Special education teachers work with students with disabilities including learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, intellectual disabilities, autism and other disabilities. Appalachian State University’s Special Education (BS) – General Curriculum K-12 prepares students to teach children and youth who will likely complete North Carolina public schools general curriculum requirements for career prep, college/tech prep, or college prep diploma. These students may have learning disabilities, mild intellectual disabilities, emotional/behavioral disabilities, traumatic brain injury and other health impairments or disabilities.
This program is part of the Department of Reading Education and Special Education and leads to North Carolina teaching license in Special Education: General Curriculum K-12.
Graduate school: This degree offers an Accelerated Master's Program at Appalachian. Students can begin taking courses toward a master's degree in special education or master’s in reading education as a senior; after they complete their undergraduate program, they can finish their master’s degree with approximately one additional year of coursework. In addition, students can take directed elective hours in the master's program to complete graduate certificates in Autism, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, and Reading Education or a combination, resulting in well-prepared and highly marketable special education professionals.
This is a program that can lead to licensure or certification in North Carolina. Appalachian State University cannot confirm whether this program will meet the requirements for professional licensure in other states or territories.
If this applies to you, check the Professional Licensure webpage for information on licensure requirements and licensing agencies in other states. Or, you may address questions to State Authorization at App State at email@example.com or 828-262-7559.
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, a innovative campus program that provides students with intellectual disabilities access to a 2-year college education.
View all student organization contacts
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.
- Appalachian has been training quality educators for more than 100 years and is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Boone and Hickory*
*The Hickory Campus location is pending accreditation from SACSCOC for this program. Accreditation is expected in summer 2023.
- 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
View more career possibilities
Department of Reading Education and Special Education
Dr. Aftynne E. Cheek
Undergraduate Program Director