Special Education Endorsement

Lewis & Clark’s Special Education: Generalist Endorsement Program was designed by a collaborative team of public school special educators and college faculty to provide a highly practical, skill-based program based on current research for educators interested in serving students with special needs. Faculty members are current or former special educators who have extensive backgrounds in current theories, research, and practice.

Elementary school students read together in class.

Program Overview

Total credit hours: 18
Program length: 10 months
Program location: Online
Program start date: July
Program director: Becky Miller

Master’s option:
MEd: Curriculum and Instruction: Special Education program


The online SPED endorsement program through Lewis & Clark has allowed me to further my education and career without forcing me to sacrifice my commitment to my students I already teach. Without this program I would not be able to pursue a career in Special Education in the same manner I currently am. Not only was the program geared towards people already in the industry, working with students, but the instructors were cognizant of the challenges educators are facing in today’s world. We are encouraged to stretch our brains, while given the grace to be humans. Anyone currently teaching who is looking to grow, stretch their brains and make themselves a better educator should consider this program.”

Brett Brunner, SPED Endorsement ’22

You will work with leaders in the field to:

  • Observe, analyze and document the educational impact of disabilities
  • Determine the applicability of scientifically based research to a variety of educational environments
  • Analyze and use current assessment strategies
  • Learn about instructional practices with demonstrated effectiveness in improving academic achievement and socially acceptable behavior of students with special needs.

Throughout the program, your knowledge and skills will be applied in school-based special education settings with students receiving special education services. If applicable, endorsement candidates may use their current special education teaching assignment site as a practicum setting.

What to Expect

The Special Education: Generalist endorsement provides 18 semester hours of opportunities to learn and/or refine skills in each aspect of the special education process from referral to reevaluation. Faculty approach courses and practica as opportunities to examine and solve the day-to-day questions and concerns of educating students with disabilities in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade settings across all levels of disability (mild, moderate, and severe). Each course emphasizes research-based, interactive problem solving that is effective, efficient, practical, up-to-date, and skill-based, designed to ensure that graduates of the program are well equipped to serve students with special needs.

Why Study at Lewis & Clark?

The special education program is flexible, respecting the busy schedules of practicing educators, and providing an individualized course of study that accepts credit for a candidate’s previous special education coursework and/or special education experience. Small classes emphasize problem solving and collegial discussions.

Lewis & Clark’s SPED Endorsement program has allowed me to work full time as a special educator while growing as a professional within my field. I have received numerous resources related to lesson planning, data collection, and IEP processing that I now use in my everyday teaching practices. I am grateful for wonderful professors that treated us like colleagues and created a warm and welcoming environment for all students.”

McKenna Johnsen, SPED Endorsement ’22

Expectations for Admission

All candidates to the Special Education: Generalist Endorsement Program must hold an Oregon teaching license. The initial 6 credits of the special educator endorsement (SPED 510/610, SPED 511/611, SPED 516/616) may be taken before your application for formal admission has been accepted. You will need to complete a Special Student Application/ Registration Form for registration. Formal admission to the program is required before beginning your field experience.

The content of the courses was spot on. The coursework adequately prepares professionals for the legal, curricular, and interpersonal aspects of working in special education. The biggest impact of the program were the people I encountered. My instructors were professional, personal, prepared, knowledgeable, compassionate, relatable, and kept it real! I was respected as a professional, and treasured what was created in a ‘close-knit virtual classroom’ where opinions could be expressed, important conversation happened, and the rewards of a career in special education was captured.”

Jenny Youngblood, SPED Endorsement ’23

Apply Now

To find out more about the admissions process, as well as the requirements for admission, you can contact the Graduate School Office of Admissions at gseadmit@lclark.edu or 503-768-6200.

Contact the Program Director

For more information please contact Becky Miller at rebeccabmiller@lclark.edu.

Resources for Current Students