Majors in Communication Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services

Develop and Implement Services for People with Disabilities

Special education programs at IUP are designed to enhance your ability to provide a variety of life-span services focusing on developing and implementing education, transition, habilitation, and rehabilitation plans for people with disabilities. All of our undergraduate degrees in special education will enhance your ability to teach children, adolescents, and/or adults with special needs. We also offer a unique certification program if you are currently enrolled in a secondary education program and you want to be certified to teach children with disabilities.

BS in Disability Services

  • Engage in a multidisciplinary curriculum in the educational, social, and natural sciences.
  • Your degree prepares you for employment as an instructional assistant in public or private schools, as a member of the therapeutic support staff, or in a wide variety of capacities in mental health/intellectual disability programs, community-based employment/living programs, early intervention programs, residential treatment programs, preschool/day care programs, and for other agency service providers for individuals with disabilities.

BSEd in Early Childhood Special Education

  • Acquire the skills and training to become a highly qualified, competent, and effective teacher of all learners from pre-K through grade four and special education students from pre-K through grade eight.
  • Use appropriate techniques and strategies to expand children's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.
  • Learn best practices in both early childhood education and special education by combining coursework with extensive field experiences.
  • Achieve the academic requirements for Pennsylvania certification in both pre-K to grade four, as well as special education pre-K to grade eight.

BSEd in Urban, Early Childhood Special Education

  • Be prepared to make a real difference in the lives of urban children who face major life stressors like social isolation, poverty, and underfunded schools.
  • Become experienced with field time working with children in Pittsburgh urban schools.
  • Spend your entire senior year assigned to a classroom, taking methods courses with your IUP professors who visit on-site and discuss any learning challenges you are encountering.
  • Take full advantage of this unique dual certification program. This degree leads to teacher certification for preschool through fourth grade and special education for preschool through grade eight.
  • Attend the Philadelphia Urban Seminar, a two-week cultural immersion field course, and Orientation to Teaching in Urban Centers, which explores cultural bridging, institutionalized racism, ethnic identity development (including white identity), white privilege, and other concepts.

BSEd in Special Education, PreK–12

  • Transform your life and make a true difference in the lives of your students.
  • Gain an advanced level of teaching ability with specialized expertise in the learning differences of students with a variety of disabilities
  • Teach academic subjects and/or functional curricula in a specialized classroom.
  • Co-teach with a general education teacher in an inclusive setting.
  • Serve in a consultative role to meet the needs of included students.
  • Develop and implement individualized programs that meet the intellectual, social, and emotional needs of students.

BS in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

  • Take advantage of the elective clinical experience your senior year. This experience is usually only available to those in a master's program.
  • Plan on getting a competitive advantage to qualify for admission to graduate schools.
  • Take the first step to becoming a practicing speech-language pathologist or audiologist. National certification, state licensure, and Pennsylvania Department of Education Certification in Speech-Language Impaired are available only to holders of the master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology or clinical doctorate in Audiology. To get a graduate degree, you need your bachelor's first.

Dual Certification–Special Education Grades 7-12 for Secondary Education Major

  • Unique dual certification program open to students majoring in a secondary education field.
  • Get certified to teach students with autism, behavior/emotional disorders, developmental disabilities, health impairments, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairments, and traumatic brain injuries.
  • Interweave courses and field experiences into your program of study and supplement your education with summer coursework and/or field experiences.

Minor in Audiology

  • If your future is in audiology, obtain more extensive coursework to prepare you for the professional doctorate required to practice in audiology.
  • If your future is in speech-language pathology or another profession, you will learn more about the impact of hearing impairment on communication.

Minor in Special Education

  • Prepare to have a better understanding of the social, emotional, and learning characteristics of individuals with disabilities.
  • Develop a through understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which addresses the rights of individuals and parents regarding inclusion in the regular classroom, delivery of services in inclusive settings, and transition planning.
  • This minor is most useful for students with a major in sociology, psychology, human development and family science, criminology, and secondary education who are interested in interacting or working with individuals with disabilities.