Special education teachers work with students who have special needs such as: learning difficulties, speech and language impairments and other communication difficulties, emotional disturbances, behavioral disorders, physical disabilities, and developmental disorders. But as well as working with students who are learning disabled or developmentally challenged, they might also assist students who are gifted and talented, to help them acquire education and life skills. In order to do this, they need to create a learning environment to meet the unique needs of each student.
Special education programs provide an excellent means to obtain the requisite knowledge and skills, and to qualify for this rewarding career. Many students who take this specialization are already licensed teachers and are seeking a license in special education teaching. The programs can be taken at bachelors, masters and doctoral levels. The fact that these programs are readily available online makes them accessible without leaving employment. This page provides information about special education programs online and on campus, and how they can prepare you for a most rewarding career working with students with special needs. It provides more detail about the programs and where you can take them.
What do you study the programs?
An online special education program provides the educational foundations, curriculum development, teaching methodologies and classroom management strategies that the special education teacher requires to help students with special needs to learn.
Thus, special education degree programs would typically include: educational psychology; child development; adapting the curriculum; management of disruptive behavior; use of technology in the classroom; dealing disabilities; discipline; behavioral management; counseling.
Special education masters online programs are popular with graduates who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, or those who are already licensed teachers, and now wish to become special education teachers. Graduate special education programs are also popular with special education teachers who wish to specialize in a particular aspect of special education. Doctoral level programs in particular, present an opportunity for in-depth study of a topic of interest.
If you are seeking professional teacher status – some aspects cannot be completed online. The college needs to ensure you gain as much practical experience as possible and that your classroom performance is assessed. This not only gives you the experience you need, it also enables you to be certain that you have chosen the right career.
What are the career prospects with a special education degree?
The minimum qualification for a special education teaching job is a bachelor’s degree in special education, but a masters is preferred. In order to teach in a college of a university, you need to have a masters degree or more preferably a PhD.
As well as teaching in the government education sector, graduates also find employment in: training; teaching in the private sector; community services; and, in administration. Online education programs also provide a base for further training in counseling and careers work. Graduates also find work in development jobs and other non-profit organizations.
List of schools and programs
- 100% online degrees include Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science in Education, and more.
- Students and faculty are encouraged to engage in a collaborative learning environment that promotes personal and professional growth.
- All faculty are professionals in the field of education, with PhD or EdD qualifications.
- Programs are designed to help educators at every level sharpen their teaching skills.
- MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
- MS in Education - Educational Psychology
- MS in Education in Instructional Technology - Adult Learning-Organizations
- And more...
- Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
- Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
- Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
- Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
- 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
- Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education*
- One of the first fully online M.Ed. programs to be accredited by TEAC (Teacher Education Accreditation Council)
- Courses within 6 distinct education specializations use real-world deliverables aligned with industry-specific objectives
- Specializations include elementary education, secondary education instructional design and technology and more
- AIU’s M.Ed. uses a proprietary adaptive learning engine to provide individualized content delivery not available at this scale in other online programs at this time.
- Master's (M.Ed.) - Curriculum and Instruction for Educators
- Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
- In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
- #1 Online School for military veterans according to Military Times.
- 75,000+ graduates across all industries offer extensive networking opportunities.
- My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
- Smartphone app available for on-the-go learning.
- Doctor of Management Higher Education Teaching and Learning
Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program. You'll learn new strategies and techniques for your classroom while expanding your knowledge and skills as an educator.
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: The Inclusive Classroom (SPED)
- M.Ed. in Advanced Study in Special Education
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies
- And more...
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University. We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.
- Special Education - Doctor of Education
- Special Education - Master of Education
- Special Education - EdS
- And more...
At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs. With three different ways to learn, you can choose the format that works best for you:
- Study wherever you have an Internet connection, because almost all of our courses are 100% online, or
- Take campus-based classes(with day and evening options available), or
- Combine campus learning with online classes (blended).
- Master of Science: Education
- Master of Arts: Teaching
- Master of Science in Higher Education - College Teaching
- And more...
- Instructional Design & Technology