Sep 18, 2021  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 

Learning Disabilities [M.A.]

Students accepted into the graduate program in learning disabilities may elect a teaching endorsement in learning disabilities or, if a specified previous special education endorsement has been earned, a dual endorsement in learning disabilities and cognitive impairment or emotional impairment and a master of arts degree. The learning disability endorsement is K-12.


Eastern Michigan University’s advanced professional education programs support inquiry, advocacy and leadership in education for a diverse and democratic society. In addition, the masters-level programs in the Department of Special Education & Communication Sciences and Disorders produce professionals with the comprehensive knowledge, skills and attitudes to deliver a continuum of habilitative/rehabilitative services to persons with special needs, and to their families, within a diverse society.

Program Admission

An applicant seeking admission must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Meet the minimum Graduate School admission criteria.
  2. Possess a valid Michigan teacher certification.
  3. Submit two references (name and contact information).
  4. Have a successful personal interview, if requested, with an assigned advisor.
  5. Submit a personal statement of purpose, describing why the applicant would like to pursue graduate studies in the area of learning disabilities and how they hope to benefit from these studies.
  6. In the case of international students, provide a score of 90 on the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB).

Applicants who have earned a teaching certificate, but no special education endorsement, are required to complete additional deficiency and/or elective courses, as determined by their advisor.

Department Information

Special Education & Communication Sciences and Disorders | David Winters, Ph.D., Department Head | 128 Porter, 734.487.3300,

Derrick Fries, Ph.D., Graduate Coordinator | 106 Porter, 734.487.3300,

Contact the Graduate Coordinator for information concerning admissions and programs of study.

Advisor Information

Rhonda Kraai, Ed.D., 123 Porter, 734.487.2740,

Program Requirements

The graduate student seeking a master of arts degree in learning disabilities through the Special Education & Communication Sciences and Disorders Department must:

  1. Complete an approved master’s degree program that has been planned with a graduate advisor for the Department of Special Education & Communication Sciences and Disorders.
  2. Complete a competency examination at 90 percent or better.
  3. Have on file with an advisor, two evaluations of teaching effectiveness/professional competence. These evaluations are to be completed by supervisors/administrators in public or private schools at the conclusion of the internship experience.
  4. Complete a supervised practicum experience.
  5. Complete the degree requirements within six years of enrolling for the first-class applicable to the degree program.
  6. Meet all other requirements of the Graduate School.

Exit Requirements

Exit criteria include the demonstration of acceptable levels of performance in the following areas:

  • Ability to carry out suitable procedures for assessment of listening, thinking, talking, reading, spelling, writing, mathematics, or other skill deficiencies
  • Ability to specify, in behavioral terms, the instructional objectives, that are appropriate to the skill needs and entry-level characteristics of, an individual student
  • Ability to set up and maintain conditions and procedures of instruction suitable to the learning goals set for the individual student
  • Ability to assess instructional outcomes in terms of the student’s behavior change and use this data in the formulation of an on-going instructional plan adjusted to changed student conditions
  • Ability to use appropriate techniques with the student to help develop the self-management skills required for constructive social participation and independent learning
  • Ability to function as a member of interdisciplinary teams and maintain effective liaison with parents and others working with the student

Acceptable levels will be determined by course grades, GPA, competency examination, practicum evaluations, and performance in research colloquium, including production at the end of practicum of a comprehensive written document which demonstrates the understanding, synthesis of knowledge and the practical applications of diagnostic-prescriptive planning for K-12 students with disabilities. This product is considered a culminating activity for the degree program.

Degree Requirements: 30 hours

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours; however, exact coursework requirements will be determined based on the student’s previous coursework and experience.

Learning Disability Concentration: 6 hours

Students who previously earned credit in SPLI 468, are not required to complete SPLI 568 and should complete an additional elective course.

Electives: 2 hours

Students must complete a minimum two credit hours of elective or deficiency coursework, at the 500-level or above. Course(s) must be approved by assigned advisor.

Dual Endorsement

Students pursuing this degree program are eligible for an additional endorsement in either Cognitive Impairment or Emotional Impairment.

Required coursework for a dual endorsement consists of the 30 credit hour minimum required for the MA in Learning Disabilities and an additional 15 (EI) or 19 (CI) credit hours. Total hours required for the additional endorsement will vary, additional deficiency courses may be needed or in rare cases, students end up with less than 15 (EI) or 19 (CI) hours as a result of previous coursework completed (as determined by their advisor). To earn both endorsements a student must complete their program in its entirety.