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Earn your Special Education Degree from Grand Canyon University

Do you enjoy working with children and adolescents who have special needs or disabilities? Special education is a field that continues to seek out extraordinary individuals to positively impact and teach students with special needs. Special Education is a rewarding field that includes many specializations such as learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disabilities, and other physical and cognitive impairments. SPED teachers assist students who have a spectrum of different needs in implementing individualized education plans. These teachers are the vehicles to meet all IDEA requirements and support students in setting, meeting and exceeding IEP/504 goals.

Growth in the Field of Special Education

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the field of special education, "excellent job prospects are expected due to rising enrollments of special education students and reported shortages of qualified teachers." This growth is due in part to earlier diagnoses of special needs issues, as well as legislation placing more importance on training and employing individuals with disabilities. As a result, an increased number of positions are available for special education teachers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "The number of special education teachers is expected to increase by 17 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations."

GCU's Special Education Degree Programs

Earning a special education degree can lead to a rewarding career in this high-demand field. Grand Canyon University offers a bachelor's in elementary education and special education dual degree, as well as a master's in special education designed for those individuals who would like to transition into the special education field. Additionally, the master's in special education for Certified Special Educators is an advanced program for those educators who work in the field of special education and want to increase and improve their skills.

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Special Education Course Topics

Both our dual degree bachelor's in special education as well as our master's in special education: cross categorical focus on a variety of topics including: classroom management for students with special needs, structured English immersion, diagnosis and assessment in special education, characteristics of learning disabilities and strategies to teach individuals with learning disabilities, characteristics of emotional/behavioral disabilities and strategies to teach individuals with learning disabilities, characteristics of intellectual disabilities and strategies to teach individuals with learning disabilities, and educational implications for students with physical and health impairments.

The master's degree in special education for certified special educators has a focus on topics including: Special education program development and funding, inclusion and collaborative practices, assistive technology in special education, assessment in special education, strategies to teach individuals with learning disabilities, strategies to teach individuals with emotional and behavioral disorders, strategies to teach individuals with intellectual disabilities, strategies to teach individuals with physical and health implications, and management and strategic instruction practices for students with special needs.

Ed.D. in Special Education

Grand Canyon University also offers an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Special Education program, designed for educators and consultants who wish to advance the study of leadership within the field of special education. This program uses an in-depth research-based approach to prepare students with the leadership skills necessary for the role of a strategic professional. Learners study the current and emerging trends in special education and focus on special education law and legal compliance.

Convenient Learning Formats

Our dual degree bachelor's in elementary education and special education degree is offered both at GCU's main campus as well as in an online format. GCU's master's in special education programs are offered online as well as in an evening cohort format, where students conveniently attend class one evening per week. Our online special education degrees allow students to study at the times and places most convenient, without interrupting their time spent teaching.

Student Teaching Requirements

The bachelor's and master's degree programs in special education leading to teacher licensure include a full-time student teaching component at the end of the program. The master's in special education designed for certified special education teachers does not include a student teaching component.