Can I enroll in special education only or elementary education only?All students admitted will be enrolled in the dual licensure program. The curriculum is designed to prepare students as both elementary classroom teachers and special education teachers.
Why do I have to do both elementary and special education?The philosophy of the education department is to train elementary and special education teachers to be better prepared to collaborate with other teachers and meet the needs of all students. Through the dual licensure program students will be positioned to be hired for either teaching position. It will make you more marketable.
What if I transfer and/or fall behind taking classes?You will still need to complete all program requirements and should be well positioned to student teach for both.
How do I do two practicum experiences in one semester?We provide you a placement that allows you to work with a special education and elementary education teacher for the entire semester; in a site where these two teachers already work together. You spend the majority of your time the first 7-10 weeks in the role of the elementary classroom teacher; however during this time you do participate in IEP meetings, one-on-one sessions with students with special needs and other duties typically part of the role of a special education teacher. Then during the last 5-7 weeks of the semester you focus exclusively on shadowing the special education teacher and assuming as many responsibilities as possible. See the 14 week calendar used for placement in inclusion classrooms and the special education practicum checklist.
Is it possible to do two distinct practicum experiences one in an urban setting and one in a suburban setting?Yes, as long as you do your practicum during the spring semester and start in January as soon as school is back in session (e.g., Jan 2 or 3) and go for 16 weeks or 80 school days. The first 50 school days (approximately 10 weeks) would make up your elementary practicum and the last 30 school days (approximately 6 weeks) would make up your special education practicum. [Dates might be: Jan. 3 – March 23 and March 26 – May 15].
Is it possible to student teach (do a practicum) for just elementary or special education?Prior to your senior year if you prefer to do a practicum in one area only (i.e., elementary or special education) you can petition to student teach in just one area.
Why is the term special education used when the title of the teaching license is Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities?In general, most teachers, administrators and parents still refer to the teacher of students with mild and moderate disabilities as the special education teacher. Also most college special education programs are still referred to that way and in some other states the license/certificate is called special education. The term special education is more universally utilized and understood.