Careers in special education give individuals a chance to have a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities. Having the opportunity to make someone smile and enjoy life is very rewarding on a personal level. Another benefit is that students who major in special education have a wide range of careers from which to choose.
Special education; also known as special-needs education, exceptional education, aided education, and special ed. or SPED. It is the practice of educating students such that it addresses their individual needs and differences. Typically, the process involves individually planning and systematically monitoring teaching procedures, accessible settings, and adapted equipment and materials. The prime objective is to enable individuals with special needs to achieve higher levels of personal self-sufficiency and to achieve greater success in both school and their community, in a way unlikely to be available if the student only had access to standard education.
Special education incorporates learning disabilities, communication disorders, emotional and behavioral disorders, physical disabilities, and developmental disabilities, together with many other disabilities. Students with disabilities are highly likely to benefit from additional educational services, including the use of technology, different approaches to teaching, a specially adapted teaching area, or resource room.
The Program is aimed at preparing educators to teach children with mild disabilities via the General K-12 Curriculum. Through participation in additional courses, the program also offers an option for add-on certification in Gifted Education for any education major or licensure only candidate. Program objectives include pre-service teachers developing the knowledge and understanding necessary to become experts at teaching students with disabilities who are progressing through the General Curriculum (K-12); knowledge and understanding of Special Education laws and policies; and knowledge and understanding of human growth and development theories as they apply to students with disabilities. They will develop an awareness and competency in applying basic principles of curriculum planning and implement them according to the diverse needs of students with disabilities. Pre-service teachers will participate in field experiences, practicums, and community events related to students with disabilities (i.e., Special Olympics). They will habitually reflect on the experiences as a basis for decision-making and professional growth. They will demonstrate the use of technological tools, both for planning, instruction, and assessing, as well as the skills of data management.