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Special Education

The University of Central Missouri has been a leader in the field of special education since the 1960s. Accredited by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), our programs have earned a reputation for training passionate, accomplished and effective educators. 

UCM Special Education program graduates are highly sought-after and enjoy a 100% employment rate within six months of graduation. We train you to not only improve learning outcomes but also to be an effective advocate for school- and district-level support for students with exceptionalities.

Special Education offers multiple undergraduate and graduate program options

  • Cross Categorical Disabilities: Learn how to connect with, support and teach K–12 learners with a range of developmental disabilities. You’ll gain insights into how individuals’ learning processes differ and be well-prepared to lead your own classroom.
  • Autism and Severe Disabilities: The only program of its kind in the state, this degree program will train you to educate and support K–12 learners with severe developmental disabilities.
  • Early Childhood Special Education: Qualify to teach PK–3 in Missouri classrooms and provide center-based or at-home early interventions for children up to age 3 through Missouri’s First Steps program.
  • K–12 Special Education Leadership: Get the training and confidence you need to step into leadership roles for all levels of special education programs. You can keep your focus broad with a General Special Education concentration or specialize in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

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100% post-graduation employment rate

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Accredited by CAEP

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Tradition of excellence since 1960s

CEC accreditation logo

Accredited by CEC

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Commitment to mentorship and support

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Affordable, respected degree programs

Find your Special Education future at UCM

UCM Special Education programs provide you with a strong network of peer, faculty and alumni support. The connections you make will propel your professional growth for years — long beyond your time on campus. 

Our programs offer hands-on learning experiences, as well as rich opportunities for connection. When you graduate from UCM, you’ll have the confidence and skills to build a successful career in Special Education: 

  • Engage with peers: Join UCM’s Student Council of Exceptional Children (SCEC) for opportunities to work in the community with individuals with exceptionalities, gaining professional experience and growing your network.
  • Gain real-world experience: UCM’s Special Education programs emphasize experiential learning. As you acquire new knowledge and skills, put them into practice in a variety of classrooms and other learning environments with the support of our expert faculty.
  • Connect with the community: Teaching learners with exceptionalities often involves working within a complex network of support. Gain experience collaborating with other educators, service providers and learners’ families through a range of field work opportunities.


What can you do with a degree in one of UCM’s Special Education programs?

The demand for educators with special education competency is very strong in school districts across the country. Your career potential is extraordinary with a degree from UCM’s respected and accredited Special Education programs. 

We’ll train you to connect with and empower learners who have a range of needs and abilities. Some of the environments in which you’ll be qualified to support individuals with exceptionalities include:

  • Public schools
  • State-operated schools for students with developmental disabilities
  • Hospitals
  • Daycare centers
  • Vocational settings
  • Residential facilities


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