How to Become a Special Education Teacher in Idaho

Special education teachers in Idaho must have a degree in teaching with some sort of emphasis on special education. They then must take two exams and submit an application for a specific special education license.

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Special education teachers have the critical role of teaching young people with all different kinds of disabilities life skills and academic subjects. In Idaho, it's an important time for special education, as the state is currently in the process of a policy plan striving to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities. Through specialized training and preparation, you can have this significant career - below, you will discover exactly how to become a special education teacher in the state of Idaho.

Idaho Special Education Teacher Requirements

Average Salaries for Special Education Teachers in Idaho (2017)* $48,120 (preschool); $44,860 (kindergarten and elementary school); $59,340 (middle school); $49,740 (secondary school); $46,070 (other special education teachers)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Degree Field Teacher preparation program, emphasis in special education
Testing Requirements Praxis exams: core content test + specific special education test

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn Bachelor's Degree

In order to get an Idaho state special education certificate, you must complete a university or college teacher training program. Your bachelor's degree program must focus on special education in order to get a special education endorsement from the state.

The program could be Idaho-state approved or out-of-state. Out-of-state programs must be accredited by CAEP, NCATE, or TEAC in order to be accepted by the Idaho State Board of Education.

Additionally, Idaho state special education teachers also must obtain an Exceptional Child Certificate. This endorsement certifies you to teach K-12 special education students any subject. The content you will teach with this certificate is varied, as it is reflected within the goals on that particular student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

In order to get this mandatory certificate, your education must include at least 30 semester hours in special education.

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Step 2: Take Exams

In addition to getting your degree and taking your special education classes, you also must take two exams to get Idaho's Exceptional Child Certificate.

These exams are:

  • Core content exam with qualifying score
  • Second exam related to the specific special education endorsement you want

Here are the specific Praxis exams you need, organized by student age group:

  • For Early Childhood Blended Special Education (birth to 3rd grade):
    • 'Early Childhood Education' exam (5025) with a score of 156
    • 'Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood' exam (5691) with a score of 159
  • For General Special Education K-12th grade, K-8th grade, or 6th grade-12th grade:
    • 'Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications' exam (5543) with a score of 153
    • 'Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects' exam (5001). This exam has multiple parts, and you must pass all of them:
      • 'Reading and Language Arts' (5002) with a score of 157
      • 'Mathematics' (5003) with a score of 157
      • 'Social Studies' (5004) with a score of 155
      • 'Science' (5005) with a score of 159
  • For Deaf/Hard of Hearing K-12th grade:
    • 'Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications' (5354) with a score of 145
    • 'Special Education: Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students' (5272) with a score of 160
  • For Visually Impaired K-12th grade:
    • 'Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications' (5354) with a score of 145
    • 'Special Education: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments' (5282) with a score of 163

Step 3: Get Certified

Now that you've completed your education and taken your exams, you can apply for licensure. This license will last you five years, expiring on August 31st of that year.

The application packet for your first special education teacher license in Idaho should include:

  • A $75.00 application fee
    • Cash (exact amount), money order, or check only
  • Form B1 - finished and signed
  • Idaho State Department of Education fingerprint card for your background check
  • Official transcripts
  • Idaho Credential Form
    • Filled out by the education program at your university or college
    • Special education teaching endorsements listed on your B1 form must match the endorsements included on this form
  • Official Praxis exam score sheets for all applicable exams
    • Copies are acceptable

You can mail your application to:

State Department of Education

Teacher Certification

PO Box 83720

Boise, Idaho 83720-0027

Resources for Special Education Teachers in Idaho

Need some additional assistance as you embark on your special education journey? Below is a course that will help you prepare for one of the exams that is often necessary to become a special education teacher in Idaho:

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