Paraeducator to Special Education Teacher K-12 (Alternative Route - ARTC)

This is an alternative route for paraeducators to complete the M.Ed. in Special Education and qualify for an Initial Teaching License and certification to teach students with exceptional needs in Delaware public schools. The program is approved by the Delaware Department of Education and has admissions restrictions and exit requirements.


This two-year program provides qualified and currently employed Delaware paraeducators the opportunity to complete the WilmU Master of Education in Special Education degree while working in partnering schools/districts.  As a state-approved alternative route to teacher certification (in critical needs areas), it is possible for candidates to be hired as teachers with full pay and benefits while simultaneously fulfilling degree requirements, all in the context of their own classrooms.  Acceptance into the program requires approvals from the employing school district, the Delaware Department of Education, and the Wilmington University College of Education.  It is important to note that admission to the program does not guarantee an offer of employment as a licensed teacher.  Conditions under which required fieldwork can be completed and offers of employment are entirely at the discretion of participating school districts.  Interested candidates who meet general College of Education admissions requirements must schedule a program planning conference with the ARTC Program Chair to determine their eligibility for admission.


The program will enable successful candidates to:

  • Complete a master’s degree in Special Education and Initial Licensure as a Delaware teacher.
  • Qualify for standard certification as a Teacher of Students with Disabilities.
  • Meet the requirements to teach core academic subjects to special education students in middle and high schools.
  • Obtain add-on certification in Autism/Severe Intellectual Disabilities or Early Childhood/Exceptional Children.
  • Receive extensive in-classroom coaching and support from experienced educators.

Program Requirements

In addition to general admissions requirements, admission to this program requires applicants to have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or have a GPA in the top 50th percentile for coursework completed during the most recent two years of the applicant’s general education, whether secondary or post-secondary.

Admission to the Paraeducator to Teacher (ARTC) program requires the following:

1. Complete and submit the Application for Admission, accompanied by a non-refundable application fee.

2. Submit an official transcript or transcripts verifying completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Transcripts and all application documents should be sent to Wilmington University Office of Graduate Admissions. Please note that any course(s) accepted for transfer into the program must have a letter grade of B or better and be from a degree-granting, regionally-accredited institution.

3. Applicants are also asked to provide official and complete score reports from the Praxis Core exam and/or test results from the SAT or ACT demonstrating mastery of general knowledge, including the ability to read, write and compute. This is to provide the College of Education with data that can satisfy national program accreditation requirements.

NOTE: These test scores will NOT affect admissions decisions, but are used to comply with program approval and accreditation standards.

It is important for Candidates to identify Wilmington University as an official score recipient. This enables scores to be sent directly, confidentially, and electronically. Otherwise, candidates must provide original copies of all official score reports. For more information about ETS exams (including how to register), go to www.ETS.org. Visit College Board to have SAT or ACT scores sent to Wilmington University.

4. Schedule a program planning conference with the ARTC Program Coordinator.  A recommendation from your immediate supervisor to enter this intensive program.  The ARTC Program Coordinator will facilitate this, providing information to the administrator/supervisor, following a planning conference.

5. The ARTC program requires a candidate to have a Certificate of Eligibility AND a firm offer of a special education position as a special education teacher of record in a Delaware public school. These documents must be submitted by the Candidate to be fully admitted.

After completing all of the above, register for MED 6102 (E-Folio) and MSE 7604 (Instructional Technology for Educators), and MSE 7100 (Foundations of Special Education: Historical, Legal, and Theoretical Perspectives).

Content and Performance Assessment Requirements

Praxis Testing Requirements 

Candidates must pass (by achieving minimum scores set by the DE Professional Standards Board) ETS Praxis II #5354: Core Knowledge and Applications and an ETS PRAXIS II content knowledge exam of one's choice and approved by the Professional Standards Board for licensure/certification as a secondary teacher (grades 7-9 or 7-12) or the content knowledge exam specified for elementary teachers (grades K-6) as a condition of exit from the program.

Please note that state-mandated licensure/certification exams and minimum score requirements are subject to change by the Delaware Department of Education.  Any changes mandated by the Department of Education will be implemented as required by state regulation. 

Test takers should designate Wilmington University and the Delaware Department of Education as score recipients. This enables scores to be sent directly, confidentially, and electronically to the University and to the DE Department of Education. Otherwise, candidates must provide original copies of all official score reports, including all sub-score reports to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

NOTE: Wilmington University is obligated to modify educator preparation program requirements to comply with any regulatory mandates/changes of the Delaware Department of Education.

Performance Assessment

The State of Delaware requires new teachers to achieve a passing score on a state-approved performance assessment in order to be fully licensed. The performance assessment may not be scored by any employees of the Educator Preparation Program or Unit. It is scored by Nationally Certified ETS Reviewers not associated with Wilmington University. The assessment used by Wilmington University to satisfy this requirement is the Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers (PPAT). 

Completing this assessment is a student teaching requirement. Candidates must check with their program advisors or program chairs to obtain current and accurate information related to the assessments and minimum scores that are required.

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Paraeducator to Teacher (ARTC) program is to prepare paraeducators to transition to teaching students with disabilities in grade levels K-12.

Students with disabilities must be taught by professionals who are trained in the identification, assessment, and teaching of individuals with exceptionalities. To reach this goal, the Paraeducator to Teacher (ARTC) program provides candidates with the opportunity to complete the coursework with assignments and performance tasks aligned to the appropriate standards. This program reflects Wilmington University’s advocacy of an inclusion model of special education service delivery.

Program Competencies

The degree program is built around standards developed by the Council for Exceptional Children, in addition to the Delaware Professional Teaching Standards/InTASC Model Teaching Standards, and reflects the College of Education Program Attributes and Conceptual Framework. Those standards can be accessed below:




Outcomes Assessment

The assessment of content knowledge, pedagogy, learning theory, and performance competencies is accomplished through satisfactory attainment of specific course objectives; satisfactory performance on tests of general and content-related knowledge, as well as performance assessments, successful completion of assignments linked to program competencies and graduation competencies; fieldwork evaluations from advisors and school-based mentors; and evaluations and post-graduation surveys.

Program Design

The Paraeducator to Teacher (ARTC) program is for candidates who have completed a bachelor’s degree and who wish to obtain a master's degree leading to license and certification as a K-12 teacher of students with disabilities. At entry, previous transcript(s) of teacher candidates will be carefully reviewed to determine if they have completed at least 24 credits from a regionally-accredited college or university aligned to the content area in which the individual is seeking certification, or the equivalent in professional development approved by the Department, appropriate to the instructional field, or passing scores on an approved content-readiness exam prior to entering the ARTC program.

Program Requirements

Teacher candidates are required to register for and activate MED 6102, E-Folio as the initial course in the program as this course will allow them to document various course requirements needed to satisfy individual program competencies.

Teacher candidates are expected to complete all requirements associated with the Paraeducator to Teacher (ARTC) program, including content course work, required special education courses, and clinical experiences. The appropriate PRAXIS II subject and content readiness exam must be satisfied prior to program completion.  All courses have goals for diversity in education and writing across the curriculum.

The College of Education sets a required minimum grade of “C-” for all education core courses as well as courses needed to satisfy the content major. However, an overall GPA of 3.0 is required for program completion.


Clinical work requires a sealed Federal and Delaware CBC (Criminal Background Check) Report, a recent TB/PPD (less than a year old), a completed CPR (Child Protection Registry Form) and a completed health form.

A new Federal and Delaware CBC (Criminal Background Check) Report sent / delivered to the Office of Clinical Studies in its original sealed envelope. A new TB/PPD, Health Authorization Form and completed CPR (Child Protection Registry Form) uploaded into Taskstream. 

Course Requirements

Paraeducator to Teacher (ARTC)

MED 6102 E-Folio

MSE 7100 Foundations of Special Education: Historical, Legal, and Theoretical Perspectives

MSE 7604 Technology for Instruction

MSE 7403 Diagnosis/Assessment/IEP Development for Exceptionalities

MSE 7402 Applied Behavior Analysis

MEE 7632 Language and Literacy


MAS 7652 Reading in Content Areas

MSE 7901 Assessment and Diagnosis of Reading Difficulties

MSE 7405 Curriculum and Instruction in Special Education

MSE 8102 Legislation and Implementation of Policy and Procedure

MED 6000 Elementary Mathematics for Teachers


MAS 7801 Practicum/Pedagogical Approaches to Teaching in the Middle and High School

MSE 7990 Practicum in Special Education


MSE 7991 Practicum I in Special Education


MSE 7992 Practicum II in Special Education


MSE 7993 Practicum III in Special Education

MSE 8805 Performance Assessment

MSE 8802 Student Teaching in Special Education

This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2018-2019 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2018 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.