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Bachelor of Science (BS) in Education with Special Education Certification

Invest in a career where your heart is your biggest asset.

As a special education teacher, you will have the rewarding experience of knowing that, day-by-day, you are changing lives, encouraging dreams and paving the way to a brighter future for your students.

Make no mistake — this career path is not for the faint of heart. You will experience challenges on both physical and mental levels, but with these challenges comes the promise of a meaningful and fulfilling future. You will be the person to tell someone they can, when the world tells them they can’t.

Skills you will learn include:

  • Task analysis of learning problems
  • Teaching strategies for exceptionalities
  • The ability to gather and analyze data from curriculum-based measurement
  • Assessment and evaluation procedures for students with cross-categorical disabilities
  • Implementation of evidence-based practices and the ability to determine when and where to apply such practices

Special opportunities

Within our special education program you will have the unique opportunity to work alongside seasoned professionals in the field and network with program administrators. Our small class sizes provide opportunity for you to receive individualized attention from your professors. Then you will take what you’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world, gaining hands on experience through William Woods University offered clinical work and a semester of student teaching.

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Our Special Education Certification at work

Using the knowledge and practicum they receive at William Woods University, bachelors in education graduates in special education are prepared to pursue an exciting career as:

  • Special education teacher in private/public school system
  • Emotional/behavioral classroom teacher
  • Early intervention specialist
  • Life skills teacher
  • Learning support teacher
  • Autism support teacher

Recent Employers

Our students are highly sought after by distinguished employers across the country, including:

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Alumni Perspectives

Special education has been my passion for quite some time. Having your professors share that same interest makes you even more passionate about it. I could not imagine going anywhere else and getting an education and life lessons that are so meaningful towards my future.

— Taylor Oestreich, special education graduate


The Bachelor of Science in Special Education degree at William Woods University consists of 122 distinct credit hours for graduation—including 85 core major credits.

Courses you may take

EDU 201 - Multicultural Education -D - 3.00

This course addresses various aspects of multiculturalism and cultural diversity such as culture, race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion, language, age, and exceptionality. By examining these micro-cultures, students will understand and use this knowledge to meet individual student needs and address cultural differences effectively in the classroom. Concepts and strategies for teaching different cultural, racial, and ethnic groups, including English language learners, are included.

EDU 211 - Educational Technology I - 3.00

The role of technology in the K-12 classroom and issues surrounding technology use are examined. Students incorporate technology use into projects presented to the class.

EDU 231 - Exceptional Child - 3.00

A study of children with special needs who qualify for special education services. Topics include the history and legal basis of special education, the special education process, assessment and evaluation procedures, characteristics, and appropriate intervention strategies and teaching methods. Emphasis is placed on characteristics and teaching strategies for the following exceptionalities: learning disabilities, mental retardation, behavior/emotional disorders and giftedness.

EDU 250 - Foundations of Education - 3.00

This course is a comprehensive overview of the foundations of education in the United States. It focuses on the development of educational institutions and ideas, social forces that have influenced them and current issues affecting educators. It specifically includes a survey of the policies, procedures, portfolios and certification examinations that are part of the Missouri educator certification process. The nine Missouri Teacher Standards will be integrated, and used as a guide, throughout the course.

EDU 258 - Cross Categorical Disabilities - 3.00

Instructional, classroom and student strategies involving mild/moderate cross categorical disabilities are provided. Readings, lectures, discussions and assignments focus on researched differentiated instruction. Prerequisite: EDU231

EDU 291 - Beginning Clinical Experience - 2.00

Teacher candidates observe and participate in an assigned classroom for a minimum of 30 hours. They observe and become familiar with the classroom organization and management, curriculum, and the school's instructional program. They work with students in various groupings and observe and implement differentiation strategies.

EDU 317 - Teaching Language Arts & Children's Literature - 3.00

Teacher candidates will study children's literature and the content areas of language arts. They will create a unit plan which consists of 4 language arts lessons which are literature-based. The course includes units on language development, children's literature, speaking, listening, spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, penmanship, and interdisciplinary instruction.

EDU 318 - Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary/Middle Grades - 3.00

The focus of this course is on elementary social studies content knowledge and literacy, concepts, materials/resources, teaching strategies, methods, assessment of instruction, and using an integrated curriculum design for teaching elementary and middle grades students. Integration of the arts is included. Curricular guidelines and standards will follow the Missouri Learning Standards and national professional organizations such as the National Council for Social Studies

EDU 319 - Teaching Science in the Elementary/Middle Grades - 3.00

The focus of this course is on elementary science content knowledge and literacy, concepts, materials/resources, teaching strategies, methods, assessment of instruction, and using an integrated curriculum design for teaching elementary and middle grades students. Integration of the arts is included. Curricular guidelines and standards will follow the Missouri Learning Standards and national professional organizations such as the National Science Teachers Association.

EDU 341 - Teaching Mathematics - 3.00

This course is designed to provide undergraduate education students an opportunity to become familiar with selected content, appropriate instructional techniques, and materials for teaching mathematics. The philosophy of teaching mathematics recommended by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Curriculum Standards, Common Core State Standards, and Assessment Standards will be emphasized. In addition, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Subject-Specific Competencies for Mathematics Education will also be addressed.

EDU 351 - Language Development - 3.00

Language and communication disorders of students with special needs are investigated. Topics include normal language acquisition, language development of exceptional children, language problems and deficits, implications of language disorders and delays for learning, assessment, instructional strategies, and treatment. Prerequisite: EDU231

EDU 353 - Teaching Remedial Mathematics - 3.00

Teaching methods specific to remediation of special mathematics learning needs. Students will spend time in the schools assisting with the teaching of remedial mathematics. This course does not apply toward a major or minor in mathematics and does not apply toward the university's Common Studies program. (Course prerequisite EDU 341 may be taken concurrently with EDU 353.)

EDU 358 - Teaching Cross Categorical Disabilities - 3.00

Study of learning patterns, educational diagnostic techniques and development of educational strategies and materials for use with children with cross-categorical disabilities. This course requires 16 hours of clinical experience in the schools. Prerequisites: EDU 231, 258

EDU 392 - Reading & Wrtng in the Content Area - 3.00

This course addresses the special demands of content area reading and writing for both elementary and secondary students and encourages teachers in all content areas to reflect on their roles as literacy providers. An overview of the possible causes of reading difficulties and simple assessment procedures are discussed. Students will also learn teaching strategies for improved comprehension of content materials, study skills, and vocabulary.

EDU 393 - Teaching Reading and Writing - 3.00

Students will understand curriculum and instructional planning of reading and writing in k-12 classrooms. Students will plan and differentiate lessons based on student needs. Instruction will focus on reading, writing and language acquisition in all grade levels. Students will work together and experience different expectations for pre-service teachers in collaborative groups. Throughout this course students will develop a better understanding of literacy development; phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Students will understand how to organize literacy instruction

EDU 395 - Intermediate Clinical Experience - 3.00

Teacher candidates observe and participate in various ways in an assigned classroom for a minimum of 45 hours. They become familiar with lesson planning, differentiation strategies, assessment techniques, and the analysis of demographic information. Teacher candidates work with students throughout this experience and plan and execute a lesson with the direction of the cooperating teacher. This lesson is delivered to the whole class, a small group, or an individual student. They then reflect on student learning as a result of this lesson. Prerequisite: EDU291 and Admittance to the Teacher Ed Program

EDU 415 - Conferencing and Consultation - 3.00

Addresses parental rights and responsibilities in the education of their child with special needs. Topics include the evaluation process, eligibility requirements and determination, the individualized education plan (IEP), and parent involvement in all stages of their child's educational program.

EDU 420 - Measurement and Evaluation - 3.00

Individual diagnostic procedures are studied, including informal and formal assessment, the interpretation of assessment results, and development of educational programs and instruction. Proficiency in assessment procedures and test administration are emphasized. Prerequisites: EDU395

EDU 441 - Student Centered Reading & Writing - 3.00

This is a field based course that covers instruction of language acquisition, phonics, fluency, comprehension and writing in a K-12 classroom. Students will observe a classroom during ELA instruction and tutor a student in reading and writing. Students will spend 12 hours intensively tutoring their assigned student, they will be assisted by collaborating during class meetings to better serve the student. The pre-service teacher will analyze reading and writing samples and assessments of their assigned student, they will then develop an appropriate lessons for language acquisition, phonics, vocabulary, and writing skills. Students will work intensively with students who have been assessed and need assistance to be at grade level in ELA instruction. Prerequisites: Entrance in the Teacher Education Program and EDU 395

EDU 453 - Classroom Management - 3.00

The nature of behavior problems in schools, including types, etiology, and management through educational and behavioral intervention procedures are addressed. Students are encouraged to take this course the semester before they do their student teaching. Prerequisite: EDU231, EDU395 and Entrance into the TEP Program

EDU 460 - Career/Vocational Education - 2.00

Learning characteristics, career/vocational opportunities, assessment of secondary students with mild to moderate disabilities are examined.

EDU 492 - Educational Seminar - 3.00

Teaching competence is strengthened through multiple means, including the examination of and reflection upon the students experiences during their supervised teaching placement. This is a writing intensive course that includes a community profile paper, reflection pieces and a culminating portfolio that documents performance standards. Class meetings occur before, during and after the student teaching experience. Prerequisite: Entrance into the Teacher Education Program and EDU 395 Corequisite: EDU 490 or EDU 493 or EDU 495 or EDU 499.

EDU 493 - Supervised Teaching Special Education - 9.00

Teacher candidates are assigned to a specific special education classroom for 14 weeks. Using the co-teaching model, teacher candidates will work with a certified teacher to implement all elements of teaching (Missouri Teaching Standards). These elements of teaching will be phased in gradually, while continuing to use both teachers in the classroom to improve student learning. The teacher candidate will become the lead teacher as the semester progresses and will be responsible for all elements of teaching for a minimum of 6 weeks, under the guidance of the certified teacher. Teacher candidates will complete the MEES during the student teaching semester and will be supervised by a qualified university supervisor. Passing the MEES is required for MO teaching certification and successful completion of EDU 493. (Course Fee) Prerequisite: Entrance into the TEP program, EDU291 and EDU395 Corequisite: EDU 492

MAT 231 - Understanding Mathematics for Tchrs - 3.00

This course will address the mathematical knowledge, skill, and processes taught in K-8 classroom settings. The course will focus heavily on both the content and process standards developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and will use the six principles of mathematics as a guide.

PED 352 - Instrctnl Techniques in Health K-12 - 3.00

To develop an understanding and competency in teaching health, nutrition, and safety in the elementary grades. Required for K-12 Physical Education, Early Childhood, and Elementary Education majors.

PSY 221 - Educational Psychology -S - 3.00

The study of the psychological principles that support the foundation of educational theory and practice. The student will be able to understand and apply the psychological principles that form the basis of educational theory and practice.

PSY 226 - Child and Adolescent Development -S - 3.00

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the typical development of a child from birth through emerging adulthood. Biological, cognitive and social development and the influencing factors will be covered. Students will be expected to apply the theories discussed in the course to improve child welfare.


Admissions Information

Learn more about undergraduate admissions requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.

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