Special Education and Elementary Education (BAE)

The most effective educators stretch. They keep going. They're relentless. They suspect that there's always a better way---and they find it. They embrace responsibility for the world's most important job. Graduates of ASU's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College receive best-in-class preparation that will enable them to thrive in their careers and play a vital role in improving the educational experience and outcomes of children.

The BAE dual program in special education and elementary education leads to the following teaching certificates: Mild-Moderate Disabilities Special Education, K-12 and Elementary Education, grades K-8. The dual certification program prepares students to work with typical children and youth and those with mild to moderate disabilities in inclusive settings. This program also offers a full structured English immersion endorsement to work with English language learners and provides extensive experiences in integrating technology into teaching.

The dual program is designed to give preservice teachers foundational knowledge in academic content with current research and evidence-based practices in literacy, math, sciences, health and social studies; integration of technology into all areas; and real-world experience in classrooms through the iTeachAZ program.

The special education and elementary education teacher certification program is clinically embedded during the junior and senior years. The primary goal of all clinical experiences is to provide interns and student teachers with multiple opportunities to apply knowledge learned in coursework to practice in PreK-12 classrooms. Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College students complete internships during the junior year that require one day per week in grades K-8 classrooms and student teaching, which is a full-time, year-long apprenticeship known as the senior year residency. Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College faculty and highly qualified mentor teachers from our partner school districts and charter schools collaboratively coach interns and student teachers during required clinical experiences. The clinical experience provided by the program, known as iTeachAZ, is unmatched in Arizona. It provides students with an opportunity to work directly with children and make an immediate impact on classroom achievement. This intensive hands-on clinical experience model of teacher preparation creates highly sought-after graduates.

Because the general education classroom is a viable placement option for many students with mild and moderate learning and behavioral disabilities, training special education teachers to collaborate is emphasized throughout the professional preparation sequence. Students receive additional training in interpersonal communication and problem-solving skills. They also learn adaptive techniques and assistive technologies that facilitate the successful integration of students with diverse learning needs into general education classrooms.

Graduates of the program desiring to teach in a public school must pass the appropriate Arizona educator exams (either the National Evaluation Series or Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments) in both content area and professional knowledge to be certified to teach in the state of Arizona. Graduates will receive mild to moderate certification in special education for K-12 students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities, emotional disorders, specific learning disabilities, orthopedic impairments, and other health impairments. They also receive an elementary certificate for teaching grades K-8.

Degree Offered

Special Education and Elementary Education (BAE)

Polytechnic, Tempe, West, Pendergast Elementary School District

Major Map

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Application Requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements.

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Career Outlook

National and state studies report the projected need in the next five to 10 years will be high for special education teachers. Graduates of the program will be eligible to teach in elementary education grades 1-8 and K-12 for the spectrum of high-incidence disabilities:

  • emotional disorders
  • intellectual disabilities (mild or moderate)
  • orthopedic impairments
  • other health impairments
  • specific learning disabilities

Graduates can teach in a variety of inclusive educational settings, including public, charter and private schools, as well as nontraditional settings (juvenile system, children's hospital, etc.).

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:

Career*growth*median salary
Adapted Physical Education Specialists $51,980
Audio-Visual and Multimedia Collections Specialists10.3%$43,350
Distance Learning Coordinators 23.88%$76,860
Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School8.59%$87,760
Education Administrators, Postsecondary2.26%$86,490
Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program11.78%$43,950
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 15.76%$53,400
Fitness and Wellness Coordinators 23.88%$76,860
Instructional Coordinators23.19%$60,050
Instructional Designers and Technologists 23.19%$60,050
Interpreters and Translators 22.19%$45,430
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 15.34%$53,430
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School$53,820
Special Education Teachers, Middle School$55,780
Special Education Teachers, Preschool$52,480
Special Education Teachers, Secondary School$56,830
Tutors 14.73%$43,400

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

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