Special education teachers work with students with disabilities that can include autism spectrum disorders and other learning, mental, emotional or physical challenges. They adapt lessons for them and teach subjects such as reading, writing and math. Appalachian State University’s Special Education (BS) – Adapted Curriculum K-12 prepares you well for this profession. Completion of this degree leads to North Carolina teaching license in Special Education: Adapted Curriculum K-12.
The Special Education (BS) – Adapted Curriculum K-12 degree prepares future teachers to teach students in grades K-12 who will likely require more significant modifications and adaptations in order to access the general curriculum, and may not be candidates for career prep, college/tech prep, or college prep diploma from the North Carolina public schools. These would include students with intellectual disability, emotional/behavioral disorders, autism spectrum disorders and other health impairments and disabilities.
This program is part of the Department of Reading Education and Special Education.
Employment: There is currently a shortage of Special Education teachers in North Carolina and around the country. Each of our graduates has numerous job opportunities from which to choose.
Graduate School: This degree offers an Accelerated Admission from Baccalaureate to Master's Program at Appalachian. Students can pursue a master's degree in special education with only one additional year of coursework. Students pursuing this master's degree will choose a concentration in either (a) Specific Learning Disabilities, (b) Intellectual Disabilities, or (c) Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities.
Additionally, students can take directed elective hours in the master's program to also complete graduate certificates in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Reading Education or both, resulting in well-prepared and highly marketable special education professionals.
Core courses include:
- Research and Issues in Special Education
- Characteristics, Theories, and Diagnosis of Students w/ Learning Differences
- Psychoeducational Strategies with Special Needs Learners
- Introduction to Developmental Disabilities
- Special Education Assessment
- Assistive Technology in Special Education
- Principles of Reading Instruction for the Classroom Teacher
- Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading Problems
No minor is required for the degree; however, this program offers a minor in Special Education, General to other majors.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
Appalachian Educators – Open to all education majors. It sponsors service events and provides professional development and leadership opportunities.
Kappa Delta Pi – The national honorary education fraternity
Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC) -- Promotes programs and service projects and prepares future leaders in the education of exceptional children and youth.
AppVocates – A group of students who volunteer with Scholars with Diverse Abilities Program, an innovative campus program that provides students with intellectual disabilities access to a 2-year college education.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society. Opportunities for education majors include international student teaching.
Admission to Appalachian’s Teacher Education Program is required.
- The Reich College of Education has one of the state’s top-rated teacher education programs and is recognized consistently in the annual Institution of Higher Education Performance Report by the North Carolina State Board of Education.
- A nationwide shortage of special education teachers means plenty of opportunities for graduates.
- Graduates are regarded as well-trained to teach special education in public and private schools.
- The Special Education program has close faculty-student cooperation, which enhances students’ growth and development.
Number of Students
80, with more than 160 students in both Special Education degree programs combined.
Method of Delivery
In addition to on-campus students, the Reich College of Education at times offers undergraduate programs in Special Education at off-campus locations in the surrounding area. Online courses are also available at times.
- Camp Director
- Case Manager
- Child Development Center Director
- Child Development Specialist
- Communications Specialist
- Community Service Agency Director
- Drug Rehabilitation Official
- Educational Advocate
- Educational Diagnostician
- ESL Teacher
- Family Services Social Worker
- Group Home Director
- Juvenile Court Counselor
- Learning Center Administration
- Orientation and Mobility Specialist
- Peace Corps Volunteer
- Recreational Therapist
- Rehabilitation Counselor
- Special Education Consultant
- State Education Official
- State Hospital Worker
- Test Preparation Instructor
- Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
Dr. Christopher L. Van Loan
Special Education Program Director