May 25, 2022  
2019-20 Graduate Bulletin 
2019-20 Graduate Bulletin Archived

Educational Diagnostician Certification

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The following tracks for a M.Ed. in special education utilize a pre-admission process.

  • M.Ed in special education without initial teacher certification
  • M.Ed in special education with initial teacher certification
  • M.Ed in special education with certification as an educational diagnostician
  • Educational Diagnostician - certification seeking only. This track is for individuals who possess current teacher certification and an M.Ed.

Before you complete an application to SFA’s Research and Graduate Studies, please contact Dr. Paige Mask ( for a shared folder invitation that will allow you to electronically upload the pre-admission items listed below for your chosen M.Ed. or certification seeking only track. Each applicant’s pre-admission items will be reviewed by the program faculty members. Please do not submit a Research and Graduate Studies application before completing these requirements, as the $50 application fee is non-refundable.

Pre-admission Items: Educational Diagnostician Certification Seeking Only

  1. Letter from your special education director indicating permission for you to complete a 160-hour practicum experience during the course of two semesters at the end of your certification program. An information letter that you can provide to your special education director may be obtained from Dr. Paige Mask ( Note: Please know that school districts are not required or obligated to grant permission for practicum experiences to prospective SFA program students. Your request for practicum experiences must be done respectfully and with the full knowledge that your first priority to the district/school are your teaching responsibilities or other currently held position in the district. You will have two semesters in which to earn 160 hours of practicum experience. The majority of our students continue to work full-time in a district while completing these hours.
  2. Copy of your official Teacher Service Record
  3. Copy of undergraduate transcript and, if applicable, a copy of graduate transcript
  4. Copy of your teacher certifications, which may be obtained from the following website:
  5. Complete and return a provided advanced certification seeking tracking form. This certification tracking form will not be submitted until you are admitted to the program and enrolled in your first semester of coursework.
  6. Three letters of recommendation (two of a professional nature and one can be a community member who has known you for some time). Please make sure these letters are signed.
  7. Current résumé
  8. Essay - a typed, double-spaced written statement (minimum three to five pages in length) describing your experience in the field of special education, your philosophy on educating students with special needs, and how personal qualities and educational experience would make you an exceptional candidate for the special education graduate program.
  9. A video introducing you to program faculty in a professional manner. This video is to be no longer than five minutes. A free video-recording resource is located at Please include the following information in your video:
    1. Name
    2. Current employment
    3. Years of teaching experience and types of teaching experiences
    4. Teacher certifications
    5. Qualities and competencies you possess that would make you a good candidate for our program and a future quality educational diagnostician in the field
    6. Statement regarding your ability and motivation to participate in a rigorous certification program.

All pre-admission items will be uploaded to a shared folder (via invitation email sent by Dr. Paige Mask). In order to receive the shared folder invitation, you will need to create a free Microsoft account that uses your current email account. Directions for creating this account may be obtained from Dr. Mask. When your Microsoft account has been created and you are ready to upload your pre-admission items, please email Dr. Mask ( to request a shared folder invitation.

When the above items have been completed and submitted, you may be asked to participate in a short, online video-conferencing interview session in which you will be asked up to five additional questions. You will access this interview via a provided web link. Once this process is complete and you been notified of your acceptance to the program, you may apply to Research and Graduate Studies. The application can be accessed and submitted electronically from the following website: Please complete the application as a M.Ed.-seeking student. Please do not submit a Research and Graduate Studies application before completing these requirements as the $50 application fee is non-refundable.

Admission to any of the graduate special education programs is contingent upon admission to Research and Graduate Studies; therefore, a student applying to the graduate program must meet the criteria for admission to Research and Graduate Studies. Criteria for admission to Research and Graduate Studies include a 2.5 overall GPA for provisional admission and a 2.8 overall GPA for clear admission. The GRE is waived for individuals who hold a M.Ed. in a related field or for individuals with an overall or last 60 hours GPA of 3.0 or higher.

The following will be completed for Research and Graduate Studies:

  • application to Research and Graduate Studies that includes official transcripts indicating all college-level enrollment.
  • a $50 application fee

Transcripts are sent to the following address:

Office of Research and Graduate Studies
Stephen F. Austin State University
P.O. Box 13024, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, TX 75962


The program director for the special education program is:
Dr. Paige R. Mask
Stephen F. Austin State University
Department of Human Services
Human Services Building, Room 313B
P.O. Box 13019
Nacogdoches, TX 75962
(936) 468-1076

Degree Requirements

An individual possessing a master’s degree in a related field (e.g., counseling, special education, school psychology) may be eligible for the option to seek certification only as an educational diagnostician.

An evaluation of both undergraduate and graduate transcripts (copies of transcripts are acceptable) and a copy of your teacher certification record will be necessary in order to make recommendations for the Educational Diagnostician Certification Seeking Only plan, which will be filed with SFA’s certification officer. You may email these three items to Dr. Paige Mask -

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