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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

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:

  1. "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
  2. "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
  3. "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
  4. "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
  5. "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
  6. "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)
  • Earn Your Bachelor's Degree in Education from GCU's College of Education!
  • Many emphases to choose from; Elementary Ed, Secondary Ed, Early Childhood Education & more!
  • Flexibility – attend classes at our traditional Phoenix campus or online at the times and places that are most convenient.
  • Designed to prepare you with the skills and experience you need to succeed in the classroom environment.
  • Founded in 1949, GCU has a history of preparing students to become knowledgeable, caring, and skilled teachers.
  • 60 of our College of Education graduates have gone on to become Teachers of the Year, will you be next?
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  • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
  • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • 95% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
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B.S. in Child Studies
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
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Instructional Technology & Design (BS)
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
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