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Stephen F. Austin State University

Educational Diagnostician

Educational Diagnostician Certification Preparation

The Department of Education Studies offers two options for educational diagnostician certification preparation.

Option 1: M.Ed. in Special Education (Educational Diagnostician Certification Seeking) -- Online

The M.Ed. in special education with educational diagnostician certification provides graduate-level preparation in the areas of disabilities, instructional strategies, formal assessment and law.

An educational diagnostician is a master's-level professional who works within the public school system to ensure that special education services are provided to eligible students in accordance with all applicable federal laws, regulations, state statutes and standards defined by the Texas Education Agency and the Commissioner of Education. The program consists of master's-level course work and preparation for certification as an educational diagnostician.

Required courses for the M.Ed. in special education with educational diagnostician certification:

Note: SPED 5354 and 5355 are taken as two of the last courses due to preparation for the #253 Educational Diagnostician TExES and 160 required practicum hours.

Option 2: Educational Diagnostician Certification Seeking Only -- Online

To be eligible for a professional certification as an educational diagnostician, an individual must have a master's degree from an accredited institution of higher education and have three years of classroom teaching experience in a public or accredited private school.

Required courses for the educational diagnostician certification are based on an undergraduate and graduate transcript review. At minimum, the following courses are needed for the certification:

If you would like to know your course needs for the educational diagnostician certification, please submit the following information to Dr. Summer Koltonski ( review before completing the pre-admission process:

Graduate Program Pre-Admission Requirements

An individual possessing a master's degree in a related field and teacher certification may be eligible for the option of seeking the educational diagnostician certificate.

This master's program requires the following for application:

1. Letter from your Special Education Director indicating permission for you to complete a practicum experience at the end of your program. View a letter of example practicum experiences. This is not the letter that we are requesting from your director but rather information about activities that we would like for a candidate to experience. Your director may choose to complete this letter in place of writing their own.

Note: Please know that school districts are not required or obligated to grant permission for practicum experiences to prospective SFA students. Your request for practicum experiences must be done respectfully and with the full knowledge that your first priority to the district/school is your teaching responsibility 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 (TSR).

3. Copy of your undergraduate and graduate transcripts. From this information, we will send you an email with our course recommendations.

4. Complete and return the advanced certification seeking tracking form. We will not submit this tracking form until you are in the program, so the $100 fee will not be applied unless you join our program.

5. Three signed 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.

6. Current resume.

7. Essay -- a typed double-spaced written statement (minimum 3-5 pages in length) describing your experience in the field of special education, your philosophy on educating students with special needs, and how your personal qualities and educational experience would make you an exceptional candidate for the special education graduate program.

8. A copy of your teacher certification record, which can be obtained from the following website: We will also use this information to determine your course needs.

9. A video recording introducing yourself to program faculty in a professional manner. This video is to be no longer than 5 minutes in duration. A free video-recording resource may be found at Please include the following information in your video.

When the above items have been completed and submitted, we may request you participate in a short online video-conferencing interview session during which you will be asked up to five additional questions. You will access this interview via a provided web link.

Your pre-admission items will be evaluated by program faculty using the 2-page rubric below. A minimum score of 16 is required for page 1 qualifications and a minimum score of 8 for page 2 items.

Rubric page 1

Rubric Page 2

Once this process is complete and you have been notified of your acceptance to the program, you may apply to the Graduate School via for the Special Education Program and the Educational Diagnostician Concentration. Please do not submit a Graduate School application before completing these requirements, as the $50 application fee is non-refundable.

Finally, if you did not receive your undergraduate degree from SFA, ensure that copies of your undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) transcripts are sent to the SFA Graduate School.

For more information about applying to the program, please contact Nikkie Strahan ( and Dr. Summer Koltonski (

Download a printer-friendly version of these requirements and rubric here.


Educational Diagnostician Careers

Educational Diagnostician Certification Seeking Only Online Graduate Program

M.Ed. in Special Education with Educational Diagnostician Certification Online Graduate Program

Degree Plan: M.Ed. in Special Education with the Educational Diagnostician Certification

Handbook: Online Master's in Special Education