Online Colleges For Special Education: A degree in special education that you can get online could lead to rewarding jobs A degree in special education that you can get online could lead to rewarding jobs. If you are good at understanding people and helping them, you might be good at being a special educator.
Some students have problems because they have learning disabilities or because they have mental, emotional, or physical problems.
Special educators might figure out what these students need and make changes to help them learn.
Online Degrees For Special Education
As a special educator, you need either have a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Special Education as your first degree. You might be able to teach K–12 or specialized programs for adults.
Students who want to teach in public schools usually need field experience and internships in public schools as part of their degree programs. If you finish an internship, you may be able to get a license or certification that lets you teach in public schools in your state.
A bachelor’s degree in special education is a degree in education with a track or area of concentration in special education. So, these bachelor’s degree programs in education have a lot of the same classes as other education degree programs.
In order to get an online bachelor’s degree in this field, you have to take core courses, which give you a broad education. Math, English, the social sciences, and the physical sciences are all part of core units.
The courses in this degree program are designed to give you the knowledge and skills you need to become a special educator. They focus on getting the knowledge and skills they need to teach students with disabilities and learning problems.
Courses in special education cover things like how to plan and evaluate lessons, social justice for teachers, and ethical and legal issues.
Some classes look into how to teach math and language skills to students with special needs in the best way. You might also talk about ways to help special education students control their behavior and keep their classrooms safe.
Jobs and Pay in Special Education
Special education teachers are needed in preschool and at every grade level from K to 12. You could also work in places where people with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities live.
At residential facilities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, training and development specialists make an average of $44,890 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that bachelor’s degree holders in this field could go into the following jobs.
In addition to teaching, special education teachers often have a lot of administrative work to do to manage the individualized education plans of their students (IEPs). They are in charge of keeping track of information about diagnostic and achievement tests that students take.
Teachers in this field must also work with other teachers, administrators, and parents and talk to them. As a special educator, you can also work as a tutor or give advice to homeschoolers.
You can teach adults in workshops, prisons, or programs for adults who want to learn. You could even work for a nonprofit organization that helps people with special needs.
How to Choose an Online Degree in Special Education
There are many online programs you can take at colleges and universities to finish your degree in special education.
When you’re looking for the right school for you, you might want to keep these things in mind:
- Status of Accreditation: Regional accreditation is the highest academic standard for a school. Employers and other institutions respect and recognize degrees that are accredited by groups like NCATE or CAEP.
- Cost: Schools may charge different amounts for tuition and other fees. There may also be different ways to get money, such as scholarships, grants, and work-study programs.
- Online track record: You might think about whether or not a school has a good record of teaching online. This could also include help with tech for online classes.
- Access to online learning platforms: It can be helpful if learning platforms are easy to use. You may also want to make sure that it’s easy to talk to faculty and peers on a platform.
- There are different kinds of online courses. Some are taught live at set times, while others use pre-recorded materials that can be done at any time. Your choice may depend on both your schedule and the way you learn best.
You could also look into how well the school’s former teachers have done in their jobs. This could include how many people finish the program and how many get jobs in the field of education. Students and former students may also be able to give reviews of a program.
Curriculum and Courses for a Bachelor’s in Special Education
After you finish all of the core courses, you can move on to the courses that are specific to your major. Here are some examples of advanced courses you could take:
- Instructional Planning and Assessment: You will learn how to plan good lessons and figure out how well students are learning.
- Survey of Special Education: This course looks at what mild to moderate disabilities are and how they are defined. It also looks at how special education students and their families can be helped in school.
Social Justice for Educators looks at the foundations and different aspects of social justice in education to help you become a more culturally competent teacher.
- Ethical and Legal Issues in Special Education: This course is an overview of the laws and ethical rules that special educators must follow.
- Teaching Math to Students with Disabilities: You will learn how to teach math to students with mild to moderate disabilities based on research.
- Collaboration and Communication in Special Education: This course is an overview of different ways that parents, other teachers, administrators, and community members can work together to help students with special needs.
- Assessment and Eligibility in Special Education: You’ll learn how to use diagnostic and assessment tools to gather and analyze data to figure out if a student is eligible to get special education services.
- Language Development for Disabilities and Disorders: This class looks at how technology and other tools can be used to change the way language is taught to students who need accommodations.
Creating and Managing Learning Environments: You will learn about the best ways to make classrooms safe and welcoming for everyone, including strategies for managing behavior and dealing with bad behavior.
- Student teaching, also called an internship, is when a student teaches full-time in a special education setting (approximately 8 weeks to 16 weeks).
Each online degree in this field will be different from the others. Accredited degree programs all have the same structure, though. This uniformity is built in so that students can meet the requirements to become licensed or certified teachers in public schools.
After you’ve chosen your top degree programs, you can start the admissions process. Here is a general list of what many bachelor’s degree programs ask for:
- High school diploma (GED) or the equivalent
- Minimum GPA of 2.0 or higher, depending on the school
- SAT or ACT scores, if needed.
- Recommendation letters
- Written essay
Some colleges and universities no longer require students to get a certain score on standardized tests (SAT and ACT). Even if your GPA or test scores were low in high school, you may still be able to get in. Colleges will sometimes let students in on a “provisional” basis.
Colleges often offer remedial classes to students who have been admitted on a conditional basis. These classes help students improve their academic skills so they can do well in college-level classes. When you get to graduate programs, like an online master’s or doctorate in special education, the requirements will be higher and stricter.
If you want your degree to be respected and accepted by most people, it should be accredited by a national organization that only accredits education degree programs.
The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation are two well-known organizations (CAEP).
Your college or university may also benefit from having regional accreditation from one of the seven groups that the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognizes (CHEA).
Financial Aid and Scholarships
You might be able to get money from the government to help pay for college tuition and fees. Start by filling out and submitting your FAFSA form on the Federal Student Aid website to see if you qualify for need-based aid.
Scholarships are another type of financial aid. These can be based on need or on how well you do in school. They are often given out by the federal government, the state government, community groups, alumni groups, churches, and employers.
You could also see if you qualify for grants. You might be able to get a Pell Grant, a TEACH Grant, or other forms of financial aid that are just for people who want to become teachers. If you are in the military, a veteran, or a family member of someone in the military, you may be eligible for federal help.
What can you do with a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education?
Most teachers with a bachelor’s degree in special education work in K–12 schools, whether they are public or private. You could also work in other places, though.
Special education graduates are also hired as training and development specialists by places that house people with mental, emotional, and physical disabilities and disorders. Special educators are also needed in prisons and programs for teaching adults with special needs.
You could try to get a job as a consultant or an advocate for people with special needs. You could use your degree to become a homeschool consultant or a tutor for students with special needs.
You could even become the director of a camp or daycare for children with special needs.
How much does it cost to get a bachelor’s degree in special education?
Each college or university has its own tuition and fee costs. Tuition for people who live in the state can sometimes be cheaper than tuition for people who don’t live in the state.
About 120 to 130 credit hours are needed to finish most bachelor’s degrees in special education. During a semester, a full-time student usually takes 12 to 15 credit hours.
A look at the websites of universities shows that tuition can cost anywhere from $166.41 per credit hour for in-state residents to $1,424.83 per credit hour for out-of-state residents.
How long does it take to get a bachelor’s degree in special education?
How long it takes you to finish an online bachelor’s degree in special education may depend on your schedule and whether or not you can go to school full-time or part-time.
If you go to school full-time and go to a university with traditional 16-week semesters, it might take you about 4 years to finish your program. Some colleges have online classes that last for 8 weeks. If you go to school full-time all year, you might be able to finish your degree faster.
If you have to work or take care of your family while getting your degree, you might decide to enroll part-time. If you go this way, it might take you longer to finish the program.
Is it Worth It to Get a Degree in Special Education?
Yes, for many students, a bachelor’s degree in special education is worth it. Over the next 10 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs in education, training, and libraries will grow by 5%.
In this field, jobs in special education include teaching preschool or grades K–12, teaching adult literacy, running a camp, running a preschool or daycare, or working as a training and development specialist in a residential facility.
As a special education teacher, you may have the chance to make a difference in your students’ lives.
Schools that offer online bachelor’s degrees in special education
The schools on this list are in order by the first letter of their names. For a college or university to be included, it must have regional accreditation and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
1) Ball State University
At the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, Ball State University has a number of options for special education. At the bachelor’s level, there are seven different degrees to choose from. Only the bachelor’s degree in applied behavior analysis can be earned through an online program.
The Higher Learning Commission has given Ball State University its seal of approval.
2) Central Methodist University
At Central Methodist University, students who are interested in special education can sign up for the Bachelor of Special Education program and choose the Mild to Moderate Disabilities K-12 concentration.
It’s a 124-credit program with classes like “Foundations of Education,” “Psychology of the Exceptional Child,” “Special Education Processes,” and “Counseling.”
3) City University of Seattle
At City University of Seattle, students can get a Bachelor of Arts in Education with 180 credits and up to five different endorsements.
Two of them are endorsements in special education and teaching English to people who don’t speak English. It is a full program that leads to a license in the state of Washington. Students who qualify can get money to help pay for school.
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has given the City University of Seattle its seal of approval.
4) Colorado Christian University
The Bachelor of Arts in Special Education program at Colorado Christian University has tracks for both getting a license and not getting a license.
Students in high-need licensure programs can get financial help from the TEACH Grant, which gives scholarships to students in those programs. In some states, students who take the licensure track can’t get a license.
5) Dakota State University
Dakota State University’s Bachelor of Special Education in Elementary Education and Special Education program gives students the knowledge, skills, tools, and confidence they need to become teachers in both elementary classrooms and for students with special needs.
The program teaches students how to meet the different needs of children in elementary school, no matter what their problems are.
The Higher Learning Commission has given Dakota State University its seal of approval.
6) East Carolina University
A program called Partnership Teach has been set up between East Carolina University and several community colleges in North Carolina. It lets students save money by taking as many classes as possible at community colleges before transferring to ECU. Special education is one of the concentrations that can be chosen.
The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools gives East Carolina University its accreditation.
7) Fontbonne University
At Fontbonne University, the Paraprofessional Pathways to Teaching program is taught alongside the Bachelor of Science in Special Education program.
Students who are currently working as teacher’s aides or as paraprofessionals who want to become teachers will love this program because it lets them keep working while they get their degrees.
The Higher Learning Commission has given Fontbonne University its seal of approval.
Students in Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education program can get their teaching certifications to become elementary school teachers.
They can also learn more about how to work with students who have special needs. Some of the classes you have to take are an overview of special education, a Christian worldview, and social justice for teachers.
The Higher Learning Commission has given Grand Canyon University its seal of approval.
9) Liberty University
Students in the Bachelor of Education in Special Education program at Liberty University can take all of their required classes online. Observations and student teaching must be done on-site, but they can be done in a school near each student’s home. Most people finish the program in less than 4 years.
Liberty University also offers a special education-focused online EdD in Curriculum and Instruction.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has approved Liberty University.
10) Pacific Oaks College
Pacific Oaks College has an online bachelor’s program for its students. The program includes courses in early childhood education, elementary education, and special education.
This program includes classes on the social, political, and economic foundations of education, teaching students with special needs, and making classrooms where all kids can learn.
The WASC Senior Colleges and Universities Commission has given Pacific Oaks College its seal of approval.
Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Special Education
If you want to become a special education teacher, you might want to start looking into accredited colleges and universities to find the best special education degree program for you. Even though it can take a lot of time, work, and determination to finish a degree program, your efforts could lead to a rewarding career as a special educator if you work hard.