Online Special Education Degrees & Programs

Online special education degrees and programs equip graduates to perform a valuable service for the community while making a lucrative living.

If you have a heart for challenged children or adults, and would like to help these unique individuals achieve their academic goals, then online courses in special education would be right for you.

Special learners include physically, emotionally, and mentally challenged students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to succeed in school. Your pursuit of a special education degree can lead to a satisfying career that will touch the lives of others and make a true, lasting difference.

Presently, online special education degrees and programs are offered at the masters and doctorate level.

Featured Colleges - Online Special Education Degree Programs

Walden University

  • M.S.Ed - Special Education (non-licensure) (Grades K-12)
  • PhD in Education - KAM-based - Special Education
  • PhD in Education - Mixed-Model - Special Education
  • Doctor of Education - Special Education
  • Ed.S. in Special Education - General
  • Special Education Endorsement Programs - Learning Disabilties (K-12)
  • Teacher Preparation Program with an MA in Teaching - Special Education, Learning Disabilities (K-12)

Grand Canyon University

  • M.Ed. in Special Education: Certified Special Educators (Does not lead to initial teacher licensure)
  • M.Ed. in Special Education: Cross-Categorical (Does not lead to initial teacher licensure)
  • M.Ed. in Special Education: Cross-Categorical (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
  • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Special Education

University of Phoenix

  • M.A.Ed./Special Education
  • Special Education Certificate

What is a Special Education Teacher?

A special education teacher works with students who have special needs, from emotional and social behaviors, to physical and health disabilities. On some level, a special needs learner will have one or a variety of disabilities which may include academic, physical, mental, emotional, or speech and language challenges.

Special education teachers are trained to help students with several of the following therapies: speech therapy, adaptive PE, occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling, vocational training, self-help assistance, and special transportation, among others. As a special education teacher, you will be responsible for guiding these students through their daily work, which may include some of the most basic activities, like personal hygiene. Working with a team of educators, you will create an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) for each student, in order to modify the expectations and dynamics of regular classroom work to best suit this or her needs.

Requirements of Special Education Teachers

An online degree in special education will prepare you to take on the challenges associated with teaching in this field. A bachelor's degree and teaching certificate are typically required. However, with the need for more special education teachers rising, many schools are hiring teachers on waiver.

Many states require a master's degree in special education, involving at least one year of additional course work, including specialization in such fields as learning disabilities and behavioral disorders.

Online course work for special education teachers may include an introduction to special education and its environment, an introduction to specialized theories and research, methods of identifying needs, and applications for successful learning.

If you are motivated to help people learn, and you desire the additional challenge of teaching students with special needs, then join the ranks of those who are successfully pursuing special education and work your way toward a well-paying and rewarding career.

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