Special Education

Students in the special education major learn to identify and teach students who have a range of learning, emotional and physical disabilities including mild-moderate autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, emotional/ behavioral disorders and learning disabilities. You will use techniques you learn in coursework in real-life teaching experiences in elementary, middle, secondary and special education programs. When you earn a license as an undergraduate, you also will have completed much of the coursework for additional licenses at the graduate level.

Have another major in mind? That can be paired with a minor degree in special education that will prepare you to work with special needs students in other settings.

Program Highlights

  • An undergraduate major in Special Education leads to a Minnesota Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS) License for kindergarten through age 21. 
  • Our Community Options 2 (CO2) program, a partnership with St. Cloud school district that is housed at St. Cloud State, gives special education teacher candidates the chance to complete field experience by helping 18 to 21 year olds who have developmental or cognitive disabilities and autism spectrum disorders learn vocational, community and social skills that will help them live successfully in the community.
  • An active student chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children opens opportunities for leadership and professional networking.
  • Select classes are available online, in the evening, and at locations including Anoka-Ramsey Community College Cambridge Campus and North Hennepin Community College.
  • This discipline is also available as a minor to complement other majors. 

Program Distinctions

  • Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS) license available for teachers of students with autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders and learning disabilities
  • Teaching licensure programs approved by Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board
  • Membership in Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP)
  • A non-teaching minor in special education is also available to students in majors other than special education. The minor will also allow students planning to do graduate work in special education to complete some of the coursework at an undergraduate level. 

Popular Careers

  • Special Education Teacher/Administrator
  • Adult Education Teacher
  • Teacher/Interpreter for the Hearing Impaired
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Behavioral Analyst
  • Art Therapist
  • Therapeutic Recreation