Special Education Director Certification

Please contact Martha Wayne, Academic Advisor, martha.wayne@williamwoods.edu, or 573-592-4380 if you have any questions.

This message explains the route available for students in William Woods University's Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) program that wish to earn Missouri certification as a Special Education Director (K-12)

Required Courses

There are three courses needed in addition to the Specialist - Administration program of study to meet course requirements for Missouri Special Education Director certification.

Those courses at William Woods are:

  • EDU 537 - Special Education Administration
  • EDU 538 - Leadership and Management of Instructional Curricula in Special Education Programs
  • EDU 591 - Special Education Field Experience

This group of courses is referred to as "directorship courses" elsewhere in this message. Each course is three credits. You would also need to pass the state's building-level administrator's examination and hold teaching certification in an area of special education or student services for the university to recommend you to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for Special Education Director certification.

Schedule of Course Sections

The administration and curriculum courses are taught online twice a year and are eight weeks long. The schedule of upcoming sections of these courses is available on our website.

Field Experience Requirements

The building-level field experience course referred to in this section is:

  • EDU 591  -  Special Education Director Field Experience

You are required to take the building-level field experience course after finishing the field experience course in your specialist program (EDU 697) and after finishing the Special Education administration and curriculum courses.

The primary reason for this timing of the field experience is that you will be meeting Missouri's other building-level certification requirements through the rest of the specialist program's courses, the administration course and the curriculum course. The field experience is designed to be the conclusion of that certification sequence. We encourage you to take the ISLLC exam after your field experience so that you will have addressed all of the competencies before you take the examination.

WWU students may log hours toward one field experience at a time.   You may log hours toward building-level certification after the final course in the specialist sequence, EDU 697, ends. You may begin logging building-level hours before then if you have been approved to do so by the Graduate Education office. Contact your Academic Advisor for details about this process.

The offices of the Registrar and of the Dean of Education coordinate to schedule sections of the building-level field experience. Sections of these courses do not start in June or July because of the general lack of applicable building-level field experience opportunities during those months. These courses do not meet face-to-face. You will be contacted by one of the university's regional program coordinators, who will work with you during your field experience.

The university is incorporating recommendations made by DESE in late 2012 regarding administrative field experience hours. Specialist students or graduates who begin logging field experience hours at the building level (principal or special education director) before July 1, 2013 will need to complete 120 field experience hours to be recommended for their initial building-level certification.

Specialist students or graduates who begin logging field experience hours at the building level (principal or special education director) after July 1, 2013 will need to complete 300 field experience hours to be recommended for their initial building-level certification.

How to Enroll

If you wish to register for special education director courses, please contract your Academic Advisor identifying the location and dates and your request will be sent to the Registrar's office.

Financial Aid Information

Under WWU's implementation of federal financial aid guidelines, you will need to complete at least nine credit hours (credits) every 18 weeks that courses are scheduled to be a full-time student for aid purposes.   Each 18-week block is called a "payment period" and there are two payment periods in each 36-week aid calendar year.   You will also need to complete 18 credits each aid calendar year for full-time aid eligibility.

Please note when you select dates for your principalship courses that courses that begin in one payment period and end in another are not eligible for aid. Michelle Payne, our financial aid coordinator, can provide additional information concerning financial aid. She may be reached at mpayne@williamwoods.edu or at 573-592-4215.

Please contact me if you have any questions.


Martha Wayne

Academic Advisor

William Woods University