Master of Education in Leadership with an emphasis in Special Education Administration

Interested in this program? Apply now or contact the College of Education's Student Information and Services Center for additional information at 616-331-6650 or

The Special Education Administration program is known for its comprehensive approach to preparing individuals for the many facets of special education administration including leadership theory and research, programs and services, law, finance, curriculum and instruction, and personnel. Upon program completion, students are eligible for supervisor and director approval and a basic K-12 administrator certificate. Program curriculum is aligned with the content standards promulgated by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) for special education administrators (CEC, 2009): Standard 1 - Leadership and Policy, Standard 2 - Program Development and Organization, Standard 3 - Research & Inquiry, Standard 4 - Individual and Program Evaluation, Standard 5 - Professional Development and Ethical Practice, and Standard 6 - Collaboration.

Students holding a Master's degree before program entry may choose to complete an approval program. The following courses listed in the program requirements below are not required in the approval program: EDF 671 or 672, ED 660, ED 693 or 695.

Council for Exceptional Children. (2009).  What every special educator must know: Ethics, standard, and guidelines (6th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.

Program Requirements Back to top

Social Foundation Courses. Select One (3 credits):

  • EDF 671 Educational Policy and Practice
  • EDF 672 Social and Cultural Foundations of Education

Research Foundation Course (Prerequisite to ED 693/695) (3 credits):

  • EDF 660 Education Inquiry and Evaluation

Emphasis Area (24 credits):

  • EDL 650 Foundations of Special Education Administration
  • EDL 651 Administration in Special Education Programs and Services
  • EDL 652 Curriculum and Instruction Leadership in Special Education Administration
  • EDL 653 Special Education Law
  • EDL 654 Special Education Finance
  • EDL 668 Personnel Administration
  • EDL 677 School and Community Relationships

Choose One:

  • EDL 667 Elementary Supervision and Evaluation
  • EDL 671 Secondary Supervision and Evaluation

Field Experience. K-12 Administrator (Take before EDL 687) (Application form required. Apply in advance.)  (12 credits):

  • EDL 685 A K-12 Principal
  • EDL 685 B Special Education Supervisor
  • EDL 685 C Special Education Director
  • EDL 687 Administrative Internship

Capstone (Application form required. Apply in advance. Advisor approval required) (3 credits) (Select One):

  • ED 693 Master's Project
  • ED 695 Master's Thesis

Application deadlines (Practicum/Thesis/Project):  February 15 for spring/summer, May 15 for fall, September 15 for winter semester.

Courses Back to top