Drury Alternative Track in Special Education (DATSE)

This program is available completely online.

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 cumulative GPA of 2.75 is calculated using transcripts from ALL universities and colleges where courses were taken. Official transcripts from each institution must be submitted (this is a state requirement).
  • The program requires 45 credit hours to complete.
  • 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.
  • Special Education Paraprofessionals who are seeking to advance their education and careers should consider this program.

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
Read More


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. At the time of enrollment in EDUC 654: Clinical Experiences I, EDUC 655: Clinical Experiences II, and EDUC 699: Culminating Internship, 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 structured field experience in conjunction with EDUC 654 and EDUC 655 and a 16-week semester of student teaching experience in EDUC 699. All field experience 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. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education prefers that students in the DATSE program are teaching on a provisional certificate by the start of the second year of the program. 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 School of Education and Child Development Certification Officer and Assessment Coordinator.

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

Required Courses (45-48 hours):

EDUC 606: Psychology of the Exceptional Child
3 credit hours

This course surveys all areas of exceptionalities. It is designed to help the post-baccalaureate prospective teacher identify and plan instruction for children with exceptionalities.

EDUC 607: Psychology of Human Growth and Development
3 credit hours

This is a study of the process of human development from conception through adolescence with particular emphasis on development during the elementary school, middle school and high school age periods of growth and development. The course emphasizes the contemporary research, theory and findings in the areas of cognitive, emotional and physical development with a focus on psychological processes and structures and their implications for the education process.

EDUC 610: Behavior Analysis and Intervention
3 credit hours

The purpose of this course is to present effective techniques for eliciting appropriate social and academic behaviors in the classroom. Several models for behavioral intervention in both regular and special education classrooms are examined, with special emphasis on the management of behaviors that interfere with the learning process.

EDUC 625: Correction of Mathematical Difficulties
3 credit hours

This course is designed to provide in-service teachers the opportunity to improve their skills and techniques for identifying, diagnosing and correcting student difficulties in mathematics.

EDUC 649: Introduction to Mild/Moderate Disabilities
3 credit hours

The physical, psychological, social and educational characteristics of school-age students with mild/moderate disabilities will be surveyed. Students will learn strategies for differentiation of instruction, approaches for integrating these students into regular education classrooms, methods for collaborating with other educators to identify and address the needs of students with disabilities. Students also will design instructional strategies in programs to meet the particular learning needs of students with disabilities.

EDUC 651: Evaluation of Abilities and Achievement
3 credit hours

Students will review administration and interpretation procedures for formal and informal assessments used in the evaluative process for identifying educational disabilities in school-age students, such as criterion-referenced and normed tests, interview techniques, observational methods and developmental profiles. Students will be required to complete supervised administration of specific tests and will prepare evaluation reports from data collected through assessment. Cultural, social, and educational influences affecting the test performance of students with disabilities also will be reviewed.

EDUC 652: Language Development of the Exceptional Child
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 649 and EDUC 651.
This course will include an in-depth study of the form and function of language patterns of normally developing children as compared to those patterns of children with exceptionalities. Students will use analysis of language samples as a basis for developing prescriptive interventions.

EDUC 653: Methods of Teaching Students Mild/Moderate Disabilities
6 credit hours

Prerequisites: EDUC 649EDUC 651, and EDUC 652.
Focus of the course will be on the study of theoretical perspectives and research-based methods for instructing schoolchildren with mild/moderate disabilities. Collection and analysis of educational information pertaining to instruction, management and social development will be used for developing educational programs. Applications of knowledge to inclusive settings will be included.

EDUC 654: Clinical Experience One
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 653
This course will focus on demonstration of skills aligned to professional standards through implementation of varied field based projects. Emphasis will be placed on the application of research based, advanced methods and assessing the outcomes of instruction with children and youth who have diverse learning needs. Concurrent enrollment in EDUC 655 is required.

EDUC 655: Clinical Experience Two
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 653.
This course will include varied performance assessments designed to assess professional knowledge and skills acquired throughout the Candidate’s program of study. Students will demonstrate ability to apply research to practice through projects justified to the professional literature. Emphasis will be placed on professional writing as well as demonstrating competence in the field.  Concurrent enrollment in EDUC 654 is required.

EDUC 665: Improvement of Reading Instruction
3 credit hours

A course designed for the in-service elementary and secondary teacher, this includes examination of current diagnostic and corrective treatments for reading difficulties. Exemplary reading programs and instructional techniques for teaching subject matter to utilize and develop functional reading will be studied.

EDUC 667: Analysis and Correction of Reading Disabilities
3 credit hours

A course designed to study school age children experiencing difficulties in reading through the examination and utilization of diagnostic testing methods and remedial practices. Students learn to adapt testing materials and remedial techniques to the developmental level, diagnostic needs, and cultural and linguistic background of the pupils.

EDUC 699: Culminating Internship
3-6 credit hours

Course fee applies.
Observation and supervised practice teaching designed for alternative certification students enrolled in the DATSE and Troops to Teachers programs. Additional fee applies if student teaching experience is out of area. DATSE Candidates who are working as a paraprofessional must complete 
EDUC 699 for six hours. 

SCI 622: Improvement of K-12 Mathematics Instruction
3 credit hours

A course designed for the in-service teacher to consider the fundamental structure of mathematics and strategies for improving instruction of mathematics in the K-12 school curriculum. Special attention is given to the curriculum frameworks provided by the National Council of Teacher of Mathematics and other educational agencies.

DATSE Candidates who are working as a paraprofessional must complete EDUC 699 for six credit hours.

Missouri Content Assessment

In order to be state certified, all DATSE students must pass the Missouri Content Assessment for special educationĀ Mild/Moderate Cross Categorical Special Education Assessment (050).

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 DeanĀ 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