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Special Education Certification (P-12)

If your passion is to help at-risk children learn, thrive, grow, and succeed in a life of learning, special education (learning/behavior disorder) certification is for you! The certification can be acquired through an emphasis area in our Elementary Education (P-5) program or as an area of specialization in our Middle School Education (5-9) program.

Certification in special education will give you an excellent foundation for understanding the development, characteristics, and educational services of learners with exceptionalities. As a student, you’ll receive quality instruction from professors who have practical teaching experience. You’ll also have access to our instructional media library with its wide range of teaching materials and media resources to help you prepare for classroom success.

While earning your special education certification, you will also have an opportunity for field study during a seventy (70) day student-teaching placement within the region.


What is a Special Education Certification?

Special education certification programs provide the training future special education teachers need to pursue certifications that qualify them for teaching careers in elementary and middle school settings. These programs are designed to help educators gain a solid understanding of how to teach young learners who struggle with learning or behavioral disorders. Students will learn what it takes to work with other teachers to integrate students in relevant and age-appropriate classrooms. Courses cover everything from developing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) based on student assessments to communicating with parents and other stakeholders of the child’s education.

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What Can You Do with a Special Education Certification?

When you enroll in a program that leads to special education certification, you will receive the training and skills you need to:

  • Teach in P-12 settings, working with exceptional children
  • Plan and implement transitions from school to adult life for exceptional children
  • Identify typical and atypical development, characteristics, and educational services of young learners
  • Develop techniques regarding the design and adaptation of formal and informal assessments for exceptional children
  • Address curriculum and instructional planning and strategies in all content areas to service learners with mild disabilities

The courses you’ll take in a special education certification program will give you the tools you need to fill jobs in special ed. You can pursue special education teacher roles in high schools, where teaching professionals earned an average annual salary of $61,820 as of 2030, or in middle schools where the average salary for teachers came in at $61,320

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How to Become a Special Education Teacher

The first step toward becoming a special education teacher is to visit the relevant state-administered education. Different states may have different requirements for licensure. After that, some things, such as education requirements, are fairly standard.

Begin with a high-quality bachelor’s degree program from an accredited institution. This program should offer evidence-based best practices for teaching in special ed situations. It should also provide an opportunity for student teaching to help future educators put into practice the skills they learned in class. These types of practicums are typically required for licensure by relevant state boards. 

From there, new educators will likely need to pass a state test, apply for a teaching license, and then submit applications for open special education teacher jobs. 

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Special Education-Learning & Behavior Disabilities, Elementary Emphasis - Learning& Behavior Disabilities
21 hours (Available online or in-seat)

SPED 234      Special Education Instructional Programs (P-12) 
SPED 236      Special Education Programs for Adolescents with Mild Disabilities (5-12) 
SPED 238      Special Education Early Childhood (P-5) 
SPED 336      Educational Assessment and Prescriptive Programming for Individuals with Disabilities (P-12) Part I      
SPED 337      Educational Assessment and Prescriptive Programming for Individual with Disabilities (P-12) Part II      
SPED 435      Special Education Methods and Materials (Mild Disabilities) P -12 
SPED 436      Special Education Methods and Materials Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities (P-12)  

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Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.

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Admission Requirements

In order to be considered for admission to this program, click here to view the undergraduate, on-campus admissions information. 

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Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information. 

In addition to the overall institutional accreditation statement above, the specialized accrediting bodies related to this degree are listed below. 

KDE/EPSB – State Accreditation
University of the Cumberlands' School of Education is further accredited through Kentucky's Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB), 100 Airport Road, 3rd Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601. (502) 564-4606. Fax: (502) 564-7080.

CAEP – National Accreditation
The School of Education at University of the Cumberlands (UC) is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) at the initial-licensure level and advanced-level.  CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement.  UC’s School of Education has earned national accreditation by demonstrating excellence in the areas of content and pedagogy, clinical experiences, selectivity, program impact, and capacity for continuous improvement.
CAEP Address: 1140 19th St NW #400, Washington, DC 20036
CAEP Phone Number: (202) 223-0077

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Click here to view a list of the education faculty. 

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Admissions Office

Contact Us

Phone:  606.539.4240
Toll-Free:  877.713.8767
Fax:  606.539.4303

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6178 College Station Drive
Williamsburg, KY 40769

CAEP Accreditation


 The School of Education at University of the Cumberlands complies with all CAEP standards across programs at the initial and advanced levels.