Online Special Education Bachelor's Degree


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Special education teachers change the world, or at the very least, they feel like they do. Nearly 85 percent of graduates with a bachelor’s degree in special education say their job makes the world a better place, and special education ranks second among the top 10 majors that change the world, according to a survey by PayScale, an online salary database.

Course Work

Example courses
Classroom and behavior management
Typical and atypical language development
Introduction to applied behavioral analysis
Functional living skills for persons with disabilities
Consulting with parents and professionals

An online bachelor’s degree in special education includes courses such as teaching children with autism spectrum disorder and instruction of individuals with mild disabilities.

Special education teachers often work closely with a small group of students, and the success of those students typically requires consistency between their home and school lives. Online special education programs offer courses that instruct prospective teachers how to collaborate not only with parents, but also with other professionals who work with the student.

Most programs include a student teaching component, so online students must log some classroom hours. Graduates also need to earn a teaching license from the state where they plan to work.

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Job Outlook

Demand for special education teachers at the elementary and middle school levels is expected to increase nearly 20 percent by 2020, with more than 75,000 new positions for special education teachers opening up at all grade levels by then, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Salaries for special education teachers differ slightly by grade level, and are higher for those working with older students. The median salary for a special ed teacher in an elementary school is approximately $52,000, but increases to nearly $55,000 for those working in high school, according to BLS data.

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