Special Education

About Special Education

Special education involves the instruction of students with physical, mental, emotional and learning disabilities. Special education teachers are trained to meet the needs of special needs students and have the skill set and strategies necessary to teach students with a range of disabilities, whether mild, moderate or severe. The special education program at Valdosta State University prepares students to become professional teachers who are competent, empathetic educators who make appropriate decisions in the classroom and touch the lives of their students daily.

Special Education at Valdosta State University

Students in the special education program at Valdosta State have meaningful interactions with faculty and enjoy classes that average just 25 students. Students engage with faculty outside the classroom by accompanying them to a variety of conferences in the region. Students can further enhance their classroom experience by participating in a number of on-campus organizations, including the Student Council of the International Reading Association, the Student Council for Exceptional Children, and Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, an organization for exceptional education majors. Valdosta State’s Dewar College of Education has won multiple national awards for implementing cutting-edge technology in the classroom. Special education students have access to new technology such as iPads, and every classroom is equipped with a Smart Board.

Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Special Education (B.S.Ed.)
  • Master of Education in Early Childhood Special Education (M.Ed.)
  • Master of Education in Special Education – Deaf Education (M.Ed.)
  • Master of Education in Special Education - Deaf and Hard of Hearing – 5th Year Program (M.Ed.)
  • Master of Education in Special Education – General Curriculum (M.A.T.)
  • Master of Education in Special Education – Adapted Curriculum (M.A.T.)

About the Special Education Curriculum

B.S.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education

The baccalaureate program in early childhood special education prepares students to teach in both special education and early childhood education settings upon graduation. Students in the program have the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience throughout their four years by spending a minimum of 900 hours in classrooms. In addition to building an electronic portfolio, the classroom experience enhances creativity, fosters critical thinking skills, helps students develop lesson-planning techniques, and is as an invaluable networking tool for students when they enter the job market. Graduates of the program have the knowledge and ability to enhance young children’s intellectual, social, emotional and personal growth and development.

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M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education

The Master in Education program in early childhood special education is a continuation of the pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Education program. The degree results in initial certification in the discipline, giving graduates the ability to teach in early childhood classrooms or special education classrooms serving students in Pre-K through 5th grade.

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M.Ed. in Special Education - Deaf and Hard of Hearing – 5th Year Program

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The Master of Education degree in special education – deaf and hard of hearing – 5th year program is for Valdosta State students with a Bachelor of Science in Education pre-professional degree in the area of deaf and hard of hearing studies. These students have the option to complete a 5th-year master’s program to earn initial certification. Students in the program demonstrate skills in assessment, instructional strategies, use of technology and monitoring/modifying instruction during observed and supervised teaching episodes. Students demonstrate content knowledge by passing the state-required content assessment in deaf education.

M.A.T. in Special Education – Adapted Curriculum

M.A.T. in Special Education – General Curriculum

The Master of Arts for Teachers program with initial certification in special education adapted curriculum or special education general curriculum is a part of Georgia ONmyLINE, the online education program of the University System of Georgia. The online degree program is designed for individuals who are seeking a master's degree and initial certification in special education; to qualify for the program students must have a non-renewable certificate to teach or be able to spend approximately 20 hours per week in classrooms with children with disabilities. Students in the program gain the knowledge and skills necessary to implement evidence-based interventions for students in Pre-K through 12th grade.

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M.Ed. in Special Education – Deaf Education

The Master of Education in special education - deaf education program prepares students for the discipline by teaching them professional, state and institutional standards and introducing them to instructional strategies that draw upon content and pedagogical knowledge and skills. Students in the program learn to analyze educational research findings and incorporate new information into their practice, make appropriate adjustments to instruction, monitor student learning and have a positive effect on learning for all students.

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Careers*

  • Adapted physical education teacher
  • Audiologist
  • Autism center manager
  • Autism center teacher
  • Behavior specialist
  • Camp director
  • Child psychologist
  • Creative arts therapist
  • Deaf educator
  • Early intervention specialist
  • Educational advocate
  • Hard of hearing educator
  • Mobility specialist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Physical therapist
  • Recreational therapist
  • School counselor
  • School psychologist
  • Secondary school special education teacher
  • Social worker
  • Special needs teacher
  • Speech pathologist
  • Teacher for hearing impaired students

*Some career possibilities may require additional degrees or certifications.

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