Special Education Natrona Initiative


The Bemidji State University/Natrona Special Education Initiative is an accelerated, online/hybrid cohort program, which is delivered in Casper, Wyoming as well as through our Brightspace/Desire to Learn online Platform. Students earn a Special Education Licensure for K-12 in the areas of Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) and Emotional Behavioral Disorder (EBD).  Students also earn a Master of Special Education degree.

Special Education Licensure Program

  • This 34-credit licensure program prepares graduates who are currently licensed to develop and implement effective educational programs for students with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) and Emotional Behavior Disorder (EBD) Special Education Licensures.
  • Candidates who complete all required coursework and field experiences will develop the skills and knowledge necessary to design and implement individualized education program plans for students with learning disabilities.
  • By completing all licensure courses at the graduate level and completing three additional research-based courses and an application project, candidates in the special education licensure program may obtain a Master in Special Education.

Master of Special Education (MSpEd)

  • The Master of Special Education (MSpEd) is an applied degree designed for teachers specializing in specific learning disabilities or behavioral disorders.
  • The MSpED is a 39-credit application degree designed for practicing teachers seeking licensure in either SLD or EBD. Components of the degree emphasize theory to practice in practicum settings, development and modification of curriculum for students with special needs, and an understanding of relevant literature and research within the field. Thirty of 39 credit hours in the Master of Special Education degree are based on the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) Initial Level Special Educator Preparation Standards and the Minnesota Special Education Licensure Standards. The remaining nine credit hours are research-based professional application courses. The “Best Online College” ranking by Get Educated ranked BSU’s online masters in special education as the 15th-most affordable Special Education degree in the nation. 

Non-Licensed Teachers

  • The non-conventional program, Natrona, at Bemidji State University allows those non-licensed teachers to complete the Standards of Effective Practice as well as their Special Education courses while remaining employed in their school setting. Throughout the program, teacher candidates are required to fulfill 400 hours of fieldwork at the elementary, middle and secondary levels.

Candidate Licensure

  • Completion of this 24-month program allows the Special Education teacher candidate to earn from Bemidji State University a Master in Special Education Degree.
  • In addition, Bemidji State University will sign off for a standard Minnesota teaching license for each candidate in the areas of Learning Disabilities (LD) and Emotional Behavior Disorder (EBD) after student candidates have successfully completed all licensure requirements.
  • The students will complete an Institutional Review (IR) form. This IR form will be signed off by BSU when all requirements for licensing have been met in the areas of SLD and EBD. This form will provide proof of completion of the licensing requirements.

Note: Institutional Recommendation is an official form, completed by the Certification Officer at the applicant’s college or university, and serves as verification of the following:

  • That the applicant has met all of the requirements for completion of his/her program.
  • That the university is “recommending” the applicant for endorsement in the area(s) that correspond with his/her teacher preparation program.
  • That the applicant is eligible for licensure in the state in which the college or university is located.

Apply Now

For more information on this new program please contact:

Dr. Judy Olson
Graduate Wyoming Coordinator
Office: 218-755-3749 (Monday & Wednesday 10am – 2pm)
Work Cell: 218-407-2918