The EdS Degree Special Education is designed for certified teachers with a master's degree who seek a leadership role as a Director of Special Education. Emphasis is on the administrator as an instructional leader as well as a servant leader. Ethical decision making, creative problem solving, and professional growth are other areas of emphasis.

This program leads to an Education Specialist degree with an endorsement on an Idaho Administrator Certificate as a Director of Special Education. Individuals should check for specific requirements for certification in other states.

This degree is offered in a blend of online and face-to-face classes. Distance students can take any face-to-face class virtually through real-time videoconferencing. 


  1. Must have a master's degree in Exceptional Child, Educational Leadership, or an equivalent field as determined by the program director. 
  2. Must gain admission as a Graduate Education student.
  3. Courses to be determined by the program director (may require more than 31 credits)

Required Courses for EdS Degree Special Education

M.Ed. in Exceptional Child completed

COUN7545 Counseling with Parents of Children with Exceptionalities (3)
EDUC 7511 The Learning Process OR EDUC 7533 Curriculum & Assessment (3)
EDUC 7575 Legal/Financial Issues in Education (3)
EDUC 7581 Instructional Supervision/Leadership (3)
EDUC 7585 Adm Human Resources (3)
EDUC 7595G Practicum in Special Education and Related Services (4)
EDUC 7596III  Internship/Principalship (7)
EDUC 7598D Seminar: Special Educaion Policies and Procedures (2)
EDUC 8677 Research (3)

Total Credits 31

M.Ed. in Educational Leadership completed

COUN7545 Counseling with Parents of Children with Exceptionalities (3)
EDUC 7534 Intensive Behavioral Interventions (2) 
EDUC 7540 Research, Theory, and Intervention of Reading Difficulties (3) 
EDUC 7548 Methods and Adaptation for Exceptional Learners (3) 
EDUC 7549 IEP's and Transition (3) 
EDUC 7573 Technology: Exceptional Child (2) 
EDUC 7586 Assessment and Collaboration (2) 
EDUC 7595G Practicum in Special Education and Related Services (4)
EDUC 7598D Seminar: Special Educaion Policies and Procedures (2)
EDUC 8677 Research (3)
EDUC7xxx Elective (3) (to be determine in consultation with program director)

Total Credits 30

Learn more in the NNU Catalog

Course Descriptions

Exceptional Child Degree Completed

EDUC 7511. The Learning Process (3 credits)

Examination of accepted theories and current research in learning behavior. Also explores the unique styles of learning and recent studies in brain function and behavior as they relate to the learning process.

EDUC 7533. Curriculum and Assessment (3 credits)

This course explores historical, philosophical, and contemporary issues of curriculum design, including concept-based curriculum. Students explore sound assessment practices and learn to promote the effective use of assessment as a teaching tool. Students develop and analyze curriculum, including assessment components.

EDUC 7575. Legal and Financial Issues in Education (3 credits)

An overview of constitutional and state legal expectations of the schools, both public and private, and basic principles of school finance.

EDUC 7581. Instructional Supervision and Leadership (3 credits)

A discussion of the educator as an instructional leader and supervisory systems the leader can implement to improve instruction.

EDUC 7585. Administering Human Resources (3 credits)

The role of the administrator in working with people. Shared decision-making, conflict management, goal setting, development of human potential, evaluation, and selection. Legal expectations including negotiations, contracting, and policy development.

EDUC 7596 III. Internship/Principalship (7credits)

A full year part-time supervised internship in a school setting concurrent with scheduled class sessions.

Ed Leadership Degree Completed

EDUC 7534. Intensive Behavioral Interventions (3 credits)

This course includes an overview of specific interventions strategies and their connection to behavior change procedures. The student learns how and where to find recent developments to remain current in this field of practice. The student is responsible to have a culminating portfolio that demonstrates the competencies taught. In order for the student to receive the IBI Interventionist Certificate, the student will be required to take the IBI Certification test.

EDUC 7540. Research, Theory, and Intervention of Reading Difficulties (3 credits)

An in-depth exploration of how children learn to read and why some fail, the structure of the language and its convergence with reading, and explicit research-based methods for assessing and teaching students with reading disabilities. Includes a practicum in which the student will design and implement a focused intervention sequence to improve the reading proficiency of a struggling reader. Prerequisites: Successful completion of the Idaho Comprehensive Literacy Course, earn a passing score on the Idaho Comprehensive Literacy Assessment, or instructor approval. 

EDUC 7548. Methods and Adaptations of Exceptional Learners (3 credits)

Design effective instructional strategies and adapt and implement curricula for students with mild or moderate exceptionalities. Strategies learned are appropriate for inclusive and pullout programs at both the elementary and secondary levels. Content includes methods for teaching language arts, mathematics, and content specific courses.

EDUC 7549. IEPs and Transition (3 credits)

Design, implement, and manage Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs), including designing and managing transitional programs. Learn and practice Functional Assessment and designing and managing Behavioral Intervention Plans. As part of transition planning, identify resources agencies, and use these outside sources to strengthen program planning for students.

EDUC 7573. Technology: Exceptional Child (3 credits)

An overview of technology and assessment for technological needs for varied exceptionalities, such as mobility, prosthetics, orthotics, adaptive devices, visual technologies, hearing technolgies, and the use of ecological assessment. This includes the adaptive use of computers.

EDUC 7586. Assessment & Collaboration (3 credits)

Choose and administer assessment procedures, collaborate with teachers, administrators, and parents. This course marks the completion point of their action research project. This course will include norm-referenced, criterion-referenced, curriculum-based assessments. Strategies for providing indirect services to students with exceptionalities by working effectively with other service providers for effective interventions will be included. 

Either Degree Completed

COUN 7545. Counseling with Parents of Children with Exceptionalities (3 credits)

The emphasis of the course is an interdisciplinary focus on the overlap between special education and counseling as it relates to working with exceptional children and their families. Current outcomes research will be presented with an emphasis on Systems of Care.

EDUC 7595g. Practicum in Special Education and Related Services (4 credits)

One semester of applied study in a district Special Education and Related Services office with on-site supervision by a graduate faculty member. Corequisites: Must be taken with EDUC 7598d Special Education Policies and Procedures.

EDUC 7598d. Seminar: Special Education Policies and Procedures (2 credits)

Emphasis is on developing and implementing district-wide special education policies and procedures in compliance with federal and state laws and mandates. Coreqisites: Must be taken with EDUC 7595g Practicum in Special Education and Related Services.

EDUC 8677. Research (3 credits)

Prepares the student for going beyond action research and introduces academic research utilizing both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.

Contact Us

For program details, please contact 
Dr. Mike Poe (208) 467-8429

For application materials, please contact 
Cindy Williams (208) 467-8052