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Preparing to be a Special Education Teacher

Special education is a rewarding career field and demands patient, knowledgeable educators with a passion for shaping a child's future. Our special education program prepares teachers by providing a deep understanding of emerging concepts and practices partnered with field-based research and experience.

What is special education?

  • Special education is not a specific class or place, but instead a variety of services designed to meet the educational, social, emotional and vocational needs of young children and students with disabilities.
  • Qualifying disabilities meet certain criteria set by law. Once a student has been found to have one of the qualifying disabilities, they are eligible for services based upon their assessed needs. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is then developed for each student.

What is an IEP?

An IEP (Individual Education Plan) is a contract which sets appropriate educational goals and objectives for the individual student. It is developed by qualified staff in consultation with the parents and includes a description of the child, goals and objectives, services to be provided, special education placement, time and duration of services and evaluation of the IEP.

Program Highlights

For those seeking a multiple subject credential and who are also interested in teaching special education, FPU has created a dual credential program. The preliminary multiple subject credential and the special education preliminary level 1 credential programs have been designed with this interest in mind. Many courses in the two programs are the same in order to facilitate opportunities for candidates to complete both credentials.

If you are interested in this option, please view the information on the preliminary education specialist credential and then seek advice from faculty in the special education division.