Master in Education Programs

Drury Alternative Track in Special Education (DATSE)

Director's Welcome & M.Ed. Overview

The Drury Alternative Certification Track in Special Education (DATSE) is a graduate program of study designed for persons who have already completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a 2.75 or higher cumulative grade point average; and who wish to obtain a Missouri teaching certificate in Mild/Moderate Disabilities. The program may be completed in 42 credit hours with the majority of the coursework offered in an online format. The program does require some blended coursework with an alternating seated session/online delivery system. Please refer to the program of study that follows for information on the course delivery format and the course sequence. Successful completion of the DATSE will lead to initial teacher certification as well as a Master in Education Degree. The DATSE is a competency-based program that is aligned to state and national standards as well as research-based educational practices.

Nacy Thornsberry"Education is an ever changing field and it is a teacher’s job to stay up to date on current research. Being a lifelong learner has made a difference in my profession and in the outcome of my students. ”-Nacy Thornsberry, '11


To meet requirements for teacher certification in the area of Cross Categorical/Mild Moderate Disabilities, DATSE graduate candidates must complete structured field experiences aligned to course work and demonstrate standards-based performances specific to the area of certification. Standards-based performances specific to the DATSE program may only be met in a public school K-12 setting with students diagnosed with mild/moderate disabilities. Field experience requirements within the DATSE program follow:

  1. By the second year of the program, the DATSE candidate must be employed by a public school and working in a K-12 setting as a special education teacher on a provisional certificate with a caseload to include students with a diagnosis aligned to a mild/moderate disability. This does not include an assignment where the primary duties are speech implementation, early childhood special educator, or teacher of students with severe disabilities. 


  2. The DATSE candidate completes a 90 hour practicum experience in conjunction with EDUC 653 and a 16-week semester of student teaching experience in EDUC 699. All practica and student teaching placements will be made through the School of Education and Child Development.

DATSE candidates working as a paraprofessional in a public school Special Education setting must contact the School of Education and Child Development prior to their second year of the DATSE program to determine options for meeting DATSE field experience requirements leading to certification. If it is determined that the paraprofessional experience will meet state certification requirements. Prior to or no later than the semester enrolled in EDUC 653,  candidates who are working as a paraprofessional in an approved setting must provide documentation that field requirements can be met via an agreement signed by a District Supervisor.  In addition, a letter verifying district employment must be submitted during the semester the candidate is enrolled in EDUC 699.  This documentation must be submitted to the Associate Dean of the School of Education and Child Development.

The special education program of study leads to a Missouri initial teaching certification in mild/moderate, cross-categorical special education (grades K-12) and to the Master in Education degree.

Scholarship Opportunity:

The Catherine Clark Taylor Scholarship is available for graduate students pursuing an education degree with an emphasis in Special Education (DATSE qualifies for this). The scholarship is dependent upon available funds and students must reapply each semester, fall and spring only.

Course Requirements

EDUC 606: Psychology of the Exceptional Child
EDUC 607: Psychology of Human Growth and Development
EDUC 610: Behavior Analysis and Intervention
EDUC 625: Correction of Mathematical Difficulties
EDUC 649: Introduction to Cross-Categorical Disabilities
EDUC 651: Evaluation of Abilities and Achievement
EDUC 652: Language Development of the Exceptional Child
EDUC 653: Methods of Teaching Students/Cross-Categorical Disabilities
EDUC 654: Clinical Experience – Elementary
EDUC 655: Clinical Experience – Secondary
EDUC 665: Improvement of Reading Instruction
EDUC 667: Analysis and Correction of Reading Disabilities
EDUC 699: Culminating Internship

Individualized programs of study are provided to all fully admitted DATSE students prior to the first semester of enrollment.

Missouri Content Assessments

In order to be state certified, all DATSE students must pass the appropriate Missouri Content Assessments for special education. A listing of those exam codes can be found by visiting the MEGA Testing website.

In order to be initially certified in special education, students must choose one of three testing options based on the intended grade level of employment. The three testing options are listed on page four of the the DESE List of Approved Assessments.

If you passed the Praxis II exam 0543 or 5543 prior to September 1, 2014, that score will be honored until December 31, 2016. Any Praxis II exam taken after August 31, 2014 will not meet a Missouri certification requirement.

Admission Interview

Prospective students must work with the School of Education and Child Development to submit all required materials for graduate admission. Once that process is complete, students must interview with the Associate Dean of the School of Education and Child Development. The form below must be submitted electronically prior to the interview and students must bring a hard copy to the interview as well.

DATSE Admission Interview Requirements

Highly Qualified Teacher

In order to meet Highly Qualified Teacher status and be eligible for provisional certification while enrolled in the DATSE program, students must register for the special education Missouri Content Assessment. Your hiring school district may require a passing score on those assessments and additional assessments in order to meet the standard for Highly Qualified Teacher.

In order for Drury University to recommend you for initial state certification you must pass the appropriate special education Missouri Content Assessments or have a passing Praxis II score (code 0543 or 5543) dated prior to September 1, 2014.  All programmatic requirements, including an electronic portfolio, must be complete as well.