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Utah State University, Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation, offers three alternative teacher preparation (ATP) programs: Mild/Moderate, Severe, and Early Childhood Special Education. These programs offer courses required for licensure to work with students with mild/moderate and severe disabilities in the greater Salt Lake City area, or preschool-age children with disabilities in school districts throughout the state.

To be eligible for this program, participants must have a bachelor's degree (a teaching degree is NOT required) from an accredited college or university and be employed in an approved special education setting serving students with mild/moderate or severe disabilities, or in a preschool special education program.

Preparation includes academic coursework taken concurrently with supervised field-based experiences. Applications  for Mild Moderate and Severe are available in May for the following academic year.  Early Childhood Special Education students may apply at any time throughout the academic year.

This licensure qualifies an individual to work with children with disabilities birth to age five. These children may have disabilities in the areas of cognition, communication, motor, adaptive (self-help), and/or social/emotional. The emphasis in this program is to provide embedded instruction of children's learning goals when and where they are needed during typical classroom routines and activities.


Barbara J. Fiechtl, M.S. , Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation, is the Director of the Early Childhood Alternative Teacher Preparation Program.

This licensure qualifies individuals to work with students with mild to moderate disabilities. These students may have mild cognitive impairments, learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, or other disabilities requiring special education. The emphasis in the mild/moderate program is on identifying strategies and developing special education programs to address the educational demands needed for the student to meet the state core curriculum.

Mild/Moderate Coordinator:

Melanie Dawson, Ph.D. , Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation, is the Coordinator of the Mild/Moderate Alternative Teacher Preparation Program.

Thank you for your interest in the Severe ATP program.  This USU Severe ATP program has been disolved, in favor of a distance education undergraduate degree or licensure program with an emphasis on severe disabilities.  Please contact Rebecca Morgan  for individual advisement.