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Explore the transition to teaching pathway program at UW-Eau Claire

Transition to Teaching is a pathway to completing UW-Eau Claire’s unified elementary and middle special education program. This is a route for nontraditional undergraduate and other adult learners to complete a preparation program and become practicing teachers. The end result of this pathway is eligibility for licensure in both 4k-12 Special Education and 4k-9 Elementary/Middle Education.

Adult learners who are paraprofessionals/educational assistants or otherwise employed in school settings are excellent candidates for this pathway. Approximately 30 credits of general education/liberal arts coursework or an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree is needed to be eligible for this pathway. Other adults who want to make a career change and who meet these credit requirements are also good candidates.

This pathway is offered in an accelerated format online and can be completed within two years plus student teaching. For most participants, student teaching can be completed on the job as an intern or as the teacher of record with a License with Stipulations.

Why special education, unified special education k-12 and elementary/middle, online, teaching (transition to teaching pathway) at UW-Eau Claire?

Contribute to your community. Advance in salary and professional esteem while helping to meet the need for teachers in your local community.

Level-up your career. You'll be able to continue working in your current role while paving the way to become a teacher in just two short years, plus student teaching.

Evening courses and individual work. Courses are offered after the school day and are specifically designed for adult learners with life experience. Meet 1.5 hours online per course per week and complete the rest of your weekly learning at the time that works best for you. 

Personalized advising. You'll receive individualized advising to consider how your prior coursework may fit in with your current goal of becoming a teacher.

Quick facts

Transition to teaching pathway program details

  • Program length: two years, plus student teaching
  • Offered: online
  • Credits: 65-75 (12 per semester), depending on student teaching
  • Program cost: $310 per credit
  • Students completing this pathway will be eligible for licensure in both 4k-12 Special Education and 4k-9 Elementary/Middle Education


  • Application start date: opens March 1, 2023
  • Application date when file must be complete: May 15, 2023
  • Admitted student remote (synchronous) orientation: Thursday May 18, 2023, 4:30-5:30pm
  • Courses begin: May 22, 2023
  • Financial Aid Online Application Deadline for 2023/2024: June 30, 2023

Transition to teaching pathway curriculum

Courses start in the May session of summer. You would take courses for two years (summer, fall, spring) and then have a semester of student teaching. For many students student teaching is a paid experience, as either an intern or the teacher of record with a License with Stipulations.

You will be part of a cohort that takes two short courses at a time during the school year. Courses are after the school day and are offered as remote learning with online components. Each course meets 1.5 hours per week synchronously online with the remainder of the time asynchronous to meet your own individual schedule. Some coursework is also completed during the summer.

Course sequence

Summer 1 (Semester 1, 3-9 credits):Introduction to Typical Development 

Fall 1 (Semester 2, 10-12 credits): Introduction to Diverse Learners in Schools  

Spring 1 (Semester 3, 12 credits): Foundations of Special Education and Inclusive Early Learning

Summer 2 (Semester 4, 9 credits): Assessment and Development

Fall 2 (Semester 5, 12 credits): Advanced Special Education Pedagogy and Application  

Spring 2 (Semester 6, 13 credits): Inclusive Pedagogy and Application 

Summer 3 (Semester 7, 9 credits): Secondary Education and Collaboration 

Fall 3 (Semester 8, 3-12 credits): Applying Knowledge through Student Teaching and Internship 

Every student will complete student teaching. There are multiple formats and credit requirements for the student teaching experience based on prior degrees, prior licensure, and the school site placement and employment details. It will be important to work with your advisor to register for the correct student teaching coursework.

Note: Degree-seeking students will need a total of 120 credits to complete an undergraduate degree. These credits will be fulfilled using the prior coursework you bring with you and the credits from the coursework included in this sequence. It will be important to work with your Transition to Teaching advisor to individually determine how your prior coursework meets requirements from this sequence and what coursework will be needed to complete your degree.

Application information

Go to the UW System application, and follow the directions to provide your individual information and academic background.

Here is some information to assist with particular portions of the application:

Admissions Office
University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire
Flesch Family Welcome Center
127 Roosevelt Ave
PO Box 4004 Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004

Applying for Financial Aid

Information about financial aid is found on UWEC's financial aid webpage.

Additional information

For support and help with questions, please contact:

Dr. Karen Potter
Academic Director, Transition to Teaching
Department of Special Education and Inclusive Practices
University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire
Office: Centennial Hall 3723

Related programs at UW-Eau Claire

Thinking about a bachelor's degree in special education? Here are other programs you may be interested in exploring.

Department information

Fall colors near Centennial Hall on lower campus.

Special Education and Inclusive Practices

Centennial Hall 3715
1698 Park Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Visit the Special Education and Inclusive Practices department website