The Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education prepares personnel, through professional education, research, and service, for the education and/or rehabilitation of people of all ages with disabilities. Instruction and research emphasize educational and behavioral assessment and treatment of children, as well as counseling, assessment, case management, advocacy, and job placement with adults to facilitate improved personal, social, and vocational adjustment.
Targeted populations encompassed by the program include adults and children with physical disabilities, emotional disabilities, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, alcohol and other drug abuse, and persons involved with the criminal justice system.
Special education and rehabilitation psychology are intrinsically related, both in basic objectives and in professional education and research. The instructional program includes core study areas, practica, and research experiences relevant to the development of various professional roles.
Three undergraduate programs are currently available to undergraduate students:
- A cross-categorical teacher certification program in Special Education.
- A pre-professional undergraduate program in Rehabilitation Psychology.
- A Special Education/Elementary Education dual major is offered jointly with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
The new Disability Rights and Services Certificate may be completed by students pursuing other majors on campus.
The RP & SE department recently collaborated with the Kinesiology and Counseling Psychology departments to create a new degree program in Health Promotion and Health Equity. This exciting new major is broadly designed to provide students with the skills and perspectives to facilitate healthy practices at the individual and societal levels.
New Certification Options Starting in Fall, 2022!
Pending approval from UW-Madison and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), the department is thrilled to provide two new program options students may pursue to complete the Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE) in Special Education. These options will first be available with fall 2022 program admission.
The first program option will prepare educators and interventionists to support young children with disabilities. This program, Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), will lead to state certification in ECSE ages birth-Grade 3. The second program option will prepare educators to support the needs of students with disabilities ages birth through Grade 12. This program is a dual certification option wherein students complete both the ECSE program and the Special Education Cross-Categorical program. Both new program options require four semesters of coursework and include multiple field experiences in local educational settings and schools.
Information about faculty, staff, and other contributors to the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education can be found on the department's website.