News Story

College of Education offers dual certification

Office of Communications & Marketing | Northeastern State University
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- Northeastern State University is offering teacher candidates majoring in Special Education the opportunity to become qualified in Special Education and in Elementary Education with their new Dual Certification program.

The program incorporates newly developed courses that address Assistive Technology, Universal Design for Learning, collaboration, transition, Autism Spectrum Disorders and a variety of other issues and trends in Special Education. It is an eight-semester plan of study and all students must complete 45 hours of General Education courses prior to enrolling in the fifth semester, as well as have a minimum of a 2.75 grade point average.

The state of Oklahoma currently has a shortage of Special Education teachers. NSU’s new dual certification program addresses the issue and allows for teacher candidates to become marketable in Oklahoma’s school districts.

"The newly revised Special Education undergraduate program incorporates evidence-based strategies and interventions for students with disabilities,” said Dr. Lisa Tritschler, assistant professor and Program Chair of Special Education. “Teacher candidates who pursue a bachelor's degree in Special Education have the option to become highly qualified in Elementary Education. Teacher candidates are required to take and pass the Mild/Moderate Disabilities OSAT. However, since Elementary Education courses are embedded within the Special Education program and curriculum, this allows teacher candidates to take and pass the Elementary Education OSAT, enabling teacher candidates to become highly qualified in the area of Elementary Education.  The marketability of obtaining certifications in both Special Education (Mild/Moderate Disabilities) and Elementary Education will facilitate more job opportunities for teacher candidates post-graduation."

NSU’s Special Education degree is aligned with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) content areas for mild/moderate disabilities for Pre-K through 12th-grade classrooms. The certificate/degree is inclusive of all areas of Special Education for the mild/moderate level of severity, including Autism, and for elementary education certification so the graduates are prepared as highly qualified special education teachers.

The program was designed by Tritschler, Mrs. Wendy Pharr, assistant professor and Dr. Peggy Lisenbee, assistant professor and Department Chair of Curriculum and Instruction. For more information, contact Tritschler at 918-444-3717 or email her at

Published: 2/4/2014 1:40:56 PM

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