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    Winona State University
  Sep 25, 2017
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Special Education

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221 Gildemeister Hall
507.457.5535, Fax: 507.457.2483
Special Education website
Jeanne Danneker, Chairperson


Jeanne Danneker, Associate Professor; BS, Winona State University; MS, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse; PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison; 2007 -
James Kirk, Assistant Professor; BA, Marquette University; MA, Western Oregon State College; PhD, University of Iowa-Iowa City; 2012 -
Meghan Sinning, Assistant Professor; BS, Arizona State University; MS, Winona State University; 2013 -
Amy Olson, Assistant Professor; BA, MS, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison; 2015 -


The Special Education Department offers undergraduate and graduate courses to prepare teachers of K-12 students with disabilities. Classes are designed to meet the Minnesota Board of Teaching standards for licensure in Developmental Disabilities and Learning Disabilities. Teacher candidates take a set of Special Education Core classes that cover Special Education foundations; referral, planning, and placement; instructional design, teaching, and evaluation; and collaboration and communication. They also take reading methods, field experiences, licensure specific methods classes and student teaching. Teacher candidates must also complete the Professional Sequence offered by the Education Studies Department.


The mission of the Special Education Department is “Improving the world for K-12 students with disabilities through quality teacher preparation.” The Department of Special Education exists within the College of Education. University students majoring in Special Education prepare to become Special Education teachers serving K-12 students with disabilities. The Special Education Department offers three majors: Developmental Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, and Academic & Behavioral Strategist. All majors lead to a Bachelor of Science (teaching) degree.

Career Opportunities

Graduates with a Special Education major are employed primarily as K-12 educators in public schools.

Special Education (SPED) Programs

WSU offers the following undergraduate programs leading to licensure by the State of Minnesota Board of Teaching:

Requirements for Majoring in Special Education (LD, DD, ECSE)

Applicants must meet with a Special Education advisor immediately upon making the decision to major in Special Education. The applicant must submit a completed Major Declaration Form to the Special Education Department; an advisor will be assigned at that time. Note: Applicants must be accepted into the Teacher Education program before their Special Education application will be processed.

Requirements for Teacher Education Admission

  1. Minimum GPA of 2.75.
  2. “B” or better in  ENG 111 - College Reading and Writing  and CMST 191 - Introduction to Public Speaking .
  3. “C” or better in  MATH 100 - Survey of Mathematics  or higher mathematics. ( STAT 110 - Fundamentals of Statistics  recommended by the Special Education Department).
  4. Official score report on all three sections of the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examination (MTLE) Basic Skills Tests: Math, Reading, and Writing.
  5. Complete the teacher education admission process.

Requirements for Special Education Admission

  1. Complete and submit a Special Education Department application.
  2. Write an essay and schedule an admissions interview.
  3. Participate in an interview with the Special Education Department.

Students must maintain a 2.75 GPA with no grade lower than “C” in any special education course, professional education sequence course, or methods course. Students who receive a grade lower than “C” must repeat the course.

General Education Program Intensive Requirements

Students may use intensive courses to satisfy both General Education Program (GEP)  and major requirements. Intensives courses will usually be in the student’s major or minor program. The Department of Special Education offers the following intensive courses in the General Education Program:


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