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2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Graduate Education

Dean: Collins; Associate Dean: King

Leadership and Learning: Chair: Shinsky; Professors: Armstrong, King, Mack, Sowa-Wojciakowski; Associate Professors: Alston, Busman, Chelbo, Cooper, Geisel, Hipp, Margulus, McCrea, Patterson, Schiller; Assistant Professors: Bultsma, DeFrance, Fahrenbruck, Gu, Diarrassouba, Smith, Stearns, Stolle, Storey, Worst; Instructors: Clay, Cleveland, Helzer, Hill, Gregels, Judge, Kalee, Kaletka, Kamps, Melin, Page, Remenap, Schultz, Shelton, Spencer, Starkweather. Joint Appointment: Coffey.

Special Education, Foundations, and Technology: Chair: P. Lancaster; Professors: Cross, Grant; Associate Professors: Abramson, D. Bair, Carson, S. Lancaster, Lubic, Mader, Miller, Fisher, Topper, S. Williams, Wilson; Assistant Professors: M. Bair, Clark, Hanks, Harris, Perhamus, Schelling, Subramony, O. Williams; Instructors; Barneveld, Helder, Koning, Stockton.



Teaching, leading, and learning in a democratic society.


Believing that schools function as social and political entities as well as for the growth of individuals, the College of Education and Community Innovation prepares teachers and leaders a) to enhance the academic and personal potential of their students, and b) to evaluate the social and ethical implications of educational policies and practices


The College of Education and Community Innovation values expertise to guide our practice, equity to guide our interactions, liberal education to guide our perspectives, and social responsibility to guide our commitment to democratic education. We value these ideals in our preparation of candidates, our development of faculty, and our relationships with the larger community we serve.

Graduate Studies in Education

The College of Education and Community Innovation offers the Master of Education degree (M.Ed.), Michigan Provisional Certification, Michigan Professional Certification, School Counseling license and endorsement, programs leading to certificate renewals, certificate endorsements, special education approvals, and professional development.

The major function for the graduate program is to create opportunities for professional renewal and development. The graduate program attempts to increase knowledge and understanding of the learning process and the repertoire of teaching methods and skills.


Graduate admission requires:

  1. All students seeking degree, endorsement, approval, license, or certificate change at the graduate level must be formally admitted to graduate study.
  2. A maximum of six graduate credits earned prior to graduate admission may apply to degree requirements.

In addition to the requirements listed in the Admissions section of the catalog, applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher calculated on the last 60 credits of undergraduate work taken from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants must submit an application, and three professional or academic recommendations on designated forms. Students are encouraged to identify their desired emphasis area with application submission.

Applicants with less than a 3.0 GPA calculated on the last 60 credits of undergraduate work may meet alternate criteria for admission, such as a prior master's degree from a regionally accredited institution, acceptable test scores on the GRE General Test, maintain a 3.0 GPA within the first six credit hours of graduate coursework, or a final appeal to the department chair with faculty support.

Academic Policies

All students seeking a degree, certification, additional endorsement, special education approval, school counseling license or a change in certification status must establish a planned program of professional study with a graduate advisor that specifies program objectives, competencies, and course requirements. Degree candidates must complete the degree within eight years from the first course used for the master's program. A maximum of nine credits may be transferred toward the degree from other institutions. A maximum of six credits earned under nondegree-seeking status may be applied to the degree. Applicants for degree, endorsement, or approval must maintain a 3.0 GPA. Endorsement, approval, and professional certification programs require that at least half the credits be earned at Grand Valley. Due to stringent requirements being set forth by the State of Michigan Department of Education, students pursuing initial certification, first or second renewal of their provisional certification, additional endorsement, school counseling license, professional or administrator certification are now being held to a higher standard. Students who have certain misdemeanors, multiple misdemeanors or a felony may be denied and/or not recommended for any level of certification by GVSU College of Education and Community Innovation and/or State of Michigan. If a student is recommended to the Michigan Department of Education for provisional certification, additional endorsement, school counseling license, professional or administrator certification, the conviction could have an adverse effect on being granted a certificate. If a certificate is granted, there is no guarantee of employability.


Students who graduate from the Grand Valley State University undergraduate special education program may apply for a full-year paid teaching internship in special education. In addition to completing the required coursework, students must pass the Michigan Subject Area Test, and maintain a 3.0 GPA to receive the K-12 endorsement in learning disabilities. Interns may apply the credit hours generated from this internship to the learning disabilities master's degree program.

Because it is necessary to limit the numbers of students in this program and because paid teaching internship positions must be arranged in the public schools, students must be nominated by the Grand Valley faculty to be accepted as intern teachers. Students must pay tuition and fees for this.

Requirements for a Certificate

Certification, endorsement, approval, and emphasis programs
Programs are also available in the following areas:

  1. Michigan provisional certification
  2. Michigan Professional Certification
  3. Early childhood, elementary, middle level, and secondary endorsement
  4. Reading endorsement: Elementary K-8, secondary 6-12, reading specialist K-12
  5. English as a second language: Elementary K-8, secondary 6-12, and K-12
  6. Library media endorsement: K-12
  7. Special education endorsement K-12: Learning disabilities, emotional impairment, and cognitive impairment
  8. School counseling: License and endorsement
  9. Subject area majors and minors, usually at the undergraduate level
  10. Special education approval: Directors and supervisors

Program Location

Programs are offered at the L.V. Eberhard Center on Pew Grand Rapids Campus in Grand Rapids, MI.

Program Requirements

The following programs are available:

If you are in need of assistance please submit any questions or comments.