Why Study Special Education?

The Special Education Program provides IU Southeast candidate’s first-hand experience with understanding and designing classroom learning strategies for children with special needs. Candidates become special educators skilled at organizing and collaborating with other teachers, families, and community agencies. Candidates progress through cohorts with Elementary Education Majors.

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The IU Southeast School of Education offers interested candidates a program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Special Education. The B.S. in Special Education leads to an Indiana teaching license for an all grades K-12 Mild Intervention certification or a Kentucky’s Learning and Behavior Disorders certification. This license qualifies the holder to teach elementary and secondary education students who have one or more of the following disabilities: learning disabilities, emotional disabilities, mild or moderate mental disabilities, orthopedic impairments, other health impairments, autism spectrum disorder, or traumatic brain injury.

The B.S. in Special Education requires the completion of 124 credit hours. Candidates can expect rigorous coursework which is practitioner-oriented, and completion of five semesters of learning experiences in a K-12 classroom. Guided experiences with a wide range of children and youth and master special educators are the foundation of the program. Candidates majoring in special education are expected to commit to demonstrating three broad program outcomes:

  1. Understanding their students’ needs and contexts
  2. Collaboratively planning and implementing effective learning experiences
  3. Continuously assessing the effects of their professional choices

Unique to this program, candidates will progress together in cohorts with the Elementary Education candidates. However, this license does not qualify a person to teach "general education" at the elementary, middle school or high school level.

The B.S. in Special Education is comprised of two components:

  1. General Education —These requirements meet the campus-wide general education
  2. Professional and Pedagogical Studies —Students complete courses and experiences leading to successful demonstration of what special educators need to know and be able to do.
  • Attend an Application Orientation Session-held at various times during the beginning of the semester.
  • Application Deadlines: October 15 and February 15

    Applications submitted by October 15: Applicant will be considered for the Spring Cohort.

    Applications submitted by February 15: Applicant will be considered for the Fall Cohort.

  • Candidates accepted into the Special Education Program will be required to complete four major summative decision points.
  • The Elementary Education Program accepts no more than 50 candidates each fall and spring semester. These candidates include both the Special Education Program and the Elementary Education Program.

Admission Requirements

  1. Have an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  2. Have a C or better in all core language arts and math courses completed.
  3. Have passing scores (as determined by the IU system and/or the Indiana Department of Education) on the CASA, or other state-approved alternatives--see advisor for details.
  4. Including current enrollment, have at least 36 credit hours towards general education requirements as outlined by the Special Education check sheet.

Please see the Bulletin for more detailed information

Program Completion Requirements

Students will pass through a series of summative decision points that start with admission to the program and ends when the program is completed. The chart below gives an overview of the summative decision points.

Special Education Program Summative Decision Points
Bachelor of Science Degree
  1. Acceptance into teacher education
  2. Continuance beyond general methods
  3. Continuance beyond first special education practicum
  4. Continuance into student teaching
  5. Completion of all courses and degree requirements
While NOT a program completion requirement, teachers applying for an initial Indiana teaching license must present verification of training in 'suicide recognition and prevention', and a CPR certification card.

The KY Education Professional Standards Board announced in June, 2012, that applicants for a KY “Statement of Eligibility”, who complete their coursework at an out-of-state institution (including IU Southeast), must first acquire a license from the institution’s state, and provide a copy of that license with their application for the KY license. (For an IN license, graduates must have the proper CPR/AED/Heimlich certification, training in 'suicide recognition and prevention', pass the necessary IN Praxis II test(s), and apply and pay for an IN license.)

View descriptions of our courses to learn specific information about the class. Most of the course descriptions list the number of credit hours earned and any prerequisites for the class. Please see the Bulletin for more detailed information.



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Kathryn Ryan
Senior Lecturer
Phone: (812) 941-2583
Office Location: HH 0016
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Gwen Shultz
Phone: (812) 941-2594
Office Location: HH 0009
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