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.
Admission to the Special Education program involves a selective application process. Please work with your advisor for more information about the next opportunity to apply for this program.
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.
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:
For class listings, program guides and other resources, visit the advising page for the special education major.
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.
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
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.