Special Education Administration

About Our Program

Today’s special education programs are in dire need of effective and visionary leaders to move programs from separate entities to ones more inclusive with the rest of the student population.

Known across the nation and world as a leader in special education, the University of Northern Colorado offers a non-degree licensure program in special education administration. The license will give you the skills you need to become an administrator in local school districts and alternative facilities that serve students with disabilities.

The course of study is based on students’ prior experience and education. You will get a broad base in all areas of special education as you focus on five themes: effective leadership/management, strategic thinking, organizational change, collaborative partnerships and systems of accountability.


The non-degree licensure program in Special Education Administration provides for the initial preparation of special education administrators, and leads to a Colorado approved administrator license endorsed as a Director of Special Education K-12. Students must meet all UNC Graduate School requirements, possess a Masters degree in education or a special service provider field, and have demonstrated a minimum of two years successful experience in the field of education. The program combines graduate level course work in the areas of special education, special education administration, and educational leadership/policy studies. An individually designed externship in special education administration, with a licensed special education director, is required to demonstrate program competencies.


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  • All Directors of Special Education and Assistant Directors of Special Education employed by special education administrative units in Colorado are required to hold the Director of Special Education K-12 administrator license.
  • There is no required PLACE examination for program completers seeking the administrator license. The Colorado Department of Education requires an institutional recommendation from the University of Northern Colorado prior to issuing this license.
  • The program is fully accredited by the Colorado Department of Education (www.cde.state.co.us) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (www.ncate.org)