print header

Certification Only

Campus in WinterNon-Candidate for Degree Program (N.C.F.D.)


The NCFD program was designed primarily for teachers who hold an emergency license in one or more areas of special education. This option allows individuals who currently hold a teaching license add-on an additional certification. Courses taken for undergraduate credit cannot be applied to the Master's of Science in Education degree.


Required and elective courses are offered at night and during the summer to accommodate your work schedule. Many of the courses required for certification can be transferred from another institution, however methods and assessment classes must be taken at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Relevant Coursework

Students are able to focus specifically on the area in which additional professional development is needed. Usually the course sequence for certification in one categorical area includes a characteristics course, one or two methods courses, and a practicum.


Three types of practicum experiences are available.

  1. In the area of emotional behavioral disturbance, traditional practicum placements with skilled, certified special educators may be completed concurrently with a final methods course.
  2. The Department of Public Instruction has endorsed the summer "LEAP" clinic as a student teaching site for certification in learning disabilities.
  3. On-the-job opportunities are available for students who meet the criteria listed below. Applications must be submitted approximately 6 months prior to the beginning of the semester in which you wish you student teach.

Criteria for On-the-Job Practica

  • Hold an emergency license in the area in which you are seeking certification.
  • Complete all coursework/prerequisites for certification including at least one methods course in the emphasis area from UW-Eau Claire.
  • Provide a letter of support from an administrator verifying support for an on-the-job placement and verifying that approximately one-half of the students on your caseload have a disability in the area for which certification is being sought. If there are not sufficient children/adolescents with the disability for which certification is being sought the administrator must indicate how arrangements will be made to provide opportunities for appropriate experiences and small group instruction.
  • One year of full time teaching experience in the disability area in which you are seeking certification and a minimum of one semester in your current placement.
  • Approval of the special education faculty. Individuals seeking certification in learning disabilities must successfully complete a summer experience in the LEAP clinic (earn an A or B in SPED 335 or SPED 735) for approval of an on-the-job student teaching placement in learning disabilities. The experience must be one that will allow the student to achieve competence in the disability area. The program coordinator must agree the classroom environment will provide an opportunity for implementing best practice.


There are two parts to admission to the NCFD program in special education. Teachers who wish to add-on a certification must apply to the university and to the program in special education. You can make application to the university at Your Reason for Applying is "certification at the undergraduate level." In the list of UW-Eau Claire Undergraduate Programs, go under Education-Related Studies and select "Non-Degree, Ed-Cert, Special Education."

Application to the NCFD Program can be made twice a year with deadlines of March 1 and October 1 (if those dates are on the weekend, applications will be due the Friday prior). The application to the special education program must include and be in this order:

  1. Applicant Information (form available at the bottom of this webpage).
  2. Resume that includes all relevant experiences.
  3. Letters of recommendation including at least one letter from a reference at your current placement (1-3 letters).
  4. Transcripts of all teacher education coursework (official or unofficial).
  5. Completed certification plan (developed with program coordinator/advisor) which will then be filed in the Dean's office.
  6. Copy of teaching license (to be filed with certification plan).

NCFD applications must be complete.  If an NCFD candidate submits an incomplete application, they will be denied and must reapply in the future. Conditional admission is no longer an option.


Call or e-mail the coordinator of the program in which you are interested for more information. He or she will sit down with you and review your transcript for equivalent coursework.

  • Cognitive Disabilities: Dr. Todd Stephens, 715-836-4328
  • Unified Early Childhood: Dr. Cathy Thorsen, 715-836-2575
  • Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities: Dr. Rose Battalio, 715-836-5352
  • Learning Disabilities: Dr. Rose Battalio, 715-836-5352