Houston Special Education Teaching Schools
Aspiring special education teachers can find undergraduate and graduate degree options at three schools within 20 minutes of downtown Houston. To find out what training in this field typically involves, read an overview of the coursework and field experiences required in their programs. You can compare the schools in multiple areas in the included table, and be sure to also check out the bit of info on a fourth college option in the area.
- Located less than two miles from the center of the city, the University of Houston is a public institution founded in 1927 that now has an enrollment of over 45,000 students in 260 different graduate and undergraduate degree programs. Students there can earn a special education teaching bachelor's degree as well as a master's degree in the field.
- The University of St. Thomas, situated roughly two miles from downtown Houston, is a Catholic school with an enrollment of almost 3,200; The Princeton Review honored it as one of the best colleges and universities in the West in 2019. It offers bachelor's and master's degrees in special education.
- Houston Baptist University enrolls over 3,300 students per year and offers 50 undergraduate degree programs. Located about 11 miles from the city's downtown area, the school offers an elementary education bachelor's degree with a special education certification as well as a curriculum and instruction master's degree with special education certification.
Comparison of Schools
The tuition costs vary widely among the featured universities, as do their student enrollment figures. Get a side-by-side comparison of these and other factors, like acceptance and graduation rates, in the table below.
|University of Houston||University of St. Thomas||Houston Baptist University|
|School Type||4-year; public||4-year; private not-for-profit||4-year; private not-for-profit|
|Total Enrollment (2017)*||45,364||3,168||3,325|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Large city|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)*|| $9,706 (in-state)
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)*||85%||94%||99%|
|Acceptance Rate (2016-2017)*||61%||81%||69%|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)*||85%||85%||72%|
|Graduation Rate (for students who began in 2011)*||54%||57%||48%|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
University of Houston
The College of Education at the University of Houston enrolls around 3,000 students at all levels each year. The college's Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers coursework that can apply towards teacher certification. Two programs might appeal to aspiring special education teachers.
Bachelor of Science in Teaching and Learning - EC-6/EC-12 Generalist/Special Education
The University of Houston offers a teaching certification program for individuals who wish to become special education teachers. This certification is offered in conjunction with the bachelor's program in teaching and learning. Bachelor's degree candidates in all disciplines must complete the school's core curriculum requirements: depending on the specialization, this includes 45-54 hours of courses in communication, mathematics, history, government, humanities, visual and performing arts, natural sciences, social sciences and writing. The teaching and learning degree program takes place in four phases, including two student teaching phases. Faculty advisors will provide students with information on the specific courses required to meet certification requirements in special education.
Master of Education in Special Populations
Individuals who have earned a bachelor's degree and wish to pursue this master's degree program may choose from one of four academic tracks: special education, educational diagnostician, gifted and talented or special education leadership. Each track requires the completion of at least 30 credit hours worth of coursework. Students in all tracks must take the same three core courses covering educational and psychological assessment, working with individuals with disabilities and human learning. Students must also take seven additional classes in special education. Students who choose the special education track must complete student teaching. Once the classwork is complete, degree candidates must either write a master's thesis or pass a comprehensive exam.
University of St. Thomas
Founded in 1947, the University of St. Thomas is the only Catholic institution of higher education in Houston. It has received accolades from a variety of Catholic organizations, including the Cardinal Newman Society, which ranks it as one of the top 20 Catholic colleges in the country. This school, which enrolls close to 3,200 students per year, has also been cited for excellence by such sources as The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. St. Thomas offers undergraduate degree programs in over 35 different fields.
Bachelor of Science in Education with Dual Certification as an EC-6 Generalist and Supplemental Special Education
Students in this degree program must complete the core curriculum, which consists of 44-47 hours of classwork in philosophy, English, history, social sciences, natural sciences, math and fine arts. This particular school also requires that all students take nine hours of classes in theology and participate in a freshman symposium. The education department requires additional courses in mathematics, natural sciences, geography and political science. All education majors will take 21 credit hours in professional development classes devoted to such topics as early childhood education, classroom management and curriculum. Students focusing on special education will then complete 15 hours covering topics in that field. Other graduation requirements include 50 hours of field experience in local schools, 10 hours of volunteering in the church or community, and 20 hours worth of professional development activities.
Master of Education in Exceptionality/Special Education
This degree program offers various academic tracks including a generalist track. The M.Ed Exceptionality/Special Education, Exceptionality: Educational Diagnostician, and All Level Teaching EC-12 Transition to Teaching Initial Teaching Certification tracks all require 36 credits of coursework. Students will take 9 hours of core courses as well as a number of resource courses relating to such topics as best practices for children with disabilities, diagnostic procedures and human growth and development. Students may also need to complete teaching experience for their degree.
Houston Baptist University
Founded in 1960 as Houston Baptist College, this school has swelled from an initial enrollment of 193 students to become a university with over 3,300 students attending eight different schools and colleges. This church-affiliated university requires that all students participate in the Community Life and Worship Program.
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with All-level Special Education Certification
All bachelor's degree candidates at this school must complete at least 125 semester hours with at least 30 hours in upper-level courses. This includes 64 hours of liberal arts courses. Freshmen education majors will also take two pre-education courses. The teacher education curriculum includes 70 hours worth of classes in early childhood development, literacy, essential elements of the arts, science, math, social studies, technology, and two courses of student teaching. To earn the special education certificate, students will take six additional courses covering diagnosis, exceptional children, teaching strategies, classroom management, and student teaching in a special education environment.
Master of Education with Specialization in Curriculum and Instruction with Certification in Special Education (EC-12)
In order to be eligible for this degree program, students must have a teaching certificate. They will then take 45 hours of coursework, including classes in classroom management, research techniques, educational technology, elementary school curriculum, diagnostic teaching, teaching strategies and early childhood evaluation.
Other School Options
The nearest school outside of Houston offering degree programs in special education is Prairie View A&M University, over 52 miles from downtown Houston. This school offers a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies with certification for special education EC-12.