Skip to main content

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 a bachelor's degree and eligibility for licensure in both 4k-12 Special Education and 4k-9 Elementary/Middle Education.

Adult learners with several years of experience as 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. There are several ways to complete student teaching, such as 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 k-9, online, teaching (sett: 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: Open Now
  • Last possible date for a completed application to join Cohort 2: May 10, 2024
  • Admitted student remote (synchronous) orientation: May 15, 2024 4:30-5:30 pm
  • Courses begin: May 20, 2024
  • Financial Aid Online Application Deadline for 2024/2025: June 30, 2024

Licensure information

Completion of teacher preparation programs at UW-Eau Claire meets licensure requirements in Wisconsin. Our programs may not meet requirements in other states. It is very important that individuals seeking licensure in another state obtain the most recent certification/licensure information directly from the state in which they seek employment. Find contact information on each state licensure office here.

Licensure requirements can change at any time. UW-Eau Claire’s Teacher Education Program Office ensures that our programs meet the requirements for licensure in Wisconsin. If you seek licensure in another state, be aware that their requirements could change at any time.

The United States Department of Education requires institutions to disclose information for programs leading to professional certification or licensure concerning whether each program meets state educational requirements for initial licensure or certification. Please note:

  1. Obtaining a Wisconsin Teaching License PRIOR to applying for a teaching license in another state is usually helpful and strongly recommended.
  2. "Meets requirements" means that a student is eligible for a license with stipulations, typically for 1-3 years, in that state. The stipulations are likely to be specific testing requirements and/or competency through a course or examination. In some instances, additional stipulations might be added.
  3. Licensure grade levels vary from state to state. Students who are eligible for a specific grade range in Wisconsin may be licensed for a narrower grade range in another state. Each state determines grade ranges for licensing differently.
  4. State licensure requirements may change at any time. Licensure questions should be referred to the Teacher Education Program Office (

The requirements of this program meet licensure in the following states: Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas

The requirements of this program do not meet licensure in the following states: Not Applicable

It has not been determined whether the requirements of this program meet licensure in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming, District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

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: A total of 120 credits are needed to complete an undergraduate degree. These credits are fulfilled using the prior coursework you bring with you and credits from the coursework included in this sequence. It will be important to work with your SETT: 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:

Applying for Financial Aid

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

Additional information

For questions about the program, 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

For questions about the application and admission process, please contact:


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