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Education, Educational Leadership M.Ed. - Special Education Administration emphasis

The Master of Education in Educational Leadership - Emphasis Special Education Administration program prepares graduates to work in K-12 settings as building level administrators and as district level administrators on behalf of students with disabilities, birth to 26 years of age.

Visit the program website for more information.

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Faculty Have Practitioner Experience

Each faculty member is an experienced education practitioner.

Accredited by CEC

Accredited by the Council for Exceptional Children

Faculty Have Doctoral Degrees

Eighty percent of GVSU education faculty possess a doctoral degree.

Program Overview

The Master of Education in Educational Leadership - Emphasis Special Education Administration program is known for its comprehensive approach to preparing students for leadership positions in both general and special education administration.

This includes preparation in general education supervision and evaluation, supervision of curriculum and instruction, special education law, special education finance, personnel administration, and school and community relationships. Students complete field practicum experiences in both general and special education administration.

Why Study Educational Leadership at Grand Valley?

  • The program opens up a number of career opportunities for professional educators: program completion results in eligibility for both general and special education administrator certification.
  • Courses are taught by faculty members who are leaders in their fields, with years of administrative experience in the P-12 system.
  • The program is designed with educators working full-time in mind with flexible scheduling of classes offered evenings, weekends, and during the summer.
  • Full approval by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
  • Program faculty and advisors are readily available to prospective students, current students, and students who have completed the program.


Grand Valley State University's College of Education and Community Innovation is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association (NCA). The faculty are leaders in their fields, melding together the philosophy of education and your needs as a practitioner.

Location & Format

Hybrid program that requires 3 face-to-face meetings per semester. This program is available in Grand Rapids. Traverse City, and Detroit.



All Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs require a minimum of 33 semester hours. To receive the M.Ed degree in educational leadership with an emphasis in special education administration, students must complete the College of Education and Community Innovation foundations requirements plus special education emphasis requirements for a minimum of 45 credit hours.

Career Options

  • P-12 teaching
  • School administration
  • Special education supervisor
  • College level professional and administrative positions

Aside from an M.Ed. degree, other education programs are available. Visit for details.

Application Deadline

Deadline for fall semester is July 15; winter, November 15; spring/summer, March 15. Early application is strongly encouraged to secure course enrollment. Those applications received after the deadline will be considered on an individual basis and program availability. Late applicants should contact program director Cindi Smith, [email protected] The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if you have previously applied to GVSU.

Admission Requirements

  • The Education programs have rolling admissions deadlines to ensure maximum flexibility for our applicants
  • Up to 9 credit hours can be transferred from other institutions (many institutions only allow up to 6 transfer credits)
  • Enrollment begins in mid-March for the following academic year to give students additional time to plan
  • GVSU allows you up to 8 years to complete your graduate program (more time than most other institutions)
  • You must submit an official transcript from your baccalaureate degree granting institution


Visit the Education page for criteria and procedures.

For More Information

College of Education and Community Innovation
401 Fulton Street West, Building C
[email protected]
(616) 331-6650
Program Contact: Cindi Smith, Ph.D., [email protected]

Graduate Admissions and Recruitment Office

Program Director

Cindi Smith, Ph.D.
(616) 331-6604



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