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Zach Smith



Education Specialist
The Ed.S. Special Education program is designed for classroom teachers who hold a master’s degree, traditional, special education or alternative teaching certifications, and who wish to become certified to teach children in these classrooms or to gain further expertise.
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  • Fully online program designed for working professionals
  • Trauma informed teaching focus infused throughout the program
  • Field experience and internship requirements can be fulfilled in your current workplace
  • Can be completed in fewer than two years

About Ed.S., Special Education

NNU’s Education Specialist degree in Special Education advances the academic preparation and teaching skills of experienced general education classroom teachers and teachers already teaching students with exceptionalities. This online degree is designed for educational professionals who have a master’s degree and are seeking either to gain certification to teach children in special education or who already hold special education certification and want to further hone their practice.

The Ed.S. Special Education program takes approximately 22 months to complete, including one semester of internship. The internship has two options: one option is for educators currently teaching in special education classrooms for special education and one option is for others who are not currently teaching Special Education.

degree details

Education Specialist

Offered Online

$565 per credit, $150 per semester technology fee

Program Design

Completion of this program qualifies the graduate for recommendation to the State of Idaho for a K-12 Special Education Generalist Endorsement. Designed to fit the schedule of a working professional, NNU’s Ed.S. in Educational Leadership allows you to complete the degree while teaching full-time. The online program utilizes a sequence of set courses which allows you to plan your schedule ahead of time. Courses in this program are fully online but may have synchronous video class sessions. You are encouraged to attend these sessions as they are available. Usually, archived sessions will be available for review.

Accessible professors, who are educational leaders themselves, will support you throughout the program and provide you with the preparation you need to succeed.

To be recommended to the State of Idaho for a K-12 Special Education Generalist Endorsement on an Idaho Teaching Certificate, candidates must:

  • Successfully complete the Ed.S. Special Education program
  • Satisfactorily complete EDUC7596IV Internship in Teaching Special Education (4)
  • Earn a passing score on the required PRAXIS II tests for special education

It is the candidate’s responsibility to submit the appropriate paperwork and fees to the Idaho State Department of Education for obtaining certifications and endorsements in Idaho. Current forms and information are available from the ISDE website. Please check for specific requirements for certification in other states.

Students can choose to complete only the Ed.S. degree without the K-12 Special Education Generalist Endorsement. The degree-only option does not have an internship and does not lead to a K-12 Special Education Generalist Endorsement.

Application Requirements
The following requirements must be received by Admissions a minimum of one week before classes start and are online, mailed or emailed as indicated. Recommendation forms and essay guidelines are available online within the application portal.

For mail:

Northwest Nazarene University
Attention Graduate Admissions
623 University Boulevard
Nampa, ID 83686

For email: gps@nnu.edu

  • Online: Application and $50 non-refundable application fee
  • Mail or email from a digital service such as Parchment or the National Student Clearinghouse: Official transcripts from a regionally accredited institution(s) where the applicant received a master’s degree
  • Email or mail: A copy of the applicant’s teaching certificate
  • Online: Two online recommendation forms completed by professional colleagues
  • Online: One supervisor evaluation from the applicant’s current building administrator
    (The two recommendations and one supervisor evaluation must be completed by three different individuals.)
  • Online: Evidence of writing competency, preferably from a research paper or other document completed during master’s courses
Admission Requirements
Candidates must have the following:

  • A master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the master’s program
  • Certification/Licensure as a classroom teacher, school counselor or school psychologist based on a recommendation from a state-approved higher education preparation program
  • Approval by the Graduate Education Admissions Committee
Program Start Dates
Classes begin every 8 weeks and new students may join throughout the year.
Required Courses
EDUC 8000 Orientation – Graduate Education (0)
EDUC 7536 Mental Health and Trauma Informed Care (3)
EDUC 7538 Methods in Behavior Intervention and Treatment (3)
EDUC 7540 Research, Theory, and Intervention of Reading and Literacy Difficulties (3)
EDUC 7548 Methods and Adaptations for Exceptional Learners (3)
EDUC 7549 IEPs and Transition (3)
EDUC 7555 Mixed Methods Research (3)
EDUC 7556 Conceptual Statistics and Applications for Educators (3)
EDUC 7568 Math Pedagogy and Intervention (3)
EDUC 7573 Technology: Special Education (3)
EDUC 7576 Special Education Law (3)
EDUC 7586 Assessment and Collaboration (3)
EDUC 7596IV Internship/Exceptional Child (4) (For the K-12 Exceptional Child Generalist Endorsement)
EDUC 7596IVB Internship in Teaching Special Education Portfolio Binder (0-1)
Elective (3)

Total Minimum Semester Credits: 36 Ed.S. only; 40 Ed.S. and K-12 Exceptional Child Generalist Endorsement

Notice Out-of-State Students

Since this is a program that leads to professional licensure, prospective students should review important information about NNU’s participation in the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and Professional Licensure about this program. Individual states often have different expectations for professional licensure; so it is in a prospective student’s best interest to investigate whether NNU’s degree program will help them achieve licensure in their home state.


Notice Out-of-State Students

Northwest Nazarene University’s College of Education meets the requirements for accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).



Northwest Nazarene University received the 2023-2024 Colleges of Distinction Award in Education.

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