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Special Education Teaching Degree in Atlanta with Course Overviews

Research special education programs in the Atlanta area, which currently has at least six schools offering degrees. To decide which one is right for you, read an overview of program requirements and admission policies for three universities located within about 50 miles of the city center.

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Special Education Teaching Schools in Atlanta, GA

Several schools in the Atlanta, GA, area offer special education programs - including the three profiled here, which are located within an hour's drive of the city's downtown. Get info on the fieldwork and courses required by the institutions, and then compare them using the table of statistics. There's also some info on a few other school options in the area.

  • Students looking to attend a public university in downtown Atlanta can find several graduate-level certification and degree programs at Georgia State University. The school offers two master's degrees in the field as well as initial special education certification programs and a bachelor's degree.
  • Students who would rather attend school outside of the downtown area may prefer the graduate programs at Kennesaw State University, which is about 25 miles outside of central Atlanta in Kennesaw, GA. The school has special education doctoral and education specialist programs, in addition to two master's degrees in special education. A certification program is also available.
  • Undergraduate and graduate programs in special education are available at the University of West Georgia, which is located about 52 miles away from downtown Atlanta in Carrollton, GA. Bachelor's and master's degrees in special education are offered to students.

Comparison of Schools

Compare the three public universities in areas like tuition, campus environment, student enrollment and more in the table below. The facts and statistics may be what you need to narrow down your school options and find the one that best meets your academic and financial preferences.

Georgia State University Kennesaw State University University of West Georgia
School Type Public, 4-year university Public, 4-year university Public, 4-year university
Total Enrollment (2017)* 32,816 35,846 13,520
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Distant town
Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)* $9,148 in-state, $24,646 out-of-state $6,857 in-state, $19,547 out-of-state $6,048 in-state, $17,838 out-of-state
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2016-2017)* 94% 91% 94%
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2017)* 70% 61% 59%
Full-Time Retention Rate (2017)* 83% 78% 72%
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (for students who began in fall 2011)* 53% 42% 40%

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Georgia State University

The College of Education at GSU is made up of several degree-granting departments and the Office of Academic Assistance. The special education programs are found in the Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education.

Bachelor of Science in Education in Special Education

This program is for students who want to begin their studies in special education. Students learn how to work with children who have dyslexia, emotional behavior disorders, hearing impairments, autism, and other disabilities. This program requires a minimum of 123 credit hours.

Initial Certification in Special Education

This program is intended for students who have bachelor's degrees but aren't certified teachers. Applicants must have bachelor's degrees, sufficient GPAs and passing scores on the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) Basic Skills Assessment or equivalent SAT, ACT or GRE scores. Students complete 33 credits through classes that teach topics like human development, assessment of students with disabilities and teaching methods for disabled children.

Master of Education in Special Education

In this program, students learn to develop curricula, instruct efficiently, assess student learning and manage classrooms for students with mild disabilities. Students may select one of five concentrations, including early childhood; autism spectrum disorders; deaf education; mild to moderate behavior and learning disabilities; and moderate, severe, and profound intellectual disabilities. The program consists of 36 credits, nine of which come from required core courses. These required courses may cover concepts in multicultural education as well as educational psychology. Students fulfill the remaining credit hour requirements through courses in their specialization, which may cover behavior assessment, teaching methods for autistic children or methods for dealing with demanding behaviors.

Master of Teaching in Special Education

Individuals who want to work with children who have moderate to severe cerebral disabilities or physical health disorders may want to consider this program. Applicants need bachelor's degrees and should have completed specific coursework and a student-teaching practicum. This program offers multiple concentration options, and students complete practicums related to their chosen concentration. Specialization options are in areas of adapted curriculum, deaf education, and general curriculum.

Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders

This program prepares students to work with students, medical patients and other people who have speech problems. Only 30-32 students are accepted each year, and all students complete the program as a cohort. The curriculum offers ample opportunity to gain field experience, including three semesters spent in the Georgia State Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic and two in an off-campus professional setting. Students also complete an internship. Some of the coursework may deal with communication neuroscience, aphasia, swallowing, hearing assessment, speech ability and research in communication problems.

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State's Leland and Clarice C. Bagwell College of Education is divided into departments devoted to educational leadership, elementary and early childhood education, inclusive education, instructional technology and secondary and middle grades education. The teacher education programs at Kennesaw State are accredited by the National Council on the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Special Education Graduate Certificate

This program is designed for students who are not seeking certification but still want to learn about teaching students with mild disabilities. Students must complete three courses for nine credits. These nine credits can be transferred to the M.Ed. in Special Education if students chose to continue. Students may learn about intervention with positive behavior and how to assess diverse learners.

Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education: General Curriculum

This program was developed for individuals without teaching certifications who have bachelor's degrees in non-education related subjects. Once accepted, students must complete 48 credits. Classes may cover curricula development for special education students, ways to promote positive behavior and how to assess learning in disabled children, among other topics. Students may complete two practicums in the final year.

Master of Education in Special Education: General Curriculum

This program helps prepare certified teachers in other subject areas for special education certification. Applicants to this program need a bachelor's degree and state teaching certification. They also must have completed courses in human development, literacy education and teaching for disabled children. Students complete 36 credits, including a capstone course.

Doctor of Education in Special Education

This program has an education and research core that includes classes on education policy analysis, research, and curriculum development. In addition to the required research and special education classes, students also choose six hours of electives. Students also complete nine credits' worth of research courses to use for their dissertations.

University of West Georgia

The Department of Clinical and Professional Studies is comprised of four divisions called areas: the Area of Communication Sciences and Disorders, the Area of Counselor Education and College Student Affairs, the Area of Language and Literacy and the Area of Special Education. The Area of Special Education is where students can find bachelor's and graduate programs in special education.

Bachelor of Science in Education in Special Education General Curriculum

This program prepares students to teach children with mild disabilities. Graduates may be eligible to apply for the level four state teaching certification, which allows them to teach special education to students in grades preschool through 12. A few courses included in this program are educational psychology, curricula development and literacy assessment. Students also complete three practicums.

Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education

Admission into this program requires a bachelor's degree and a 2.7 GPA. Graduates of this program may qualify for level five teaching certification. This 33-credit program has two options: general curriculum or adapted curriculum. Required classes may include research, a practicum, teaching methods for disabled children and learning characteristics of disabled children.

Other Schools

About three other schools within a 50-mile radius of Atlanta also offer special education teaching degree programs. Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta has a Master of Arts in Special Education General Curriculum program. Nearly 30 miles from Atlanta in Lawrenceville, GA, students can find a Bachelor of Science in Special Education program at Gwinnett Georgia College. Nearly 50 miles from Atlanta in Gainesville, GA, Brenau University has special education programs leading to a Bachelor of Science, Master of Education and Master of Arts in Teaching.

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