The special education bachelor's degree program teaches prospective students how to create curricula for special education students. These programs explore common types of mental illnesses and learning disabilities, along with the psychological and disciplinary techniques necessary for handling disruptive or troubled students. A high school diploma is necessary for admittance into these programs, and other requirements may include student teaching, assistant teaching or a teaching practicum.
Bachelor's Degree in Special Education
The special education bachelor's degree program consists of theoretical knowledge and hands-on learning. The practical portion of the degree usually occurs in special education classrooms. Coursework is normally comprised of classes in psychological disorders, learning disabilities and special education teaching techniques. The following list is a sample of the courses offered for this degree:
- Developmental and social abnormalities
- Classroom management
- Behavioral problems in special education
- Ethics and teaching
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected employment of special education teachers to increase 6% between 2014 and 2024, which is about as fast as average (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, the mean annual salary for this profession was $58,640 for teachers working in primary schools, $60,300 for those working in middle schools and $62,180 for those working in secondary schools, per the BLS.
Graduates with this degree must be licensed in order to practice as special education teachers. Licenses are granted either by state education boards or licensing committees. Licensure requirements vary by state. Additionally, some states require only a bachelor's degree in order to practice in this field, while others require a master's degree. Master's degrees in special education offer advanced pedagogical training and more specific training in common disorders. Master's degree programs also tend to focus on research.
Special education bachelor's degrees can usher students into a career helping individuals with special needs learn and discover their capabilities. Special education teachers can find jobs at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels.