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College of Education and Human Development

Reading Horizons Journal
Reading Horizons Journal

McGinnis Reading Center and Clinic
McGinnis Reading Center and Clinic

Special Education - Bachelor of Science

Special Education - Bachelor of Science


Important information about the elimination of LS 3790
Changes to the Elementary Certificate Examination

Program Description

Undergraduate programs are available for the preparation of teachers in the areas of emotional impairments/learning disabilities (EI/LD) and cognitive impairments/learning disabilities (CI/LD), at either the elementary or secondary level of special education. Students completing the Bachelor of Science earn a State of Michigan Elementary Provisional Teaching Certificate (K-8) and an endorsement in one of the following areas:

In addition, all students complete at least one minor, many of them leading to an additional endorsement at either the elementary or secondary level in a specific academic content area.


Pre-special education students will need to meet with an advisor in the College of Education and Human Development Office of Admissions and Advising.

Students will be assigned as pre-education (PED) at the time of admission to the University. This status does not ensure admission to the Professional Education Curriculum in the special education program. The selection of a set number of students into the Professional Education Curriculum in Special Education occurs each February after a program faculty committee reviews all applications.

Application Deadline: February 1, 2014
The following must be completed prior to the application deadline:

For catalog years 2003 to 2013:
Apply Now
For catalog years 2014 to present:
Apply Now

**Students who take the Professional Readiness Exam (formerly Basic Skill Test) in January, must by February 4.

Applications and all supporting documentation must be to:
Office of Admissions and Advising
College of Education and Human Development
1903 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5275
Or delivered to 2421 Sangren Hall

All completed applications are evaluated using the following criteria:

  1. 40 percent weighting based on grade point average at the time of application.
  2. 30 percent weighting based on performance on the Michigan Professional Readiness Exam (formerly Basic Skill Test) (state required literacy test in Reading, Writing and Mathematics)
  3. 10 percent weighting each for semester hours completed and other criteria

Students selected for admission comprise a cohort that begins taking courses in the special education sequence the following fall semester. The four semesters of special education coursework must be taken in the prescribed sequence. For special course requirements, see the undergraduate catalog and the special education program guide.


Faculty serve as advisors for the undergraduate program. Specific appointment hours are posted in 4571 Sangren Hall. Students interested in the field of special education are encouraged to call (269) 387-5935 to schedule an appointment.


With the Special Education option you will be certified to teach:


Program Guide

Course Number Course Description Hours
COM 1040 Public Speaking 3hrs
ED 2500 Human Development 3hrs
ENGL 3830 Intermediate Reader 4hrs
Pick one course:  
   HIST 2100 American History to 1877 3 hrs
   HIST 2110 American History since 1877 3 hrs
   PSCI 2000 US Government 3 hrs
MATH 1500 Number Concepts 4hrs
PSY 1000 General Psychology 3hrs
SPPA 2000 Communication Disorders 3hrs

Course Req. After Acceptance into the upper Professional Level

Course Number Course Description Hours
EDT 3470 Technology Elem 2hrs
ES 3950 School & Society 3hrs
LS 3770 Lit/Lang I 3hrs
LS 3780 Lit/ Lang II 3hrs


In addition to practica, students majoring in Special Education participate in two full semesters of intern teaching. This includes one semester in a general education setting and one semester in a special education setting. Intern teaching placements are made within prescribed areas of Southwest Michigan, in rural, suburban, and urban districts within approximately 50 miles of Western Michigan University. Throughout each intern teaching experience, students participate on a weekly basis in an intern teaching seminar class.


Germany Internship Opportunity

Special Ed Internship - Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education

Special education students are given the opportunity to teach overseas during their special education internship. They spend 15 weeks interning while experiencing the European culture.

This opportunity provided through a partnership between the Department of Educational Studies and the Department of Defense Schools in the Heidelberg District of Germany.

Housing is provided for the students as well as access to many other benefits. The Department of Defense School's student population is primarily comprised of American military children. The interns fulfill the required 15 weeks of intern teaching and follow typical American holidays.

Dr. Elizabeth Whitten

Heidelberg District Mission Statement

Our mission is to educate all students to become successful citizens in a global society. In our role as advocates for all students,

We pledge professional, courteous service and opportunities for involvement of all stakeholders.



Students have many opportunities to observe and participate in special education programs through practica.

First semester: Students are placed in a special education classroom and assist the teacher with a variety of instructional tasks
Second semester: Students are placed in programs serving their particular disability area.
Third and fourth semesters: Students work with small groups of students, providing individualized assessment and instructional activities for students at-risk or students with learning disabilities.