Department of Special Education Programs

The Department of Special Education prepares students for challenging and extremely rewarding careers as special education teachers, who will make a significant, life-long difference in the lives of individuals with exceptionalities.  Several undergraduate and graduate programs that are nationally certified are available.

The Special Education Comprehensive Program prepares students to teach K-12 learners with a broad range of exceptionalities, including learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, emotional and behavioral disorders, physical and sensory disabilities, and other health impairments. Special education majors are trained to develop and implement effective individualized educational programs that enable K-12 learners with disabilities to develop essential competencies to succeed in areas of academics, socialization, behavior and communication, independent living, employment, and community participation. Special education teachers use their expertise to provide specialized instruction and behavioral support in collaboration with other school professionals and families. Students gain invaluable experience through multiple fieldwork opportunities incorporated into the program coursework. The department supports a student chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children and provides additional opportunities for students to build instructional and leadership skills through participation in local, state and national conferences and volunteer experiences to support individuals with exceptionalities on campus and local special education communities.  Students complete two full-time student teaching experiences at the elementary and secondary levels in their final semester of the program. 

The ABA programs prepare students to meet the coursework requirements to sit for the exam to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), an international certification in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Professionals with certification in ABA are highly sought after in many fields including education, special education, and school psychology, There are two ABA program options – a Sixth Year Diploma Program and a Certificate Program. Both programs prepare students to take and pass the BCBA exam and to use ABA in applied settings, such as with individuals with or without disabilities in educational or therapeutic environments. The ABA courses will be particularly relevant for special educators, school psychologists, and other educational professionals. Supervised Independent Fieldwork is available as a program option.

The major purpose of the Master's degree is to extend professional knowledge of practitioners in school programs for exceptional children. Corollary objectives provide for advanced professional preparation in special education, expansion of knowledge concerning other areas of exceptionality, and creating an awareness of the problems concerned with special education administration and supervision.

The major purpose of the Master's degree is to extend professional knowledge of practitioners in school programs for exceptional children. Corollary objectives provide for advanced professional preparation in special education, expansion of knowledge concerning other areas of exceptionality, and creating an awareness of the problems concerned with special education administration and supervision.

The major purpose of the Master's degree is to extend professional knowledge of practitioners in school programs for exceptional children. Corollary objectives provide for advanced professional preparation in special education, expansion of knowledge concerning other areas of exceptionality, and creating an awareness of the problems concerned with special education administration and supervision.

The major purpose of the Master's degree is to extend professional knowledge of practitioners in school programs for exceptional children. Corollary objectives provide for advanced professional preparation in special education, expansion of knowledge concerning other areas of exceptionality, and creating an awareness of the problems concerned with special education administration and supervision.

Post-Baccalaureate: A route to certification for future educators with a Bachelor's degree

The Post- Baccalaureate in Special Education is for future educators with a Bachelor's degree. This is a 36.5 credit (non-degree seeking) program offered at the undergraduate level. This program prepares students for special education certification. This program culminates in a semester of student teaching experience in special education settings in CT. 

The major purpose of the sixth year professional program is to extend professional knowledge of practitioners in school programs for exceptional children. Corollary objectives provide for advanced professional preparation in special education, expansion of knowledge concerning other areas of exceptionality, and creating an awareness of the problems concerned with special education administration and supervision. The program is open to candidates who hold a master’s degree. Admission requirements include a departmental interview, submission of an essay, and two letters of recommendation.

The Collaborative Special Education/Elementary Education program is a unique program that prepares students for dual certification in Special Education, grades K-12 and Elementary Education, grades 1-6. The program provides students with a competitive advantage when searching for jobs and more flexibility throughout their careers as they are prepared to work with a wide variety of students. Students have multiple fieldwork opportunities to interact and instruct learners with and without disabilities in individual, in small group and whole classroom educational settings. Students in this program also complete two student teaching experiences – one in a special education setting and one in general education setting. Students in this program are required to have a second major, usually interdisciplinary studies (IDS), to expand general education content knowledge and fulfill state teaching requirements for elementary education.