Like other teachers, special education teachers are often required to take additional courses even after they've received their teaching licenses or certificates. In many states, these courses are required to renew teacher licenses or certificates. For further detailed information, teachers should check with their state's education department for specific requirements. Courses offered cover topics in education and behavioral issues.
Both non-degree certification programs and master's level programs offer continuing education options for special education teachers. A bachelor's degree may be necessary for those seeking admission into master's programs.
Meeting continuing education requirements can be challenging for teachers who are already balancing their career with their family life. For teachers who have a tight schedule, many colleges and universities offer web-based or CD-ROM options to receive credit for continuing education coursework. If teachers prefer to take traditional courses, some academic institutions offer evening courses to make it easier for working teachers to attend.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Teaching Gifted and Talented Students
- Teaching Special Education - Autism
- Teaching Special Education - Developmentally Delayed
- Teaching Special Education - Emotional Disturbances
- Teaching Special Education - Hearing Impairments
- Teaching Special Education - Learning Disabilities
- Teaching Special Education - Mental Retardation
- Teaching Special Education - Multiple Disabilities
- Teaching Special Education - Orthopedic Impairments
- Teaching Special Education - Speech Impairments
- Teaching Special Education - Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Teaching Special Education - Vision Impairments
- Teaching Special Education, Children and Young Children
Non-Degree Certificate Programs
The kinds of courses available depend on the academic institution that the teacher decides to attend. Here are some sample courses that specifically pertain to special education from World Wide Learn, www.worldwidelearn.com:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)
- Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), and their Implication for Teaching Practice
- Counseling Children: Cognitive-Developmental
- How to Help Children Cope
- Learning Disorders
- Childhood Depression & Anxiety
Master's Degree Programs
Continuing education courses are also sought by teachers seeking to enter more specialized careers within their professions, such as reading specialist, behavioral analyst, English language learning specialist or education psychologist. Most specialists possess at least Master's degree, and special education teachers who earn this degree have better job security and higher salaries. Many continuing education classes offered by universities both fulfill state recertification requirements and can be counted toward Master's degree requirements. Examples of this coursework includes:
- Diagnosis/Assessment for Reading Instruction
- Reading: Methods for Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities
- Applied Behavioral Programming
- Human Growth and Development
- Legal Aspects, Service Systems, and Current Issues in Special Education
There are both on-campus and online continuing education options available for working special education teachers. Some programs offer specializations for teachers who wish to advance in their field.