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Special Education Licensure in Oregon

Jun 20, 2018

Sometimes, teachers feel the need to help more than just the regular student. Whether you've had experience with special needs children or you just have a passion for inclusion, this article may be for you.

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According to the U.S. Department of Education, roughly 13% of the nation's students with disabilities attend Oregon schools. If you'd like to have the training and education to become a special education teacher, we'll discuss what you need here.

Requirements for Oregon Special Education Teachers

Average Salary for Special Education Teachers in Oregon (2017)* $76,910 (Preschool), $75,230 (Elementary School), $79,630 (Middle School), $79,410 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Special Education
Testing Requirements ORLEA Special Education and ORLEA Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Education Environment, Praxis Special Education exams (optional)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

Special education teachers in Oregon undertake the same licensure path as other preliminary teachers. You must first complete a bachelor's degree. There are colleges that offer a special education program at the baccalaureate level; however, you can complete a bachelor's degree in education and a minor in special education. There are several master's programs in Oregon for special education teachers. In any case, you'll be studying childhood and adolescent development, children with Autism, teaching those with disabilities, classroom management, language development, deaf culture, identity for students with disabilities, communication disorders, and many more. Along with these courses, you'll need to complete a teacher preparation program. This is generally a program that includes a student teaching practicum and education courses. This can be a standalone program, but you may find that it is incorporated with your special education certificate or degree program.

Step 2: Complete Required Exams

As mentioned before, special education teachers are required to follow the same licensing path as other preliminary teachers. That means that you will need to complete the Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment, or Civil Rights, exam. Over 90 minutes, you'll need to earn a score of 240 or higher on the exam. You'll find there are typically 60 questions on two subareas: school environment and legal foundations.

The other exam you'll need to complete is the ORELA Special Education exam by NES. There are four areas that are covered on this exam: students with disabilities, assessment and program planning, learning environments and instructional practices, and professional practice. You'll have three hours to take this exam and earn a score of 220. There are usually 150 multiple-choice questions on this exam.

Finally, Praxis offers some certification exams for Oregon special education teachers to endorse specific areas. You can either complete the deaf and hard of hearing, the early interventionist (preschool), or the visually impaired exam in order to specialize teaching students with disabilities in these areas. While this is an optional step, you may find that some schools ask for it depending on the program.

Step 3: Have a Background Check

Through a FieldPrint location, prospective teachers will be fingerprinted. There is a $12.50 fee for this. Once your fingerprints have been scanned into the system, you'll then have to pay a $57 fee to have a criminal background check run. The results will be directly sent to the TSPC, but you can check out your results on the TSPC Educator Lookup.

Certification Resources for Oregon Special Education Teachers

Though there are more testing options to become a special education teacher in Oregon than for other types of teachers, you're not on your own. Here, we've given you several study guide options to ready yourself.

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