Special Education

Teacher Education Program


Consistent with the Departmental mission, the Special Education Program is grounded in Disability Studies research that addresses the provision of services to children, youth, and adolescents with exceptionalities and recognizes Disability Studies as an academic discipline.  The purpose of the Special Education Program is tri-fold:   1) to prepare highly effective early interventionists and educators who use and develop evidence-based instructional practices and who collaborate with families, professionals, and community members to improve academic achievement, post-school outcomes, and quality of life for individuals (ages birth through 21) with exceptionalities from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; 2) to perform on-going research that will inform practice for educators and will expand the knowledge base in special education; and 3) through focused research, artistic/creative production, teaching and advocacy, the Special Education Program seeks to increase societal acceptance of disability, to promote greater awareness of the experiences of people with exceptionalities, and to serve as a social change agent in schools and communities.


  1. Goal:  To be locally, nationally, and internationally recognized for its academic programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels.Objectives:
    • Increase research and creative activity by faculty and graduate students
    • Develop and promote programs that address the global needs of education
    • Retain and recruit nationally recognized, ranked and tenured faculty who can advance our mission regarding local, national, and international prominence the number of upper-rank special education faculty members
    • Retain and recruit high quality diverse faculty and students
    • Retain at least 80% of students to completion of licensure or degree program at the graduate, and post-graduate levels
  2. Goal:  To serve as change agents for educational, cultural, economic, social, and community development in New Mexico and elsewhere.Objectives:
    • Recruit increasing numbers of well-qualified students into the undergraduate, masters, doctoral and licensure programs to address the critical shortage of licensed SPED professionals in the profession
    • Develop and implement methods to provide access to academic degree and licensure programs for all educators, particularly those in rural areas, so that public school districts can better fill vacancies for licensed SPED professionals
    • Collaborate with public school districts and child care agencies to provide professional development opportunities for in-service professionals to improve their skills in working with children and youth with exceptionalities