Department of Educational Specialties

I am pleased to welcome you to the Department of Educational Specialties. Both the Art Education and Special Education programs and faculty are located in this department, working to provide opportunities for students and others to work toward a better world. 

The range of career possibilities is wide. Whether you are interested in learning how to help children express themselves in art, understand their visual culture, or how to integrate studio arts with teaching — this is the place to be. Or perhaps you want to know how to differentiate instruction for children and young people with special education needs, pursue social justice for all students, or learn to conduct research on learning and disability — this is the place to be.

As you look at the information on this website you will see many wonderful chances for you to be a part of the Educational Specialties community — as a student, instructor, visitor, staff member, or supportive friend. If you have questions or suggestions contact Ruth Luckasson, Educational Specialties chair, at, or contact any of our faculty or staff. We are always looking for ways to improve our programs, collaborate on research, or contribute to the community and we want to hear from you.

Ruth Luckasson, J.D.

Educational Specialties Chair

Our Vision

We want to be a department that values passion, appreciation, recognition, collegiality, and community. The ultimate purpose of the department’s work is to add richness and depth to teaching and learning.

Our Mission

Teaching, Research, and Service.

Special Education Program, two women working together

Special Education Program

The Special Education Program offers a range of rigorous degree and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. We prepare educators, leaders, and policy-makers who strive to assist individuals with exceptionalities and their families create personally satisfying lives across a variety of school and community settings. Our outstanding faculty have developed courses, degrees,  and certificates that can meet your needs whether you are exploring special education for the first time, investigating a possible career  change, or seeking advanced professional development.

Art Education Program

The Art Education Program at the University of New Mexico prepares art professionals to meet the needs of diverse populations in the state and nation. The program supports art professionals in their examination of multiple approaches to art education; these include, but are not limited to image-focused, discipline-based, and issues-based art education as well as visual culture.