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Our Director of Special Education License prepares you to best serve students with disabilities and their families. You’ll be ready for leadership in an administrative role as you build skills in problem solving, organizational management and communication, resource allocation, and other areas.


Online with Intensives

You'll complete coursework online, with 1 week of on-campus intensives each year.

Location: St. Paul

Start Dates: Summer 2017

*We have opportunities to start throughout the year. Please contact your Enrollment Counselor for more information.

Total Credits


Approximate Program Length

2 years


  • Historical, Cultural, and Philosophical Issues Impacting School Administration (EDUC800)

    Historical, cultural, and philosophical roots and trends that have contributed to educational practices today. Current and emerging roles of educational leaders in the establishment of policy and practice, both in the school and the community at large. Current prevailing cultural and philosophical "drivers" in students' educational settings.

    3 credits

  • Principles of Organizational Leadership (EDUC805)

    Theory and practice of leadership applied to educational settings. Organizational leadership theories and change theory with emphasis on their implementation in practical educational settings while incorporating a faith-informed worldview. Philosophical and values anchors, shared priorities and commitments, and vision through policy and program development.

    3 credits

  • Curriculum and Instructional Management and Student Development (EDUC810)

    Fundamentals of curriculum design, planning and implementation; trends, issues, forces, and ideas affecting curriculum. Synthesis of knowledge gained from curriculum and from professional experience. Cognitive and behavioral issues and theories of learning affecting student performance. Techniques for working with culturally and academically diverse student populations and for managing varied types of student behavior. Implications for staff development.

    3 credits

  • Technology in K-12 Education (EDUC815)

    Importance of technology in administrative and academic affairs. Computing competence for administrative functions and educational leadership. Administrative and academic computing applications and systems, district-wide networking, budgeting, and legal/moral issues to guide district policy. Hands-on experience, visiting prototype programs, and viewing students' work environments. Designing and conducting system-wide technology audits.

    3 credits

  • Leading in a Complex and Pluralistic Society (EDUC825)

    Identification and analysis of cultural identities and the role of culture in the formation of worldview. Cultural distinctions of subgroups and adapting educational programming to diverse stakeholders. Assessment and planning for a positive environment for students and staff members.

    3 credits

  • Administration of Essential Educational Programs (EDUC830)

    Audit of schools essential programs. Examination of valuable educational practices that successfully address the needs of students and staff. Development of specific plans for school environment that consists of student engagement, attention to safety, relationships, and creating a learning atmosphere where students and staff thrive. Application of a personal belief system and exploration of best practices.

    3 credits

  • Measurement and Assessment (EDUC835)

    Concepts and skills involved in employing descriptive statistics. Exploration of principles and practices involved in educational institutions assessment processes including their uses, misuses, and limitations. Investigation and discussion of ethical issues in assessment, factors that influence test performance, and issues found in current scholarly research.

    3 credits

  • Administrative Operations and Personnel Administration (EDUC840)

    Major categories and practical actions required to lead the operations of a modern school or district by building on the philosophical and contextual ideas from earlier courses or learners' experiences. Development of skills of organizational supervision and management, delegation of authority and accountability, internal and external administrative communications, politics in education, and public and media relations.

    3 credits

  • Administrators as Agents of Change (EDUC855)

    Development of visionary leadership capacity and skill for designing and sustaining meaningful educational change. Analysis of current trends in our world while considering their impact on education. Identification of a complex change initiative in context/setting and development of strategies for implementing signicant change.

    3 credits

  • Legal Issues in School Administration (EDUC860)

    Legal foundations of educational policy, statutory themes, and case law as they affect the needs of school administrators in daily responsibilities and practices. Legal basis for relationships among school districts and federal, state, and local government. Processes of dealing with legal issues and risks faced by academic institutions and administrators, including current issues in students work environments.

    3 credits

  • Resource Management in K-12 Education (EDUC865)

    Sources and expenditure of fiscal and other resources in education. Development of competencies include school board/administration resource planning and prioritizing, budgeting, and resource allocation and management. Analysis and critique of the structure and implementation of a district's budget.

    3 credits

  • Special Education Policy, Law, and Finance (EDUC875)

    Students will engage in discussion, activities, and reflection that prepare them as educational leaders to implement effective special education programs in local school districts. Primary objectives include assisting students in understanding special education policy, special education law, and special education finance and applying this learning in an educational leadership role.

    2 credits

  • Special Education Organization Management (EDUC876)

    Students will engage in discussion, activities, and reflection that prepare them as educational leaders to oversee and influence special education organization management. Primary objectives include assisting students in understanding roles that policy and procedures play in school district governance and administration, demonstrating knowledge of statutory regulations affecting special education governance, and understanding various special education administrative models utilized in Minnesota.

    2 credits

  • Director of Special Education Internship (EDUC889)

    School-based experience of at least 320 hours in 1 year; at least 40 hours at a special education administrative unit other than students primary experience. Jointly supervised by Bethel faculty member and onsite licensed and practicing director of special education. Direct experience in administrative duties; synthesis of learning between academic program and administrative needs of host district.

    3 credits

How is the license awarded?

The Director of Special Education License is awarded through the Minnesota Board of School Administrators after completing all required steps, including:

  • Director of Special Education Internship: A paid or unpaid school-based experience of at least 320 hours to be completed over 12 continuous months. Students are placed in their local area.
  • Electronic Portfolio: A portfolio demonstrating skills learned throughout the program through audio, video, and other forms of electronic documentation.
  • License Review Panel: A panel of practicing administrators and program directors reviews each student based on their eFolio, a presentation, and a question and answer session with the panel. A license application process is initiated for students who meet the standards. Students who do not meet the standards will work with their director and advisor to reinforce skills that need improvement.

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