The alternative A K-12 collaborative special education (M.S.E.) program is designed for the working professional who has earned a bachelor's degree in a field other than education from a regionally accredited institution who now desires to become a certified special education teacher. 

This is a full-time program that may require students to attend classes on campus and at clinical settings during traditional work hours. Some class meetings will be online and some will take place in the evenings on campus.

This 36-credit hour program offers an accelerated approach to certification through advanced courses in the teaching field and a core of professional courses in education. The final semester requires a full-time commitment to student teaching.

Students will graduate in just five semesters with the necessary knowledge, practical skills and professional dispositions required of today’s teachers and will be prepared to serve as an advocate for individuals who require specialized support to achieve success. 

For the past three years, 100% of our graduates have gained employment within three months after completing all requirements for graduation and certification.

Objectives and Curriculum

Upon successful completion of the program, candidates will earn a master's degree and will be eligible for Class A certification (provided current certification requirements of the Alabama State Department of Education have been met) in just five semesters. Additionally, they will have the opportunity for extensive field experience, practical content application and meaningful research.

Graduates of the alternative A K-12 collaborative special education (M.S.E.) program will master the following concepts:

  • Accommodations and modifications for all student needs
  • Assessment procedures and processes in special education
  • Effective instructional strategies for working with low and high incidence disabilities
  • Research-based methods of instruction in the K-12 special education classroom
  • Managing challenging behavior using the functional behavioral assessment
  • How to write individualized education plans

The curriculum requirement for the program is 36 credit hours. Students must have a 3.25 or higher cumulative GPA at Orlean Beeson School of Education to graduate. Please view our full list of completion requirements.

For more information about the graduate courses and electives offered at Orlean Beeson School of Education, please visit the Orlean Beeson School of Education section of the Samford University Catalog.


Is This Program for Me?

If you have a desire to give individualized educational support to students with disabilities, this program is for you.

This program will prepare you to serve as a resource and advocate for students with disabilities and their families. You will gain skills that empower you to improve the quality of life of your students, take leadership positions within the field and conduct groundbreaking research. At Samford’s Orlean Beeson School of Education we believe that small class sizes, experienced faculty and numerous clinical experiences create a foundation that prepares you to best serve your students and become a teacher leader.


Application Deadline

Summer term: May 1

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the alternative A K-12 collaborative special education (M.S.E.) program you must:

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and have graduated with a minimum GPA of 2.5.

For an application to be considered complete, we must receive all of the following:

  • Online application for admission. Please be sure to list your personal e-mail address on the application.
  • $35 Application Fee. This non-refundable fee is payable by credit card and is waived for Samford alumni, and current Samford students, faculty or staff.
  • Official Transcript(s) from all higher education institutions attended. Transcripts are considered official only when they bear the issuing institution’s seal and arrive with the seal intact. Transcripts can be sent electronically to or by mail.
  • Passing score on all Praxis Core test 5751:
    Math: 150
    Reading: 156
    Writing: 162
    Alt A applicants having a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher will be exempt from taking the Praxis CORE tests at admission. All other Praxis test requirements will remain intact based on the current Teacher Education progression timeline.
  • Passing score on Praxis Multiple Subjects 5901:
    5003 Math subtest: 157
    5005 Science: 158
    5004 Social Studies: 154
  • Statement of purpose.
  • Background clearance letter.
  • Dispositions form filled out by current supervisor.
  • Interview with program director.

To check the status of application items, you may login to your application account and view the list of application items received.

Apply Now

Tuition, Scholarships and Financial Aid


View the current graduate tuition and fees worksheet or contact the graduate admission director.


Orlean Beeson School of Education is proud to award graduate students in its master's, certificate and specialist programs a scholarship. Graduate students do not need to apply for this scholarship as it is automatically applied. The school will continue providing a scholarship until coursework is complete. Any additional scholarships are the responsibility of the applicant to secure.

Financial Aid

Financial aid, payment plans, student employment and student loan options are available to assist graduate students in attending Samford University. To learn more about our financial aid options, visit the Samford One Stop or call 205-726-2905.