Online Master of Science in Education in Special Education — FAQs

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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?

    Purdue's Online Special Education Program focuses on mild intervention, high incidence disabilities such as learning disabilities, mild intellectual disability, emotional/behavior disability, and high functioning autism. Candidates do have the option to add a focus on intense intervention (moderate to significant intellectual disabilities, medical and physical impairments as well as chronic illness) to complement your studies in mild intervention.

  • Will I be licensed to teach upon completion of this program?
    This program is designed to prepare candidates for Indiana licensure. As such, candidates completing the Initial or Additional Licensure Program will earn an Indiana Licensure and a Masters Degree. Given Indiana's reciprocity with 42 additional states, it is possible that your state will accept your Indiana Teaching License based on the qualifications and required clinical experience(s). Please note, reciprocity is subject to change at anytime. 
    Individuals seeking licensure outside of the State of Indiana will need to work with their individual state to check for reciprocity and if they may have additional licensing requirements.  Individuals desiring a Masters Only will NOT be eligible for a license in special education in the State of Indiana.
  • Do I have to be in Indiana to complete the practicum and student teaching requirements?

    No. Practicum and Student Teaching requirements can be completed outside of Indiana and are supervised electronically. It is strongly encouraged candidates are employed or seek employment as a special educator (on an alternative/provisional/emergency licensure) or para-professional in effort to expedite the placement(s) opportunities as well as provide candidates with much needed experiences while completing the program. 

  • If I have specific questions is there someone available to assist who fully understands the Indiana licensure process?
    Yes. Purdue's Office of Teacher Education and Licensure (OTEL) has expert advisors to assist you regarding Indiana licensure.
    Individuals seeking licensure outside of the State of Indiana will need to work with their State Department of Education to determine if Indiana licensure fulfills the licensure requirements within that State. Yes, Purdue offers licensing advisors who can assist you with specific licensure questions for Indiana licensure.
    Office of Professional Preparation & Licensure
    Purdue University College of Education
    Main Office: 765-494-2345
    Fax: 765-494-0587
    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 not seeking licensure can choose the Non-Licensure Track (Master's Only) Program. The MS Only program does not require Clinical Practice Experiences and will NOT lead to licensure.

  • How long is the practicum?

    Clinical Practice I (Practicum) can range from 8 to 16 weeks and is only offered during the Fall and Spring semesters. Practicum cannot be offered in the Summer.

  • How long is the student teaching experience and how does it affect graduation?

    Clinical Practice II (Student Teaching) is a 16 week experience and is only offered during the Fall and Spring semesters. Student Teaching cannot be offered in the Summer.

  • Do I need to pass a background check to complete this program?

    All students in the Online Special Education Program are required to complete a CBC on an ANNUAL basis while enrolled in the program.  Purdue uses Castlebranch to conduct all CBCs.

  • What other requirements need to be met to obtain licensure?

    All students must complete a Professionalism Agreement and present a valid criminal background check. Candidates seeking licensure will eventually obtain CPR-Heimlich Maneuver-AED Certification, complete a suicide prevention training (available through Purdue at no charge while enrolled. If this is not completed while enrolled, there will be a fee), state content and pedagogy tests. Please Note: Licensure requirements are subject to change. Please check with the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) or Purdue's Office of Teacher Education and Licensure (OTEL) if you have any questions.

  • I am not a United States citizen, can I complete this program?

    Candidates who are not US citizens can complete the Master's Only. If you believe you have a special case, you can contact the Program Coordinator.

  • Do licensing requirements ever change?

    Yes. Licensure requirements are subject to change. Please check with the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) or Purdue's Office of Teacher Education and Licensure (OTEL) if you have any questions.

  • 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 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 technologies into the classroom, home, hospital, or other environment where individuals with disabilities can receive educational 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.

  • Does this Online Program accept transfer credits?

    It depends on when the credits were taken and the content covered within the course. Professional Standards and Practices change over time and were updated in 2020. Courses not aligned with CEC 2020 Standards may not be accepts. Please submit transfer request prior to beginning the program, as transfer credit will NOT be considered after the student has begun his/her program.

  • Are Clinical Practices (practicum and/or student teaching) required for this program?

    Masters Only - does NOT require any clinical practice experience as it does NOT lead to licensure in the State of Indiana.

    Additional Licensure in Special Education - DOES require practicum experiences at both the elementary and secondary level. The Program Coordinator will meet with you to develop these individual experiences.

    Initial Licensure in Special Education - DOES require both practicum and student teaching experiences. The Program Coordinator will meet with you to develop these individual experiences.

What’s It Like to Learn Online?

  • 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.

Learn More About This Program

Do you have more questions about the Online Special Education Licensure Only program?

Get answers: request more information or call 877-497-5851 to speak to an admissions advisor.