- 15-Month Online M.S., Special Education
- Licensing FAQ
- Mission and Vision
How will you benefit from a program of study in special education? Our innovative and accelerated Master's of Science in Education program concentration in special education will provide you with answers about how to successfully reach and teach preK-12 students who are at-risk for poor achievement, have disabilities, or need to learn in a different way. Graduates of the program are prepared to assume positions as special education teachers, inclusion teachers, co-teachers, case managers, behavior specialists, interventionists, and in some states, diagnosticians.
The online program, designed for practicing teachers and career changers, results in a Master's of Science in Education degree and may also lead to teacher licensure or other professional credentials in special education. Indiana teachers who graduate from the program are eligible for licensure in Exceptional Needs - Mild Intervention upon successful completion of the appropriate Praxis. Teachers from other states should consult with their state's department of education to determine requirements for special education credentials.
Teaching is a difficult but extremely rewarding profession. One person can make a huge impact in the lives of students. The path to expanding your power as a teacher begins here at Purdue Calumet in our nationally accredited special education program. This site is designed to answer questions you may have about entering the online program; the content and structure of the program; the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed by contemporary special educators; and requirements for graduation.
Advisor for Special Education
Dr. Suzanne Beike, Chair, Special Education
Gyte Annex X-104
Please use the above information for inquiring about our Indiana licensure program in Exceptional Needs - Intense Intervention, as well as becoming a Director of Special Education.
Purdue University Calumet's School of Education is fully accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Our programs received particular praise from NCATE examiners for the faculty and staff's commitment to diversity, including students with special needs.
Online Accelerated Master of Science in Education, Special Education
Student Handbook and Orientation
Coming soon! Our program is very new, so please check back here for important updates. You may also wish to consult the program coordinator, Dr. Suzanne Beike.
The approved master's program for Special Education is a maximum of 30 semester hours of prescribed graduate credit. The program consists of 10 courses that are three credit hours each. Courses are five weeks long with one or more weeks (at winter break) in between sessions. The entire program may be completed within 15 months. The online format and practical course assignments are ideal for working adults.
Course titles are listed below, and you may begin your program in the Fall or Spring semester.
Integrating Students with Special Needs (EDPS 59100)
Identification, Evaluation, and Assessment of Individuals with Exceptionalities (EDPS 56300)
Special Education Law (EDPS 66400-01)
Problems in Literacy Acquisition: Evaluation and Instruction (EDCI 59100)
Autism Spectrum Disorders (EDPS 59000)
Intervention Strategies and Research I and II (EDPS 56500)
Applied Behavior Analysis for Teachers (EDPS 59100)
Seminar in Special Education: Collaboration (EDPS 66400)
Internship (EDPS 59000)
Indiana Educator Licensing FAQ
Transition to Teach
Transition to Teach (T2T) programs are designed for career changers who have previously completed bachelor's degrees in content majors related to a secondary teaching field, such as English or mathematics. The program's purpose is to provide training to career changers in a shorter span of time than a traditional program typically takes. These programs are most appropriate for those who already have a foundation of experiences in a P-12 or similar educational setting. They focus on the last four semesters of a professional education program, primarily on teaching methodology and student teaching. Each program consists of 18 credit hours of professional coursework.
In accordance with the Indiana Professional Standards Board rules, Purdue University Calumet offers several Transition to Teach (T2T) programs. Purdue University Calumet participates in a consortium with other area universities so that all programs offered collectively by those institutions have a transition to teach component. Purdue University Calumet offers Secondary programs in Mathematics, Life Science (Biology), Physical Science (Chemistry and Physics), Chemistry, Physics, English, Spanish, and French. Other consortium universities, specifically Indiana University Northwest and Valparaiso University, offer the Transition to Teach Program for Elementary Education and Secondary Social Studies.
Link to additional Transition to Teach (T2T) information-
*Please contact Michelle Rogowski at 219-989-2360 to schedule an appointment with our Education Advisor, Michelle Ellis, to discuss our Transition to Teach Program
If you already have an undergraduate degree and are interested in becoming a teacher, you may qualify for one of our two alternative licensure routes: (1) the Transition to Teach program or the Licensure Only option. Please complete the following surveys to learn the options for which you qualify.
Transition to Teach Qualification Survey: https://purdue.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_23GnYkntTqxcODr
Licensure Only Qualification Survey: https://purdue.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_5ASPlGSeXM9p35X
*Please contact Michelle Rogowski at 219-989-2360 to schedule an appointment with our Education Advisor, Michelle Ellis, to discuss our Alternative Licensure Program.
Note: Alternative licensure requires at least 2 years to complete Education courses
Helpful Links and Quick Answers
- Renewing an Indiana Educator License: http://www.doe.in.gov/student-services/licensing/renewing-indiana-educator-license
- CPR Requirement Information
- Link to LVIS Portal-(Licensing Verification System)
- Current Educators Info Link
- “How To” for Current Educators
- How to apply for an Initial Indiana Educator License?
- Who must participate in IMAP?
- My license is from Out-of-State, but I want to teach in Indiana. What do I do?
- How do I add content to my license?
- What can I teach with my Indiana license?
- Special Education Directors License: Please contact Dr. Pam Frampton at email@example.com
We envision graduates of our program as masterful educators who have passion for what they do; are highly skilled in improving the performance of students with mild to moderate learning and behavior issues; are adept at collaborating and consulting with families and others in the service delivery process; and who function successfully across the continuum of educational settings.
We are dedicated to providing you with a high quality program that will make this vision a reality. The program is framed by the mission of Purdue University Calumet's School of Education, the general standards of the Graduate Studies in Education Department, and the Council for Exceptional Children's Code of Ethics and Standards for Professional Practice for Special Educators.
The mission of Purdue University Calumet's School of Education, in collaboration with other professional educators and agencies, is to prepare and support education professionals and related specialists who:
- apply the appropriate knowledge, dispositions, and performances in developing diverse approaches to educational strategies that are constructive, consistent and reflective of sound practice;
- are prepared to use current research, knowledge, and technology to empower the people they serve;
- are sensitive and responsive to the unique needs of themselves, of others, and of the diverse society in which they practice;
- are advocates for and models of quality education and lifelong learning.
The School faculty is committed to providing the human and technological resources to enable students and themselves to develop as educational professionals in constructing knowledge, developing practice, and fostering relationships.
"Constructing knowledge" refers to the process by which individuals make meaning of professional information and develop personal theories about teaching, learning and human development. Individuals construct knowledge through structured educational activities and life experiences.
"Developing practice" refers to both the process by which education professionals improve how they do their job as well as to the process of developing and growing as reflective professional practitioners.
"Fostering relationships" refers to the development of those dispositions necessary to create mutually beneficial connections among people and educational institutions and organizations.
Department of Graduate Studies in Education Standards
Each program in the School of Education has its own set of professional standards. In addition, the Graduate Studies in Education Department implements a set of general standards that all candidates are required to attain.
GSE 1: Instructional Uses of
“The graduate understands the central concepts related to educational technology, and can effectively and appropriately implement this technology into classroom preparation and instruction”
GSE 2: Individuals with Special Needs
“The graduate understands various learning and physical disabilities, how these may be manifested in learning situations, and how to adapt instruction to ensure success for all individuals.”
GSE 3: Diversity
“The graduate understands the nature of diversity in the human community, how cultural and gender differences can affect learning, and how to create a learning environment that protects the individuality and dignity of all learners.”
GSE 4: Communication
“The graduate uses knowledge of appropriate verbal, nonverbal, and written communication in preparing instructional materials and can effectively communicate with all stakeholders within the professional community.”
GSE 5: Educational Research
“The graduate understands current trends in educational research and can critically examine this research in relationship to his/her profession.”
GSE 6: Community Collaboration
“The graduate understands the dynamics of educational, geographic, and/or school communities; can effectively participate within these communities; and fosters an environment that respects all individuals.”
GSE 7: Content Knowledge
"The graduate understands that professional decisions must be made based on a thorough knowledge foundation that includes theories, skills, organizational structures and cultures, societal needs, legal foundations, learning theory, research techniques, and many others. This solid knowledge base will result in a decision-making process that is reasoned, accurate, and competent."
The Council for Exceptional Children's Code of Ethics and Standards for Professional Practice for Special Educators
The Special Education program courses and outcomes adhere to the latest version of the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) Standards for Professional Practice for Special Educators, Initial Content Standards. View these standards and learn more about CEC and teacher preparation in What Every Special Educator Must Know: The International Standards for the Preparation and Certification of Special Education Teachers, 6th edition (pdf). See page 1 of document for the Code of Ethics and page 47 for the Initial Content Standards.
To learn more about special education and the latest issues in the field, visit the website of the Council for Exceptional Children at www.cec.sped.org.
Suzanne Beike, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Suzanne Beike is the Chair of Graduate Special Education. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Roanoke College, a master’s in special education from Valparaiso University, and a doctorate in special education from Purdue University. Before joining Purdue University Calumet in 2003, Suzanne was a service provider and program coordinator for a children's psychiatric hospital for 11 years, a social worker for children's protective services in Virginia for three years, and a preschool through middle school multicategorical special education teacher for 13 years. Her areas of research focus on how interest affects reading for students with reading and attention problems and motivational styles of these populations. She is the coordinator of the Response to Intervention certificate program at Purdue University Calumet, and is certified to teach online through the Quality Matters initiative at Purdue Calumet.
Rita Brusca-Vega, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Rita Brusca-Vega is a former classroom special education teacher of middle and high school students with mild disabilities. She received her bachelor's degree with a double major in elementary and special education and her master's degree in special education with a concentration in behavior disorders from Northeastern Illinois University. Her doctoral degree is in special education from Northern Illinois University with a concentration in severe disabilities. Rita has been the recipient of numerous federal grants for training special educators, including those who serve English language learners with disabilities and students with intense intervention needs. One of her most recent grants was the implementation of co-teaching in science classrooms at Scott School in Hammond. Her research and service interests include co-teaching and inclusion. She teaches courses on assessment, collaboration, and autism spectrum disorders at PUC, and is certified to teach online through the Quality Matters initiative at Purdue Calumet.
Sharon Duncan, Ed.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor Sharon Duncan completed her doctorate in the Disability and Equity in Education program at National-Louis University, master's in school administration and special education at Lewis University, and bachelor's in elementary education and learning disabilities at Saint Xavier University. She was a special education teacher for 16 years and an assistant principal of a school serving students with disabilities for six years. Sharon provides training in goal writing and curriculum implementation to Illinois schools and supports special educators and care givers in the Dominican Republic. She is the Director of Abide in Me, a charitable organization that assists individuals with disabilities in leading engaged lives. At Purdue Calumet, Sharon teaches intense intervention licensure program courses. Her research interests include literacy for students with significant intellectual disabilities, models of disability, transition practices, and family stories.
Associate Professor Tom Mihail's 43-year career includes 10 years as a teacher, seven years as the Executive Director and Family Counselor of an early childhood special education program, and 26 years as a professor. He earned his Ph.D. in special education from Saint Louis University, M.S. in special education from Indiana University at South Bend, and B.S. in education from Indiana University. Tom received the 1999 Hammond, Indiana Mayor's Commission on Disabilities Award, the 1997 Purdue University Calumet Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Illinois Department of Human Services 1993 Inservice Leadership Award for Team Development and Peer Training. He created websites devoted to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Nelson Mandela; The Holocaust; Myths and Facts About Supported Inclusive Education; and the School of Education Diversity Committee. He also maintains 10 human services resources websites, including Disabilities.
How to Apply to the Online Master of Science - Special Education - Program
Admission (Gate 1)
This is a cohort program, with a new group of candidates admitted to a cohort in either the spring or fall semester each year. Due dates are December 15 (spring) and July 15 (fall). If you have missed a deadline, please be sure to contact the program chair.
To be formally admitted to the program, candidates are expected to:
- The program is open to current teachers and others with a bachelor’s degree and experience or interest in working with youngsters with special needs. You also must have a B average in previous related coursework (candidates with a 2.7-2.99 may be admitted on a probationary status);
- Provide three letters of recommendation from appropriate sources including professors familiar with the candidate's work or people in a supervisory role such as administrators, program coordinators, mentor teachers, and supervising teachers (peers, colleagues and friends are not appropriate sources);
- Provide a written statement addressing reasons for pursuing graduate studies (which serves to reflect dispositions and as a writing sample) and sign the Graduate Studies in Education Department (GSE) dispositional policy;
- Be currently employed in an education setting or have access to K-12 students in an education setting.
Retention (Gate 2)
In order to continue in the program after admission, candidates must meet the following requirements, which are evaluated at the halfway point of each candidate's program (i.e., after completion of five courses):
- Maintain a minimum 3.0 (B) grade point average (GPA) (grades of D will not be counted toward program completion);
- Maintain a minimum 1.75-2.0 average e-portfolio score (3=exemplary; 2=competent; 1=developing; 0=unacceptable);
- Maintain good standing on GSE dispositions.
Completion of Program (Gate 3)
To receive a master's degree, the candidate must meet the following requirements:
- Successfully complete all required coursework;
- Successfully complete supervised teaching or internship in special education;
- Achieve a minimum 3.0 (B) GPA;
- Achieve a minimum 2.0 average e-portfolio score, providing evidence of professional performance on criteria associated with GSE and Council for Exceptional Children standards;
- Complete a summative Plan of Study approved by the Graduate School;
- Display good standing on GSE dispositions.
For more information, including tuition schedules, please consult the Degrees@PurdueCal website.
1. Complete online masters application: http://webs.purduecal.edu/gradschool/degree-seeking-admissions/
- Submit through online application:
Three Letters of Recommendation (click to expand)
- Acceptable References
- Someone who has supervised your professional skills/ experience
- Professors who are familiar with your academic skills
- People with whom you have completed related work
- Counselors who have supervised your work experiences I an appropriate counseling setting
- Unacceptable References
- Personal contact (e.g., dentist, family members)
Administration Goal Statement(click to expand)
As part of the admissions process, the candidate needs to answer the questions on this supplement. Please answer these questions in place of the Statement of Purpose on the online application.
Please provide the following:
- Full Legal Name
- Current Mailing Address
- Home Phone Number
- School Business Phone Number
- E-mail Address
- Current Employer and Position
- Social Security Number
Please describe the main factors that prompted you to pursue a Master’s degree in Special Education.
2. Submit two official transcripts from ALL colleges/universities, both undergrad and graduate, as well as two copies of your valid teaching license.
Mailed or delivered to:
Suzanne Beike, Assistant Professor of Special Education Area Chair
PUC Graduate Studies in Education
GYTE Annex 104
2200 169th Street
Hammond, IN 46323
3. Follow-up with Graduate Studies in Education Office by calling 219-989-2326 or emailing GSEfirstname.lastname@example.org
4. Once the application process is complete the candidate will receive an email notification of their acceptance.
*Note: The Dispositions policy is being revised; please refer to the above link in the meantime, and watch this site for updates.
What Is a Professional Portfolio?
Faculty at Purdue University Calumet believe that principals, teachers, instructional designers, and other performance improvement specialists must be able to demonstrate their competencies, skills, and dispositions (attitudes) through a collection of artifacts organized into a professional portfolio. In addition to artifacts, reflection narratives must be included in which the candidate writes about how he/she demonstrated a particular standard through professional experience. Each course in the PUC program provides an opportunity for the candidate to create at least one portfolio entry. By the time the candidate is ready to graduate, he/she has a complete professional portfolio.
What Are the Benefits of a Professional Portfolio?
It is the intent of the PUC Special Education program to provide candidates with many opportunities to reflect on their professional experiences and set goals for their future development. Portfolios provide one avenue for this reflective growth. A professional portfolio can benefit candidates by:
- encouraging professional pride by providing a place to organize and display an individual's accomplishments;
- providing a personally meaningful account of knowledge and skills;
- serving as a professional resource throughout the education program;
- providing strategies for implementing portfolios for future licensure/certification;
- encouraging reflection on professional and personal development;
- providing a means for clearly communicating professional and personal assets;
- providing a concrete reference for use during job interviews and applications to advanced degree programs.
What is the conceptual framework of the professional portfolio?
The professional portfolio is designed so that it directly links with the conceptual framework adopted by the School of Education. This framework guides all of the School of Education's programs, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and reflects the themes of creating knowledge, developing practice, and fostering relationships.
The conceptual framework was used as the guiding document when preparing standards for each of the School of Education's programs. These standards are to be directly linked to candidates' performance in their portfolios. Standards have been developed that reflect (a) general core knowledge (General Standards) for all graduate students, and (b) individual Program Area Standards (also known as content standards). ALL education graduate students are expected to demonstrate that they have met the following General Standards:
- Instructional Uses of Technology (practice)
- Individuals with Special Needs (practice)
- Diversity (practice)
- Written Communication (practice)
- Educational Research (theory)
- Community Collaboration (relationship)
- Content knowledge (theory and practice)
In addition, standards have been adopted for each program area including Special Education. The Council for Exceptional Children's Initial Content Standards for Special Education Teachers address:
- Development and Characteristics of Learners
- Individual Learning Differences
- Instructional Strategies
- Learning Environment and Social Interactions
- Instructional Planning
- Professional and Ethical Practice
Graduate candidates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in their program area in addition to the GSE general standards. For example, a candidate in Special Education would include artifacts and reflections that show proficiency of the the CEC Initial Content Standards and of the GSE general standards in the context of the School of Education's conceptual framework.
TaskStream: Your Electronic Portfolio
To aid in the assessment of our program and provide you with a venue for demonstrating your attainment of the standards and showcasing your work, the Graduate Studies in Education Department has adopted an electronic portfolio system that is being implemented in TaskStream. There is a one-time charge of $69.00 for use of this system for two years.
Obtaining a TaskStream Account
You will be required to purchase a two-year subscription to TaskStream in the amount of $69.00. After two years you will need to renew your account by purchasing another two-year subscription.
Activating Your TaskStream Account
The first thing you will need to do is create a TaskStream subscription. Go to the TaskStream web site and click the "Create or Renew Account" link.
- Step 1: Activate Subscription
- Select Create
- Continue Option 1
- Step 2: General Information
- Select College/University and Continue
- Select Indiana
- Select College/University
- Select Purdue University System: Purdue University Calumet
- Step 3: Personal Information
- School of Education
- Select Graduate Studies in Education
- Select Program (Administration, Counseling, Instructional Technology, or Special Education)
- Select Student
- Subscription information:
- Select 2 year account for $69
- General Information
- Input your information and select Student Role
- Select Tool Pakcs (optional - NOT required)
- Selet Yes or No
- End-User Agreement
- Select Accept and Continue
- Step 4: Confirmation Registration Information
- Review and Continue
- Step 5: Confirm Subscription Period
- Proceed to Checkout
- Step 6: Billing Information
- Input information as needed and click Continue
- After Purchasing: Email Virginia Rhodes(email@example.com) to assign you to the correct Gate
- Please specify your name, and the name of your program (Administration, Counseling, Instructional Technology, or Special Education)
Need additional help? Dial 1-800-311-5656 to contact TaskStream's Helpdesk.
You must submit work from selected Special Education courses to TaskStream each semester for review. The artifacts (assignments) you submit from each course are assessed according to the course-specific rubric in TaskStream. The rubric will address the specific graduate standards aligned with each course's content and expectations. You must demonstrate competency on each criteria, and may not be allowed to proceed in the program if you receive too many developing or unacceptable ratings.
The TaskStream assignment is a major course and program requirement. Failure to complete the entry can mean failure to meet course requirements. Therefore, if the entry is not completed by the end of each course, you will receive an F for that course.
In addition to the course-specific portfolio, your TaskStream account will also allow you to create a separate presentation portfolio that you can share with potential employers or others to whom you wish to display your work. What a great way to highlight your skills to future employers! Training opportunities for creating such a portfolio will be offered online through TaskStream. There are also online tutorials to assist you in downloading your artifacts into TaskStream. It is a very simple process; very much like attaching a document to an email. You are encouraged to save electronic or hard copies of all notable assignments or other work you complete for possible inclusion in a presentation portfolio.
IMPORTANT NOTE: TaskStream submissions are due when the instructor tells you, but they must be completed prior to grade assignment. If assignments are not in before the end of the last week of class, you will receive an F for the course.
The TaskStream website is https://www.taskstream.com/pub/
Phone or email at 1.800.311.5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forms - Special Education
Required forms for program progression may be found by clicking the links to the left.
Note that some files are in the PDF format; to view them, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.
Application to the Program - Intense Interventions
Practicum (EDPS 56600) or Internship (EDPS 59000): Submit a printed application to the Chair of Special Education 60 days prior to the beginning of the semester.