Degree and Certification

This degree is a bachelor of science in education with an emphasis in special education.

Additionally, upon successfully completing the initial teacher-certification process, the state grants you cross-categorical certification.

Program of Study:

The program is comprised of three phases:

Phase I: Freshman – Sophomore Year

You are automatically accepted into Phase I with admittance to the University.

Course Work

The majority of your time in Phase I is spent completing your general-education requirements.

Course work through the College of Education focuses on facilitating learning at all levels of development. Consideration is given to the influences of cultural, political, historical and economic factors on students, teachers and schools.

Field Experiences

Your field experiences in this phase will include:

  • Sixteen hours in a classroom environment tutoring and working with students in small groups under teacher supervision.
  • Twenty hours in a service-learning environment in community organizations (e.g., Big Brothers Big Sisters, Granny’s House).

Phase II: Junior Year

You must apply and interview for admittance into Phase II in the spring of your sophomore year. Enrollment space in Phase II is capped at approximately 30 students. For more information about the application process, please consult your adviser.

Course Work

This phase addresses the foundational principles of teaching students with special needs. Additionally, it focuses on the cross-categorical area in which a range of categorical disabilities are discussed, including learning disabilities and behavioral disorders.

Field Experiences

During your first semester of junior year, you will spend 60 hours in an elementary setting planning and delivering instruction, assisting with classroom and behavior management and facilitating individualized education plans.

During the second semester, you will spend 60 hours in a secondary setting with similar responsibilities.

Phase III: Senior Year (Senior Year On-Site Program)

The Special Education Senior Year On Site Program (SYOSP) is a cooperative program offered by the College of Education and the MU Partnership for Educational Renewal (MPER).

During your senior year, you will be on site at a public school in Columbia or a surrounding community. SYOSP orientation takes place the spring of your junior year.

First Semester of Senior Year

During the first semester of senior year, you will work in school three days per week and take your special education courses through MU. This experience allows for more intensive examination of teaching, learning, observing and assisting with instruction in multiple areas of special education.

Second Semester of Senior Year

You will be assigned to a special education classroom for a 16-week, full-time internship under the mentorship of an experienced special education teacher.