College of Education and Human Development
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Graduates are qualified to teach in a variety of areas
At the undergraduate level, the special education program area provides both pre-licensure options and licensure programs through the interdisciplinary studies degree (IDS). Students seeking to teach in special education major in IDS and select one of the following specialty area options:
- Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education (IDEC, a four-year Bachelor's degree with a Birth-5, Children with Disabilities license with a fifth year option leading to PreK-3rd grade General Education license and a Master’s of Science degree)
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing (IDHH, a four-year Bachelor's degree leading to licensure in Hearing Impairment PreK-12)
- Special Education: General and Adapted Curriculum K-12 (IDHI, a 4-year pre-licensure Bachelor’s degree with a 5th year leading to licensure in Special Education: General and Adapted Curriculum, K-12 and a Master’s of Science degree)
Concentration in Special Education
The 15 credit hour concentration in special education for IDS majors who are seeking elementary license provides the future teacher with highly marketable skills in supporting learners of all abilities in elementary classroom settings and working collaboratively with special education colleagues. An elementary education major who has a concentration in special education may participate in the collaborative co-placement model during early field experience.
Minor in Special Education
The 18 credit hour minor in special education provides an opportunity to acquire professional knowledge related to understanding and assisting individuals with disabilities. It includes a focus on educationally relevant disability law and policy, characteristics and etiology of disabilities, and special education programming and services.
Anthony Friedman talks about the pride he feels being a Radford Highlander. He shares the opportunities he’s had to have an impact as a Resident Assistant and in the future as a special educator.
WHAT PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS ARE REQUIRED FOR THE FIELD OF SPECIAL EDUCATION?
- Good communication skills
- Skills in problem solving and analysis
- Self-awareness and self-confidence
- Initiative, reliability, and persistence
- Ability to work alone and as part of a collaborative team
IS THERE AN INTRODUCTORY COURSE IN SPECIAL EDUCATION?
Students begin their special education courses by enrolling in EDSP 361: Current Trends in Education for Exceptional Individuals or EDSP 360: Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education. These classes provide an overview of the characteristics and needs of students with disabilities.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTERING THE SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM?
Students may declare Special Education as a major at any time. Coursework typically begins at the sophomore level. Prior to entering field experiences, students must be admitted to the Teacher Education Program (TEP). Entry into the TEP requires a grade point average of 2.50 to 2.75, depending on the program, and passing scores on Praxis Core Mathamatics and Virginia Communication and Literacy exams.
WHAT EXPERIENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES DOES RADFORD UNIVERSITY’S SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM HAVE TO OFFER?
Students are placed in classrooms for at least two semesters while taking their professional special education classes during their junior, senior or graduate year. Students in the four-year licensure options complete a field experience in the fall and full-time student teaching during the spring in their senior year. Students in the five-year program complete field experiences in the fall and spring semesters of their senior year and half-time internships in the fall and spring of their graduate year.
WHAT ADDITIONAL STUDY WILL ENHANCE MY CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN THE FIELD OF SPECIAL EDUCATION?
Employers may recommend additional courses for endorsement in other areas of special education in order to meet state requirements for serving students in general classroom settings. Radford University offers graduate programs in: Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Early Childhood Special Education, General Curriculum, Adapted Curriculum, Visual Impairment, and a certificate program in Autism Studies.
WHERE CAN I OBTAIN MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FIELD OF SPECIAL EDUCATION?
- Special Education Program Area, 540-831-6425
- Center for Career Development
- College of Education and Human Development Advising Center
Meet the Professors
Dr. Debora Bays Wilbon
Enabling future and current teachers to advocate for and to provide the highest quality instruction for their students is what makes my teaching rewarding.
Dr. Leslie Daniel
The best thing about being a college professor is knowing that, although I am no longer a K-12 special educator, I (and my colleagues at Radford University) make a huge difference in the lives of children, because we’ve taught their teachers. I love reading social media updates from our previous students about the amazing things they do in their schools.
Dr. Elizabeth Altieri
I love teaching because it allows me to share my passion about finding and sharing the strengths, talents and capacities of students we call disabled and my passion about inclusive educational practice. I love teaching because of the honor and privilege inherent in inspiring young people to become collaborative educators, strong advocates, and future leaders.