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major in special education

Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education

B.S. Major in Special Education Program Overview

Freed-Hardeman University’s Special Education program prepares students to teach and support children with disabilities through practical experience and inclusive learning approaches. Licensure options include K-8 Interventionist, 6-12 Interventionist and K-12 Comprehensive.


College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

Department chair name:

Amy Downey

Program Coordinator:

Dr. Aundrea McFall

Learning at FHU

Why study special education at FHU?

Studying Special Education at FHU offers a comprehensive and practical education, diverse licensure options and the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of children with disabilities. Graduates are well-prepared to create inclusive learning environments and embark on fulfilling careers in the field of special education.

The Special Education Degree Program at FHU equips students with the necessary skills to excel in the field of special education and support children with disabilities effectively.

Program Highlights:

  • Create impactful lesson plans for your students
  • Utilize interdisciplinary studies
  • In-depth understanding of childhood development
  • Become a positive role model in your community
  • Tools and resources to inspire young minds
  • Achieve excellence in education through FHU’s specialized program

Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education Four-Year Plans

Embarking on a rewarding career in special education may feel challenging, but with the Special Education program at FHU, you’ll receive the education and essential skills to excel in this fulfilling field. We offer four-year plans to help guide your graduation path and prepare you for success in supporting children with disabilities in today’s educational landscape.

Interdisciplinary Studies Middle Grades Education at FHU: A pathway to diverse teaching careers and impactful roles in education.

Careers for Special Education Majors

As a Special Education major, you open the door to a diverse range of rewarding career opportunities in the field of special education. Some potential careers for graduates with this degree include:

  • Special Education Teacher
  • Inclusion Specialist
  • Behavior Analyst

Special Education Degree Requirements

I. Liberal Arts Core Requirements

Listed in this catalog under Academics: Liberal Arts Display

Limit III. A. Behavioral Sciences to SOC 241 General Sociology

Limit III. B. BIO:  100, 105, 110, 111, 112, or 211 (must include related lab)

Limit III. C. 1. History to HIS 221 American History I or HIS 222 American History II

Limit III. C. 2. Critical and Creative Works to Literature (ENG 215, 225, or 235)

Limit III. C. 3. Humanities Capstone to HUM 495 Values in Human Thought

II. Additional Liberal Arts Core Requirements for the Major - 6-7 hours
A. Choose one (1) of the following Fine Arts courses: 3 hours
ART 110 Art Appreciation  (3)
ART 201  Introduction to Photography (3) 
ART 234 Introduction to Creativity (W) (3)
MUS 110 Music Appreciation (3)
MUS 214 The Development of American Music  (3)
THE 160 Introduction to Theatre (3)
THE 265 Acting I  (3) 
THE 299A New York Theatre Survey (3)
B. Choose one (1) of the following Science courses:
(must include related lab)
3-4 hrs
PHS 111 Physical Science I OR 3
PHS 112 Physical Science II  (3)
CHE 121 General Chemistry I  WITH (3)
CHE 121L General Chemistry II Lab  (1) 
III. Major Professional Core for Special Education - 43 hours
EDU 130 Introduction to Education (W) 3
EDU 250  Professional Reflective Seminar I 2
PSY 201  Child Development and Lab  3
PSY 306  Educational Psychology (W)  3
Must be admitted to Teacher Education to take the following:  
EDU 310  Literacy I: Emergent Literacy Methods Across Content Areas 
EDU 311  Literacy II: Literature and Literacy (W)  
EDU 327  Tests and Measurement 
EDU 330  Teaching Mathematics: Methods, Strategies, & Techniques  
EDU 350*  Professional Reflective Seminar II   1
EDU 428*  Classroom Management 
RDG 312  Literacy III: Teaching Literacy 
Must be admitted to Student Teaching to take the following:  
EDU 448  Student Teaching, K-12  12 
EDU 450  Professional Reflection and Planning Seminar III 
IV. Choose one (1) of the following areas of emphasis: 9 hours
A. K-8 Interventionist:  
EDU 415* Literacy IV: Teaching Methods Across Content Areas (3)
SPE 347  Practical Applications in Special Education  (3) 
SPE 362 Characteristics and Needs of Exceptional Children  (3)
B. 6-12 Interventionist:  
SPE 362 Characteristics and Needs of Exceptional Children (3)
SPE 449  Transitional and Vocational Education  (3) 
C. K-12 Comprehensive:  
SPE 362 Characteristics and Needs of Exceptional Children (3)
SPE 483  Health and Related Issues  (3) 

*These courses must be taken together the semester prior to student teaching.

IV. Additional Required Courses for Licensure - 27 hours
HEA 216  Personal Health  3
MAT 206 Real Number System 3
POL 231 American Government 3
SPE 240  Special Education Foundations (W)  3
SPE 351 Literacy Interventions
SPE 441  Differentiated Instruction and Intervention  3
SPE 444  Managing Behaviors of Students with Special Needs 
SPE 447  Assessment in Special Education 
SPE 448  Consultation with School, Family, and Community 
VI. Electives (including additional Bible) - 7-9 hours

Frequently Asked Questions About a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education at FHU.

Below are answers to questions prospective students often have when considering a major in Special Education. If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact admissions@fhu.edu and they will happily answer questions and provide additional details about our program.

What are the benefits of a Special Education degree at FHU?

The Special Education degree at FHU offers several benefits to students:

  1. Comprehensive Preparation: The program provides students with a thorough understanding of disabilities and equips them with the knowledge of developmental, academic, and social needs of children with special needs. Graduates are well-prepared to address the diverse challenges in the field of special education.
  2. Diverse Licensure Options: FHU offers three licensure areas (K-8 Interventionist, 6-12 Interventionist, and K-12 Comprehensive), providing students with the flexibility to choose a specialization that aligns with their career goals and interests.
  3. Practical Experience: Students gain valuable hands-on experience through integrated practicum and a full semester of student teaching in public school settings. This practical exposure allows students to apply their knowledge in real-world classroom settings, enhancing their teaching skills and confidence.
  4. Inclusive Learning Focus: The program emphasizes evidence-based practices, technology integration, and differentiated instruction, enabling graduates to create inclusive and supportive learning environments for exceptional children.
  5. Expert Faculty: The faculty in the Special Education program at FHU are experienced professionals who are dedicated to providing personalized support and guidance to students throughout their academic journey.
  6. Impactful Career Opportunities: With a Special Education degree from FHU, graduates are prepared for rewarding careers where they can make a positive impact on the lives of children with disabilities and contribute to the advancement of inclusive education.

In summary, the Special Education degree at FHU offers comprehensive preparation, diverse career opportunities, practical experience, and the chance to create a meaningful impact in the lives of children with disabilities. Graduates are well-equipped to become effective and compassionate special education professionals, ready to meet the challenges and opportunities in this vital field.

What are the career options with a Bachelor's Degree in Special Education?

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education, graduates have a range of career options in the field of special education. Some of the potential career paths include:

  1. Special Education Teacher: Work as a licensed special education teacher in public or private schools, providing individualized instruction and support to students with disabilities.
  2. Interventionist: Serve as an intervention specialist, working with students who require additional assistance in specific academic or behavioral areas.
  3. Behavior Analyst: Conduct assessments, design behavior intervention plans, and implement strategies for positive behavior support for students with behavioral challenges.
  4. Early Intervention Specialist: Work with young children with developmental delays or disabilities, providing early intervention services to support their growth and development.
  5. Education Consultant: Provide expertise and guidance to schools and organizations on best practices for supporting students with disabilities and implementing inclusive education programs.
  6. Education Program Coordinator: Manage and organize special education programs and services within schools or community-based organizations.

These are just a few examples of the diverse career options available with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education. Graduates with this degree are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and passion to make a positive impact on the lives of children with disabilities and contribute to the advancement of inclusive education practices.

What is the job outlook for graduates with a Special Education degree?

The job outlook for graduates with a Special Education degree is generally positive. The demand for special education teachers and professionals has been steadily growing due to various factors:

  1. Inclusive Education: There is a growing emphasis on inclusive education, which requires qualified special education professionals to support students with disabilities in mainstream classrooms.
  2. Increasing Awareness: Greater awareness of learning and developmental disabilities has led to an increased demand for specialized services and support in educational settings.
  3. Retirement of Current Educators: Many current special education teachers are reaching retirement age, leading to openings for new graduates to fill these positions.
  4. Policy and Legislation: Changes in education policy and legislation have led to a greater focus on providing appropriate services to students with disabilities, creating a need for qualified special education professionals.
  5. Diverse Learning Needs: The recognition of the diverse learning needs of students has created demand for specialized educators who can provide individualized instruction and support.

It is essential to note that job opportunities and demand can vary by location, as education policies, funding, and demographics can influence the job market. Graduates with a Special Education degree who are flexible in their location preferences and open to different roles within the field may find a wider range of job opportunities.

What skills will I learn through the Special Education program at FHU?

Through the Special Education program at FHU, you will acquire a diverse set of skills that will prepare you to effectively support children with disabilities and create inclusive learning environments. Some of the key skills you will learn include:

  1. Understanding Disabilities: Gain in-depth knowledge of various disabilities, their characteristics, and how they can impact learning and development.
  2. Behavior Management: Develop strategies to address behavioral challenges and create positive behavior support plans for students.
  3. Assessment and Evaluation: Acquire skills in assessing students’ academic and developmental progress, identifying areas of need, and using data to inform instructional planning.
  4. Assistive Technology: Learn to use and integrate assistive technologies that can enhance learning experiences for students with disabilities.
  5. Inclusion Strategies: Gain insights into inclusive education practices and how to promote an inclusive classroom environment where all students can participate and thrive.
  6. Classroom Management: Develop effective classroom management strategies to create a positive and structured learning environment.

These skills will empower you to become a compassionate, competent, and dedicated special education professional capable of making a positive impact on the lives of exceptional children and contributing to the advancement of inclusive education practices.

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