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University of Maryland College Park Bachelor Degree Program in Special Education

University & College Info June 26, 2013

Making the difference in the life of a child is its own reward. You feel as if you are doing something good for society. You feel as if you belong, and the adulation of your students is an incomparable feeling. There is a need for smart, strong teachers in the field, particularly in the sector of young adults with disabilities. The University of Maryland at College Park has a bachelor degree program in special education that involves teaching students of all ages who have these disabilities, from infants to children to young adults.

UMD Coursework for Special Education

Admissions approval will require a 2.75 grade point average (GPA) and an application with three recommendation letters. Some pre-professional education will be required. Once the program begins, there will be a two-semester sequence of foundation special education courses and practicum experiences to look forward to. This training will focus on teaching theory and practice related to teaching children and young adults with special needs. A C- and 3.0 GPA is required as well as a teaching internship for graduation. In addition, aspiring teachers must perform well on the College of Education Foundational Competencies/Technical Standards.

Subjects covered include the history of the United States as well as some basic training in statistics and probability. Lab science will be covered, as will English literature. Much of the training involves educating teachers on how to behave and how to treat special education students. Therefore, psychology, sociology and contemporary social problems will be covered. Hearing and speech science will be discussed, and also child development and growth. Computers will be explained in a professional-level course, and this will accompany language development, reading acquisition, and field placement. There will also be courses for specialized learning that may include how to work with infants, writing instruction, cultural diversity and how it relates to disability, and family partnerships. Special courses are also available in the fields of autism and community based construction.

About the UMD School and the Special Education Degree

The program has been nationally recognized for its in-depth training, which amounts to 150 credit hours and 10 total semesters. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree can prepare students for a full-time career in the profession, eventually leading to a special education teacher certification in the State of Maryland or in any other state, due to the option of certification reciprocity.

After finishing this program, students will be able to understand the needs of the disabled, their potential, limitations, and how to best use the classroom setting to explore the potential. In addition, special education teacher students will be taught how to plan classroom activities, how to make assessments of students, and how to work with other educators, families of students and other authority figures.

There are also fieldwork opportunities for students. You will be able to test these concepts in an actual classroom and in a collaborative environment. There are also associations that can be of help, such as the Council for Exceptional Children. Lastly, do not forget the scholarship programs that can help you through college. The Special Education Endowed Fund in honor of Jean R. Hebeler is a program that helps promising students. This is a career path that will make you feel needed, appreciated, and heart-warming. Take advantage of your communication skills and learn how to make a full-time job out of this exciting career field.

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