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Education Specialist in Teaching and Leading – Moderate & Severe Disabilities Online

This accredited online Ed.S. program designed for working professionals prepares you to help meet the demand for qualified educators who are passionate about serving students with significant needs.

10/06/22 Next Application Due Date
10/19/22 Start Classes

Program Overview

Get to Know Our 100% Online Ed.S. Degree – Moderate and Severe Disabilities

$12,480 Total Tuition starts at
As few as 18 months Program Duration
30-52 Credit Hours

Follow your calling in a high-demand field with the Education Specialist in Teaching and Leading – Moderate & Severe Disabilities (MSD) online degree at NKU. This 100% online teaching program prepares you to ensure that students can thrive while overcoming advanced intellectual disabilities or behavioral challenges.

In this online education program, you will develop new teaching techniques and strategies along with behavioral management skills for children with the most severe academic impairments. Gain credentials for leadership roles in schools or for a broad range of community educational services such as tutoring, respite care, day habilitation programs, residential facilities, and more. The curriculum includes clinical experiences and an embedded capstone project.

In this online accelerated Education program, you will:

  • Learn to apply transdisciplinary collaboration methods with agencies outside of school
  • Deepen your knowledge of diagnostic and prescriptive teaching while studying language development and assistive technologies
  • Prepare for Rank 1 teaching certification in Kentucky
  • Learn from the same experienced faculty who teach on campus
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The educator preparation programs at Northern Kentucky University are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

Have questions or need more information about our online programs?

Online Education Programs Also Available:

Northern Kentucky University offers a variety of graduate education programs online. Check out our other quality online education programs.


Learn More About Our Affordable Tuition

The Ed.S. – Teaching and Leading – MSD online program is affordable, featuring the same pay-by-the-course tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Tuition breakdown:

$400 Per Credit Hour
$12,480 Total Tuition starts at

View full tuition breakdown

Program Per Credit Hour Required Fees Total With Fees
Education Specialist in Teaching and Leading – Moderate & Severe Disabilities $400 $480 $12,480*

*This does not include any additional hours needed for certification.

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NKU is ranked among “The Best Online Colleges in Kentucky” by (2020)


When to Apply, When Classes Start, When Tuition Is Due

The Ed.S. – Teaching and Leading – MSD online program is convenient and flexible, featuring six start dates on an accelerated course schedule. View the calendar to find the best start date for you and be sure to note all corresponding deadlines.

Now Enrolling:

10/06/22 Apply By
10/19/22 Start Classes

View full calendar

Session Program Start Date Application Deadline Document Deadline Registration Deadline Tuition Deadline Last Class Day
Fall 1 08/22/2022 08/10/2022 08/15/2022 08/19/2022 08/22/2022 10/07/2022
Fall 2 10/19/2022 10/06/2022 10/11/2022 10/14/2022 10/19/2022 12/09/2022
Spring 1 01/09/2023 01/03/2023 01/05/2023 01/06/2023 01/09/2023 02/24/2023
Spring 2 03/13/2023 03/01/2023 03/06/2023 03/09/2023 03/13/2023 04/28/2023

Ready to take the next step toward earning your degree online from Northern Kentucky University?


Follow the Steps to Being Admitted into Our Online Program

The admission process for the Ed.S. – Teaching and Leading – MSD online program is streamlined to help you get started right away. Before you apply, please review the Program Map to determine eligibility of this program in your state. The admission requirements include:

Official transcripts of all coursework from accredited institutions
Teaching certificate or out-of-state equivalent
3.0 GPA or higher in all master's-level coursework

View full admission requirements

Ed.S. – Teaching and Leading – MSD Online Admission Requirements

  • Complete online application for admission
  • Pay $40 non-refundable application fee
    • If you are an NKU alumni or active/veteran military member, your application fee will be waived
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework from accredited institutions. One transcript must show successful completion of a master's degree in education or in the content area of the applicant's teaching certificate.
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in master's-level coursework
  • Teaching Certificate: Submit a copy of current teaching certificate showing certification at the Rank 2 level or out-of-state equivalent. New teachers in Kentucky may submit a Kentucky Statement of Eligibility.
  • Supplemental application

Official documents may be mailed or emailed to:

NKU Office of Graduate Education
302 Lucas Administrative Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099

[email protected]

Have a question? Call us at 800-985-7215.


Read About Our Online Ed.S. – Moderate and Severe Disabilities Classes

For the Ed.S. – Teaching and Leading – MSD online program, students who already hold certification must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours. For students seeking certification, an additional 19-22 credit hours are required for a total of 49-52 credit hours.

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Students must take the following courses.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Legislation and instructional practices relating to the education of students with exceptionalities. Course covers various methods of co-teaching as well as locating, adapting, and developing materials and methods for including students with disabilities in general elementary, middle, and secondary classrooms.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course examines the role of the cooperating teacher in developing and mentoring prospective teachers and interns and standards-based observation and feedback. This course includes a job-embedded requirement of supervising a student in field or clinical experience.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Introduction to education research enabling candidates to become effective consumers and users of research in education. It will improve candidates’ ability to apply research findings appropriately in school settings and will lay a foundation for an original action research project.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 1.5

In this course students will conduct a comprehensive literature review on a topic that relates to a specific educational issue that impacts P-12 student learning and create a research-based design of an action research project that can be conducted and reported as their capstone project. Course will be taken twice.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 1.5

In this course students will conduct and report the results of an research project reflecting synthesis and application of knowledge acquired in prior coursework to address a specific educational issue leading to enhanced P-12 student learning, including data analysis, written summary of research findings, and poster presentation. Course will be taken twice.

Students must take the following courses.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3-6

Classroom field experience in added area of certification; individual project.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 4

Assessing functional skills; formal and informal assessment; portfolio assessment; adaptive approaches; teaching self-care and independent living skills, language skills, motor skills, social skills, and career skills; community-based instruction, transportation and mobility; encouraging student self-determination; and teaching for skill generalization.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Theoretical perspectives, measurement systems, ecological inventories, functional behavior assessment, and positive and proactive behavior intervention plans.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Theories of language development; teaching functional communication skills; skills necessary for pre interactions; assistive technology and communication; teaching conversational skills.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Evaluating for assistive technology; approaches and devices for communication, mobility, and sensory impairments; distances learning technology for transition to the community and post school careers.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Knowledge of and skills in coordinating agencies and community services that provide opportunities for students with multiple disabilities.

Students pursuing Moderate & Severe Disabilities certification must take the following additional courses:

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Information, skills, and resources for effective interaction with parents and families of children with disabilities.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Principles of behavior analysis applied to curriculum, methodology, and management of students with disabilities; behavioral teaching methods contrasted with alternative management techniques.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Characteristics and educational programs for students who have intellectual disabilities or orthopedic and/or health impairments.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Nature and needs of students with exceptionalities; overview of legal requirements and educational approaches.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Principles, instruments, and procedures to place and plan instruction for students with learning or behavior disorders.

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