Special education programs in college are for students who have disabilities that interfere with their ability to learn. There are many different types of disabilities and special educational needs that a student can have, and schools work with individual students to help them overcome the challenges they encounter in their studies.
In order to get into a special education program, you need to meet certain eligibility requirements, which include having a disability that is defined as a mental or physical impairment; being unable to participate in normal educational activities due to that impairment; needing individualized accommodations in order to participate fully in class activities; or having some other condition like an emotional disturbance that prevents learning. Special education programs may be offered through your school’s regular curriculum, or they may be part of an alternative placement setting such as an alternative school for students with emotional disturbances or behavioral problems (i.e., one designed specifically for children).
Once enrolled at an accredited institution offering special education degrees, it is important for students to understand what will be expected of them throughout their time on campus. The first step is usually meeting with a counselor so that they can discuss their goals and decide which major best fits those goals before applying for admission into any particular program within that major category.
These fields of study focus on teaching students with special needs, including mental disorders (such as autism), physical disabilities (such as paralysis), and other forms of learning difficulties. For example, the Early Childhood Education field of study focuses on helping children learn through play and exploration. The Elementary Education and Teaching field of study focuses on teaching elementary school students. The Special Education field of study focuses on teaching older students with disabilities.
Students in this program take core courses in topics like behavior management, assessment, and literacy, as well as specialized courses in autism spectrum disorders, cultural diversity in education, and child development. They also complete a semester of student teaching where they gain valuable experience working with real students in the classroom environment.
Students in this area of study learn the skills necessary to provide services to children, youth, and adults with disabilities. They acquire the knowledge and background needed to work in a variety of settings besides classrooms and schools. The flexibility of online learning helps students balance their jobs and school work as they earn their degree at their own pace.
Many programs offer concentrations in specific areas that allow learners to customize their degree to meet their interests and career goals. Potential specializations include autism spectrum disorders, early childhood education, learning disabilities, and mental health counseling.
Students in these programs must complete at least a bachelor’s degree to qualify for federal financial aid. Some states require aspiring teachers to earn an advanced degree from a program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
When a child is identified as needing special education services, the family, school, and community work together to create an Individualized Education Program (IEP), which designates which special education services the child will receive for that year. The IEP is then reviewed each year by the student’s teachers and parents/guardians in order to assess the student’s progress and whether any changes need to be made to their educational plan.
A special education teacher is trained in using various methods of teaching students who have difficulty learning or retaining information in standard classroom settings. In addition to traditional teaching methods (e.g., lectures and demonstrations), these teachers may also use visual aids, hands-on activities, or assistive technology software in order to help their students learn. Special education teachers may work with a single student or group of students who share similar disabilities.