Children of various ethnic backgrounds look at rice in another child's hand

Special Education—P-12 Plus Content Endorsement

The Department of Special Education and Education Leadership is proud to offer a dual endorsement program for students who are interested in becoming middle school and high school teachers. Graduates from this unique program will have a teaching credential, a Special Education Endorsement (Preschool through 21 years), and an endorsement in another qualified secondary school level content area. The majority of our graduates have earned the secondary content endorsement in English, Mathematics, or Science but other options are available.

Since the education of all children is a worthy cause, we provide a carefully sequenced series of coursework that balances content knowledge with numerous opportunities to apply the knowledge and develop skills in a wide range of settings. Given that teaching is a demanding profession, we seek to prepare our students with the skills needed to effectively assess and teach academic skills as well as effectively manage the classroom environment in a positive and respectful manner.

Western’s Special Education program is consistent with state and national standards. It is based upon best evidence-based and research-based practices. Our curriculum includes an emphasis on Curriculum-Based Evaluation (for academic, social-emotional, and behavioral areas) within a tiered system of support framework.

Interested in working with individuals with disabilities, but not quite sure? Please feel free to contact someone in the Department of Special Education and Education Leadership. You might even be interested in our GUR course, EDUC 205 Disability, Diversity and Media.

The Special Education Department is part of Woodring College of Education

Beyond the Classroom

Practicum Placements and Internships

The college faculty coordinate a wide range of school and community based practicum placements strategically placed throughout the program. This provides frequent opportunities to interact with young children while developing your teaching skills. The final quarter internship (student teaching) experience is coordinated by the department and in conjunction with the Office of Field Experiences.

Professional Development

Teacher education candidates are expected to participate in professional development activities outside of the classroom setting. These activities are varied and may include events such as professional development alongside practicing teachers in the local schools, attendance at selected informational talks or workshops.

Compass 2 Campus

The State of Washington mentoring initiative at Western is designed to increase opportunities in higher education by providing mentoring for 5th – 12th grade students from traditionally underrepresented and diverse backgrounds in Whatcom and Skagit counties. For more information on the program, visit this website.

Reading Tutor

Woodring employs Western student to work as reading tutors in local elementary schools. For more information on the program, visit this website.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Our graduates are actively recruited from districts and agencies across the state for both special education and/or elementary education positions. There has been a national shortage of Special Education teachers since 1975 and districts in Washington State continually strive to find qualified teachers, often forced to look out of state. We, in the department, are particularly proud of our graduates and the work they do in school and communities supporting students who experience the most difficulty learning.

Our graduates are also actively sought by numerous graduate programs and have been allowed to transfer some of their coursework into the graduate school. So, whether you plan to continue in the classroom or move to the university setting, you will be well prepared and maintain a competitive edge.

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Special Education Resource Room Teacher 
  • Special Education Teacher 
  • Consultant 
  • Inclusive Classroom Teacher

Department of Special Education and Education Leadership