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General Special Education
While many programs offer students the option to specialize in a particular area of special education, there are many programs that focus on special education as a whole, covering many different aspects of the field. These programs are often referred to as general special education or just special education. The name of the program varies among schools and the level of education you wish to attain. You can earn a degree in special education at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level. Both online and traditional colleges and universities provide the training and education necessary to work in this field and to affect change in the lives of students with special needs.
There are a variety of jobs in special education. Which position you pursue should depend on your level of education and your area of interest. With a bachelor’s degree in special education, you can work in the classroom and help students with a variety of disabilities, from mild to severe. Most states require special educators to have state licensure and other credentials before entering the classroom. This ensures that the teacher is adequately prepared to work with students with special needs. If you choose to pursue a PhD in special education, you’ll be prepared to assume leadership and research positions at a college or university or a research center that focuses on how to best help those with disabilities. If you supporting other teachers who work with special needs students, you can work as a consultant or a mentor at a school.
Possible Jobs Include:
- Educational Diagnostician
- Special Education Administrator
- Therapeutic Recreation Specialist
- Early Intervention Specialist/Early Childhood Teacher
- Emotional or Behavioral Disorders Teacher
- Instructional Coordinator
Degree and Career Information
Your career goals should dictate what level of education you decide to pursue. If research is your passion, you might want to consider earning a master’s degree or even a PhD. With a PhD, you can work at a university or research center. A master’s degree will serve you well in the classroom and most often, you’ll have the option to specialize in a particular area of special education, such as autism spectrum disorders or gifted education. However, as noted above, specializing is not always a requirement, and you do have the option to focus on special education as a whole, which offers a comprehensive overview of the field and how you can work within it. What’s unique about general special education programs is the broad scope in training and learning provided. You’ll learn about how to work with exceptional students as well as those with visual impairments and high-incidence disorders.
Online programs in General Special Education
- Ashford University – MEd – Special Education (non-licensure)
- Grand Canyon University – MEd – Special Education (IR and Cert)
- Grand Canyon University – MEd – Special Education (No IR, No Cert)
- Liberty University Online – MEd – Teaching and Learning: Special Education
- Liberty University Online – MAT – Special Education
- Northcentral University – EdD – Special Education
- Northcentral University – MEd – Special Education
- University of Southern California – MAT Special Education Credential