If you currently hold or are working on a master’s degree, you can become licensed as a director of exceptional needs. This online program prepares candidates to be knowledgeable in the areas of finance, law, and administration of special education programs and leads to Indiana licensure. Out-of-state residents should discuss requirements with your state’s board of education prior to beginning this program. Completion of this program does not ensure licensure in other states.   

At the completion of this program, the following items along with the required course work must be completed prior to applying for this license:

  • Master’s degree completed (this program or a program taken elsewhere)

Note: If you wish to complete this program as a master’s degree and a licensing program combined, you must meet all criteria for a master’s and be accepted through the special education department and our Graduate School. Completion of the courses below will not guarantee a master’s degree will be granted, unless you have been accepted into the master’s degree program.

  • Two years of teaching experience in special education at an accredited school or schools. This must be verified in the form of a letter by your employing school system and submitted to our office prior to or at the time of application for this license.
  • CPR, AED, Heimlich maneuver, and suicide prevention training
  • Any additional requirements as outlined in Indiana’s current licensure law (REPA).

Academic Advisor 

Bonnie Krupa, Graduate Advisor and Program Management Specialist
Department of Special Education

The director of exceptional needs required coursework focuses on specific courses in educational leadership (EDAD) and special education (SPCE). Candidates may transfer credits to the program, however, those credits will need to go through an OTES transcript review. The course work is geared toward school administration and focuses on administration of programs in special education.

  • EDAD 600 Introduction to Educational Leadership (3 credits) 
  • EDAD 684 Educational Finance and Ethics (3 credits) 
    or EDAD 685 Fiscal Management of Educational Agencies (3 credits)
  • EDAD 687 Legal Aspects of Education (3 credits) 
  • EDAD 689 The School Principal (3 credits) 
  • SPCE 637 Organization & Administration of Special Education (3 credits)
  • SPCE 639 Special Education Administration and Organizational Behavior (3 credits)
  • SPCE 687 Educational Assessment: Mild Interventions (3 credits) - prerequisite of SPCED 686
  • SPCE 694 Internship in Special Education
  • SPCE 677 Teaching Parents to Educate Their Exceptional Child or CPSY 600 Introduction to School Counseling (3 credits)

Choose three courses from the list below:

  • SPCE 577 Introduction to Students with Intense Intervention Needs (3 credits)
  • SPCE 600 Education of Exceptional Children (3 credits)
  • SPCE 612 Theory & Practice in Early Childhood Special Education (3 credits) 
  • SPCE 631 Computer Technology and the Learner with Special Needs (3 credits)
  • SPCE 632 Introduction to Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (3 credits)
  • SPCE 686 Introduction: Mild Interventions (3 credits)
  • SPAA 543 Introduction to Audiology (3 credits)

Director of Exceptional Needs Program Sheet*
*Director of Exceptional Needs candidates need to have their transcript reviewed by the Office of Teacher Education Services (OTES). 

If you are interested in pursuing this license, explore the letter or presentation. Before you begin, you will need to contact Mary Hess, licensing coordinator in the Office of Teacher Education Services (OTES), for a licensure evaluation. For additional information, please contact Bonnie Krupa

Ready to Apply?

You will first want to check if you meet the admission requirements for the Ball State Graduate School. Then you may apply.

No GRE is required.


Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all application on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.

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Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, certain states have regulations regarding licensing programs in nursing and education. Learn more about state authorizations for non-Indiana students.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

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