Special Education

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What is Special Education?

There are two definitions of special education. One is the education of students with disabilities. The other is the application of exceptional teaching. We in the special education program at Western Washington University believe very strongly in the second definition. We think that it is our mission to prepare exceptional teachers and, while students who have disabilities often require the services of such teachers, we also believe that there are many other students who can benefit from high quality instruction. We also think that there is much satisfaction to be gained from the acquisition of the highest levels of teaching skill and that the teachers trained in our program benefit professionally and personally from the acquisition of theses skill. That is why the word “special” in our title is a source of pride to us and to our graduates.

 

Special Education Programs

Students at Western Washington University may choose from five initial teacher preparation options that result in residency certification with an endorsement to teach special education in the state of Washington.

The No Child Left Behind "highly qualified teacher" requirement may impact the eligibility for certain teaching assignments in a core academic subject(s). Students are responsible for consulting with an advisor for further information on NCLB.

 

NON-TEACHER CERTIFICATION OPTIONS

The below programs do not lead to teacher certification. Graduates typically seek employment in private child development centers, government agencies, or in school district positions that do not require certification.

  • Early Childhood Special Education BAE (Fall Admission Only)

Completion of this program results in a BA in Education only.  Students in this major typically seek employment in private child development centers and governmental agencies; they do not qualify for a teaching certificate

  • Special Education BAE

Completion of this program results in a BA in Education.  Students who complete this major typically seek employment in non-school settings, such as health and human services and non-profit organizations; they do not qualify for a teaching certificate.

 

TEACHER CERTIFICATION OPTIONS

  • Early Childhood Special Education P-3 & Early Childhood Education P-3 (Dual Endorsement), BAE (Fall Admission Only)

Completion of this major and required professional education courses results in BA in Education with recommendation for a Washington State teaching certificate endorsed in Early Childhood Special Education P-3 and Early Childhood Education P-3.

  • Special Education P-12 & Elementary Education  (Dual Endorsement), BAE

Completion of this program results in BA in Education with recommendation for a Washington State teaching certificate endorsed in Special Education P-12 and Elementary Education K-8

  • Special Education P-12 plus Content Endorsement, BAE

Completion of this program results in BA in Education with recommendation for a Washington State teaching certificate endorsed in Special Education P-12 and a content endorsement(students must earn a second endorsement in an area other than Special Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Bilingual Education, or English Language Learner). View the list of options.

  • Special Education & Content Endorsement for post-baccalaureates

Completion of this program results in recommendation for a Washington State teaching certificate with an endorsement in Special Education P-12 and a content endorsement (students must earn a second endorsement in an area other than Special Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Bilingual Education, or English Language Learner). View the list of options.

 

Teachers who hold a valid and endorsable Washington State certificate may earn an endorsement in Special Education (P-12) by completing core coursework requirements.

The Special Education and Early Childhood Education Special Education Majors are academically rigorous programs aligned with the content and performance standards of the Council for Exceptional Children.