Paraeducator to Special Education Teacher (alternative route - ARTC)



ARTC programs are state-approved alternative routes to teacher licensure and certification.  Alternative routes provide special pathways that can enable students to be hired as salaried, full-time public school teachers even though they might not have an education degree or might not have satisfied all the academic and fieldwork requirements required for standard licenses and/or certification.  These pathways are primarily designed to fill teaching positions commonly referred to by the state as “critical needs” areas, where there are often serious teacher shortages.  Examples include mathematics and science teachers, teachers of English language learners, and teachers of students with exceptional needs.  

WilmU is approved to offer ARTC Special Education programs that enable graduates from regionally accredited institutions of higher education to earn an advanced degree (master’s) and/or licensure/certification in one or more of the following areas: (1) teachers of preschool exceptional children, (2) teachers of K-12 students with disabilities, or (3) teachers of students with autism and/or severe disabilities.  

Since ARTC program plans can be different for each individual student (depending on academic backgrounds and experience) and have a number of different components and options, those interested in enrolling must talk with an ARTC Program Chair, the ARTC Coordinator, or a Graduate Advisor in order to determine eligibility and to decide if the program is a good “fit.”

Once admitted, candidates have several program options, including the M.Ed. in Special Education, specialized certification for already licensed teachers, and a pathway for current and future para-educators to obtain positions and credentials as full-time teachers.

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).  Progress toward completion of these exams must be demonstrated during each semester. 

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 College of Education and Liberal Arts at Wilmington University requires students pursuing teacher preparation degrees to take the Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers (PPAT) in order to qualify for program completion and degree conferral. The performance assessment is not scored by any employees of the University.  It is scored by Nationally Certified ETS Reviewers not associated with Wilmington University. Completing this assessment is a student teaching requirement.  Candidates must check with their supervisors, program advisors or program chairs to obtain current and accurate information related score expectations.

Praxis Sequencing Requirements

Graduate Candidates with Transfer Credits Candidates must provide Praxis II scores on the Social Studies and Math Praxis II subtests during their first semester of enrollment via Taskstream. Candidates must take all subtests by the end of Practicum II. Candidates who do not provide passing scores SHOULD enroll in the next available and relevant WilmU Praxis Preparation Course.
Graduate Candidates with No Transfer Credits Candidates must take all required Praxis II exams during their first year of enrollment. Candidates must take all subtests by the end of Practicum II. Candidates who do not pass one or more Praxis II subtests SHOULD enroll in the next available and relevant WilmU Praxis Preparation Course.

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 and Liberal Arts 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, performance assessments, successful completion of assignments linked to program competencies and graduation competencies; fieldwork evaluations from advisors and post-graduation surveys.



Teacher candidates must 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.

Minimum Grades

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

Course Requirements

Paraeducator to Special Education Teacher (ARTC)

(42 credits for core requirements, 12-13 credits of prerequisites, total of 54-55 credits for the degree program)

MED 6102 E-Folio

MSE 8001 Seminar I

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

MSE 7604 Technology for Instruction

MSE 8002 Seminar II

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 8003 Seminar III

MSE 7901 Diagnosis/Assessment of Reading Difficulties for Non-Reading/Literacy Majors

MSE 7405 Curriculum in Special Education

MSE 8004 Seminar IV

MSE 8102 Legislation and Implementation of Policy and Procedure

MED 6801 Building a Responsive Classroom


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

MSE 8805 Performance Assessment

MSE 8005 Professional Growth Portfolio

This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2022-2023 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2021 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.