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July 15, 2015

SVSU to offer new endorsement for special education students

Saginaw Valley State University has received renewed authorization from the Michigan Department of Education to offer an endorsement for students in its teacher preparation and special education programs. SVSU will begin offering an updated curriculum for the endorsement in cognitive impairment this fall for students pursuing bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

“This endorsement will help us better prepare educators to meet the unique learning needs of youth who have a cognitive impairment,” said Dorothy Millar, SVSU professor of teacher education. “There is a shortage of teachers in Michigan with this specialization.”

Cognitive impairment, previously referred to as mental impairment or mental retardation, is a broad and complex classification regarding intellectual and developmental disabilities. Under the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education, students are eligible to receive individualized special education programming when they are determined to have a cognitive impairment.

When identifying the students’ strengths and needs, and when provided effective instruction and support, students with cognitive impairments can reach their full potential in academics and in all aspects of living resulting in a high quality of life.

Millar said SVSU graduates of the program will be well-prepared.

“We have designed our program to be heavy on field experience, collaborating with school districts in urban and rural settings to ensure our students receive a well-rounded education,” she said. “We also have placed an emphasis on connecting course work to the leading evidence-based instructional practices in the field, so that our graduates are using the most effective methods to teach their students.”

SVSU will begin offering courses in the program this August.  For more information, contact Millar at, or Kathy Lopez, SVSU certification officer at 989-964-4057 or