The Special Education program prepares Special Education teachers to design and deliver effective research-based instruction that results in optimal developmental, life-skills and academic student outcomes. Graduates of our program will passionately advocate for an utilize evidenced-based practices that promote equitable educational experiences for individuals with disabilities. We embrace practices that rely on data-based decision-making informed by observable and measurable children and student performance. We prepare special education teachers to work collaborate with the community, other professionals, and parents to facilitate an enhanced quality of life as an inclusive member of society. The program includes participation in a strengthened curriculum with more than 700 hours of clinical experience - similar to the preparation used in legal and medical professions. Rigorous preparation helps to include the likelihood that students will be hired upon graduation. The programs in Special Education at Cleveland State University are designed to prepare teachers to work with young children and K-12 students who have disabilities. The major is designed to provide coursework in the education of learners with exceptional needs.
What careers can this major prepare you for?
Special education graduates have a wide number of career paths to choose from. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree some people take the teaching licensure exam, which opens up countless opportunities at public and private schools, elementary, middle and high schools. Others who graduate with a Master’s degree normally obtain a position as a school or educational program administrator. They also have the choice of continuing their education, and carrying out research work in special education in order to address the critical issues in this field. After three to four years of research work, students submit their thesis to professors for approval, and defend their work and findings at a public dissertation. Thereafter, they are awarded their PhD or Doctoral degree in Special Education, which opens up countless opportunities in the academic and research sector at colleges, universities and research organizations throughout the world. Many graduates go on to become: Special Education Preschool Teacher/Elementary School Teacher/Middle School Teacher/High School Teacher, Career and Technical Education Teacher, Childcare Worker, Teachers Assistant, Child Care Aide, Family Care Provider, Home-Based Service Provider, Family Support Specialist, Librarian, Instructional Coordinator, Consultant, Researcher, Social Worker, Juvenile Justice, Sales Representative, Professor.
What skills are developed within this major?
Skills developed within this major include: child growth and development, psychology, sociology, communication, teaching methods and theory, mental and physical disabilities, and emotional disturbances. In addition, you will learn about the laws and regulations governing special education, the development of Individual Education Plans (IEPs), record keeping, learn teaching strategies for language and literacy development, Research skills as demonstrated in papers, case studies and exams; Visual analysis; Analytical skills; Communication skills; Time management skills; Problem solving skills; and passion for teaching and learning with children and youth identified as having disabilities.
Ohio four-year Resident Educator teaching license as a Moderate/Intensive Intervention Specialist (ages 5 through 21 and grades K through 12). Requires successful completion of all program requirements, acceptable scores on applicable examinations required for state licensure and highly qualified teacher status (HQT) by the State Board of Education, and a passing score on the portfolio Checkpoint 4.
All teaching licensure students are expected to maintain a portfolio while completing their professional coursework and field experiences.