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MS in Special Education - High Incidence

High Incidence Concentration

MS in Special Education: High Incidence Concentration

Students with high-incidence disabilities are the most prevalent among children and youth with disabilities.

Program Overview

The graduate degree program in high incidence special education at Emporia State is designed to support the needs of the students, teachers, schools, and special education administrators in Kansas. The High Incidence Special Education curriculum meets the endorsement standards for two levels: Early Childhood through Late Childhood (Grades K to 6) and Early Adolescence through Late Adolescence (Grades 6 to 12).


Applications for the High Incidence Special Education Program are DUE the first Friday of September for fall admittance and plan of study, the first Friday in December for Spring admittance and plan of study, and the first Friday in May for Summer admittance.

Students can take up to nine hours of graduate adaptive special education courses without formal acceptance into the High Incidence Special Education Program. Acceptance into this program is a two-level process:

  1. students apply to be admitted to do graduate study at Emporia State;
  2. students apply for admission into the High Incidence Special Education Program for degree candidacy.

Undergraduate Eligibility

University policy indicates when undergraduates pursuing a bachelor's in science in education are seniors (i.e. completed at least 90 credit hours), they can begin taking course work toward the High Incidence Special Education Provisional endorsement.

Prior to actually enrolling in a 700 level course for graduate credit, the student must complete a Request for Graduate Credit.pdf form. The form must include signatures from the student's advisor, the special education program coordinator in lieu of the course instructor, the graduate dean and the registrar. This form must be submitted to the graduate office prior to enrollment. Once this form has been received and approved, the SD700 level classes will be flagged for graduate credit.

Admission Requirements

People interested in becoming students within this program must:

  1. Complete Emporia State's Graduate School Application;

  2. Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and be eligible for a teaching licensure;

  3. Have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale (the average may be on the total undergraduate record or on the last 60 hours);

  4. Provide two letters of recommendation from professionals in the field of education, psychology, or related disciplines supporting the person's request for admission, and address the candidate's
    academic skills and personal attributes, strengths and/or weaknesses;

  5. Submit a personal letter describing his/her preparation, ability, interests, goals, and reasons for applying to the program;

  6. Submit a signed copy of the Special Education Dispositions Assessment;

  7. Provide two Disposition Assessments completed by professionals in the field of education who are aware of the person's work with children in school settings;

  8. Provide a copy of his/her current teaching license. Applicants with an expired teaching license will need to contact the program about licensure renewal and program admissions requirements; and

  9. Must be the teacher of record or working as a paraeducator to complete all practicums for this program. Students typically complete practicum I during the first year of the program.

These materials should be sent to:

Graduate School, Campus Box 4003
Emporia State University
1 Kellogg Circle
Emporia, KS 66801-5415

or, if possible, send them electronically to

Upon completion and receipt of these documents, the application materials are reviewed by the High Incidence Special Education Admissions Committee.

Program Information and Student Handbook

Degree Candidacy

Degree candidacy is granted when a candidate admitted to graduate study has:

  1. successfully completed a minimum of six semester hours of course work in the graduate program of study; and
  2. filed a degree plan with the department no later than upon the completion of the 12 hours of course work. The degree plan must be approved by the candidate's advisor and the department chair. Candidates must have a grade of A or B on all courses on the plan of study.

Length of Program

All course work for graduate degrees at Emporia State University must be completed within seven years from the date of the first enrollment. In the case of compelling circumstances, the department offering the degree may consider a petition from the candidate for a one-year extension of old course work.

The Graduate Council may consider a petition, with departmental approval, to validate course work in the ninth or tenth years, dating from the first enrollment. Validation may be accomplished by certification of current competence with the subject matter either through examination or using the content on the job or additional approved work. No transfer work can be validated. No work over ten years old can be used to satisfy the requirements for graduate degrees at Emporia State University.

How to Contact Us


fas fa-phone-alt 620-341-5445


fas fa-envelope Dr. Mari Caballero


Department of Elementary Education / Early Childhood / Special Education
(on the ESU main campus)
1701 Morse Road
Visser Hall, 2nd Floor
Main Office, Rm 241

Mailing Address

Department of Elementary Education / Early Childhood / Special Education
Emporia State University
1 Kellogg Circle
Campus Box 4036
Emporia, KS 66801