Online special education degree programs are meant for teachers in primary and secondary schools who have a desire to work with special needs students. Students in online special education bachelor’s degree programs will take courses that focus on education and human development.
At the undergraduate level, students in special education programs can expect to take coursework on topics such as educational psychology, educational technology, child and developmental assessment, special education teaching methods, exceptional students, and students with disabilities. Students will focus on a team-based approach to addressing the needs of special education students by working with other teachers and paraprofessionals, school counselors, parents, and school administrators. Graduates will be prepared to work with students whose disabilities run the gamut, from mild social or anxiety disorders to severe developmental disorders. At the graduate level, students can concentrate in fields such as autism spectrum disorders, technologies for special education, early intervention, or gifted education.
Requirements for teaching certifications in special education vary by state, but in general, students who plan to teach can expect to hold a bachelor’s degree and complete testing in age-appropriate special education techniques as well as general teaching techniques. States will also require fieldwork experiences in classroom observation and student-teaching. Potential students should become familiar with their state’s requirements and should only consider schools who offer certification programs that meet their state’s requirements.
Graduates of special education programs can work in special education in classrooms and school districts or can seek jobs outside of education, working in non-profit organizations, religious organizations, or working with children in other capacities.