Do I Still Need to Do Student Teaching If I Earn My Bachelor’s in Special Education Degree Online?

Student Teaching when I Earn My Bachelor’s in Special Education Degree Online

As you consider distance learning options for teacher preparation, you might wonder if you still need to do student teaching even if you earn a bachelor’s in special education degree online. It’s convenient to earn your degree online on your schedule and from the comfort of your own home. However, there are some career preparation activities you can’t do from a computer.

The Importance of the Student Teaching Experience

For a number of reasons, student teaching experiences are important. You get hands-on experience managing a classroom. Working with students who have special needs is very valuable to new teachers. This is why you still need to do student teaching even if you earn a bachelor’s in special education degree online. Through this experience, you’ll see firsthand what kind of challenges you’ll cope with as a special education teacher. You’ll learn how to overcome these challenges to help students learn in spite of their disabilities.

You also need to student teach so that your education will meet state licensing requirements regarding in-person student teaching experience. In most states, candidates for a teaching license or certification must have completed a minimum amount of supervised teaching experience in the classroom, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. An online degree program that didn’t help students meet this requirement would be useless for aspiring public school teachers, since they would be unable to get their teaching license.

Student Teaching in Online Degree Programs

What can you expect when you need to do student teaching even though you’re earning your bachelor’s in special education degree online? Online degree programs in special education usually include a minimum of 10 weeks of supervised student teaching work experience, according to U.S. News & World Report. Often, students can arrange to do their student teaching at nearby schools, to avoid the hardship of having to travel far.

The student teaching requirements at some degree programs may vary. You should always check to make sure that the requirements for your degree program match the licensing requirements for the state in which you intend to teach.

Some of the best online bachelor’s in special education degree programs in the country include a mandatory student teaching experience. For example, the City University of Seattle’s online undergraduate special education degree program requires students to complete an internship and student teaching experience. So does Kansas State University’s program. In fact, this requirement is widespread among programs that prepare you to earn a teaching license.

Both to gain real-world teaching experience and to satisfy state licensing requirements, you still need to do student teaching even if you earn a bachelor’s in special education degree online.

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