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Online Special Education Degree Programs Resource

The need for teachers with a bachelor’s degree in special education is constantly growing across the country. Those who hold special education degrees work with students and preschool children in schools, special programs, daycare, and in their homes. Special education teachers help students who qualify for special services based on assessments of their capabilities when compared to other students their own age. These students’ disabilities are often mental, like learning disabilities, but they also may be physical or psychological. Special needs students have a federally mandated individualized education plan, or IEP, and are legally required to have special education services. These are typically students who fall below the normal range, however, special educators may also teach students who are identified as gifted and talented. Special education jobs require patience, empathy, and a thorough knowledge of educational methods. This career field is subject to regulations from the state and federal government that are often changing, so a willingness to learn and abide by new regulations is necessary.

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How to Become a Special Educator

Traditional and online bachelor’s degree programs in special education require coursework in methods, foundations of education, assessment, assistive technology, special education law, as well as planning and curriculum. Most special education programs require a certain amount of coursework in a specialty area, such as math, history, English, or science. Many online schools offer special education programs. These online schools offer accredited programs which provide a great deal of flexibility for students.

Most states require several hours of practicum placement to be completed in local schools each semester. For example, New York State requires 20 hours of practicum placement every semester, up to a total of 100 hours of that must be completed by graduation. Special education programs require this kind of coursework to prepare a student for state certification. Typically certification also requires tests in general content and special education, federal fingerprinting, and a child abuse workshop. This may vary depending on the certifying state. Once certified, a teacher may then begin looking for special education jobs in their respective state.

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Special Education Degrees & Certification

Whether it comes from a traditional brick-and-mortar university or an online school, a bachelor’s degree in special education opens the door to several job opportunities. The traditional career option is to become a special education teacher in a school. However, a growing area of special education is itinerant teachers. These are teachers that come into children’s homes or daycare facilities and work with them on an appointment basis. Special education degrees can also qualify a graduate for tutoring jobs. Certified special education teachers are in high demand as tutors for students with special needs who need extra help outside of school hours. These are just a few of the many special education jobs available to those with a special education degree.

Top 25 Special Education Blogs

See our list of top blogs by special education teachers that share insights into what it is like to be a special education teacher.

Special Education Degrees and Programs

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