Smiling teacher leaning on a library counter

Special and Gifted Education

New Mexico Highlands University’s Special/Gifted Education Department offers a range of rigorous degree, endorsement, and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate level.

We prepare educators, related service individuals, and policy-makers who strive to support individuals with exceptionalities and their families create satisfying lives across a variety of school and community settings.

At NMHU, our focus is not only on academic and credentialing support, but also on addressing our students’ cultural, linguistic, demographic, and environmental diversities, as well as their social and emotional learning (SEL) needs. Our own team of diverse individuals who make up the Special/Gifted Education Department at NMHU have developed programs that can meet students’ needs whether they are exploring Special Education and working with students with exceptionalities for the first time, investigating a possible career change, or are seeking advanced professional development and credentialing.

Degrees Offered

For more than a century, New Mexico Highlands University has been the school of choice for generations of students wishing to pursue a teaching career. Our program provides a solid foundation in the latest education methods and hands-on classroom experience. We also offer a range of specialized majors in minors to accommodate students’ passions.

Special Education

Special Education
Gifted Education

BA Special Education
Dual Major in Elementary/Special Education (BA)
Early Childhood (BA) with a Minor in Special Education

Master’s Degrees
MA Special Education
MA Special Education/Gifted Concentration

Course delivery

Classes are delivered virtually to accommodate the need for social distancing as mandated by the state of New Mexico. Participants will be able to work collaboratively with their peers via the synchronous classroom using Zoom/Brightspace. All coursework includes accommodations, modifications and cultural awareness components, which allow participants  to communicate successfully and become fully involved with their classes and fellow students.

For more information, contact:
Dr. PJ Sedillo

Associate Professor
Department Chair Special/Gifted Education

Education undergraduate catalog
Courses in Special Education

The New Mexico Highlands undergraduate catalog outlines your options and the steps you need to take to complete degree requirements for your chosen major. To ensure the seamless completion of your degree, consult often with your academic adviser and utilize Highlands’ Degree Audit tool to keep track of your academic progress.

Graduate course catalog: Education

Graduate courses in Education

Master’s degree in Special Education

Graduate courses in Special Education

Graduate students are assigned to a faculty adviser within their area of study. The faculty adviser will help the student complete a program of study to satisfy the specific course requirements within their area, outlined in the graduate catalog.  The courses listed must satisfy the course requirements prescribed in the catalog of record. The academic adviser will provide guidance in completing your program of study.

Mission and Vision

The mission of the NMHU Department of Special Education is to improve the quality of the lives of individuals with disabilities and those who have been identified as exceptional learners by providing teaching professionals who support them: high-quality curriculum, educational and experiential opportunities, and a legal and compliant means of mastering the facilitation and implementation of Special Education processes.

The vision of the NMHU Department of Special/Gifted Education is to be a premier institution of learning that prepares educators, leaders, and related service individuals to serve as agents of social change.  Our successes are measured through assessing how our graduates transform the lives of individuals and communities where they serve. Our vision is to be a premier comprehensive Department of Special/Gifted Education by declaring that everyone in the Special Education field is united in the common commitment of ensuring success for each child. All students belong — all means all.

Faculty and Staff

PJ Sedillo, Ph.D.


P: 505-454-6933

Mariana Ulibarri-Horan, Ph.D.


P: 505-454-3540