Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
Special Education P-12Ed, BAEd
What is the study of Special Education P-12Ed?
Special Educators need to have extensive knowledge in four areas: they need to know about students and how they learn; they need to know about effective instruction; they need to know about the content of the lessons they will teach; and, they need to know about the context (social, legal, and political) in which they will work. Therefore, training to become a Special Educator will include work in each of these areas. The program includes coursework and extensive supervised practicum experiences in the public schools. The program is rigorous and the expectations are high. However, the rewards are also high. This program will prepare you to be an excellent teacher in whatever position you eventually choose. Our graduates are actively recruited by school districts to work in a variety of rewarding special education settings.
Students seeking a bachelor’s degree with recommendation for a Washington State teacher certification and an endorsement in Special Education must complete teh Special Education (P-12) major, the Professional Studies Core, and internship. Graduates are not endorsed to be the sole teacher in the general education classroom but may serve as a consultant to the teacher of record. Although graduates are endorsed to teach special education populations in grades P-12, federal Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) requirements require additional evidence of content knowledge in order to teach core academic subjects.
Why Should I Consider this Major?
There are two definitions of Special Education. One is the education of students with disabilities. The other is the application of exceptional teaching. We in the Special Education Program at Western Washington University believe very strongly in the second definition. We think that it is our mission to prepare exceptional teachers and, while students who have disabilities often require the services of such teachers, we also believe that there are many other students who can benefit from high quality instruction. We also think that there is much satisfaction to be gained from the acquisition of the highest levels of teaching skill and that the teachers trained in our program benefit professionally and personally from the acquisition of these skills. That is why the word “Special” in our title is a source of pride to us and to our graduates.
- Special Education Resource Room Teacher
- Special Education Teacher
- Inclusive Classroom Teacher