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A Bachelor's Degree in Special Education - Pursue this exciting new opportunity at Mayville State!

student_spec_ed.jpgMayville State University was given State Board of Higher Education approval to offer a Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) degree in special education in May of 2013. This is an exciting opportunity for students who wish to become teachers in North Dakota.

If you do not yet have a bachelor's degree, you can earn a double major with the Bachelor of Science in Education degree in Special Education online or on campus, and a major in early childhood education, elementary education, or secondary education. Students completing their early childhood education, elementary education, or secondary education majors through other universities may concurrently pursue the special education major at Mayville State entirely online.

A Need for Qualified Teachers 

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the discipline's professional organization, has acknowledged a "chronic and severe shortage of personnel to deliver special education services." The U.S. Department of Education approximated 50,000 individuals practicing special education who are unqualified. This negatively impacts the learning of more than one million students with disabilities. Mayville State's bachelor's level program meets entry-level expectations for special educators in the areas of standards-based curriculum content, subject matter content, and individualized pedagogical content.


Graduates of Mayville State's B.S.Ed. program in special education will be prepared to meet requirements of CEC Common Core of Knowledge and Skills, the Individualized General Education Curriculum, and Individualized Independence Curriculum or Early Childhood Special Education/Early Intervention, of the CEC, and endorsement standards for the state of North Dakota.

Career Options

Individuals with this degree will be equipped to work in a variety of career options. They might support people with disabilities in schools, or work in human service agencies, adult education, or community-home support. Students pursuing this degree will complete courses online and face-to-face in early childhood, elementary, or secondary special education. Students will be eligible to apply for early childhood, elementary, or secondary teaching licensure.

Transfer Students

Mayville State is working with community and technical colleges in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, Arizona, and Washington. Click here to see articulation agreements between Mayville State and a variety of community and technical colleges. Please note that these are provided for reference only. Actual transfer credit granted will vary.

Standalone/Fast-Track Option

The goal of the Special Education program is to prepare teacher candidates for entry to special education professional practice with knowledge and skills and skills to practice safely, ethically, and effectively with a mutlicatergorical population of students with special needs. Special education candidates must master appropriate core academic subject matter as well as be prepared for the complex challenges of teaching individuals with exceptional learning needs. The Special Education program seeks to prepare students to:

  • Apply specialized pedagogical knowledge subject matter content.

  • Master appropriate core academic subject matter content.

  • Demonstrate instructional strategies and assessments that are developmentally appropriate for diverse learners.

  • Observe, document, and analyze characteristics, behaviors, and learning environments of populations with special needs.

  • Demonstrate professional dispositions and ethical practice through collaborative interactions.

  • Apply effective verbal and non-verbal communication, multi-media, and using current technology skills in specialized settings.

The Special Education program is available completely online.

  • Classes are scheduled for summer, fall, or spring terms.

  • This unique online program allows licensed teachers to pursue Special Education licensure at the bachelor’s degree level.

  • This program supports a traditional 4-year degree, transfer students, and the possibility of receiving a bachelor’s degree in as little as 2.5 years.

  • This Fast-track option has been uniquely developed incorporating 8-week and 16-week courses.

BSED Special Education Factsheet (Standalone major option)


Pre-education requirements

Mayville State University’s nationally accredited education programs have been designed to meet the licensure/certification requirements in North Dakota and prepare students for licensure exams in North Dakota.

North Dakota is part of the National Association of Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate agreement.  Although most states accept our teacher education program graduates for licensure, licensure boards in each state are responsible for setting requirements for licensure/certification in their state. On-campus and online/distance students living in or moving to any state other than North Dakota should be aware of the unique requirements for that state. Students seeking to establish licensure outside the state of North Dakota are required to meet with an academic advisor prior to beginning any on-campus or online/distance academic program that would lead to licensure. It is important for all students to understand the licensure requirements in the state they intend to seek teacher licensure.

The Division of Education will provide all students with information about teacher education licensing in the state of North Dakota.  As well, a student’s academic advisor will provide information on the requirements of other states in which the student intends to seek licensure after the student completes the State Teacher Licensure Requirements form.

Online/Distance Programs that may lead to licensure/certification include, but are not limited to: Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, Special Education, English Education, Mathematics Education, and Master of Arts in Teaching.

On-Campus Programs that may lead to licensure/certification include, but are not limited to: Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, Special Education, and all Secondary Education programs (Mathematics, English, Physical Education, Health, Composite Science Education, Composite Social Science Education). 

Professional Licensure/Certification links and resources:

Teacher licensure requirements vary depending on state laws and may include several factors, such as:

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree program
  • Submission of transcripts
  • Completion and clearance of a background check
  • Passing of required state-specific entrance exams and basic skills tests
  • Application fee
  • Exam fees
  • Additional Coursework
  • Specialized trainings and certifications

The MSU Office of Extended Learning with the assistance of the MSU Division of Education has created a state list of requirements for teacher licensure in other states. Prospective students seeking licensure outside the state of North Dakota should contact either The Office of Extended Learning (Misti Wuori, misti.wuori@mayvillestate.edu) or the Division of Teacher Education to determine state licensure requirements.

Note: Individual state licensure requirements are subject to change anytime.

More Information

Want to learn more? Contact Mayville State advisor, Connie Kaldor at connie.kaldor@mayvillestate.edu.

Special Education Majors