What You'll Study
Special education is available as a second major for students who desire special education certification in addition to a content area certification. The companion content area you choose will determine which level of special education certification you will be eligible to receive; either a pre-K to grade 8 special education certificate or grades 7 to 12 special education certificate.
You may gain special education certification in one of the following content areas:
The special education minor is designed for students in secondary education, elementary education, or early childhood education, but can be valuable to other majors such as social work, recreation, and psychology. The minor is intended to provide you with a second area of expertise, but does not lead to special education certification. Topics covered include:
- Foundations of Special Education
- Effective Instructional Strategies for Students with Disabilities in Inclusive Settings
- Positive Behavior Supports
- Accreditation: Each program is recognized by both state and national accrediting associations.
- National Recognition: The Special Education program at Lock Haven University has continuously received national recognition from the Council for Exceptional Children.
- Blocked Classes: Dual majors will take professional semester block courses in both their chosen content area and in special education. Content area blocks include subject-specific “methods” course where prospective teachers learn about curriculum, assessment, and technology in addition to methods for teaching in the various content areas. Special Education block focuses on assessment and instructional planning for both low and high incidence populations as well as special education law.
- Student Teaching: Dual majors participate in a wide variety of field experiences beginning in the freshmen year. By your junior year, dual majors will have gained over 100 hours of experience in the schools and will begin participating in supervised placements. The senior year culminates with a semester long student teaching experience—one placement in special education and one placement in your second major.
- Scholarships: From honorariums to full-tuition waivers, scholarships exist to reward your hard work and dedication to the major. Find more information here. You may also find information for the Mary Alice Smith Special Education Scholarship Fund here.
- Careers: There remains a growing demand for special education teachers, particularly in rural and inner city school districts. According to the 2014 Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the overall demand will continue to be driven by increasing enrollment and a continued need for special education services.