Special Education (EC–12)

The Bachelor of Arts in Special Education (EC–12) at St. Edward’s empowers you to improve the learning lives of students with disabilities — guiding them toward independence and positive learning outcomes. You’ll engage in field-based, hands-on learning experiences with children who have a broad range of moderate learning and behavioral challenges and facilitate their success in today’s inclusive, general education classrooms. Graduates with this degree are in high demand due to a shortage of qualified special education teachers and rising enrollments of students needing services.

St. Edward’s offers the flexibility of dual certifications with this degree. Graduates can test for certification in both Special Education (EC–12) and Elementary Education (EC–6), providing more career options.

As a Special Education major, you’ll learn how to apply evidenced-based instructional and assessment strategies to create the optimal learning environment for students with disabilities. You’ll explore a variety of instructional settings along with inclusive classrooms designed to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities. And you’ll gain expertise in instructional and behavioral resources that include using the most up-to-date technological tools, such as assistive devices, interactive computer software and Apple® iPads.

Bachelor of Arts in Special Education (EC–12)

Overview:

As a BA in Special Education major, you’ll advocate for students who may be challenged by autism spectrum disorders, traumatic brain injury, mental disabilities or sensory impairments. And you’ll learn the latest special education “best practices” to help these children succeed in school and daily life — from positive behavior management to proven teaching methods that benefit struggling readers.

Today nearly 80% of students with disabilities spend the majority of their day in general education classrooms — an outcome of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). As a Special Education major, you’ll study the practical implications of federal IDEA laws promoting inclusion. You’ll learn how to set and achieve personal goals for each student and collaborate effectively with general educators, parents, social workers and therapists.

Career options are diverse with this degree. Upon certification, graduates may teach Special Education in early childhood through twelfth grade, and also pursue certification as a generalist, teaching regular early childhood through sixth grade. Graduates may work as a self-contained Special Education teacher for students with more severe disabilities, or serve as an inclusion/team teacher. With an advanced degree in this field, career roles include a diagnostician who identifies special needs, a university professor of Special Education, or a district leader who oversees all special education services and compliance with state and federal education laws.

Close interaction with the faculty at St. Edward’s — and time spent in classes, advising sessions and teaching fieldwork — fully prepares you for your student teaching internship and certification exams.

Degree Plan:

For detailed descriptions and timing of courses, please see the Undergraduate Bulletin (course catalog).

I. FOUNDATION COURSES (18 CREDIT HOURS):
• Rhetoric and Composition I and II*
• College Mathematics
• Computational Skills
• Oral Communication
• Modern Language

II. CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS (9 CREDIT HOURS):
• Literature and Human Experience
• Understanding and Appreciating the Arts
• American Experience
• American Dilemmas*
• History and Evolution of Global Processes
• Contemporary World Issues

III. MISSION COURSES (15 CREDIT HOURS):
• The Human Experience
• Ethics*
• Religious Studies/Philosophy Elective
• Science in Perspective
• Science in Depth

IV. CORE COURSES (67 CREDIT HOURS):
• Introduction to Special Education
• Characteristics of Students with Learning and Behavioral Disabilities
• Teaching Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
• Special Education and the Law
• Adapting Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities
• Classroom and Behavior Strategies for Students with Disabilities
• Assessing Students with Disabilities
• Teaching Reading, Language Arts and Math to Students with Disabilities
• Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

V. SUPPORTING CORE COURSES (36 CREDIT HOURS):
• Arts for Children
• Teaching Mathematics in the Elementary School
• Teaching Science in the Elementary School
• American Grammar
• Children’s Literature
• World Geography
• Introduction to Linguistics
• Language Acquisition and Second Language Methodology
• Mathematics for Elementary Teachers
• Geometry for Elementary Teachers
• Emerging Literacy Methods
• Content Area Literacy

VI. SPECIAL EDUCATION PRACTICUM (6 CREDIT HOURS)

VII. REQUIRED MINOR IN TEACHER EDUCATION (18 CREDIT HOURS):
• Foundations of Education
• Learning Processes and Evaluation
• Educational Technology Integration
• Elementary Instructional Methods and Classroom Management
• Curriculum and Evaluation in the Elementary School
• Child Development

VIII. CAPSTONE COURSE (3 CREDIT HOURS)

IX. GRADUATION CERTIFICATION:
You must register for this course in your graduating term to be certified for graduation.

* These courses are prerequisites for Capstone.