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
- Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
- Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
- College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
- College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
- Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
- Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Special Education
- B.S. in Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)
- B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education
- And more...
- Topped the list as Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report in 2019.
- Regent is ranked among Top National Universities by U.S. News & World Report, 2019.
- Flexible online, on-campus and evening courses offered in 135 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
- Regent is recognized among Top #10 Military Friendly Schools by Military Friendly®, 2019.
- 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $24 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid in 2017-18.
- Ph.D. in Education - Special Education
- Doctor of Education in Special Education
- M.Ed. in Reading Specialist - Non-Licensure
- And more...
- Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
- 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
- No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
- Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
- 87% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
- PHD: Advanced Educational Studies: Special Education
- MA in Teaching - Special Education
- BED: Licensure: Special Education
- And more...
- Averett University is a top-ranked, fully-accredited institution that offers students over 30 undergraduate majors, minors and special programs, and 5 master's programs.
- Accelerated programs designed for convenience: choose from weekly evening courses at one of Averett's Virginia locations or study online and on your own time.
- Averett University was named one of Virginia’s top colleges for return on investment, and their average scholarship package lowers the cost of attendance further by almost 40%.
- Averett offers students learning experiences that mirror real-life situations. This means you can put today's lesson to the test during tomorrow’s workday.
- Averett University's 12:1 student-professor ratio makes your education a collaborative endeavor based on close relationships between students and faculty.
- Master of Education (M.Ed.) - Special Education K-12 Endorsement Track
- Master of Education (M.Ed.) - Special Education K-12 Virginia Licensure
- B.A. Art with Teaching Certification PK-12
- And more...
- Post brings 127+ years of campus success to flexible online degrees in Education
- 100% online with degrees at all levels
- Connect with other professionals in education around the world and across industries
- Ranked in the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by the US News & World Report
- Post University earned the 2017 Military Spouse Friendly School® designation
- Master of Education
- Master of Education / Online Teaching
- Master of Education - TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
- And more...
- Choose from 16 education degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.
- Explore different facets of education, including curriculum development, administration, early childhood education, special education, and more.
- Most degree programs are offered entirely online in a flexible format that fits into the busy lives of working adults.
- Classes last 5 weeks for bachelor’s programs and 6 weeks for master’s programs.
- Associate of Arts - Early Childhood.
- Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Development with Differentiated Instruction
- BA/Child Development
- And more...
- One of the top-ranked universities in Florida, Saint Leo University offers over 50 accredited undergraduate degrees, programs and endorsements as well as master's and doctoral programs.
- Saint Leo’s undergraduate and graduate online degree programs prepare you to take advantage of growing career opportunities in a variety of in-demand fields.
- Saint Leo University provides academic excellence, flexibility, affordability, and a wide range of educational programs with financial aid and scholarships available to those who qualify.
- Saint Leo offers a 14:1 Student-Teacher Ratio to ensure you get the personal attention you deserve.
- Learn on your schedule with our 6 convenient available start dates throughout the year. Get started on earning your accredited degree today!
- MEd: Instructional Leadership & Reading
- MEd: Educational Leadership
- MS: Instructional Design
- And more...
- Lancaster Bible College|Capital Seminary & Graduate School is a private Bible college composed of undergraduate, accelerated undergraduate and graduate learners.
- Lancaster Bible College|Capital Seminary & Graduate School's mission has remained constant since 1933:
- Lancaster Bible College|Capital Seminary & Graduate School offers 50+ majors, 8 academic departments and a variety of mission/ministry groups.
- Lancaster Bible College's programs offer flexible degree formats. Our programs allow you to continue working in your current field, and apply life experiences as credits in certain instances.
- Lancaster Bible College|Capital Seminary & Graduate School believes that God gave you a unique set of gifts. Now, He's giving you the opportunity to use them
- Bachelor of Science - Middle Level Education
- Bachelor of Science - Early Childhood Education