What Will I Study in an Online Bachelor’s in Special Education Degree Program?

The subjects you study in an online bachelor’s in special education degree program are varied. Typical programs include studies in types of disabilities and strategies of teaching students who have these conditions, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These courses often fall into categories of general teacher preparation, disabilities and special education.

Teacher Preparation

Special education teachers are educators first, and specialists in teaching children with disabilities second, according to Global Teacher Prize. It’s essential that they develop general skills in teaching and classroom management as well as the specialized skills needed to work effectively in a special education classroom. Many of the subjects you study in an online bachelor’s in special education degree program are related to developing a strong background in education in general. These courses include educational philosophy, educational psychology, classroom management for teachers, early childhood curriculum, instruction planning and assessments at the elementary school level, child development, learning theory, methods of teaching elementary mathematics for elementary teacher candidates, social justice for educators and embracing diversity.

Courses in Disabilities and Developmental Disorders

Children with special needs don’t necessarily have the same needs. Different disabilities and developmental disorders have different effects on learning and behavior. For this reason, the subjects you study in an online bachelor’s in special education degree program often include courses such as children with exceptionalities, learning and behavior problems and typical and atypical language development. Some online bachelor’s in special education programs also include in-depth coursework on specific conditions, such as introduction to autism spectrum disorders.

Special Education Courses

Other subjects you study in an online bachelor’s in special education degree combine teacher preparation with a focus on helping children with disabilities and disorders. Introduction to special education is often one of the first foundation courses students take in an undergraduate special education program.

Some of the best online bachelor’s in special education degree programs in the nation also included classes in subjects such as teaching strategies in special education, developing curriculum for the mentally disabled/emotionally disabled student, behavioral analysis and management, literacy facilitation for special education and special programs, differentiating instruction, theories and methods for sheltered instruction, observing special needs in children and special education assessment.

At some of these degree programs, students can take classes focusing on trends in special education, laws in special education and substance abuse services and intervention. Often, special education teachers take coursework that helps them focus on the foundational skills that students in special education classes typically need additional help attaining. These classes include foundational literary skills and phonics and laying the foundation of reading.

In a special education classroom, teachers need to be able to understand the challenges children face, manage behavioral issues and educate students with disabilities effectively. The subjects you study in an online bachelor’s in special education degree program will help you achieve these goals.

Related resource:

30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Special Education Degree Programs

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