Special Education Teacher Certification in Louisiana

Some students require special attention. Discover what it takes to be a special education teacher in Louisiana, including the necessary requirements for a degree in the field and examples of Praxis exams you'll need to take. Schools offering Emotional & Behavioral Disorders degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Special Education Teachers in Louisiana

To obtain certification as a special education teacher in Louisiana, you'll need to earn at least a bachelor's degree. This can be done while you are actively teaching, which is also a requirement to obtain credentials for special education. Further Praxis exams are necessary once you finish your studies.

Education/Experience RequiredBachelor's degree, teacher education program and student teaching experience
Exams RequiredPraxis Core Academic Skills
Praxis PLT
Praxis Special Education exams
Praxis content/subject exams
Certification ValidityFive years with initial certification
Certification ExtensionThree-year renewal with continued full-time teaching experience
Average Louisiana Salary in Special Education (2018)*$51,940 high school teachers
$50,940 middle school teachers
$50,300 kindergarten and elementary school teachers
$49,480 preschool teachers
Job Growth (2016-2026)*7% for all special education teachers nationwide

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

A special education teacher can refer to one of two areas. These teachers often work with students who have mild, moderate, or significant disabilities. You'll take different approaches in these classrooms, sometimes with individual students and also during group teaching sessions. You'll closely discuss student performance and progression with each parent, and help parents with their student's progression into the outside world when school is complete. This can also be performed at the early childhood stage.

Special education also refers to gifted students, who can take on more challenging material than what is traditionally offered in the curriculum. These students' minds demand enriching material, and studying different teaching techniques is critical to ensuring they receive the special attention they require.

Education and Training Requirements

A bachelor's degree is required to teach special education in Louisiana, and colleges may offer bachelor's degrees in special education by grade level and/or disability level. Master's degrees are also available offering several different concentration areas, including early intervention, mild to moderate special education, visual impairment, and academically gifted.

You can obtain a master's degree in special education even if you haven't previously earned a bachelor's degree in the subject, but you'll still need to go through a teacher education program regardless of your previous experience. The student teaching is essential to earning your certification as a special educator.

Exam Requirements

Special education teachers have many Praxis requirements to fulfill before becoming certified. First, you'll need to be sure you have taken the Core Academic Skills for Educators in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, which every teacher has to take. From there, you'll need to take content tests based on your concentration area. There are Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications tests for several different disability levels and Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exams for different grade levels. You may also need the multiple subjects exams for your grade level as well as a content exam specific to areas like visual impairment and hard of hearing.

Certification/Renewal Requirements

After you successfully pass all of your required Praxis exams and fulfill your student teaching obligations, you can use your graduate degree to become a certified special educator. Your certificate to teach will last for five years, and if you continue teaching during that period, you can request a three-year renewal through your employing school district. If you stop teaching for a period of time (either an academic semester of a 90-day consecutive period), your certificate will be considered lapsed. At this point, you'll need to obtain six continuing education credits from an accredited college or university before your credentials are restored.

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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