Certificate in Special Education

almost every school has a number of students with some kind of disability. it could be physical, emotional, intellectual, or a mix of the three. these students need specialized teaching methods and guidance. these days many institutes offer special education certification online. the online nature of these programs benefits people with busy schedules who are able to study in a self-paced environment. these programs may also be less expensive than campus-based programs. the program develops the ability of professional teachers to meet the demands of students with special educational needs. the certification may be earned independently or as part of a master's degree in special education. in order to enroll in the program, candidates may be required to have a level 1 teaching certificate in early childhood development, elementary education, or secondary education.

the program curriculum may include the following courses:

  • current issues in special education: practice and procedures
  • communication and collaboration
  • theory and industrial practice related to students with high incidence disabilities
  • literacy, written and oral language, and reading in content areas
  • mathematics and science procedures
  • diagnostic assessment and process monitoring
  • theory and industrial practice related to students with emotional and behavioral disorders
  • theory and industrial practice related to students with low incidence disabilities

career outlook
professionals who obtain special education certification may work as special education teachers. they conduct general education lessons and teach various courses such as math, reading, and writing to students with low to high level of disabilities. they may also teach communication and literacy skills to students with severe disabilities. the details of their job description may include the following:

  • determine the needs of students and incorporate them in developing teaching plans
  • modify lessons which meet the demands of students
  • formulate individualized education programs (ieps) for every student
  • plan, organize, and assign activities to each student according to his or her abilities
  • mentor an coach students as a whole, in groups, and one-to-one
  • assess students' performance, implement ieps, and track student performance
  • update ieps throughout the academic year to highlight students' goals and progress
  • discuss student's progress with parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators
  • supervise and mentor teacher assistants who work with disabled students
  • prepare and help students move up from grade to grade and after they graduate

these professionals usually work as part of a team which includes parents, counselors, and school administrators. they prepare individualized education programs which are specific to each student's needs. exact duties vary with the type of setting, teacher specialty, and student disabilities. they may work with students from preschool to high school.

apart from education and training, these professionals need some important qualities such as communication skills, critical thinking skills, interpersonal skills, patience, and resourcefulness.according to the us bureau of labor statistics (bls), the median annual wage for special education teachers was $55,060 in may 2012. their employment is expected to grow by 6% from 2012 to 2022.


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