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Zach Smith



Master of Education

The M.Ed. Special Education program is designed for classroom teachers who hold elementary, secondary, or special education certification and wish to gain further expertise and/or become certified to teach children in Special Education classrooms.

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  • 100% Online
  • Program utilizes set courses to plan schedules ahead of time
  • Students may complete this 37-credit program in 22 months
  • Completion leads to M.Ed. with K-12 Special Education Generalist endorsement on an Idaho Teaching Certificate

About M.Ed., Special Education

NNU’s Master of Education degree in Special Education program is designed for classroom teachers who hold elementary, secondary, or special education certification and wish to gain further expertise and/or become certified to teach children in these classrooms. Additional training in aspects of regular education that are important to teaching students with exceptionalities is part of the program. The internship has two options: one option is for educators currently teaching in classroom for Special Education; and one option is for others who are not currently teaching Special Education. It is a fully online program which includes a practicum experience in teaching children with special needs.

degree details

Master of Education

Offered Online

$555 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. With additional requirements, there is also an option for an additional endorsement in Teacher Leader—Special Education. Individuals should check for specific requirements for certification in other states.

Designed to fit the schedule of a working professional, NNU’s M.Ed. in Special Education allows the educator to complete a master’s degree while teaching full time. The online program utilizes set courses which allow students to plan their schedules ahead of time. Degree completion takes approximately 18-22 months, including the nine-month internship.

Accessible professors and staff allow for support in each course. Your professors at NNU are educational leaders themselves and provide you with the knowledge 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 M.Ed. Special Education program.
    Satisfactorily complete EDUC7596IV Internship in Teaching Special Education.
    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 to obtain certifications and endorsements in Idaho. Current forms and information are available from the Idaho State Department of Education website. Candidates should check the Internet and other sources for specific requirements for certification in other states.

Students can choose to complete only the M.Ed. 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 bachelor’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 form from the candidate’s current building administrator.
    The three recommendations must be completed by three different individuals.
  • Online: Evidence of writing competency through an essay or paper from previous coursework.
Admission Requirements
Candidates must have the following:
  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the baccalaureate 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

EDUC8000 Graduate Education Orientation (0)
EDUC7536 Mental Health & Trauma Informed Care (3)
EDUC7538 Methods in Behavioral Intervention & Treatment (3)
EDUC7540 Research, Theory, and Intervention of Reading and Literacy Difficulties (3)
EDUC7548 Methods and Adaptations for Exceptional Learners (3)
EDUC7549 IEPs and Transition (3)
EDUC7555 Mixed Methods Research (3)
EDUC7556 Conceptual Statistics and Applications for Educators (3)
EDUC7568 Math Pedagogy and Intervention (3)
EDUC7573 Technology: Exceptional Child (3)
EDUC7576 Special Education Law (3)
EDUC7586 Assessment & Collaboration (3)
EDUC 7596IV Internship in Teaching Special Education (4) (For the K-12 Exceptional Child Generalist Endorsement)
EDUC7596IVB Internship in Teaching Special Education Portfolio Binder (0-1)

Total Minimum Semester Credits: 33 M.Ed. only; 37 M.Ed. 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.


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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Metropolitan and nonmetropolitan area occupational employment and wage estimates for the Boise area are sourced from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School

Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education

Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education

Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education

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