May 25, 2022

Dordt Launches M.SPED Program

Dordt launches a Masters in Special Education Program

The Dordt University Graduate Studies Department is now accepting applications for the new Master of Special Education (M.SPED) program.

“Dordt’s Master of Special Education will prepare you to teach students with special needs across a range of settings and ages,” says Dr. Kathleen VanTol, professor of education. “Students with disabilities need teachers who both care about them and have the tools and techniques to help them be successful. In this cross-categorical program, teachers will learn those research-based practices which will enable them to support students who have a variety of learning and behavioral challenges.”

The 30-credit program is 100 percent online and can be completed in as little as two years. Students also have the opportunity to take courses in Applied Behavior Analysis to qualify for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam.

“This new program allows teachers to build on their existing strengths and prepare for their future professional needs such as instructional strategy, behavior analysis, assessment, and interventions,” says Dr. Steve Holtrop, professor of education and director of graduate studies.

The M.SPED program will partner with Dordt University’s Thrive Center, a teaching center providing areas of behavior therapy and skills acquisition for children. The center employs therapies based on the principles of applied behavior analysis, collaborating with schools, families, and agencies to achieve the best outcome for each client.

“Dordt’s strengths in special education combined with opportunities in the Thrive Center, help teachers boost the caring, competence, and confidence needed to help all students thrive,” says Holtrop. “This is a great opportunity for educators to hear God saying, ‘whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ (Matt. 25: 40).”

To learn more about the Master of Special Education visit

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report,, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

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