The Elementary Education and Special Education (EESE) program is a unique opportunity for students to pursue licensure in both Elementary Education and Special Education. Successful graduates of the program are certified in general education at the grade levels of K-9 (including eligibility for 4K), and Special Education in grades K-12 (through age 21). Students graduate to a wide range of opportunities in both general and special education classrooms.
The Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education has a long-standing mission of preparing future leaders who actively improve the lives of people with disabilities. The EESE program is designed to prepare future educators who will promote equity, inclusivity and accessibility within both general and special education classrooms. Graduates of this program are equipped to create inclusive learning environments where they will holistically identify and address biases and barriers to learning, and strive to meet the needs of all students.
The Elementary Education and Special Education program is a rigorous four-semester course sequence that includes coursework, practicum and student teaching experiences. Courses include teaching methods in general education classrooms, implementing instructional strategies for helping students with a variety of abilities succeed, creating individualized education programs, as well as assessing learning needs in all core academic areas.
In addition to coursework, students will have hands-on practical experiences in both general and special education classrooms across a range of ages. Students are placed in one general education practicum and student teaching placement along with one special education practicum and student teaching placement, providing them with all the practical experience they need to successfully teach in a K-9 general education classroom or K-12 special education classroom. Students will learn to effectively work with a diverse student population and to create learning environments that foster academic success and social-emotional development for all students.
The Teacher Pledge
The School of Education at UW-Madison currently offers a unique financial opportunity for students in the Elementary Education and Special Education program called The Teacher Pledge. The school pledges to pay the equivalent of in-state tuition and fees for all teacher education students. In return, students pledge to work at a Wisconsin PreK-12 school for three to four years after graduation.
elementary education and special education (EESE)
Undergraduate students generally apply to the professional part of the Elementary Education and Special Education (EESE) degree program in their sophomore year. Selection is made during the spring semester. Currently, students are admitted to the program once a year, effective for the summer following selection. Once admitted, students typically spend four full semesters completing their remaining coursework.
entering the school of education
new and current UW-madison students
New freshmen interested in EESE are admitted directly to the School of Education with a “pre-professional” classification. This classification indicates that a student is interested in a program offered by the school, but has not applied and been admitted to the professional program. Students interested in EESE receive the "pre-professional" classification of PSR.
On-campus students wishing to be admitted to the school while working on eligibility requirements and application can apply for admission to the school by completing a Pre-Professional Application. A minimum GPA of 2.5, based on UW–Madison coursework, is required to transfer into the school. This GPA may be modified by the Last 60 Credits rule (detailed below). It is not necessary to be a "pre-professional” student before applying to a professional program.
It is strongly recommended that students interested in a School of Education program meet with an academic advisor in the School of Education Student Services office, 139 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall. Current students can schedule an appointment online through the Starfish app in MyUW. Appointments can also be made through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling 608-262-1651, or in person.
prospective transfer students
Applicants not already enrolled on the UW–Madison campus must be admissible to the University to enroll in a School of Education program. Admission to the campus has its own application, admission process, and application deadlines; see UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment for application information.
Students wishing to enter directly into EESE should complete both the on-campus program application and the UW-Madison application. All eligibility requirements must be met. Transfers who do not meet the program eligibility criteria will be admitted to UW-Madison with the Pre-Elementary Education and Special Education designation of PSR and apply to EESE at a later time.
Prospective transfer students are strongly advised to meet with an advisor in the School of Education Student Services office in advance of their application. Appointments are available in person, virtually, or via telephone; call 608-262-1651 or email email@example.com to schedule an appointment with an advisor.
students with a previous degree
Applicants who already hold a Bachelor’s degree must be admissible to the University to enroll in a School of Education program. Admission to the campus has its own application, admission process, and application deadlines; see UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment for application information.
Students wishing to enter directly into EESE should complete both the on-campus program application and the UW-Madison application. All eligibility requirements must be met. Applicants who do not meet the program eligibility criteria will be admitted to UW-Madison with a Pre-Elementary Education and Special Education designation and apply to the program at a later time.
An applicant with a previous undergraduate degree will be admitted to EESE as a second degree candidate or as a School of Education "Special Student," depending on their academic background.
Second degree candidates in the School of Education are changing their academic direction and wish to complete a degree that is unrelated to their first. A large number of credits are usually required to complete the new degree requirements and a second degree is awarded upon its completion; more information is available here. Most applicants to EESE will be second degree candidates.
Admission as an Education Special Student indicates that the student has an interest in pursuing teacher certification in EESE and studied this subject area extensively during their initial degree. A student enrolls in EESE as a Special Student to complete the requirements that were not taken during the first degree; these are assessed on a case by case basis. Another degree is not awarded for this "certification only" coursework.
All off-campus students are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor in the School of Education Student Services office in advance of their application. Consultations are available in person, virtually, or via telephone; email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 608-262-1651 to schedule an appointment.
application and admission
Certification to teach Elementary Education and Special Education requires that a student be admitted into the professional part of the degree program. The School of Education admits students into the EESE program once a year, effective for summer following selection. In recent years the program has been able to accommodate all qualified applicants.
program admission eligibility requirements
Requirements and selection criteria may be modified from one application/admission period to the next. Any changes to these criteria may occur up until the application period begins. Potential applicants should consult the School of Education's Undergraduate Admissions page for application deadlines and detailed information regarding current eligibility requirements and selection criteria prior to submitting an application.
To be eligible for admission to the professional program, applicants must:
- complete at least 40 transferable college-level credits by the end of the fall semester before application.
- successfully complete RP & SE 300 Individuals with Disabilities (3 cr) by the end of the summer semester of the application year.
- earn a minimum 2.5 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale on all transferable college-level coursework attempted.1
- submit all program application form(s), transcripts, and other related application materials by the application deadline specified on the School of Education's Undergraduate Admissions page.
A comprehensive cumulative GPA of all college-level, transferrable coursework attempted on both the UW–Madison campus coursework and coursework taken at any other colleges or universities may be calculated for the exclusive purpose of establishing an applicant’s eligibility for consideration. Both the comprehensive cumulative GPA and the comprehensive cumulative GPA based on a student’s last 60 credits may be calculated. See Last 60 Credits Rule (detailed below). If admitted, students must earn the minimum cumulative GPA for UW–Madison coursework established by their program and the School of Education each semester after admission.
Two grade point averages will be calculated to determine candidates' eligibility for program consideration. GPAs will be calculated using
- all transferable college level coursework attempted, and
- the last 60 credits attempted.
The higher GPA of these two will be used for purposes of determining eligibility. If fewer than 60 credits have been attempted, all credits will be used to calculate the GPA. Graded graduate coursework will also be used in all GPA calculations. ("Attempted" coursework indicates coursework for which a grade has been earned.) More information on this rule is available here.
program selection criteria
The faculty will review all completed applications that meet eligibility criteria. When reviewing an application, the faculty want to learn as much about the applicant as possible and will make every effort to take into account the whole person. Applicants are encouraged to provide, in writing, whatever they would want to share in a face-to-face interview.
The selection committee members will consider several factors when selecting students for the program. Although the grade point average (GPA) is considered an important indicator of success, it is not the only basis on which applicants will be selected for admission. Trends in the applicant's grades, difficulty of course load, and outside work load will be considered (see factors 1, 2, and 3 below).
In addition to the GPA, faculty will consider the following factors:
- College grading and course selection pattern. Transcripts will be examined individually. Account will be taken whether an applicant has clearly followed an unusually easy or difficult pattern of courses or if the GPA reflects a poor grade in an exceptionally difficult subject area.
- Trends of college grades. An applicant who started very poorly or showed a decline in their early phases of college, but performed strongly in later college years, may be judged more favorably than another with the same GPA but level or declining record.
- Diversity of experience or background. Work/life experience, college activity, political activity, and other experiences or background that adds a diverse perspective to the Elementary Education and Special Education student body may work in the applicant's favor. Volunteer or paid work with people with disabilities will be taken into account in the selection process. Volunteer or paid work with people from a background different than the applicant's may also be taken into account in the selection process.
- Writing sample (Statement of Purpose). Application materials must include an essay in which the applicant gives reasons for becoming an elementary education and special education teacher. Writing is so important in the professional life of teachers and in the teacher education program that the quality of the applicant's writing will be taken into account in making admissions decisions.
- Letters of recommendation. Recommendation letters will play an important role in helping the selection committee judge the applicant's prospects for academic success in the program. Careful, thoughtful letters from mentors, teachers, or employers will provide information about the applicant's intellect, imagination, or prospects for becoming a successful teacher. Working with people with disabilities will be taken into account in the selection process. Working with people from a background different than the applicant's may also be taken into account in the selection process.
- Other factors. The program's quest for diversity leads the selection committee to take into account fully qualified applicants from under-represented groups. Race, ethnicity, cultural, geographic background, and economic disadvantage are among the factors that will be considered, taking into account the needs of the schools. A full-time or extra heavy part-time work load will be considered a factor in close cases.
Pursuant to State of Wisconsin law PI 34.018(2), the School of Education is required to administer a background check on all students entering teacher education programs. This check is intended to determine if the applicant has engaged in any behavior that endangers the health, welfare, safety, or education of PK-12 pupils. Local school districts frequently conduct background checks on teacher education students prior to the start of their in-classroom field work, and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) will also conduct a background check on each applicant for a Wisconsin educator license.
Students should be aware that background checks may be initiated by other agencies or organizations when they are seeking employment or a professional license. School administrators have the authority to determine the appropriateness of a student placement and may choose not to permit a placement based on a student’s background check results.
An individual who has been deemed ineligible to participate in field or clinical experiences based on the results of their background check may not be able to complete the requirements for their degree or certification. Students with questions about these processes should contact the Teacher Education Center, email@example.com.
Note: Students cannot complete the Certificate in Disability Rights and Services in conjunction with this program.
- University General Education Requirements
- School of Education Liberal Studies Requirements
- Program Structure
- Elective Coursework
- GPA and Other Graduation Requirements
- Additional Certification Requirements and Applying For a License
- University Degree Requirements
University General Education Requirements
All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.
|General Education|| |
* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.
School of Education Liberal Studies Requirements
All students are required to complete a minimum of 40 credits of Liberal Studies coursework. This requirement provides an opportunity to do some academic exploration beyond the scope of the major. Students take courses in areas of particular interest and also have an opportunity to sample the wide selection of courses offered across the university. Coursework is required in humanities, social studies, science, and cultural and historical studies. Some elective coursework is also needed to reach the required number of credits.
The School of Education’s Liberal Studies Requirements automatically satisfy most of the University General Education Requirements outlined above, including ethnic studies, humanities/literature, social studies, and science. Students pursuing most School of Education degree programs may also complete Communication Part B, Quantitative Reasoning Part A, and Quantitative Reasoning Part B through courses required by their degree program. If a student cannot complete a General Education Requirement within the curriculum of their chosen School of Education program, academic advisors can offer suggestions for courses that meet the requirement and augment the student’s primary area of study.
A basic outline of the liberal studies is included below. Students must consult the detailed version of the requirements for information about course selection and approved course options.
Humanities, 9 credits
All students must complete a minimum of 9 credits to include:
- Fine Arts
- Humanities Electives
Social Studies (Social Science)
All students must complete a minimum of 9 credits. Teacher certification programs and Kinesiology have unique requirements in this category.
All students must complete a minimum of 9 credits to include:
- Biological Science
- Physical Science
- Laboratory Science
- Science Electives
Cultural and Historical Studies
All students must complete three requirements (9 credits) met by separate courses. Any of these courses can also be used to meet the Humanities or Social Studies (Social Sciences) requirements if it has the relevant breadth designation.
- Ethnic Studies
- U.S./European History
- Global Perspectives
Complete Liberal Studies Electives to total 40 Credits.
The Elementary Education and Special Education program has four primary components:
- Liberal studies courses expose students to a broad range of academic disciplines. The university-wide General Education requirements also encourage this breadth of study.
- Professional education coursework includes an examination of the schools' relationship to our society and the processes by which students grow and learn.
- Core Requirements offer an in-depth study of Elementary Education and Special Education, including a four-semester professional sequence of teaching methods coursework and field experience in schools. This sequence is designed so that students can complete the program in four years.
- Elective coursework is taken to reach the required minimum of 120 credits.
The Elementary Education and Special Education major requires 70 credits of professional coursework in addition to other degree requirements. RP & SE 300 Individuals with Disabilities must also be completed prior to beginning the professional sequence.
Individuals with Disabilities - Prerequisite for Program Admission
This course must be completed by the end of the summer of the application year, before beginning the professional course sequence.
|RP & SE 300||Individuals with Disabilities||3|
The professional coursework was designed to be completed in four semesters, starting in the fall after admission to the program. Each semester of the sequence must be followed sequentially and taken in consecutive semesters unless a modification is approved. Most classes must be taken during specified semesters, while other requirements may be completed prior to beginning the sequence.
|Semester 1 (Fall)|
|CURRIC 319||Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Teaching Elementary Mathematics 1 1||3|
|RP & SE 330||Behavior Analysis: Applications to Persons with Disabilities 1||3|
|CURRIC/RP & SE 406||Race, Intersectionality, and Equity in Education 1||3|
|RP & SE 465||Language and Reading Instruction for Students with Disabilities||3|
|CURRIC 550||Methods, Materials and Activities in Early Childhood Education||3|
|RP & SE 605||Development, Learning and Education Foundations in Special Education 1||3|
|Semester 2 (Spring)|
|CURRIC 318||Teaching Reading and Writing||3|
|CURRIC 320||Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Teaching Elementary Mathematics 2 1||3|
|RP & SE 464||Diagnosis, Assessment, and Instructional Planning in Special Education||3|
|RP & SE 472||Methods in Transition and Vocational Education||3|
|RP & SE 473||Classroom Management for Inclusive Classrooms||3|
|RP & SE 476||Special Education Practicum: Secondary (Grades 4-12)||3|
|Semester 3 (Fall)|
|RP & SE/CURRIC 365||Teaching Mathematics in Inclusive Settings||3|
|CURRIC 371||Teaching Social Studies||3|
|CURRIC 372||Teaching Science||3|
|RP & SE 466||Diversity in Special Education||3|
|RP & SE 515||Access to the General Curriculum for Students with Disabilities||3|
|CURRIC 373||Elementary Teaching Practicum III||3|
|Semester 4 (Spring)|
|CURRIC 463||Seminar in Elementary Education||1|
|CURRIC 464||Student Teaching in the Elementary School||7|
|RP & SE 457||Elementary Student Teaching Seminar - Elementary/Special Education Dual Major||1|
|RP & SE 477||Special Education Student Teaching: Elementary (PK - Grade 9)||7|
May be taken before semester 1 of the professional sequence, including prior to program admission.
A minimum of 120 credits is still required to complete the degree.
Content Area Minor (Optional Requirement)
Students may elect to complete a minor in one of the following content areas. Minors provide a depth of study in a particular area of interest and also inform classroom instruction. Upon completion, the minor will be posted on the UW-Madison transcript, but students will not receive an additional certification in the subject area. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction no longer offers content licenses in association with the K-9 educator license.
The completion of a minor is required to teach middle school licensing in some states and may benefit students particularly interested in teaching at this level. See the links below for the requirements of each minor.
- Earth Science
- English Language Arts
- Mathematics and Science Dual
- Mathematics Specialized
- Political Science
- Science Specialized
- Social Studies
Complete additional courses as necessary to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for the degree.
GPA and Other Graduation Requirements
Students must complete all requirements and also obtain the endorsement of the program faculty to receive certification through UW–Madison. The State of Wisconsin requires that anyone wishing to teach in a public K–12 setting hold a valid teaching license issued through the Department of Public Instruction. In addition to completing a certification program, students must submit a separate application for this license. Requirements below are based on UW–Madison coursework.
- 2.75 cumulative grade point average. This may be modified by the Last 60 Credits Rule.
- 2.75 cumulative grade point average across all professional education courses (excluding practicum and student teaching).
- 2.75 cumulative grade point average in the major.
- 2.75 cumulative grade point average in the minor, if required.
- Minimum 120 credits (degree candidates only).
- Major residency: Degree candidates must complete at least 15 credits of upper-level major coursework (numbered 300–699) in residence on the UW–Madison campus.
- Senior residency: Degree candidates must complete their last 30 credits in residence on the UW–Madison campus. Student teaching and practicum are considered part of the 30 credits.
Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS)
UW–Madison uses “DARS” to document a student's progress toward the completion of their degree, including any additional majors and certificates. A DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System) report shows all the requirements for completing a degree and, against courses that are planned or completed, shows the requirements that have been met, and those that are unmet. A report can offer suggestions about courses that may be taken to meet specific requirements and can assist in the academic planning and enrollment process. Students can access a DARS report in the Course Search & Enroll app or Student Center via My UW.
DARS also has a "what-if" function. This feature makes it possible to request a DARS report as if pursuing another program, major or certificate. It is an excellent tool if considering a new or additional area of study. School of Education students in a pre-professional classification such as Pre-Elementary (PRE), or Pre-Kinesiology should request a "what if" DARS report of their professional program of interest.
More information on how to request a DARS report is available on the registrar’s website.
DARS is not intended to replace student contact with academic advisers. It creates more time in an advising appointment to discuss course options, research opportunities, graduate school, or issues of personal interest or concern to students.
DARS is used as the document of record for degree program, major and certificate completion in the School of Education.
Additional Certification Requirements and Applying For a License
In addition to completing UW–Madison's program requirements, students must also complete Wisconsin statutory requirements and certification requirements established by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Many of these requirements are embedded within the program's requirements and require no additional attention. The endorsement of the program coordinator/faculty is also required to receive certification through UW–Madison.
The State of Wisconsin requires that anyone wishing to teach in a public K–12 setting hold a valid teaching license issued through the Department of Public Instruction. In addition to completing a certification program, students must submit a separate application for this license.
Detailed information about certification requirements and applying for a license is available under Certification/Licensure.
University Degree Requirements
|Total Degree||To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.|
|Residency||Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.|
|Quality of Work||Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.|
- Use knowledge of learners and human development to create responsive, inclusive, and respectful learning activities and environments that maximize learners’ cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical development.
- Use knowledge of learners, contexts, disciplines, pedagogies, and standards to plan and adjust developmentally appropriate and challenging learning activities and assessments.
- Use knowledge of learners, contexts, disciples, pedagogies, and standards to implement planned and unplanned developmentally appropriate, challenging, and learner-responsive learning activities and maintain safe, inclusive, and respectful learning environments.
- Create and implement meaningful assessments and use assessment results to inform instruction, communicate with parents and others, and provide feedback to learners to guide their future performance and learning.
- Exhibit professionalism and adhere to ethical practices as they continue their own development and collaborate with others to improve their profession, school communities, and outcomes for students and families.
- Use studies completed in science and mathematics, social sciences, the humanities, histories, languages, and the arts to inform and deepen their teaching of content areas and meeting learners’ needs.
This four-year sample graduation plan is designed to guide your course selection throughout your academic career; it does not establish a contractual agreement. Use it along with your DARS report and Course Search and Enroll to create a four-year plan reflecting your placement scores, incoming credits, and individual interests. Consult with an academic advisor to develop a personalized plan of study and refer to the Guide for a complete list of requirements. You will likely revise your plan several times during your academic career here, based on your activities and changing academic interests.
|Communication A (fall or spring semester)||3||Communication A (fall or spring semester)||3|
|Liberal Studies course work||9-12||Quantitative Reasoning A||3|
|RP & SE 300||3|
|Liberal Studies course work||5-8|
|Quantitative Reasoning B||3||Liberal Studies course work||7|
|Ethnic Studies||3||Liberal Studies or General Elective course work||5|
|Liberal Studies course work||6|
|CURRIC 3191||3||CURRIC 318 (Also meets Communication B)||3|
|RP & SE 3301||3||CURRIC 3201||3|
|CURRIC/RP & SE 4061||3||RP & SE 464||3|
|RP & SE 465||3||RP & SE 472||3|
|CURRIC 550||3||RP & SE 473||3|
|RP & SE 6051||3||RP & SE 476||3|
|RP & SE/CURRIC 365||3||CURRIC 463||1|
|CURRIC 371||3||CURRIC 464||7|
|CURRIC 372||3||RP & SE 457||1|
|RP & SE 466||3||RP & SE 477||7|
|RP & SE 515||3|
|Total Credits 120|
May be taken before semester 1 of the professional sequence, including prior to program admission.
A minimum of 120 credits is still required to complete the degree.
Academic Advising in the School of Education
Dedicated to supporting and promoting student success, Academic Advisors are here to assist students with the adjustment to college, understanding their degree and career goals, and connecting them to resources. Advisors support prospective and current School of Education students in all programs through:
- course selection
- mentoring and advocacy for underrepresented and international students
- understanding degree requirements and progression
- interpreting academic policies
- helping students recognize their strengths and suggesting ways to expand their skills
- expanding learning through activities such as study abroad, volunteering/work/internship, and by assuming leadership roles
To schedule an appointment: Current students can schedule an appointment online through the Starfish app in MyUW. Appointments can also be made through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling 608-262-1651, or in person.
Career Advising in the School of Education
The School of Education Career Center provides students with the knowledge needed for connecting their classroom experiences with real-world application to develop skills needed to navigate the ever-changing world of work. Through individual appointments, events, courses, and online resources, the Career Center provides students and alumni with the tools needed to be successful in their career development.
Career and Internship Advisors are prepared to help students with:
- Exploration of career and academic pathways
- Cover letters
- Job/Internship search
- Interview preparation
- Mock interviews
- Graduate school search, applications and decisions
- Negotiating job or internship offers
- Professional networking
- Connecting with employers
Students are encouraged to meet with their Career and Internship Advisor early in their college experience to take full advantage of the resources and support available.
To make an appointment: log into Starfish from the MyUW dashboard.
Information about faculty, staff, and other contributors to Elementary Education and Special Education can be found on the websites of the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
The Wisconsin Experience
UW–Madison’s vision for the total student experience, the Wisconsin Experience, combines learning in and out of the classroom. Tied to the Wisconsin Idea and steeped in long-standing institutional values—the commitment to the truth, shared participation in decision-making, and service to local and global communities—the Wisconsin Experience describes how students develop and integrate these core values across their educational experience.
UW–Madison encourages students to mindfully engage in four core concepts throughout their time on campus: Empathy & Humility, Relentless Curiosity, Intellectual Confidence, and Purposeful Action.
Since its inception the School of Education has embraced the concepts of the Wisconsin Experience, providing opportunities for students to learn in venues beyond the traditional classroom. Our students also independently seek out related activities and experiences, thus creating their own unique Wisconsin Experience.
Elementary Education and Special Education (EESE) and the Wisconsin Experience
RP & SE 300 Individuals with Disabilities includes a field-based experience where students engage in work that directly or indirectly supports a person with a disability. Hundreds of student each year are placed in a wide variety of placement sites in the Madison area. This experience allows students to gain first-hand knowledge of the contributions of, and services provided to, individuals with disabilities within the community.
RP & SE 300 also brings the community into the classroom. A number of guest speakers from the community provide insight regarding the range of experiences people with disabilities have while conducting their daily lives. Students also learn about the variety of community organizations engaged in the support of, and advocacy for, people with disabilities.
A wide variety of guest speakers attend practicum and student teaching seminars, including school district personnel, parents and family members, teachers, and individuals with disabilities.
Students in the EESE program have multiple field experiences in K-12 schools, culminating in a full-time student teaching experience following the semester of the cooperating school.
Partnering with Community Organizations
The EESE team partners with area communities to assist with food delivery to families. Students volunteer with organizations such as Special Olympics, Camp Kesem, and Girls on the Run, a program designed to inspire girls of all abilities to embrace their inner strength and to build healthy social, emotional, and physical skills.
Getting to Know the Community
A Community Based Asset Mapping exercise asks students to explore the strengths and assets of the communities in which their field placement school resides. Time is spent in and around the attendance area of their schools to develop an understanding of the places, people, spaces, and experiences that influence their pupils and consequently are brought to school. Students are encouraged to venture outside the classroom and get to know the families and communities of their pupils by attending a community activity such as a worship service or a community potluck.
While completing field experiences, students enjoy trips to places in the Madison community, such as the Madison Children's Museum, Madison Public Library's Play Lab, Allen Botanical Gardens, Centro Hispano and the Madison Literacy Network.
Our students are encouraged to explore cultures other than their own by studying abroad. If a semester or year-long program isn’t possible, the School of Education has recently developed some exciting new study abroad opportunities where a single class is taken in the summer.
Clubs and Organizations
EESE students have multiple opportunities to participate in related campus organizations such as Aspiring Educators of Wisconsin and Game Design and Development.
Additional Certification Requirements
Students interested in certification must, in addition to completing UW–Madison's program requirements, also complete Wisconsin statutory requirements related to teacher education and certification requirements established by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Students must complete all requirements and also obtain the endorsement of the program faculty to receive certification through UW–Madison. For additional certification requirements and information about applying for a license, see the Teacher Education Center.
Applying for a Teaching License
The State of Wisconsin requires that anyone wishing to teach in a public K–12 setting hold a valid teaching license issued through the Department of Public Instruction. In addition to completing a certification program, students must submit a separate application for this license. Students intending to complete a teacher certification program should monitor program requirements carefully. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) periodically implements regulations that affect all certification programs; teacher certification candidates are responsible for having up-to-date information about certification requirements.
The following licensing options will be offered at UW–Madison.
- The core Elementary Education licensing level will be Kindergarten through Grade 9. Early Childhood, and English as a Second Language Kindergarten through Grade 12, can be added to the K-9 option.
- Special Education will offer licensing at the Early Childhood level, Kindergarten through Grade 12 level, and a program option that licenses in both Early Childhood Special Education and K-12 Special Education. The new Elementary Education and Special Education degree certifies students in both Special Education Kindergarten through Grade 12 and Elementary Education Kindergarten through Grade 9.
- Secondary Education program areas will license in their subject area Grades 4 through 12, and also in English as a Second Language Kindergarten through Grade 12.
- World Language Education program areas will license at the Kindergarten through Grade 12 level.
- Students in special fields such as Art, Music, and Physical Education will be licensed at the Kindergarten through Grade 12 level
- Health and Library Media Specialist both license at the Kindergarten through Grade 12 level.
- Communication Sciences and Disorders (Speech-Language Pathology) will license at the K-12 level.
Wisconsin State Licensing
The State of Wisconsin issues an initial teaching license to certified teachers. The current fee is $125. An online license application is available through the Department of Public Instruction. A background check will also be conducted by DPI. Information about fingerprint submission, when necessary, is available through the Department of Public Instruction.
Before applying for a license, DPI requires the electronic submission of “Endorsed Candidate for Licensure" (ECL) data by the certifying officer of the institution where the teacher preparation was completed. For UW–Madison teacher certification students, the endorsement will come from the School of Education, L139 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall. Once this information has been submitted to DPI, students are notified by email that they may begin the application online.
Before endorsing a student, UW–Madison requires that
- all certification requirements are met;
- student teaching (following the school district calendar) is completed;
- final grades are posted and reviewed;
- the degree is “posted” by the registrar’s office (one to four weeks after graduation); and
- a recommendation for certification is received from the program faculty.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction may require an additional 6 to 8 weeks for license processing.
Licensing Outside of Wisconsin
To apply for a license in a state other than Wisconsin, first check out the application requirements of that state. The University of Kentucky has a website that provides links to teacher licensing agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Many states have a verification form that needs to be signed by a UW–Madison certification officer. This form verifies that a state-approved licensing program has been completed. These forms should be sent to the School of Education Teacher Education Center at L139 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, Madison, WI 53706, or by email (email@example.com) to be completed. You must complete your personal information on the form before sending it to the Teacher Education Center. If the form requests information about practicum and student teaching assignments (names of schools, grade levels, dates, etc.), this information must also be completed before sending the form to the Teacher Education Center.
Professional Certification/Licensure Disclosure (NC-SARA)
The United States Department of Education requires institutions that provide distance education to disclose information for programs leading to professional certification or licensure about whether each program meets state educational requirements for initial licensure or certification. Following is this disclosure information for this program:
The requirements of this program meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:
The requirements of this program do not meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:
The requirements of this program have not been determined if they meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming, District of Columbia; American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands
Information about scholarships, academic and career advising, study abroad opportunities, student diversity services, and other resources for students in the School of Education can be found on the school's Resources page.