Director of Special Education and Pupil Services Licensure

The Director of Special Education and Pupil Services Licensure program equips students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to serve as Directors of Special Education and Pupil Services. The program is a 12-credit strand with courses in special education law, special education instructional leadership, and special education and pupil services program administration. These credits, along with leadership and mentorship opportunities with special education administrators, prepare students to excel as Directors of Special Education and Pupil Services. The program is also aligned with the Wisconsin Administrator Standards (#10) and the Director of Special Education and Pupil Services (#80) Content Standards.

This program is available to experienced educators and/or educational leaders who hold a master's degree in educational leadership, psychology, special education, counseling or another related field. Candidates who do not have an educational leadership degree from an approved university may need to complete additional educational leadership coursework (up to 12 credits). Coursework requirements will be determined upon a review of the candidate's transcripts. 


Courses Are Available


Program Details

●  Cost per Credit: $792

Application Process and Requirements

Academic and Professional Requirements

Prior Education

  • A master's degree from an accredited college or university in an education-related field.
  • A grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale in master’s coursework is required, but a lower GPA may be considered on an individual basis. 
  • An Administrator license, master’s degree in Educational Leadership, or
  • Satisfy the leadership core competencies requirement through Cardinal Stritch University by completing the following 12 credits. These courses can be completed prior to or concurrently with the Director of Pupil Services coursework.
    • EDU 571: Introduction to Leadership: 4 credits
    • EDU 573: Leading Complex Systems: 4 credits
    • EDU 575: Leading Organizational Development: 4 credits

Professional Requirements

To qualify for the Director of Special Education and Pupil Services license, candidates must have:

  • A valid (or eligibility to hold) Professional Educator License in teaching or pupil services
  • Three years of successful full-time classroom teaching experience, or three years of successful experience as a pupil services professional including 540 hours of classroom teaching experience

Admissions Application and Transcripts

Complete the Admissions Application
  • Submit the admissions application which is free to complete online. Applications for this program are reviewed on a rolling basis so allow sufficient time before the start of your program to be considered for admission.

Request Transcripts
  • Have official transcripts from each college or university you attended delivered directly to the Office of Admissions. Cardinal Stritch University alumni and current students should inquire with the admission counselor about locating transcripts already on file.
  • Transcripts from institutions outside of the United States require a course-by-course evaluation with GPA. Request the official report from ECE or WES to be sent directly to the Office of Admissions. Allow time for the evaluation to be completed since it could take up to 4-6 weeks to be created.

Two Attitude and Disposition Questionnaires

Attitude and disposition questionnaires should be completed by two individuals. Your building principal or department leader should complete one, and another individual who can comment on your professional leadership abilities should complete the other.

Personal Essay

A one to two page essay addressing the following prompts:

  • Describe your leadership philosophy.
  • Describe your reason for seeking admission to the program.

Send Application Materials to Admissions

Submit the application online and have additional materials sent to:

Cardinal Stritch University
Graduate Admissions
6801 N. Yates Road, #516
Milwaukee, WI  53217-3985

Funding Your Education

Stritch is competitively priced to help students complete certificate and licensure programs. Counselors in our Financial Aid Office know how to help student locate all options available for funding their education.

Alumni Network

Students, families, and employers know Cardinal Stritch University as a place that helps students find their mission, develop new skills, gain relevant career experience, and expand their professional networks. With a network of close to 37,000 graduates, our alumni are successful in their roles at nonprofits, schools, small companies, health care organizations, corporations, and entrepreneurial ventures.

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