Because you want to make a difference
This program will not just prepare you to teach students with special learning needs, it also will empower you to shape the future of special education. When you graduate with a special education degree from Susquehanna University, you will be equipped with the knowledge of processes, policies, procedures, strategies and learning theories to effectively support students with mild to severe disabilities.
The Special Education Program at Susquehanna University is designed to prepare you to teach students with disabilities from Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 in a variety of educational settings. As the number of students with one or more behavioral, cognitive or physiological differences or disabilities continue to rise, your knowledge and skills will be in high demand. According to National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 14% of all U.S. public school students received special education services in 2018-19.
As a future special education teacher, you will learn about evidence-based teaching methods, strategies, and assistive technologies and will apply this knowledge in the classroom. Additionally, you will be trained to assess individual student needs, develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and monitor progress.
Discover what it takes to be a special education teacher
Professors with classroom experience will provide instruction in methods of supporting students across all disability categories to promote academic, social, and emotional success. The Susquehanna University degree in special education combines foundational educational theories and practices with field experience applications.
You will complete a progression of field experiences in a variety of special education classrooms that begin with observations and engagement with students, and progress to more complex responsibilities such as lesson planning and small group instruction. During the spring semester of your senior year you will complete your student teaching. Your comprehensive coursework at Susquehanna University, combined with field experiences and student teaching placements, will prepare you for a career as a highly qualified special education teacher.
Teacher Intern Program
Adults making a career change can also participate in SU’s Special Education Program. Susquehanna University, selected by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, provides the Teacher Intern Program to holders of baccalaureate degrees seeking teacher certification. Candidates can complete the required education courses while employed full-time as an educator under supervision.
Recent Education graduates are employed at:
- Abington School District, Abington, Pa.
- Academy Primary School, Montgomery County, Md.
- Academy of St. Elizabeth, Morristown, N.J.
- Accomack County School District, Accomac, Va.
- Alamance-Burlington School System, Burlington, N.C.
- America Reads
- Baltimore County Public Schools, Baltimore
- Beginnings Learning Center, Philadelphia,
- Bound Brook School District, Bound Brook, N.J.
- Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, Va.
- Danbury Public Schools, Danbury, Conn.
- Danville Area School District, Danville, Pa.
- Diocese of Scranton, Scranton, Pa.
- Eugenia Maria de Hostos Charter School, Philadelphia
- James W. Smith Elementary School, Cove City, N.C.
- Lewisburg Area School District, Lewisburg, Pa.
- Livingston Public Schools, Livingston, N.J.
- Lower Kuskokwim School District, Quinhagak, Alaska
- Loyalsock School District, Williamsport, Pa.
- Manhattan School for Children, New York City
- Manheim Township School District, Manheim Township, Pa.
- Midd-West School District, Middleburg/Beaver Springs, Pa.
- Otto Eldred School District, Duke Center, Pa.
- Palisades School District, Bucks County, Pa.
- River Ridge Academy, Bluffton, S.C.
- Selinsgrove Area School District, Selinsgrove, Pa.
- Shamokin Area School District, Shamokin, Pa.
- Shikellamy School District, Sunbury, Pa.
- Sirindhorn School, Mueang Surin, Thailand
- Somerset Hills Learning Institute, Bedminster, N.J.
- Sprague School District, Baltic, Conn.
- Stafford County Public Schools, Stafford County, Va.
- Michael the Archangel School, Coopersburg, Pa.
- Success Academy Charter School, South Bronx, N.Y.
- Teach for America
- Warrior Run School District, Turbotville, Pa.
- Wellsboro Montessori Children's Center, Wellsboro, Pa.
Recent Education graduates have enrolled in programs at:
- Bank Street College of Education, New York City
- Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, Pa.
- King's College, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
- Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
- Joseph's University, Philadelphia
- Touro College of Education, New York City
- University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Baltimore
- University of Virginia, Richmond, Va.
- Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.
- West Chester University, West Chester, Pa.
- Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Forging Partnerships for Teaching and Learning
Teacher candidates possess a foundation in liberal arts that supports and enhances studies and experiences about educational theory, research, collaboration, reflection and professional development. Current trends, best practices and performance assessment are inherent in the program design. Academic standards of basic education, program licensure standards, performance standards and the code of professional conduct are embedded in regulation, educational research and professional practice. The Education Department encourages the on-going participation of the educational community in program planning and evaluation in support of the conceptual framework for teaching that includes preparation and planning, classroom environment, instruction and professional responsibilities.
In support of this we are committed to:
- Honoring and supporting each child
- Developing learning communities
- Exploring career paths and educational opportunities
- Collaborating with all stakeholders
- Modeling reflective teaching, decision making, and leadership
- Advancing integrated instructional technology
- Articulating high expectations for all children
- Celebrating diversity
ESL Program Specialist Dual Certification
This four-course program consisting of LANG-360, EDUC-440, EDUC-441, and EDUC-442 is only open to students enrolled in an Education program. The program is most compatible with the program requirements of Early Childhood Education (ECE) majors, but it is also open to students pursuing a secondary education certification and to Music Education majors. Upon successful completion of the four courses and their integrated field experiences (60 hours), teacher candidates will be eligible for the dual certification and potential employment as ESL Program Specialists in PreK - 12 settings. The ESL program prepares teachers to address the learning needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) in inclusive settings, as well as to coach and support classroom teachers who are not similarly trained but have ELLs in their classrooms.
Students seeking the ESL Program Specialist certification are eligible to begin course work upon completion of prerequisite courses (EDUC-101, -102 and -350) and sophomore class standing. Students must earn an A- in EDUC-350 and must submit a program application available through the Education Department in order to enroll in ESL certification courses.
With the English as a second language program specialist certification, you can gain the experience and expertise to support English language learners. The special education certification will prepare you to work with students with special needs.
Holders of baccalaureate degrees can gain teaching certificates by completing professional education courses. Certified teachers can also add certifications in English as a second language (ESL) and special education.
A $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation will support the recruitment and education of chemistry, physics and mathematics majors pursuing teaching careers in high-need school districts.