Special Education | AUM

Special Education

Program Description

A degree in Special Education is a path to deep personal satisfaction. At AUM, you’ll be prepared with the best teaching and learning strategies to teach students who have special challenges: autism, developmental delays, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, severe and profound intellectual disabilities and other exceptionalities. As part of your program, you’ll complete an internship that will give you hands-on experience in a classroom setting.

Choose from three options in Special Education:

  • Early Childhood Special Education (birth-age 8)
  • Collaborative Teacher/K–6
  • Collaborative Teacher/6th–12.


Points of Pride

  • The program has a student chapter of the Council of Exceptional Children.
  • One of our faculty members is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
  • The faculty has more than 40 years cumulative experience in Special Education.
  • Most classes can be taken online or through a hybrid of online and classroom instruction.
  • The Sensory Integration Laboratory at Wilson Elementary School was built with a grant from AUM.

Put Your Degree to Work

Note: While salaries vary depending on several factors including your level of experience, education and training, and geography and industry, here is a sampling of the future job growth and salaries in this area.

The number of available jobs depends on school enrollments and budgets.  At a rate of 8 percent, job growth in education, training, and library occupations from 2014 to 2024 is projected to be about average. The most recent median annual wage for all education, training, and library occupations was $46,660 — higher than the average median wage for all occupations.

U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics sample


Median Pay

Job Growth through 2024

Special education teacher

$55,980 per year

6% (28,100 more jobs)

For More Information

Department of Counselor, Leadership, and Special Education.

Auburn University at Montgomery

Education 304


Soaring Warhawks

  • Dawn Ellis was named Montgomery Public School’s 2016–17 Teacher of the Year.
  • Elisabeth Newell teaches at Wilson Elementary, where she works with students who have language impairments and is in charge of the multisensory room.
  • Lauren Breeding is a . In 2012–13, she was named one of Montgomery Public Schools’ Teachers of the Year.

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail, please see our official online catalog AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the core curriculum courses required for all majors and may not include some program-specific information, such as admissions, retention and termination standards.

Course sampling specific to the Special Education major includes:

Course #

Course Name

Course Description

ESPE 4040

Intro to Early Childhood Special Ed (writing intensive)

A survey of trends, issues and evidence-based strategies related to teaching young students with exceptionalities. The course will focus on Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education for students from birth to age 8.

ESPE 4050

Behavior Management of Students with Exceptionalities

This course presents the theoretical foundations and evidence-based strategies for managing behavior of all students including those students with exceptionalities who consistently exhibit inappropriate behaviors in the classroom.

ESPE 4200

Special Ed: Critical Professional Components (writing intensive)

An introduction to critical professional components in special education. Topics include ethics, roles and responsibilities of the special educator, special education law, policies and procedures for transition.

ESPE 4300

Assessment of Students with Exceptionalities

The course is designed to address the multi-assessment approach related to studying formal and informal assessment. Participants will learn to administer standardized assessment instruments as well as interpret assessment results for the purpose of writing individualized educational programs for students with exceptionalities.

ESPE 4350

Collaboration and Consultation

Examination of and training in collaborative teaching in educational settings. Participants will study interpersonal relationships with other professionals in the school setting and with families of students with exceptionalities. Included are evidence-based best practices in collaboration, the fundamental of group processes and skills needed for collaboration.

ESPE 4400

Methods for Students w/Significant Support Needs

Study of curriculum, methods, and materials for learners with autism, other health impairments, and moderate and severe disabilities. Emphasis on specialized procedures and educational and vocational skills to facilitate normalization and independent living.

ESPE 4500

Teaching & Learning Strategies for Students with Exceptionalities

Emphasizes evidence-based teaching and learning strategies to meet the individual learning needs of students with exceptionalities. Included are methods for providing accommodations and making modifications for students to be successful learners in the general education curriculum.

ESPE 4600

Working with Families of Students with Exceptionalities

Principles of working with families of students with exceptionalities from diverse backgrounds. Emphasis given to evidence-based and best practices of working with families to help students be successful learners.

ESPE 4912

Practicum I in Special Education

This course is first in a sequence of three practicums for candidates in special education programs of study providing experiences in settings with students with exceptionalities. Candidates participate in 50 hours of on-site experiences in P–12 settings.

ESPE 4913

Practicum II in Special Education

This course is second in a sequence of three practicums for candidates in special education programs of study providing experiences in settings with students with exceptionalities. Candidates participate in 50 hours of on-site experiences in P–12 settings.

ESPE 4915

Practicum III in Special Education


ESPE 4924-E

Professional Internship

With advisor approval, candidates must submit an application for internship to the School of Education Director of Field and Critical Experiences. After the application is approved, candidates are placed in accredited public schools for one semester of supervised teaching experiences.

ESPE 4982-E

Comprehensive Exam

Comprehensive examination of knowledge and skills from professional courses in special education.