Special Education, B.S.

Special Education

Teachers fulfill unique needs in the lives and development of children whose needs go beyond what is usually available in the classroom.

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Special Education, B.S.

Teachers fulfill unique needs in the lives and development of our younger citizens. For children whose needs go beyond what is usually available in the classroom, the teacher is even more crucial. Students can have a wide range of learning, intellectual, emotional, and physical disabilities. Teachers make sure that lessons and teaching strategies are designed to meet individual needs. If you have a desire to experience this rewarding challenge, a career in special education can lead to numerous employment opportunities. At MTSU, you can take the important first steps by choosing to major in Special Education in the Department of Elementary and Special Education. The Interventionist (K-8 or 6-12) and Comprehensive (K-12) programs lead to initial teacher licensure.

The following concentrations are available (see Requirements for details):

  • Special Education (Comprehensive), B.S.
  • Special Education (6-12 General Interventionist), B.S.
  • Special Education (K-8 Interventionist), B.S.

Careers
Requirements
Faculty
Information
Careers
Requirements
Faculty
Information

News Briefs

Respected teachers guided her life decisions

Respected teachers guided her life decisions

Rachel Ray knew before she came to MTSU that she wanted to study special education. “My high school had a peer buddy program similar to the one at MTSU. During my free periods, I would go to a child development class and work with teachers and students. I grew to love and feel passionate about every part of the class I was allowed to participate in,” Rachel says. Graduating in May 2013 with a concentration in Comprehensive, Rachel is teaching at Youth Village Center for Boys in Bartlett. She attributes “getting the best” out of her education to Dr. Tom Black. Not only did his classes focus on practical knowledge, but “he also did something that many professors do not—shared his own experiences,” Rachel says. She also praises the value of experiences gained from Best Buddies, a volunteer organization that pairs a child with special needs with a community buddy, and the Rutherford County Schools’ Transition Academy, a program involving communication skills and job training for public school students ages 18-22.

Heart for special education grows stronger at MTSU

Heart for special education grows stronger at MTSU

Working as a special needs teacher’s assistant led Terry Marie Kilgallon, who lives in Spring Hill, to her life’s work. “I experienced an epiphany on the very first day. The seed was planted in my heart to dedicate the rest of my working years to students with special needs,” Kilgallon remembers, adding that the seed took root when she returned to college some 18 months later. Teachers such as Dr. Jim Calder, whose high expectations in the classroom were “sprinkled with a passion that inspired,” cultivated that seed and strengthened her determination to be a special education teacher. Terry Marie graduated in May 2013 with a concentration in Interventionist. She is a middle school resource teacher where she takes a lead role in an anti-bullying program. She hopes eventually to return to college to pursue a master’s degree focusing on literacy skills.

News Briefs

Respected teachers guided her life decisions

Rachel Ray knew before she came to MTSU that she wanted to study special education. “My high school had a peer buddy program similar to the one at MTSU. During my free periods, I would go to a child development class and work with teachers and students. I grew to love and feel passionate about every part of the class I was allowed to participate in,” Rachel says. Graduating in May 2013 with a concentration in Comprehensive, Rachel is teaching at Youth Village Center for Boys in Bartlett. She attributes “getting the best” out of her education to Dr. Tom Black. Not only did his classes focus on practical knowledge, but “he also did something that many professors do not—shared his own experiences,” Rachel says. She also praises the value of experiences gained from Best Buddies, a volunteer organization that pairs a child with special needs with a community buddy, and the Rutherford County Schools’ Transition Academy, a program involving communication skills and job training for public school students ages 18-22.

Heart for special education grows stronger at MTSU

Working as a special needs teacher’s assistant led Terry Marie Kilgallon, who lives in Spring Hill, to her life’s work. “I experienced an epiphany on the very first day. The seed was planted in my heart to dedicate the rest of my working years to students with special needs,” Kilgallon remembers, adding that the seed took root when she returned to college some 18 months later. Teachers such as Dr. Jim Calder, whose high expectations in the classroom were “sprinkled with a passion that inspired,” cultivated that seed and strengthened her determination to be a special education teacher. Terry Marie graduated in May 2013 with a concentration in Interventionist. She is a middle school resource teacher where she takes a lead role in an anti-bullying program. She hopes eventually to return to college to pursue a master’s degree focusing on literacy skills.

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CAREERS

Individuals trained to teach bring a desirable range of expertise and creativity to planning and administrative roles. Graduates completing their teacher preparation at MTSU are found in public and private school classrooms throughout Tennessee and in many other states. In addition to classroom teaching, other career options include

  • Agency and administrative work
  • Community and foundation work
  • Consulting, professional development, and teacher training
  • Education marketing and research
  • Education policy development
  • Higher education teaching and administration
  • Job coaching
  • Mental health agency work
  • Private tutoring

Educators who studied at MTSU are employed in a variety of settings that include the Tennessee Department of Education and other state agencies, community colleges and universities, Head Start programs, and tutoring services. Graduates are employed in public and private schools and school districts throughout the country as well as in Tennessee.

Among the employers of MTSU alumni are

  • Anderson County Schools
  • Bedford County Schools
  • Cannon County Schools
  • Carroll County Schools
  • Cheatham Co Schools
  • Coffee County Schools
  • Collierville Christian Academy
  • Crockett County Schools
  • Cumberland County Schools
  • DeKalb County Schools
  • Dickson County Schools
  • Dyer County Schools
  • Fayette County Schools
  • Fayetteville City Schools
  • Franklin Special School District
  • Giles County Schools
  • Grundy County Schools
  • Hamilton County Schools
  • Hardeman County Schools
  • Hickman County Schools
  • Kids Connection
  • Knox County Schools
  • Lawrence County Schools
  • Lebanon Special School District
  • Lewis County Schools
  • Lincoln County Schools
  • Macon County Schools
  • Madison County Schools
  • Manchester City Schools
  • Marion County Schools
  • Marshall County Schools
  • Maury County Schools
  • McNairy County Schools
  • Memphis and Shelby County Schools
  • Metro Action Commission, Nashville
  • Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
  • Middle Tennessee Christian School, Murfreesboro
  • Montgomery County Schools
  • Moore County Schools
  • Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Perry County Schools
  • Providence Christian Academy, Murfreesboro
  • Robertson County Schools
  • Rutherford County Schools
  • Sequatchie County Schools
  • Sumner County Schools
  • The Webb School, Bell Buckle
  • Trousdale County Schools
  • Tullahoma City Schools,
  • Warren County Schools
  • Wayne County Schools
  • White County Schools
  • Williamson County Schools
  • Wilson County Schools
  • Youth Village Center for Boys

REQUIREMENTS

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FACULTY

INFORMATION

Degrees

Students willing to work with a broad spectrum of abilities can earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree with a major in Special Education, choosing from either Interventionist (K-8 & 6-12) or Comprehensive program (K-12).

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.

View more information about admission to the Teacher Education Program!

An undergraduate minor in Special Education is available.

Other programs in the department

Undergraduate
Other undergraduate majors offered in the Department of Elementary and Special Education and leading to a B.S. include Early Childhood Education (grades Prek-3), Elementary Education (grades K-5) and Middle Level Education (grades 6-8).

Students wishing to teach in secondary schools must complete a major in the subject they wish to teach and a minor in Secondary Education in the Womack Department of Educational Leadership. Directed teaching and applying for and receiving teacher licensure complete the preparation process.

Graduate

Graduate degrees available through the Department of Elementary and Special Education include the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree with programs of study in Special Education with two concentrations: Comprehensive and Interventionist, Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Elementary School Education and a specialization in Initial Licensure, and Literacy 

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Literacy Studies and the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Assessment, Learning, and Student Success are available in the College of Education.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

The Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) College of Education’s teacher licensure preparation programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and are eligible for accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree with a major in Special Education, K-12 or K-8 interventionist or 6-12 interventionist programs at MTSU are designed to meet the licensure requirements set by the Tennessee Department of Education. Students should be aware that licensure requirements vary from state to state and are subject to change. MTSU has not made a determination whether a specific program will meet all of the requirements of another US state or territory. MTSU recommends that students who plan to seek licensure outside the state of Tennessee contact the appropriate licensing agency and discuss their plans with their advisor. To obtain current information about each state’s and territory’s licensure requirements and any additional regulations, students should consult the US Department of Education’s website for state contacts at https://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/state/index.html.

Graduates of MTSU teacher education programs certified to teach in Tennessee are eligible for certification reciprocity in many states. Reciprocity is not an automatic or complete transfer of certification, thus individuals should consult the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) site at https://www.tn.gov/education/licensing.html and the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) site at https://www.nasdtec.net/page/Interstate as well as the US Department of Education state contacts site for information about any additional state requirements.

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