credits

Q: Can I obtain a Master's Degree?

A: The 10 Sped program partners with Saint Mary's University of Minnesota to offer graduate credit. A candidate earns 12 graduate credits while in the 10 Sped program. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota will automatically transfer those 12 credits to the 30 credit graduate program, so a 10 Sped participant can complete the 10 Sped program for special education certification and opt to continue on to earn a Master's Degree through Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.

For more information go to: Education, M.A. with Custom Specialization

Q: Is financial aid available?

A: Financial Aid is available for 10 Sped candidates through Saint Mary's University of Minnesota for semesters in which credits are earned (Semesters I, II,  III and IV).  Financial aid comes in the form of a student loan; grants are not available to graduate level students.

Q: Does financial aid from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota  go directly to 10 Sped for tuition fees?

A: The 10 Sped candidate receives the financial aid check from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota and then pays Educate-WI with a  check or credit card to pay for tuition. Students are wholly responsible for payment of program fees whether or not they choose to access financial aid.


Testing FAQ


Q: What tests are required to become a special education teacher?

In order to obtain a teaching license in Special Education, Wisconsin DPI requires proficiency in  content knowledge and the FoRT alternate assessment.  Please review each area below to understand how proficiency can be met:

Content Knowledge - Students must demonstrate proficiency in content knowledge related to their certification area(s). Proficiency can be demonstrated by either:

  • 3.0 GPA or higher in language arts, math, science, and social studies courses as demonstrated on official transcripts (courses not related to these subject areas will not be considered); or
  • Praxis II - Passing scores as established by the State Superintendent on content knowledge exams for certification in Early Childhood or Cross-Categorical Special Education. 
 Test Name
Test Number
Passing Score
 Praxis II
5146 Middle School: Content Knowledge (for CC certification)

5018 Elementary Education: Content Knowledge (for EC certification)
CC= Cross Categorical (ages 6-21)
EC= Early Childhood (age 0-8)


Foundations of Reading Test (FoRT) - The  FoRT alternate assessment is completed during the second semester of the  10 Sped program. 

Websites for Info

Praxis II-  https://www.ets.org/praxis/wi/test-takers/plan-your-test/certification.html

Timeline Info

Content Knowledge Proficiency/Praxis II- It is recommended that the Praxis be completed before student teaching (4th semester). Endorsement for licensure can not be completed until the content knowledge requirement is met. 

Foundation of Reading  (FORT) Alternate Assessment-  The FoRT alternate assessment is embedded in the Semester II coursework of the 10 Sped Program.


Student Teaching FAQ


Q: Can I student teach in the district I am working in?

A: Student teaching is a DPI requirement, so a candidate must student teach. If you are working on a 1-year license with stipulations in the subject area and age level you are getting certified in, student teaching can be set up on the job.  If already licensed, a determination will be made regarding the length of student teaching placement.

Q: How will I student teach  if I am not teaching under a 1-year license with stipulations in my subject area?

A: Students are required to student teach in their certification subject area. If you are on a 1-year license with stipulations that is NOT in your certification subject area, you will be unable to student teach in that role. In order to be eligible for a  license at the end of the program, you  must student teach in the certification subject area that matches  the license you are seeking.

Q: Can I student teach in the summer?

A: Unless the district is on a year-round calendar, student teaching is not allowed during the summer. Summer school and Extended School Year do not provide the same experiences for the 10 Sped candidate that a typical school year student teaching placement does.

Q: My school district is on Trimesters,  can I student teach for one trimester to meet the requirements?

A: No.  You must student teach full days for a full 18 weeks to meet the requirements.

Q: Can I student teach on the job while I work as an educational assistant/paraprofessional already employed in a district?

A: No. The student teaching experience assumes the candidate will experience the full range of teacher responsibilities.

Q: I have been hired to teach special education and am not yet licensed. How do I apply for a 1-year license with stipulations (emergency license)?

A: The 10 Sped candidate works with the employing district to complete the 1-year license with stipulations application. An administrator from the district signs the application for the 1-year license with stipulations and the candidate applies to DPI online.

Q: How long can I teach with an 1 year license with stipulations (emergency license)?

A: A 1-year license with stipulations can be renewed up to two times, for a total of three years. At that time, it is expected that the applicant will have completed a program and will apply for their initial teaching license.


Additional Special Education Licensure FAQ 

Below are some frequently asked questions about adding on a special education teaching license. For other questions or concerns, please contact us here, or at (715) 246-6555.

Q: Is the additional license program approved by the Department of Public Instruction?

A: The additional license program is a Wisconsin DPI approved route to add a certification to your special education licenses.  The additional licensure program includes a self-paced online workshop and a student teaching experience.

Q: Can I earn credits in the additional license program?

A: No credits can be earned through the student teaching semester in the additional licensure program.

Q: If I have a substitute license, should I apply to the additional license program?

A: If you have a substitute license, you will need to apply to our Project Teaching or 10 Sped program.

Q: I hold a non-special education license, can I enroll in this  program to obtain my special education license?

A: If you do not already hold a special education license, you would need to apply to our 10 Sped program.  

Q: I have already completed student teaching, do I need to complete it again?

A: Yes. Wisconsin DPI requires that the student demonstrate proficiency during a student  teaching experience for the new certification.

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