Online Associate Degree in Special Education

Classes in an associate's degree program in special education will teach you about special education techniques. Get info on the employment outlook and salary potential for teacher's assistants in the special education field. Check the prerequisites for enrolling in an online degree program in this field, and discover how online degree programs work. Schools offering Emotional & Behavioral Disorders degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn?

Associate's degree programs in special education train you in general pedagogy, psychology and contemporary special education techniques. You can also expect to take general education courses. The following are examples of courses you might find in the curriculum:

  • Foundations of special education
  • Early childhood education
  • Speech communication
  • Human growth and development
  • Instructional strategies for exceptional children
  • Child psychology
  • Assessment for special education

Common Courses Foundations of special education, human growth and development, child psychology, speech communication, early childhood education
Admissions Requirements High school diploma or GED, high school transcripts, standardized test scores
Online Availability Online degree programs are available
Job Duties Feeding students, fielding behavioral problems, clerical work, working on motor skills, general classroom management
Median Salary26,970 in May 2018 (for teacher assistants)*
Job Outlook 6% increase between 2016-2026 (for teacher assistants)*

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Do I Get In?

To be considered for admission into associate's degree programs in special education, you need at least a high school diploma or GED. You can also expect to submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Some schools require you to take a placement test as well. If you want to prepare for this course of study in high school, consider taking classes like psychology.

Can I Earn This Degree Online?

Associate's degree programs in special education can be found in either online or on-campus formats. Online programs require you to have access to the Internet and to meet minimum technical requirements. Like their on-campus counterparts, distance learning programs are taught by instructors, require you to buy books and complete homework assignments.

What Jobs Can I Get with an Online Associate's Degree in Special Education?

You could find work as a special education teacher's assistant. Teacher's assistants in this field assist special education instructors by attending to the physical, learning and emotional needs of special needs students. This could include helping with homework assignments, escorting students on and off buses, feeding students, working on motor skills or fielding behavioral problems. You might also be responsible for clerical work and general classroom management. Additionally, if you work in an inclusive classroom, you may be responsible for one or two special needs students, assisting teachers who don't have special education training.

What's The Employment Environment Like?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that teacher's assistants earned a median annual salary of $26,970 as of May 2018; the highest-paid professionals in this field earned upwards of $41,020, while the lowest-paid made $18,670 or less ( The BLS also reported an expected employment growth rate of eight percent between 2016 and 2026, adding that job prospects would likely be best for teacher's assistants with special education training.

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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  • Brenau University

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