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About This Program

Image of two children looking at a mircoscope that has leaves fro ma nearby plant under it.At MSU Denver, pre-service teacher candidates in the Special Education major will engage in courses and field experience work that will prepare them to teach individuals with disabilities in a variety of K-12 settings. We maintain small class sizes so students can engage in effective collaboration with their peers and receive personalized instruction. Each of the faculty in our program bring experiences from the field via research and K-12 Special Education teaching experience.

Our goal is to help our candidates become ethical educators and leaders in the field to make a difference in our profession, schools, and students’ lives. Therefore, the coursework is only the beginning. Because MSU Denver stresses career readiness, our Special Education program provides candidates experiences in the field that span K-12 classrooms in a variety of settings with students who have different types of disabilities. Engaging in these field experiences assists our teacher candidates in developing the critical skills necessary for implementation in their future classrooms.

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

Image of three children sitting together smiling for the camera.MSU Denver is located on the Auraria Campus just steps from downtown Denver. MSU Denver’s proximity to the city offers countless opportunities for field experience and student teaching in urban and suburban schools with diverse populations. Many of the courses within the Special Education program are offered online or in a hybrid model to allow flexibility for our students to successfully complete their degree and teaching license.

Other reasons teacher candidates choose MSU Denver include:

  • A diverse student population
  • School of Education programs are approved by the Colorado
  • Department of Education
  • Extensive field experiences tied to course work
  • Engaging coursework connected to current issues related to the field of special education
  • Supportive student teaching opportunities
  • Knowledgeable and experienced faculty members and advisors who value diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

Special Education Careers Collage: book, library, alphabet, child reading a book

Special Education program graduates go to work as teachers in classroom settings at all levels from Kindergarten through high school in schools nationwide.

Featured Faculty

Headshot photo of Dr. Tina HerringDr. Tina Herring

Dr. Tina Herring is a Professor of Special Education. She has been in the field of education for over 20 years. She began her teaching career as a teacher of the deaf at a middle school in Salem, Oregon. In 2002, she graduated with her doctorate in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from The Ohio State University. Her current research interest includes online learning, effective instructional practices and Universal Design for Learning in higher education. Dr. Herring currently teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses at MSU Denver.

Headshot photo of Dr. Rebecca CangesDr. Rebecca Canges

Dr. Canges received her doctorate in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Teacher Education in Multicultural Societies from the University of Southern California (USC). She completed her undergraduate work in Psychology at California State University, Long Beach where she also completed both her Masters in Special Education and Education Specialist Teaching Credential. Dr. Canges started her career as a middle school Special Education teacher in California, where she worked to promote acceptance of students with disabilities by implementing district-wide awareness programs. She has studied and provided trainings for improving instruction for English Language Learners and currently researches methods for improving teacher preparation programs so teachers can better support students with disabilities who are in their classrooms.


Alumni at Work

Alumni from the Special Education B.A. program are making a difference in school districts all across the Denver metro area and beyond!  For example, many of our graduates have become teachers and leaders in the following districts: Boulder Valley, Cherry Creek, St. Vrain Valley, Littleton Public Schools, Douglas County, Denver Public Schools, School District 27J, and many more!


All School of Education teacher licensure programs are authorized by the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

Department of Special Education

Contact the Department of Special Education

Email the Department of Education

Main Number: 303-615-1777

Fax: 720-778-5690

Office Location: 

West Classroom

Suites 132, 136, & 162

Mailing Address:

School of Education
MSU Denver
Campus Box 21
PO Box 173362
Denver CO 80217-3362