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Bachelor Degree in Special Education

Earn your Bachelor's Degree in Special Education

A bachelor's degree in special education can traditionally be completed in four years of full-time study. Alternatively, professionals who combine college with a career may take longer to complete the required classes. Universities commonly require aspiring special education teachers to complete a student teaching component. This allows students to teach in a classroom under the supervision, guidance and mentorship of an experienced teacher. After earning their degrees and gaining state licensure, new graduates may be qualified to enter a teaching role in a variety of settings.

Career Paths :

Becoming a special education teacher is perhaps the most common career path for graduates with this degree, but that doesn't mean all special education teachers have the exact same job description. These educators can work with students of all ages who exhibit a variety of disabilities, helping them achieve their learning goals. Where they teach can differ greatly as well. Special education teachers can be found in public, private and religious schools, among other education settings, and some may even teach at a student's home according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov/ooh, 2012).

In school environments, some special education teachers work in general-learning classrooms and adapt the material for their students, while others teach special education students in separate classrooms. Special education teachers also help develop and implement Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for their students. The BLS expects a 17 percent national job growth rate between 2010 and 2020 for these teachers, which is slightly faster than average (bls.gov/ooh, 2012).

Graduates who want to go into teaching must be licensed by the state to work in a public school (private schools are exempt). The requirements and regulations can vary between states, so be sure to familiarize yourself with your state's exact requirements, which can be found through teach.org.

Career Earnings :

The BLS (bls.gov/oes, 2013) reports the following median national annual wages for special education teachers, current as of May 2012:

Preschool: $52,480

  • Lowest 10 percent: Up to $33,010
  • Highest 10 percent: Up to $92,880

Kindergarten and Elementary School: $53,820

  • Lowest 10 percent: Up to $35,700
  • Highest 10 percent: Up to $84,400

Middle School: $55,780

  • Lowest 10 percent: Up to $37,900
  • Highest 10 percent: Up to $88,570

Secondary School: $56,830

  • Lowest 10 percent: Up to $38,390
  • Highest 10 percent: Up to $89,770

All Other Special Education Teaching: $51,980

  • Lowest 10 percent: Up to $31,210
  • Highest 10 percent: Up to $89,220

If this information has piqued your interest in the career of special education teaching, which can really make a difference in children's lives, then have a look at the list of universities below and contact them to obtain more information.

Sources:

"Special Education Teachers," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm

"Special Education Teachers, All Others," May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252059.htm

"Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary Schools," May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252052.htm

"Special Education Teachers, Middle School," May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252053.htm

"Special Education Teachers, Preschool," May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252051.htm

"Special Education Teachers, Secondary School," May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252054.htm

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B.S. in Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
  • Accredited
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Undergraduate in Early Childhood
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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Middle Grades Education (Ed.S.)
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Challenging students to live extraordinary lives of personal and professional fulfillment since 1878.
  • Offers programs in business, communication, education, humanities, fine arts, health sciences, and graduate studies.
  • Provides on-campus housing options and study abroad programs for students.
  • Campus features several academic centers for students, including The Writing Center and the Study Place for Achievement (SPA).
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BS Elementary Education
South College , Knoxville

At South College we welcome students from all different stages of life and career.  Whether you are pursing a degree for the first time, going back to school as an adult learner, or furthering your career with an advanced degree, our faculty and staff will partner with you to give your dreams direction.

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Bachelor of Science: Elementary Education in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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  • Accredited
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