MSU special education program part of the Kentucky LEADS Academy






Students in Morehead State University’s Director of Special Education Certification Program will have the opportunity to participate in the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE) third cohort of Kentucky Leading, Educating, Advocating for Directors of Special Education (LEADS).


MSU is one of three institutions involved in LEADS Academy, including Western Kentucky University and Murray State University. The Academy is possible through collaboration with the KDE, Kentucky Part C Early Intervention Services, and the Kentucky Parent Education and Information Center.


Applicants selected for LEADS Academy will receive tuition reimbursement made possible by this competitive, five-year, $1 million federal grant, offered by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. It exists to spark systemic change by increasing the number and capacity of Certified Directors of Special Education (DoSE), Special Education Teachers, Early Intervention Services Managers, and Admissions Committee Chairs and Release (ARC) to improve service outcomes for children with disabilities.


Dr. April Miller, dean of the Ernst and Sara Lane Volgenau College of Education, said directors of special education are a “high-needs area” in the state. They are usually responsible for setting up programs and working with parents, professors, teachers, and sometimes students to develop individualized education programs for each student.


“This is a population of students who need additional support and services. The director of special education can have a huge impact,” Miller said.


In addition to tuition reimbursement allowing more students to pursue DoSE certification, LEAD Academy’s focus on increased professional development, mentorship, and leadership helps scholars be even better prepared to meet the challenges. particular educational challenges of the state.


“They get a lot more support through this LEADS program,” Miller said. “We really focus on that leadership and additional learning to help them stand out from the crowd.”


Eligible candidates for the LEADS Academy must be:


  • Enrolled at Morehead State University, Western Kentucky University, or Murray State University (currently or within the next three months);
  • Pursue a Director of Special Education (DoSE) certification;
  • Willing to participate in monthly Saturday seminars and professional learning communities; and,
  • Eager to serve as a mentor to future academy participants seeking leadership experience and support.


The deadline to apply is Friday, June 3. Applicants should send their application to the Office of Special Education and Early Childhood (OSEEL).


For more information about LEADS Academy, contact Dr. Thomas Williams, Executive Strategic Policy Analyst, OSEEL, at [email protected]


MSU’s Director of Special Education certification will prepare you to be an effective administrator of public school special education programs. The online certification requires 21 credit hours and meets the requirements of the Education Professional Standards Board. There is also an option to bundle certification with a second Master’s degree, Rank I, Ed.S. or Ed.D.


To learn more about MSU Department of Basic and Graduate Studies in Education programs, visit www.moreheadstate.edu/fgse, email [email protected], or call 606-783-2261.



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