Waynesburg University offers a masters in special education degree, as well as a certification in special education. Both outcomes are designed for professionals who already hold a teaching certificate and now desire to augment their expertise by working with students with special needs. Both the certification and the degree provide instruction regarding the nature of students with disabilities, factors that affect those students and techniques and strategies to guide those students to achieve their fullest academic potential.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education awards special education certification with a focus on either grades 4-8 or 7-12, depending on the undergrad major. More information is found under "Program Requirements."

Successful completion of the 30 credits indicated below garners the student the academic criteria needed for the addition of the special education certification to an existing teaching certificate.

Successful completion of an additional 6 credits (for 36 credits in total) includes the certification in special education as well as the formal master’s degree.

Programming is designed for the busy, working adult and offered in accelerated format every 8 weeks. The coursework includes face-to-face, hybrid and online classwork. Face-to-face classes meet once a week from 6 PM to 10 PM for 8 weeks. Additional work beyond time spent in the classroom is required. All coursework reflects a commitment to rigor and high standards of excellence.

Currently, all face-to-face courses meet at the Waynesburg University Center at Southpointe. Were interest generated by a commitment of a cohort of students of five or more for attendance at one of our other locations (Cranberry or Monroeville) for the duration of the certification or degree, the Director would consider offering the coursework at these additional WU locations.

Although some of the programming is fully online, the entire degree is comprised of 50% or fewer requirements online.

Field experiences are embedded into some coursework requirements. A “Practicum” is required that is similar to the experiences in “student teaching” but for a shorter duration.


Course IDDescriptionTimeCredit Hours
SPE 505 Teaching Students with High Incidence Disabilities 8 weeks 3.0
SPE 506 Teaching Students with Low Incidence Disabilities 8 weeks 3.0
SPE 507 Special Education Processes and Procedures 8 weeks 3.0
SPE 509 Content Area Instructional Strategies 8 weeks 3.0
SPE 516 Teaching Students with Behavior and Emotional Disabilities 8 weeks 3.0
SPE 517 Practicum 8 weeks 3.0
SPE 525 Autism Etiology and Characteristics 8 weeks 3.0
SPE 547 Teaching in the Inclusive Classroom 8 weeks 3.0
SPR 548 Advanced Special Education Processes, Procedures and Instructional Strategies 8 weeks 3.0
EDU 567 The English Language Learner 8 weeks 3.0
  30 Total Credit Hours
for Certification
Additional Courses Required for Masters:
EDU 599 Educational Research 8 weeks 3.0
SPE 508 Technology to Support Instruction 8 weeks 3.0
  36 Total Credit Hours for Degree

Program Requirements

In addition to the admissions requirements we require the student to meet the following criteria:

  • WU online application/Essay
  • 3.0 undergraduate grade point average
  • Two letters of recommendation. Forms are provided for this purpose
  • Current résumé
  • Current PA Teaching certificate
  • 6 undergraduates credits in mathematics, and 6 undergraduate credits in English composition (3 credits) and English literature (3 credits)
  • Current (no more than one year old) clearances for ACT 34 Criminal Record, ACT 151 Child Abuse Record, and FBI Federal Criminal History, negative TB test report

Existing Pennsylvania teacher certification in one of the following areas for 4-8 certification:

  • Elementary K-6
  • Early Childhood PreK-4
  • Elementary Middle 4-8
  • Reading Specialist

Existing Pennsylvania teacher certification in one of the following areas for 7-12 certification:

  • Secondary 7-12
  • Reading Specialist