Elementary Education and Special Education Dual Certification

Picture a safe, caring and comfortable classroom in which the unique strengths of every student are fostered, where inclusivity is celebrated and negative stereotypes about dis/ability are dispelled. Now picture yourself as the teacher of that class. At Carroll, you can acquire the skills, knowledge and experiences to gain certification in both special and elementary education.

“What I love most is that we are placed in a classroom our sophomore year.”
— Carley Mueller '20

Read Carley's story


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About the Dual Certification Program

In Carroll University’s elementary education and special education dual licensure programs, you’ll develop the skills and knowledge to lead learner-centered, inclusive environments, which provide all students access to the educational curriculum.

Inclusive teaching is characterized by:

  • Creating environments of belonging
  • Promoting relationships that lead to mutual caring
  • Approaching learners with an asset perspective that draws on the strengths of students
  • Personalizing learning around each student’s strengths and needs
  • Implementing curriculum and instruction that includes multiple perspectives and student choice
  • Reducing prejudice by confronting negative stereotypes toward dis/ability
  • Providing access and opportunity for all students

Dual licensure is an attractive option if you want to pursue a career in elementary education and special education. You’ll be able to complete this program in four years, and this may include participation in the Inclusive Teacher Residency Program. You’ll be placed within inclusive environments that model these seven teaching practices and learn to recognize and respond to the diverse needs of students.

Dually certified candidates gain a broader awareness and understanding of the school structures, processes and community organizations that support students with disabilities. You’ll learn innovative, inclusive and equitable approaches, including effective practices that align with research-based models for pre-service and in-service educators, to meet the& academic, social and emotional needs of all learners.

Learn more about the Education Department at Carroll University.


Carroll University’s program offers two certification tracks leading to dual licensure in special education and elementary education: 

Inclusive Teacher Residency Program

Carroll’s Inclusive Teacher Residency Program (ITRP) offers expanded opportunities to prepare and refine your skills in schools and classrooms. A resident is a pre-service undergraduate education candidate in the last two semesters of his or her teacher preparation program. As a resident, you’ll engage in a variety of teaching and learning experiences for a full K-12 academic year. In the first semester of the residency, you’ll work in the school setting approximately 20-25 hours per week while also completing university coursework. You’ll have opportunities to participate in team planning, school and district staff development and, in some cases, as a paid staff member in the district. The residency culminates with an 18-week student teaching placement. Candidates who participate in the residency program solidify their philosophical beliefs around inclusive practices, and are well prepared to transition into their role as an educator.


College is a big investment in a bright future. Learn more about the rewarding careers our majors pursue, and the workplaces and experiences of the alumni from our program. See where yours may take you.

Latest Program News

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Meet the Faculty

RoseAnn Donovan

RoseAnn Donovan

Assistant Professor of Education
Kimberly Hofkamp

Kimberly Hofkamp

Assistant Professor, Certifying Officer and Director of Clinical Experience
Andrew Hurie

Andrew Hurie

Lecturer of Bilingual/Bicultural Education
Dr. Kathrine Kramer

Dr. Kathrine Kramer

Assistant Professor of Education/Director of Graduate Education Studies
Dr. Kerry Kretchmar

Dr. Kerry Kretchmar

Associate Professor of Education
Dr. Colleen Pennell

Dr. Colleen Pennell

Assistant Professor of Literacy / Elementary Reading
Dr. Rachel Stickles

Dr. Rachel Stickles

Senior Lecturer in Education
Dr. Amy Toson

Dr. Amy Toson

Assistant Professor of Special Education
Dr. Kimberly White

Dr. Kimberly White

Associate Professor of Education and Chair of the Department of Education
Panoramic View of campus