Online Master of Science in Education in Special Education — FAQs
A Good Education Starts With Questions
Please find answers to the most popular questions for the Online Special Education Licensure Only program asked by many of our new online students.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the focus of this program?
This program centers on mild intervention, high incidence disabilities such as learning disabilities, mild intellectual disability, emotional/behavior disability, and high functioning autism. You have the option to add a focus on intense intervention to complement your studies in mild intervention.
Will I be licensed to teach upon completion of this program?
This program is designed to prepare students for Indiana licensure. Indiana has reciprocity with 42 states. This means that 42 other states accept the Indiana qualifications and experience in the certification or licensure process. Please note that the list is subject to change; view more information about obtaining licensure in another state, including accessing an up-to-date list of states that have reciprocity with Indiana.
Students seeking licensure or certification outside of Indiana will need to work with those states for licensing requirements. Each state is different and may have different requirements, even with reciprocity. Purdue can complete an out of state form indicating program completion. The Purdue verification of program completion is one part of the license application process in other states.
Students can seek reciprocity licensure in Indiana. The IDOE would add it to the reciprocal license.
Do I have to be in Indiana to complete the practicum and student teaching requirements?
No, the practicum and student teaching requirements can be completed in another state and supervised electronically.
If I have specific questions is there someone available to assist who fully understands the Indiana licensure process?
Yes, Purdue offers licensing advisors who can assist you with specific licensure questions for Indiana licensure.
Individuals who seek licensure in other states will need to work with their state department of education to determine and fulfill its specific licensing requirements.
I am not interested in licensure, what are my options?
Individuals who do not want or need licensure can choose the non-licensure track program and complete an additional elective in place of the practicum and/or student teaching.
How long is the practicum?
The practicum is seven to eight weeks and fits into the normal program calendar.
How long is the student teaching experience and how does it affect graduation?
The student teaching experience is 16 weeks and must be completed AFTER successful completion of all course work and the practicum. The student teaching experience will extend the program by one semester.
Do I need to pass a background check to complete this program?
Individuals seeking licensure must be able to pass a background check in order to complete the practicum and/or student teaching. Every individual must have a valid, current criminal background check on file with certifiedbackground.com throughout his/her enrollment in the program.
What other requirements need to be met to obtain licensure?
Students must complete a Professionalism Agreement, present a valid and current criminal background check, a current CPR-Heimlich Maneuver-AED Certification and complete a suicide prevention training requirement (available through Purdue at no charge while enrolled; if not completed while enrolled, there is a fee).
In addition, students must have already completed a Basic Skills Competency Assessment option (CASA, SAT, ACT or GRE), content tests and a pedagogy test.
If you have already completed a Basic Skills Competency Assessment option, official score reports must be sent directly to Purdue from the testing company. There are no time limitations as to when tests were previously taken. (Please note that the CASA test must be specific to Indiana.)
Please visit the Indiana Department of Education website for a more information or the department of education in the state you are seeking licensure.
I am not a United States citizen, can I complete this program?
Citizenship is not required; however, an oath (speaking to the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Indiana) is required and applicants must have a social security number to obtain the “regular” license. Without a social security number, the Indiana Department of Education can only issue a visiting teacher permit.
Do licensing requirements ever change?
Yes, licensing requirements can change. For the most up to date information regarding licensure please visit the Indiana Department of Education’s website directly or contact one of our licensure advisors.
What course materials are required for this program?
The Online Special Education Program requires candidates to have a computer (laptop or desktop) that meets the minimum processor/software requirements in order to access and participate in the online program. In addition, candidates are required to have an iPad (with Apple Pen) that meets the programs minimum series/IOS. The iPad in conjunction with your computer will be used to develop the knowledge and skills need to integrate an array of technologies into the classroom, home, hospital, or other environment where individuals with disabilities can receive educational or other services according to the IEP. Given the iPad requirement, many of the require texts/readings will be available free to candidates. A list of required textbooks (not available for free) will be provided prior to beginning the program and is subject to change.
Will my diploma look different from the on-campus programs?
No. Both on-campus and online programs earn the same diploma. Online students are also invited to participate in the graduation ceremony on campus upon program completion.
How do online classes work?
Most coursework is asynchronous, meaning that there are not specific times that you need to be online. When you start the program, you will be given access to a virtual classroom interface. Your instructor will post coursework, syllabi, assignments, and messages every week. You will also use discussion boards, e-mail, and chat to communicate with your classmates and your instructor. You can log on and do your coursework at any time that is convenient for you, but you must turn in your assignments by the deadlines your instructor sets.
How much time should I allow for doing homework and completing assignments?
As in an on-campus program, you should plan on devoting about 15 to 20 hours a week to coursework, depending on your study habits.
What if I have a question about homework or need help with a technical issue?
The faculty and staff at Purdue are dedicated to your success at the University and in the future. Your instructor will set weekly times for one-on-one electronic consultations and will answer emails in a timely fashion. Technical support is available to help you handle hardware and software issues, and we have dedicated staff available to talk to you about financial aid, scheduling, or any other administrative issues.