Special education is a broad discipline in the teaching profession that caters to the individual differences of students with all kinds of special needs, including autism, communication difficulties, developmental disorders, learning difficulties, emotional disorders, and physical disabilities.
What Does a Masters in Special Education Involve?
Teachers working in special education programs are usually required to have a Masters in Special Education. Such programs demand a great deal of hard work and dedication in order to be successfully completed so a student should be fairly certain in their minds that Special Education is the right teaching discipline for them before beginning a Masters Degree in Special Education at any school.
Students on their way to a Masters in Special Education have a huge range of subjects to cover in two years or so. Students majoring in special education dedicate themselves to learning about the nature of disabilities and the ways in which individuals who are classified as special needs and their families are affected on an everyday basis. Only when they understand those issues can they then go on and develop the skills and techniques they will need to educate these individuals effectively.
Specialized Masters in Special Education Programs
As the need for well educated and caring Special Education teachers is more frequently and widely recognized these days, it comes as little surprise to discover that some schools are now offering very specialized Special Education Masters programs that focus completely on certain types of disabilities and disorders.
For instance, the school of Education at the prestigious University of Texas offers several such programs in addition to a more generalized Master s in Special Education program. These include Autism, Learning Difficulty, and even Rehabilitation Education Specialties. Again, in order to undertake such a very narrow and focused course of study, a student has to be very sure that this really is the right career path for them.
Can a Masters in Special Education be Completed Online?
There are indeed a number of reputable online schools that offer Masters in Special Education programs. A number of well-known bricks and mortar universities are also opening up their Master’s programs to online students all over the world. For example, Penn State University now accepts students from a number of different countries to their Master’s degree programs, including the Masters in Special Education.
Does a Special Education Teacher Need Certification?
All 50 States and the District of Columbia require special education teachers to be licensed. The State board of education or a licensure advisory committee usually grants licenses, but licensure requirements do vary by State and the recent graduate from a Masters in Special Education program should make sure they understand all of the licensing requirements in the state they intend to teach in before they begin looking for their first position.
Some states do require that Special Education teachers take an exam before becoming licensed but the good news is that many Masters in Special Education programs cover the subject matters likely to be included and some even offer mock licensing tests to prepare students for that particular challenge.