Elementary Education, Concentration: Special Needs
Bachelor of Arts
Improve the lives of all students by becoming a skilled, inspiring teacher through our Elementary Education – Special Needs dual-licensure program.
Through foundational and methodological courses, field placements and mentorship, this dynamic program trains you to become a innovative and effective teacher who is capable of working with all learners.
As a Special Needs concentration student, you’ll learn to help K-12 children reach their full potential, regardless of their socio-economic status, cultural background or severity of disability.
Educator Preparation Programs (EPP) at PNW follow both inTASC and CAEP accreditation standards.
Start with an introduction to special needs and an overview of education throughout history.
- EDST 20000 – History and Philosophy of Education
- EDPS 26000 – Introduction to Special Education
Interview for full admission to the Educator Preparation Program and expand your knowledge of pedagogy.
- EDPS 28500 – Diversity and Education
- EDCI 35550 – Teaching and Learning in the K-12 Classroom
- EDPS 32800 – Teaching Students with Mild to Moderate Needs I
Explore strategies for literacy instruction and teaching students with disabilities. This year, you’ll also complete three licensure assessments.
- EDCI 32303 – Literacy Instruction in K-3
- EDPS 38000 – Special Education Law for Teachers
- EDPS 45000 – Teaching Students with Disabilities
Conclude your studies with hands-on teaching experience. In your seventh semester, you’ll spend three days each week in the classroom before going on to a full-time student teaching assignment during your final term.
- EDPS 43000 – Creating and Managing Learning Environments
- EDPS 36100 – Assessment for Special Educators
- EDPS 41100 – Collaboration & Transition Practices for Individuals with Disabilities
As an education major with a special needs focus, you’ll engage in immersive coursework that covers the fundamentals of teaching as well as communication strategies today’s teachers need. These include effective instruction, classroom and behavior management, assistive technology, assessment and collaboration.
You’ll also have extensive opportunities for field placement in urban, suburban and rural schools.
Upon graduation, you will obtain dual licensure in elementary education and special education.
Because of the high demand for teachers who are qualified to meet the individual needs of exceptional students, our graduates are offered a broad variety of career opportunities.
This degree enables you to choose where you want to teach –whether it’s in a general education classroom, a self-contained classroom or a resource room – in school districts across the country.
Funding opportunities available to Elementary Education students with a Special Needs concentration include:
Beyond the Classroom
We encourage you to get involved in activities like:
- PEL Fellows
- Student Ambassadors
- PNW Aspiring Educators
You’ll find many opportunities to make a difference for students in careers such as:
- Teacher (K-6)
- Consultant teacher
- Co-teacher in an inclusive setting
Our alumni are thriving in:
- School Town of Munster
- Lake Station Community Schools
- Portage Township Schools
All of the Educator Preparation Programs (EPP) at Purdue University Northwest are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
The campus is a rather close network but with large opportunities attached. PNW wants you to succeed!
I’ve had some of the best professors. They have been supportive, uplifting and inspiring. They’ve been my biggest support throughout my experience here at PNW and are always willing to go the extra mile to help us students.
Meet the Faculty
Dr. Jones teaches classes in the early childhood and special education programs and conducts research about teacher preparation and partnering with families in early childhood special education.
Professor of Psychology and Special Education
Geoff Schultz is a professor in undergraduate teacher preparation, SOEC program chair, special education, SOEC faculty senate and budget chair CAEP board examiner.
Associate Professor of Education
LaVada Taylor is an Associate Professor of Education in the School of Education and Counseling. Her teaching and research interest are grounded in post colonialism and culturally relevant pedagogy.