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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Special Education

Majors Overview November 5, 2014

Students in special education undergraduate degree programs will be prepared for graduate study in states that require a master’s degree to teach or to become licensed teachers. Coursework focuses on education and psychology.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Special Education

Prospective school paraprofessionals, substitute teachers, and undergraduate students, among others interested in a career in the field, would benefit by earning a bachelor’s degree in special education.

Students enrolled in the program gain a strong grasp of liberal arts before they are equipped with the pedagogical, practical, and theoretical knowledge they would need to teach students with special needs. Students will not only become adept at evaluating and assessing special needs students, but also at managing a special needs classroom.
The primary focus of most programs is on instructing students about general types of learning disabilities and mental illness, in addition to the disciplinary and psychological techniques necessary for handling troubled or misbehaving students. In-class training culminates most classes, which often include a teaching practicum, assistant teaching, or student teaching.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Many schools also insist on the submission of a letter of recommendation and SAT or ACT scores, in addition to a personal statement.

Coursework

Hands-on training and theoretical instruction are combined in coursework that is often delivered within special education classrooms and usually comprised of classes in psychology and pedagogy. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Behavioral problems in special education
•Special education curriculum development
•Classroom management
•Ethics and teaching
•Developmental and social abnormalities
•Common learning disabilities
•Psychological disorders
•Special education teaching techniques

Job and Wage Outlook

A slower than average job growth rate of 6% has been predicted for special education teachers over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, the average annual wage packets earned by teachers working in primary schools, middle schools, and secondary schools were $53,820, $55,780, and $56,830 respectively (BLS).
slower than average job growth rate
Continuing Education Choices

Licensure, which is granted by either licensing committees or state education boards, is mandatory for special education teachers. Each state may have its own licensure requirements. In some states, only a bachelor’s degree may be required for these professionals to obtain licensure, while, in others, a master’s degree may be mandatory.
More advanced pedagogical training can be obtained through master’s degrees in special education, in addition to specific instruction related to common disorders. There is also a greater focus on research in master’s degree programs.

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5 Program(s) Found
  • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
  • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • 87% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
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  • Transferable Credits
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  • Averett University is a top-ranked, fully-accredited institution that offers students over 30 undergraduate majors, minors and special programs, and 5 master's programs.
  • Accelerated programs designed for convenience: choose from weekly evening courses at one of Averett's Virginia locations or study online and on your own time.
  • Averett University was named one of Virginia’s top colleges for return on investment, and their average scholarship package lowers the cost of attendance further by almost 40%.
  • Averett offers students learning experiences that mirror real-life situations. This means you can put today's lesson to the test during tomorrow’s workday.
  • Averett University's 12:1 student-professor ratio makes your education a collaborative endeavor based on close relationships between students and faculty.
  • Online Courses
3 Program(s) Found
  • Post brings 127+ years of campus success to flexible online degrees in Education
  • 100% online with degrees at all levels
  • Connect with other professionals in education around the world and across industries
  • Ranked in the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by the US News & World Report
  • Post University earned the 2017 Military Spouse Friendly School® designation
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • One of the top-ranked universities in Florida, Saint Leo University offers over 50 accredited undergraduate degrees, programs and endorsements as well as master's and doctoral programs.
  • Saint Leo’s undergraduate and graduate online degree programs prepare you to take advantage of growing career opportunities in a variety of in-demand fields.
  • Saint Leo University provides academic excellence, flexibility, affordability, and a wide range of educational programs with financial aid and scholarships available to those who qualify.
  • Saint Leo offers a 14:1 Student-Teacher Ratio to ensure you get the personal attention you deserve.
  • Learn on your schedule with our 6 convenient available start dates throughout the year. Get started on earning your accredited degree today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

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