Special Education (BSE)

USF teacher writing on the board.

Be a teacher for all children! USF’s Special Education program will give you the skills, knowledge, and classroom experience needed to serve today’s diverse classrooms. Through expert instruction and extensive field experience (300 hours plus student teaching), you will learn how to reach and inspire students of all abilities and learning styles — from Pre-K through grade 12.

I was hired into a teaching position before I graduated. I was halfway through my student placement when I was offered the job. I credit the university and my professors — they prepared me better than I could have imagined!

Jordyn Rigler ’17
Special Education Teacher
Northside High School

USF’s Special Education curriculum will prepare you for all aspects of the classroom. By utilizing the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), you will develop lessons that meet the needs of all, thereby inspiring students to reach their highest levels of learning.

As you near graduation, you’ll be prepared to take the Special Education licensure exam for the state of Indiana.

Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester.

In the Field

As a Special Education major, you’ll get in the field your first semester — and will complete more than 300 hours prior to the semester-long student teaching placement! You will:

  • Practice and experience working with students from diverse backgrounds in public, private, charter, & religious schools; in urban, suburban, and rural settings
  • Apply the knowledge and skills learned in your coursework
  • Learn from many cooperating teachers and mentors
  • Build your confidence as you build your professional knowledge & skills

Student Teaching Semester: You will be paired with a professional teacher for a full semester of experience and support.

The Result: 99% of USF teachers are consistently rated as being “effective” or “highly effective” by their school principals.

Career Outlook & Success

95%

of USF Education graduates are hired as teachers in the first semester after graduation.

8%

expected job growth by 2026

$58,980

Median pay per U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Professional Opportunities & Connections

Because teachers are lifelong learners, our program connects students to a variety of professional development opportunities, two of which are hosted by USF.

  • Best Practices Showcase highlights teachers who demonstrate outstanding professional practice. Learn from the Best!
  • Northeast Literacy Council promotes the improvement of literacy instruction through professional development and awards.

Strong Student Community

Education majors participate in Educators in Action (EIA) and Alpha Theta Epsilon, student organizations that promote professionalism and comradery. The organizations engage and deepen students’ relationships with the profession and community.

New!

The Antoinette V. Murray Cougar Classroom gives Education majors everything they need to prepare lessons and student teach. The lab is equipped with the latest technology, educational resources, and materials.

Accreditation

The Department of Education is accredited by the Indiana Department of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), which was previously known as the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Ready to start?

I want to learn more

Program Director

Dr. Mary Riepenhoff
mriepenhoff@sf.edu
260-399-7700 ext. 8409