Which Schools Offer Bachelor's Degrees in Special Education?

Review some important considerations for selecting a school with a strong undergraduate program in special education. Get info about three top-ranked schools with programs in this field, and read about the types of special education bachelor's degrees each school offers. Schools offering Emotional & Behavioral Disorders degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Makes a Top School for a Bachelor's Degree Program in Special Education?

Bachelor's degree programs in special education may include specializations in a specific age group, type of disability or severity of disability. Programs at top schools may offer you extensive field experiences and the opportunities to student teach at schools with an inclusive or self-contained special education program. These opportunities can prepare you to work with students of all ages who have a variety of disabilities and come from different backgrounds.

Top schools will offer special education licensure in your state for the age group you want to teach or offer a post-baccalaureate program to fulfill any remaining licensure requirements. Faculty should be knowledgeable in the latest special education teaching theories and methods, as well as have contributed to the field with publications and projects. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) set quality standards for teacher education programs, so check if the school is accredited by one of these agencies.

What Are Three Top Schools for a Bachelor's Degree Program in Special Education?

New York University in New York City

New York University (NYU) was ranked by the U.S. News and World Report as the 33rd national university in 2012 and as one of the Best Northeastern Colleges by The Princeton Review in the same year. The school's TEAC-accredited special education programs have strong practical field components and focus on urban settings, making them a good fit if you want to teach special education in urban schools.

There are also study abroad opportunities to work in British schools. You can get certified to teach general education and special education in inclusive and self-contained settings. Degree offerings include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Childhood Education and Childhood Special Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education

University of Florida in Gainesville, FL

The U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Florida as having the fourth best education graduate school in special education in 2012. The university's NCATE-accredited offers a Bachelor of Arts in Education program with a concentration in elementary and special education or a concentration in early childhood education with a disabilities endorsement. Both concentrations take five years to complete and can prepare you to work in inclusive classrooms that contain both special education and non-special education students. The fifth year can be spent obtaining a Master of Education as a post-baccalaureate student.

Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University, ranked as the best education graduate school by U.S. News & World Report in 2012, is an NCATE-accredited school. The university offers a Bachelor of Science in Special Education program that can help prepare you for licensure.

Students may specialize in a specific type of disability or focus on early childhood. You can also pursue dual majors in elementary education and child development. The Princeton Review named Vanderbilt as one of the Best Southeastern Colleges in 2012, and some alumni and faculty have also received Nobel Prizes.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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