Teach Those Who Have Special Learning Needs
If you’re hoping to make a difference in the lives of students with learning, emotional, behavioral, and/or physical disabilities, consider a career as an educator. With a BSEd in Special Education from IUP, you’ll have what it takes to be a dedicated, compassionate special education teacher.
Teaching special education requires a different approach. At IUP, you’ll get the training you need for you to meet the challenges and expectations required to teach students with special needs, learning disorders, and other disabilities.
What You’ll Learn in the Special Education Degree Program
Our BSEd in Special Education degree program is designed to prepare you with the content knowledge and specialized interventions to meet the needs of all students. As part of your program, you’ll have student-teaching opportunities with diverse students in K–12 settings.
With the help of our expert faculty, you’ll learn how to:
- Assess individual student strengths.
- Be a resource in meeting the needs of included students.
- Co-teach with a general education teacher in an inclusive setting.
- Develop and implement individualized programs that also meet their intellectual, social, and emotional needs.
- Master the ability to work with the diverse educational needs of young individuals who’ve been diagnosed with autism; intellectual, developmental, learning, and/or physical disabilities; brain injuries; and emotional and/or behavioral disorders.
- Teach academic subjects and/or functional curriculum in a specialized classroom.
Imagine Your Future
See yourself in front of a classroom of students with special needs, instructing them in a variety of subjects and celebrating their achievements as they grasp new academic and life skills. Or maybe you imagine developing specialized curriculum or performing assessments of these students.
No matter where you focus your career, there’s good news for those in the Bachelor’s in Special Education program: Demand for special education teachers is expected to grow 4 percent by 2031. So there are a lot of opportunities in private or public schools that serve students from preschool through high school (pre-K to grade 12).
Curious about other career options that are related to special education teacher? Consider these:
- Board certified behavior analysts
- Career and technical education teachers
- Hearing support teachers
- Other content area teachers
- Speech and language pathologists
- Vision support teachers
Classes and Requirements
As part of your studies to become a special education teacher, you'll have required coursework and student teaching experiences that help develop your expertise and confidence in this field. Passing the Praxis (Pennsylvania Certification Tests) exam also is required for this and other education majors.
You'll learn teaching methods geared specifically toward working with students who have learning disorders and disabilities. Some of the courses you'll take include:
- Atypical Development in Children and Adolescents
- Education of Persons with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders, Learning Disabilities, or Brain Injury
- Educational Psychology
- Methods of Teaching Content Area Subjects to Persons with Disabilities
- Methods of Teaching Mathematics to Secondary Students with Disabilities
- Methods of Teaching Reading to Persons with Disabilities
Teacher Certification Requirements
All students seeking teacher certification must meet the requirements of the Three-Step Process for Teacher Education.
Full Academic Catalog Listing
The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.
Special Education PK–12 Minor
Interested in working with children with disabilities? This Special Education PK–12 minor makes an ideal companion to majors in sociology, psychology, child development and family relations, criminology, and secondary education.
Learn how to work with the unique educational needs of young students with autism; intellectual, developmental, learning, and/or physical disabilities; brain injuries; and emotional and/or behavioral disorders.
In this 18-credit program, you’ll take one required three-credit course (EDEX 111) and 15 credits in controlled electives.
To be accepted into this minor, you must have a minimum 2.5 GPA.
Full Academic Catalog Listing
The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this minor.
Clubs and Organizations
IUP offers several ways for you to interact with special needs populations outside of the classroom. All except KDP are open to any student by simply signing up through Crimson Connect, IUP’s student organization website.
Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society for Educators
This invitation-only society is for those of you in an education preparation program with a qualifying GPA.
Council for Exceptional Children
Work together with others to help raise awareness and advocate for children with disabilities.
Socialize with and engage in recreational activities with members of the greater Indiana community who have intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Take advantage of the volunteer opportunities with the Indiana–Armstrong County Special Olympics.
Sign Language Club
Develop your sign language skills while interacting with other students who also communicate through this special language.