Special education teachers are especially trained to work with children who have either mental, physical, and/or emotional disabilities. In order to become a special education teacher, you will first need to earn an education degree in the field of special education and may need to choose an endorsement, which could be in learning disabilities, cognitive impairments, or autism, among other areas. In Michigan, several schools offer different kinds of special education teaching degrees, some of which we will discuss in detail below after we go over some specific special education teacher requirements.
Michigan Special Education Teacher Requirements
|Average Salary for Special Education Teachers in Michigan (2018)*||$66,820 (Elementary School); $61,540 (Middle School); $63,700 (High School)|
|Required Degree||Bachelor's degree required for teaching, master's for counseling or administrative positions|
|Degree Field||Special Education|
|Testing Requirements||Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Michigan State University
Michigan State University, located in East Lansing, offers several degree options in the field of special education, including a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education, a Master of Arts in Special Education, and a PhD in Special Education. The 120-credit BA program includes the university's teacher preparation curriculum, and you will be able to further concentrate your special education degree in a teaching area, such as math, social studies, or language arts as well as a learning disabilities concentration. The 30- to 36-credit MA degree program is designed to prepare you for a teaching career working with students with learning disabilities or autism spectrum disorders through coursework and field experiences. To pursue a career in the administration of special education programs, you may consider the special education PhD program, which is a research-focused degree that requires coursework and a dissertation.
Central Michigan University
Located in Mount Pleasant, Central Michigan University has three degree pathways to help you become a special education teacher: a Bachelor of Science in Education in Special Education for Cognitive Impairment, a Bachelor of Science in Education in Special Education for Emotional Impairment, and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education. For both BS programs, you will need to earn 42 semester hours within the special education concentration, along with other credits to fulfill general university requirements. In each program, you will also earn a provisional elementary or secondary certification with an endorsement in your chosen special education specialty. The online 36- to 39-credit MAT program is designed to prepare you for both teaching and administrative roles in special education, and you can earn a special endorsement in autism spectrum disorders or a specific learning disability.
University of Michigan - Dearborn
The University of Michigan - Dearborn offers a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a learning disabilities concentration for those wanting a teaching career in special education. After you finish this program's coursework and teaching fieldwork, you will earn a recommendation for the Michigan Elementary Standard Certificate with the Learning Disabilities Endorsement. Individuals who are already Michigan teachers can pursue a Master of Education in Special Education degree. This is a 30-credit hour program that leads to a Learning Disabilities Endorsement as well.
Eastern Michigan University
In Ypsilanti, Eastern Michigan University features a Bachelor of Science in Special Education program that allows you to choose a K-12 endorsement in autism spectrum disorders, cognitive impairment, communication science and disorders, emotional impairment, learning disabilities, or physical and other health impairments. These programs require coursework and student teaching and allow you to earn an elementary or secondary teaching certificate with a special education K-12 endorsement in your specialization area. This university also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education, a Master of Arts in Special Education, and a Specialist of Arts in Special Education for current teachers who want to pursue an administrative role in special education or who want to center their focus on curriculum development.
Wayne State University
At Wayne State University in Detroit, you can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education degree with an emphasis in cognitive impairment. With student teaching and coursework, this program leads to a Michigan Elementary Provisional Teaching certificate for teaching subjects in grades K-8 and for teaching K-12 students with cognitive impairments. This university also offers two special education master's degrees, including a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Master of Education in Teaching and Learning. Both of these degrees lead to a K-12 special education endorsement in either autism spectrum disorders or cognitive impairment.
Michigan Special Education Teacher Resources
After you have earned your special education teaching degree, you will likely need to take the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC). Below, you will find resources to help you prepare for some of the special education endorsement tests as well as the tests required for your elementary or secondary education certificate.