An Online Licensure Program for Special Education Directors / Administrators

The Special Education Director is a post-master's, non-degree licensure program that will give you the skills to become a director or administrator in local school districts and facility schools that serve students with disabilities. This program is delivered completely online so that you can fit your studies around your work and family commitments.

UNC is a national and world leader in the field of Special Education, and we have designed this as a highly individualized program that you can tailor to your experience and your aspirations for the field.

Program Outcomes Center Around 5 Key Themes

  • Effective Leadership/Management
  • Strategic Thinking and Intervention
  • Collaborative Partnerships
  • Organizational Change
  • Systems of Accountability

Become a Leader For Inclusive Special Education

As a graduate of this program you will be highly qualified for Director of Special Education positions for school districts/cooperatives/facilities schools in Colorado and across the United States (see State Licensure in Course of Study Tab). You will become a special education leader who is prepared to thrive in a variety of organizational and cultural contexts. Transform programs from separate entities to ones that are more inclusive with the entire student population.

NOTE: If you are already needed in a Special Education Director or Assistant Director role in your district, Colorado school districts can apply for you to have Temporary Educator Eligibility (TEE) so that you can fulfill the position during your progression through this licensure program. Learn more: CDE TEE information.

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This program combines graduate level course work in 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.

  • The program may require less than 28 credit hours if you have already completed a special education master's degree or a Principal Licensure program.
  • All students will have an individual program plan developed to guide your enrollment and completion.
  • One or two courses in the program will include synchronous learning sessions where the professor and students meet online at the same time. Students will have input on session scheduling.

Required Courses (28-39 Credit Hours)

To see the upcoming courses, visit this program's Current Students page.


State Licensure

This program leads to recommendation for Colorado administrator license endorsed as a Director of Special Education K-12. Colorado offers licensure reciprocity with 48 states (all but FL & TX). However, if you wish to work outside of Colorado, you should check with your state office to ensure that this program fulfills all specific Special Education Administration/Director licensure requirements for your state.


For full details, see the official program listing in the UNC Graduate Catalog.

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