Special education teachers who hold a certificate are trained to work with children who have various disabilities and learning differences. They are uniquely qualified to teach these students, and they do so in public schools, private schools, and residential facilities. Those who hold special education certificates can also work for the government, community advocacy organizations, and other social service providers.
Most certificate programs in special education will begin with an overview of the various disabilities that fall under the umbrella of “special education.” This includes but is not limited to physical disabilities, learning disabilities, attention disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and emotional/behavioral disorders. This section also covers how to help students with these conditions develop socially and emotionally.
Next, certificate programs typically cover early childhood education, including best practices for working with infants and toddlers. The coursework also explores transitions from preschool to primary education, as well as from primary to secondary education. Finally, certificate programs provide an overview of methods for training parents and professionals to properly care for students with special needs.
In addition to earning an undergraduate degree, those interested in becoming a special education teacher should obtain certification through a state-approved program. This certificate may come in the form of an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree.
While some colleges offer their own programs for teaching special education, others require that students complete their coursework through the school’s department of education. Typically, this means completing general education requirements as well as additional courses pertaining to the subject matter being taught.
Certificate programs are short, intense programs that generally take a year or less to complete. They are designed to give you an introduction to your field and can be used as a stepping stone or additional training for your current career.
However, sometimes it can be hard for a teacher to know how to properly interact with their students. It can be difficult to know when a student just needs some extra help, or when there is something more serious going on.
That is where certificate programs in special education come into play. These programs are designed to help teachers learn about different disorders that may affect their students (such as autism) and how they can best help these children succeed academies.
Special education teachers work with general education teachers to present the information in a way that students with disabilities can more easily understand. They also collaborate with parents and administrators to develop IEPs (Individual Education Plans) for their students that set goals for them on short-term and long-term bases.
Typically requiring a bachelor’s degree in special education or in the subject area they plan to teach (such as English), special education teachers are certified by completing an approved teacher preparation program and passing state licensing exams. Some states require additional exams for special education teachers who work with specific age groups or disabilities.
Looking for more information on certificate programs in special education? The International Association of Special Education (IASE) is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to providing you with the highest-quality knowledge, training, and services for your career. Our members are teachers, administrators, researchers, and other professionals who are committed to achieving excellence in the field of special education. We provide certification programs and advice on what the best practices are in this field and how you can achieve them.
Special education professionals need at least a bachelor’s degree in special education before they can begin to work with students, as well as certification. Many states also require teachers to earn a master’s degree after receiving their teaching license.
Master’s degree programs in special education are for individuals who have already earned their bachelor’s degrees and are looking for an opportunity to specialize in either early childhood or adult learning.
For example, some states require first-time teachers to complete an internship or residency program under the guidance of a licensed teacher before they can become certified. Most states now require special education teachers to earn a master’s degree within five years of entering the profession.
Through clinical fieldwork, observation and practicum experiences, you’ll gain the skills to be successful in today’s classrooms. You’ll also build confidence interacting with students and parents, become familiar with IEPs, and develop effective strategies for meeting the needs of students with disabilities.
A certificate program can give you the credentials and knowledge to advance your career as an educator or human services professional. If you’re already working in the field, a certificate may give you new opportunities for leadership roles or more challenging positions.