Skip to Main Navigation | Skip to Content



Educational Leadership and Human Development

Lovinger Building, Room 4101
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4341
Office Manager: Barb Hicks





Special Education

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL MISSOURI SPECIAL EDUCATION

The special education programs at the University of Central Missouri are truly among the best higher education values in the entire United States. Read further and you will be convinced that UCM should be your school of choice.     

A LONG PROUD HISTORY

The University of Central Missouri was founded in 1870 as one of Missouri’s first teacher preparation institutions. Its motto “Education For Service” continues to be embraced by faculty and graduates more than 130 years after its founding, and UCM produces professional educators that are second to none. The Special Education programs at UCM began in the late 1960’s, and the graduates of the program are highly sought after for their, knowledge, skills, and professional expertise in working with individuals with special needs in a variety of settings and capacities. The dawn of the 21st Century has seen the UCM Special Education Programs continue to grow with the on-going development of state-of-the-art facilities, library, course offerings, and on-line delivery of instruction. The addition of the UCM Summit Center, located in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, has made all of UCM’s educational programs readily accessible to those who live in or near the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Online delivery of courses through the Black Board Instructional platform opens quality distance learning opportunities to people world-wide.

WHO ARE SPECIAL EDUCATORS AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

Special Educators are highly trained professionals who provide specifically designed instruction and services to children and youth with disabilities. They are:

-creative problem solvers
-masters of learning styles and teaching strategies
-team players|
-lifelong learners
-prepared to meet the challenges of their profession with confidence and enthusiasm

WHERE DO SPECIAL EDUCATORS WORK?

Special education teachers work in a variety of settings, including public schools, state-operated schools for students with developmental disabilities, hospitals, daycare centers, vocational settings, residential facilities, and other settings where individuals with special needs require expert assistance and support. In today’s school settings, individuals with special needs are increasingly being educated with typically-developing peers rather than in isolated or segregated settings. Special educators are doing their best to make all individuals, regardless of needs, part of the mainstream framework of living and learning in local communities and schools.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK

The need for highly qualified special education teachers is increasing as never before. The last two decades has been a period of critical shortage of special education teachers across the United States. It is estimated that the United States will need an additional 15,000 teachers per year over the next several years to meet the needs of the ever-growing population of special needs children entering America’s schools. Anyone pursuing a career in this area of professional preparation will have little difficulty finding rewarding employment after graduation.

WHY CHOOSE THE UNIVERISTY OF CENTRAL MISSOURI SPECIAL EDUCATION?

The University of Central Missouri offers an array of programs that will meet the needs of just about anyone considering entering the special education profession. The undergraduate degree and certification programs allow the successful candidate to graduate in FOUR years with a Bachelors of Science in Education degree in the following areas:

  • Early Childhood Special Education (Birth-Grade 3).
  • Mild/Moderate Cross-Categorical Special Education (K-12). This includes the specialization areas of Intellectual Impairments, Learning Disabilities, Emotional Disturbance, and Other Health Impaired.
  • Severe Developmental Disabilities (B-12).

A major in Elementary Education (grades 1-6) with a Special Education Minor in Cross-Categorical Special Education is also available and can be easily completed in the four-year program of study.

Masters of Science in Education Degree.

This advanced degree program prepares the candidate for leadership positions in the field of education and is tailored to the needs of the candidate in his or her current or future professional goals.

Coupled with course work in School Administration, the MSE program can allow the candidate to obtain both licensure as Building Administrator and Special Education Director simultaneously.

All of the Special Education programs at UCM, both undergraduate and graduate, are fully accredited by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The three undergraduate certification programs, including, Early Childhood Special Education, Mild/Moderate Cross-Categorical, and Severe Developmental Disabilities have earned the highest rating of Nationally Recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children, the largest professional organization for special educators in the world.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT WHEN YOU COME TO CENTRAL

You will receive a world-class education in a personalized program at UCM. Upper-division courses generally have 12-20 students per class, and you will have a faculty advisor who knows you and YOUR needs. All of your instructors will have terminal degrees and substantial experience working with special needs children in a variety of settings. Your instructors are nationally and internationally recognized for their contributions to their profession and they will become your mentors and role models. Field experiences are embedded in your courses from the very first course in Special Education, providing you with hands-on experiences from the beginning to the end of your degree program.