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 in special education programs online?
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 after graduation?
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
- There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!
- Study on your schedule - GCU offers many programs 100% online to fit your busy lifestyle.
- GCU offers a variety of opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering your education. Campus students may qualify for scholarships, while online students can take part in limited special offers.
- A regionally accredited university, GCU also holds specialized accreditations and approvals for some of our core program offerings.
- Degrees in business, education, nursing, humanities and social sciences, theology and more. Find the degree that fits you.
- Talk to us today to learn more about financial aid and start dates!
- M.A. in Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Special Education
- B.S. in Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)
- 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...
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...
Colorado State University-Global Campus
Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) recently received state approval to enroll students with little to no prior college experience. To help ensure student success, the university has created a program especially for these students who plan on starting their college experience for the first time with us.
- The first and only 100% online, fully accredited public university in the United States
- No set class times or locations
- Affordable tuition, guaranteed not to increase as long as you are enrolled
- Accelerated eight-week terms
- Classes start every month
- MS - Teaching and Learning
- 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...
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...
You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.
At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.
- Master's (M.Ed.) - Curriculum and Instruction for Educators
- Master's (M.Ed.) - Instructional Design and Technology
Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose. Our 20,000 alumni, from more than 110 countries, are changing the world as accomplished professionals. Named a top-15 school nationally for online bachelor's programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2015), Regent is among the most affordable undergraduate Christian colleges (CCCU 2015). Fully accredited, challenging programs are available online and on campus. New classes begin every eight weeks.
- Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education*
- Instructional Design & Technology
Abilene Christian University offers a number of innovative graduate programs which are unique in their focus for preparing graduates to take on leadership roles in a variety of settings. While the curriculum is faith-based, it has universal applications that students find useful when entering the competitive workforce. If you are looking for a new opportunity to help you meet challenges and become a leader, then look no further. ACU's programs offer the opportunity to gain personal achievement, career fulfillment and the chance to build strong, long-lasting relationships with your fellow students and our faculty and staff.
- Master of Education in Higher Education