If you’re looking to make a meaningful impact in the lives of students with disabilities, pursuing a degree in Special Education may be the perfect path for you. And at Western Governors University (WGU), you can earn your Special Education degree on your own time, at your own pace, and with a curriculum designed to prepare you for success in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a growing need for special education teachers.
From learning how to differentiate instruction to collaborating with families and professionals, a Special Education degree from WGU can equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to make a difference in the lives of students with disabilities. If you wonder about job prospects, consider that SPED Teachers are in demand. So, let’s dive into the world of WGU Special Education and see how it can help you reach your career goals!
WGU Special Education Program: What You Need To Know
WGU’s Special Education program is an online program designed to prepare students to become successful Special Education teachers. The program is competency-based, meaning that students progress through the program by demonstrating mastery of a series of competencies, skills, and knowledge areas rather than completing a set number of credits.
The curriculum for WGU’s Special Education program is comprehensive. It covers a wide range of topics, including the foundations of Special Education, legal and ethical issues in Special Education, the characteristics of various disabilities, strategies for behavior management and positive reinforcement, instructional methods for teaching students with disabilities, and assessment and progress monitoring for students with disabilities. These areas are all developed using Evidence-Based Practices in Special Education.
The program is divided into four main domains, designed to help students build a strong foundation of knowledge and skills in Special Education. To better understand the field of Special Education, consider the National Center for Special Education Research as a valuable resource. These domains include:
- Foundations of Special Education: This domain provides students with an introduction to Special Education, including the history, laws, and policies that shape the field.
- Learning and Development: This domain covers the characteristics of various disabilities and strategies for teaching students with disabilities and promoting their social and emotional development.
- Instructional Strategies and Assessment: This domain focuses on instructional methods for teaching students with disabilities, including differentiated instruction, assistive technology, and progress monitoring.
- Professional and Collaborative Practices: This domain emphasizes the importance of collaboration with families, other educators, and other professionals to support students with disabilities, as well as the ethical and legal considerations of Special Education.
Throughout the program, students must complete a series of field experiences, which give them hands-on experience working with students with disabilities in a real-world setting. These experiences are designed to help students develop the practical skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their future careers as Special Education teachers.
Overall, WGU’s Special Education program is designed to be flexible, rigorous, and comprehensive. It combines a competency-based approach to learning with practical, real-world experiences to prepare students for a successful career in Special Education. There’s a WGU special education Reddit.
Is a WGU Special Education Degree Well-Respected?
WGU’s special education degree is well-respected in the education industry. The Council accredits the program for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the primary accrediting body for educator preparation programs in the United States.
In addition to CAEP accreditation, WGU has received numerous awards and recognitions for its innovative approach to higher education. For example, the university was recognized as a Center of Excellence in Distance Learning by the United States Distance Learning Association, and numerous publications have ranked it as one of the best online universities in the country.
One of the key strengths of WGU’s special education program is its competency-based approach. Rather than relying solely on traditional credit hour requirements, the program focuses on helping students master key competencies to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in special education. This approach has been praised by educators and employers alike for its ability to produce graduates who are well-prepared for the area’s challenges.
Another advantage of the program is its emphasis on practical, hands-on experience. Throughout the program, students must complete a series of field experiences in real-world settings, working with students with disabilities under the supervision of experienced professionals. This focus on practical experience helps to prepare graduates for the challenges they will face in their future careers as special education teachers.
While no program can guarantee a job, WGU’s special education program is a respected and well-regarded option for students looking to become special education teachers. The program’s focus on competency-based learning and practical experience helps prepare graduates for success in the field, and its accreditation and awards demonstrate the quality of its education. There’s a WGU special education master’s degree and WGU special education endorsement program.
What Are the Special Education Degree Programs at WGU?
Western Governors University (WGU) offers several degree programs in special education. These include:
- Bachelor of Arts in Special Education (K-12): This program is designed for individuals who want to become licensed special education teachers. It covers various topics related to working with students with disabilities and includes a required student-teaching component.
- Master of Science in Special Education: This program is for individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree and want to pursue advanced study in special education. The program covers various topics related to teaching and supporting students with disabilities.
- Endorsement Preparation Program: This program is designed for licensed teachers who want to add a special education endorsement to their teaching license. It includes coursework and required field experience.
WGU’s special education programs are online and follow a competency-based model. Students can progress through the program at their own pace and potentially finish more quickly than in a traditional program. Additionally, the programs are designed to be affordable and offer various support services to help students succeed. You should know everything about WGU elementary education and special education.
How To Earn a Special Education Degree From WGU
Earning a special education degree from Western Governors University (WGU) involves completing a program of courses specifically designed to prepare graduates to work as special education teachers. The program is entirely online and can be completed at the student’s pace, making it a flexible and convenient option for working adults.
To earn a special education degree from WGU, students must complete courses focused on various aspects of special education. These courses cover assessment and diagnosis, behavior management, curriculum development, and legal and ethical issues in special education.
WGU’s special education degree program is competency-based, which means that students progress through the program by demonstrating mastery of specific competencies rather than by completing a certain number of courses or credits. This allows students to move quickly through material they already know and spend more time on material they need to work on.
Throughout the program, students are also required to complete a series of field experiences, working with students with disabilities under the supervision of experienced professionals. This hands-on experience helps to prepare students for the challenges they will face in their future careers as special education teachers.
Finally, students must also complete a capstone project, which involves designing and implementing a lesson plan for a student with a disability. This project must be conducted under the supervision of a licensed special education teacher and allows students to demonstrate their mastery of the program’s key competencies.
Overall, earning a special education degree from WGU involves completing a rigorous program of courses and field experiences designed to prepare graduates to work as effective and knowledgeable special education teachers.
Advantages of Having a WGU Special Education Degree
There are several advantages to having a special education degree from Western Governors University (WGU):
- Flexibility: WGU’s special education degree program is entirely online, allowing students to complete the program at their own pace and schedule. This is particularly advantageous for working students or having other responsibilities that make attending traditional classes difficult.
- Affordability: WGU’s tuition rates are among the lowest of any accredited university, making the program more affordable. Additionally, WGU offers a competency-based model, meaning students can complete the program more quickly and save money on tuition and other expenses.
- Career readiness: WGU’s special education degree program is designed to prepare graduates to be effective and knowledgeable special education teachers. The program covers various topics, from assessment and diagnosis to curriculum development and behavior management, all essential skills for working in special education.
- Field experiences: As part of the program, students must complete a series of field experiences working with students with disabilities under the supervision of experienced professionals. These experiences help to prepare students for the challenges they will face in their future careers as special education teachers.
- Support: WGU provides students with various support services, including access to academic and career advisors, peer mentoring, and online tutoring. These resources can help students to stay on track and complete the program.
- Accreditation: WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, which the U.S. Department of Education recognizes. This accreditation ensures that the program meets high academic standards and graduates will be qualified to work as special education teachers in their state.
Overall, a special education degree from WGU can provide students with the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to succeed as special education teachers. The program’s flexibility, affordability, and focus on career readiness make it an attractive option for students looking to enter the field of special education.
Colleges and Universities That Offer Special Education Degree Programs
Many colleges and universities offer programs in this field. If you are interested in pursuing a special education degree, WGU is one option, and several other reputable institutions may also meet your needs.
- University of Kansas: The University of Kansas is one such university that offers a Bachelor of Science in Education in Special Education. This program is designed to prepare students for teaching children with a wide range of disabilities, including learning, emotional, and physical disabilities.
- Vanderbilt University: Vanderbilt University is another option for those interested in pursuing a graduate degree in special education. They offer a Master of Education in Special Education, focusing on developing skills and knowledge to support individuals with disabilities in various settings. Additionally, Vanderbilt offers several doctoral programs for those who wish to specialize their knowledge and expertise further.
- University of Florida: The University of Florida is yet another reputable institution that offers a variety of special education degree programs. Their Bachelor of Arts in Special Education is designed to prepare students to become licensed teachers in this field. At the same time, their Master of Education in Special Education focuses on research and teaching strategies for individuals with disabilities.
- Arizona State University: Arizona State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education and several graduate programs. Their special education programs emphasize evidence-based practices and interventions, preparing students to become effective teachers and leaders in this field.
- University of Oregon: Finally, the University of Oregon offers a Master of Education in Special Education and several other special education graduate programs. Their programs focus on developing the knowledge and skills needed to support individuals with disabilities and their families, as well as on research and innovation in the field.
When choosing a special education degree program, it’s important to consider factors such as cost, location, program format, and reputation. By researching and comparing different programs, you can find the one that best fits your needs and helps you achieve your career goals in special education. There’s a bachelor of arts special education and elementary education (dual licensure) at WGU.
Jennifer Hanson is a dedicated and seasoned writer specializing in the field of special education. With a passion for advocating for the rights and needs of children with diverse learning abilities, Jennifer uses her pen to educate, inspire, and empower both educators and parents alike.