Special education teachers work with students who have special needs such as: learning difficulties, speech and language impairments and other communication difficulties, emotional disturbances, behavioral disorders, physical disabilities, and developmental disorders. But as well as working with students who are learning disabled or developmentally challenged, they might also assist students who are gifted and talented, to help them acquire education and life skills. In order to do this, they need to create a learning environment to meet the unique needs of each student.
Special education programs provide an excellent means to obtain the requisite knowledge and skills, and to qualify for this rewarding career. Many students who take this specialization are already licensed teachers and are seeking a license in special education teaching. The programs can be taken at bachelors, masters and doctoral levels. The fact that these programs are readily available online makes them accessible without leaving employment. This page provides information about special education programs online and on campus, and how they can prepare you for a most rewarding career working with students with special needs. It provides more detail about the programs and where you can take them.
What do you study in special education programs online?
An online special education program provides the educational foundations, curriculum development, teaching methodologies and classroom management strategies that the special education teacher requires to help students with special needs to learn.
Thus, special education degree programs would typically include: educational psychology; child development; adapting the curriculum; management of disruptive behavior; use of technology in the classroom; dealing disabilities; discipline; behavioral management; counseling.
Special education masters online programs are popular with graduates who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, or those who are already licensed teachers, and now wish to become special education teachers. Graduate special education programs are also popular with special education teachers who wish to specialize in a particular aspect of special education. Doctoral level programs in particular, present an opportunity for in-depth study of a topic of interest.
If you are seeking professional teacher status – some aspects cannot be completed online. The college needs to ensure you gain as much practical experience as possible and that your classroom performance is assessed. This not only gives you the experience you need, it also enables you to be certain that you have chosen the right career.
What are the career prospects after graduation?
The minimum qualification for a special education teaching job is a bachelor’s degree in special education, but a masters is preferred. In order to teach in a college of a university, you need to have a masters degree or more preferably a PhD.
As well as teaching in the government education sector, graduates also find employment in: training; teaching in the private sector; community services; and, in administration. Online education programs also provide a base for further training in counseling and careers work. Graduates also find work in development jobs and other non-profit organizations.
List of schools and programs
Walden degree and certificate programs are designed for working professionals. Submit the form on the right to learn how you can make a change and advance your career.
- Doctor of Education - Special Education
- Ed.S. in Special Education - General
- M.S.Ed - Special Education (non-licensure)(Grades K-12)
- And more...
- Offers 46 credits for military experience (plus credit for CLEP & DSST)
- Offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificates, teaching credentials and extended education programs online and at campuses throughout California and Washington.
- Has a network of 26 campuses, 6 military base locations and online options
- Part of the Chapman University System
- Master of Arts in Special Education (Option II)
- MA in Education (Curriculum and Instruction Emphasis)
- MA in Education (Teaching and Learning Emphasis)
- And more...
Capella combines outstanding academics with a supportive faculty and staff in a program designed for working adults.
An education that blends theory and practice to fuel your career
- PhD - Special Education Leadership
- MS - Integrative Studies
- MS - K-12 Studies in Education
- And more...
Welcome to Cumberland University! Cumberland University is located in Lebanon, Tennessee, 30 miles east of Nashville. Founded in 1842, Cumberland University offers a variety of educational, athletic and social experiences to enhance the learning opportunities of the current student body. The university has an exceptional academic program steeped in the liberal arts. Athletic teams regularly compete for conference and national championships.
- Master of Arts in Education (MAE)
At Post University, we believe you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to further your education. That’s why we offer a wide range of quality Certificate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in a highly interactive online format that emphasizes flexibility, convenience, and support. Whichever program you choose, you can take classes in 8-week modules, six times a year from faculty members with advanced degrees and extensive real-world experience. You’ll also enjoy access to a full array of academic support services, including advising, tutoring, writing center assistance, and our virtual library at no additional charge.
- B.S. in Instructional Design and Technology
- B.S. in Child Studies
- Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
- In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
- #1 Online School for military veterans according to Military Times.
- 75,000+ graduates across all industries offer extensive networking opportunities.
- My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
- Smartphone app available for on-the-go learning.
- Doctor of Management Higher Education Teaching and Learning
You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.
At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.
- Master's (M.Ed.) - Instructional Design and Technology
- Master's (M.Ed.) - Curriculum and Instruction for Educators
As the largest private university in North America, University of Phoenix has locations nationwide, and is available online in most countries around the world. Whether you're seeking a college degree at an associate's, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral level, we can help you reach your academic goal and sooner than you might think.
- M.A. in Education/Special Education
- Master of Arts in Education/Curriculum and Instruction
- A.A. in Education
- And more...
Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.
- M.Ed. - Program Specialist in Gifted Specialist
- MA in Teaching - Special Education
- M.Ed. Teaching and Learning - Special Education
- And more...
Brandman University, part of the prestigious 150-year-old Chapman University system is a private, non-profit regionally accredited university that offers a high quality education for non-traditional adult students.
At Brandman University, students can choose from over 50 undergraduate, graduate, credential and certificate programs in Arts and Sciences, Business and Professional Studies, Education and Nursing and Health professions.
- Preliminary Education Specialist Moderate/Severe
- MA in Special Education (Early Childhood Special Educ)
- MA in Teaching (Special Ed Emph/Mod/Severe)
- And more...