Special Education Teacher Requirements in North Carolina

Answering the call to help students with exceptional needs can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Find out details about North Carolina's requirements for education, testing, and administrative procedures as you prepare to become a special education teacher.

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North Carolina's requirements for special education teachers are largely the same as those for traditional classroom instructors, other than a few different content exam requirements. The procedures for obtaining a license don't change, and a bachelor's degree with the proper teacher education training is enough to begin a career as a special education teacher.

Requirements for Special Education Teachers in North Carolina

Average Salary for Special Education Teachers in North Carolina (2017)* $45,930 (Kindergarten and Elementary), $46,330 (Middle), $47,840 (Secondary)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Special Education
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills, Praxis Special Education Content Exam for specific student disabilities, Pearson Foundations of Reading and General Curriculum for grades K-6

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements for Special Education Teachers in North Carolina

Teachers who plan to work with exceptional students in the state of North Carolina must earn a bachelor's degree in their field. A Bachelor of Arts in Special Education could contain two concentration areas: adapted curriculum and general curriculum. The adapted curriculum is designed for future teachers who will work with students having severe disabilities, or multiple disabilities at once. Course topics in this program can include transition planning and service delivery, classroom management, and the foundations of education and diversity in schools. The general curriculum concentration is meant for teachers who plan to hold classes with students whose disabilities are categorized as mild. Courses in this degree program might include inclusive classrooms for immigrant students, instructional planning for special education, and assessment in special education. Regardless of concentration, all bachelor's degree programs in special education should include a teacher-preparation component that allows for a student-teaching experience.

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Testing Requirements of Special Education Teachers in North Carolina

North Carolina uses the Praxis exam system for issuing licenses to special education teachers. To begin, the Core Academic Skills test covers three subtests: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Each of these sections contains multiple-choice questions, and the Writing section asks for two longer-form answers with a pair of essay prompts. Passing scores on the Reading, Writing, and Mathematics tests are 156, 162, and 150, respectively. Praxis also administers a number of Special Education content tests designed for the number of different licenses issued in North Carolina. This includes Profoundly Mentally Disabled, Visually Impaired, and Behaviorally/Emotionally Disabled. Passing scores vary depending on the test, and most special education licenses also require passing the Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge exam.

Teachers of special education students in kindergarten through sixth grade who learn from the general curriculum must also take two tests administered by Pearson: the General Curriculum and Foundations of Reading exams. Each test contains open-response questions, as well as multiple-choice sections. These two tests can be broken into multiple sessions, or taken in one sitting. The total amount of time necessary for appointments will vary depending on how many are taken at once.

Licensing for Special Education Teachers in North Carolina

Special educators in the state of North Carolina are required to earn the same license as traditional teachers. A Professional Educator's Initial License, the non-renewable first license for teachers, expires after three years. The cost is $70 as long as the person applying for the license submits the application on their own behalf. All forms for the North Carolina license are found online, and the application is submitted through the state department's portal. The educational institution providing a degree will submit a recommendation for licensing upon reviewing a completed application.

Additional Resources for North Carolina Special Education Teachers

As you prepare to take the Praxis exams in North Carolina, review what you have learned with Study.com's online database of practice material. The self-paced lessons contained in each chapter will help refresh your memory on each of the following areas:

  • Praxis Exams
  • Praxis Special Education Study Guide|https://study.com/academy/course/praxis-ii-special-education-practice-and-study-guide.html]
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