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Special Education

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College of Education

Answer a Special Calling

Bachelor of Science in Special Education

Many people who receive a bachelor’s degree in special education regard working in the field as a calling, and they are excited to do something that is emotionally fulfilling and personally meaningful. This career path requires special knowledge, strong teaching skills, compassion, humor, creativity and patience. And, although the career comes with solid benefits and job stability, helping students move toward maximum independence is a reward unto itself.

With more than 7.3 million students receiving special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (14 percent of all public school students), the need for educators in this field is greater than ever. The AUM College of Education is pleased to provide the Bachelor of Science in Special Education degree to help you develop the skills that will enable you to become a successful, committed and reflective educator.

Our Special Education programs prepare teachers to provide specially designed instruction for students with exceptionalities and to work across diverse educational settings. You’ll be prepared with the best teaching and learning strategies for students living with autism, developmental delays, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, and other exceptionalities. Courses use a blend of technology and media and focus on topics such as assistive technology, behavior management, assessment, working with parents and families, and high-incidence disabilities.  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 (6–12)

You’ll learn under internationally recognized AUM faculty who have won awards such as the Excellence in Teaching award from Sigma Alpha Pi, Primary School Teacher of the Year award from Montgomery Public Schools, the College of Education Excellence in Teaching award, and more.

To prepare, you’ll go from our classroom to your own classroom with a practicum under expert supervision in one of our local schools. You’ll also perform an internship under a local expert teacher and gain hundreds of hours of supervised field experiences in local schools to practice what you’re learning in your teaching methods courses.

Learn more about professional education requirements, teacher certification and other program information. For a full review of this program in detail, please see our official online catalog AND consult with a College of Education academic advisor.

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The Know How

What you will know with a Special Education degree from AUM

We Prepare You For Lifelong Learning

Special education is a team effort, involving collaboration with classroom aides, doctors, case managers and other specialists—as well as members of the student’s family.

We Enable You To Serve Those Who Need It

We prepare you to serve students with specific learning disabilities, a speech or language impairment, a chronic or acute health problem, autism, and other learning challenges.

We Believe In Hands-On Learning

As part of your program, you’ll complete an internship that will give you hands-on experience in a classroom setting.

We Set The Bar For Ethics

You’ll be prepared to do the right thing for your students—measured by Individuals with Disabilities Education Act standards, educational best practices, and the Golden Rule.

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Game Plan for Success

Your GPS is an academic tracker that provides a step-by-step guide to graduating on time.

Points of Pride

  • The program has a student chapter of the Council of Exceptional Children.
  • The faculty has more than 40 years cumulative experience in special education.
  • The accreditation of the College of Education is by the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP), the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and all its programs are approved by the Alabama Department of Education.
  • The on-campus Early Learning Center is dedicated to nurturing, supporting and encouraging young students as they prepare to enter elementary school. It also serves as a model training site and professional development school for future teachers.
  • To improve the quality of education in the area, and enhance career opportunities for our graduates, the College of Education partners with more than 150 surrounding schools and organizations.

Soaring Warhawks

  • Kirby Johnston Farr teaches eighth-grade Social Studies at Auburn Junior High School.
  • Rebecca Maushard teaches eighth-grade Language Arts at R.B. Hudson Middle School.

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Video Testimonials

Why Special Education?

Dawn Ellis
Video Testimonials

What's so special about special education?

Sara Bicard
We Have the Answers

Rewarding Occupations and Job Growth

Check out our Career Discovery Board on this page to begin exploring your options. Contact us by phone or email so we can get you the answers you need.

By working with individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities, you are helping someone with special needs to conquer the daily challenges life can throw their way. You can celebrate their successes and help them through the difficult times.

In addition to the teaching skills and knowledge you’ll develop in our bachelor’s degree program, it helps to have patience, organizational skills, creativity, a calm personality, and an accepting nature.

Being a teacher of children with special needs can be challenging, but also extremely satisfying. While it can be physically and emotionally draining to help students with mental and physical disabilities, it is also rewarding to help them progress and succeed.

Degree Options

Is a Degree in Special Education right for me?

With this bachelor’s degree as your educational foundation, you have many career possibilities.

Career/Job TitleEntry-level EducationJob Growth 2020-2030Annual Median Salary
Special Education TeacherBachelor’s Degree8% (As fast as average)$61,500
Special Education High School TeacherBachelor’s degree8% (As fast as average)$62,870
Instructional CoordinatorMaster’s degree10% (As fast as average)$66,970
Special Education Kindergarten and Elementary School TeacherBachelor’s degree7% (As fast as average)$60,660

Note: Salaries vary depending on several factors including your level of experience, education, training, demographics, and industry. Here is a sampling of the future job growth and salaries according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Quick Facts

College of Education

At the AUM College of Education, you will have powerful learning experiences, working side by side with professors who have real-world experience.

Our academic departments include  the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology, the Department of Kinesiology, and the Department of Counselor, Leadership and Special Education.

To help you pay for college, you might qualify for one of our scholarships.

Official Name of the Special Education Degree

Bachelor of Science in Special Education


This degree requires students to meet on campus. Students in these courses enroll in a program to connect in a campus setting and to collaborate using a variety of technological and educational tools. Professors play an inspirational role in building relationships among teams and individuals in this setting. The criteria for many programs can only be met with In-Class coursework. Be sure to check with your advisor to understand the best route to take.

Special Education

Courses Include

To complete this degree concentration, you will need to complete courses in the university core, education, and electives. Contact the College of Education for a current listing of courses required to complete this program.

The course listings below are only a few of the classes this track requires. For a full review of this program in detail, please see our official online catalog AND consult with an academic advisor.

Course NumberCourse NameWhat you will know…
ESPE 3760Survey of ExceptionalitiesA survey of the various exceptionalities including the etiology, incidence, laws and strategies related to teaching students with exceptionalities.
ESPE 4050Behavior Management of Students with ExceptionalitiesManaging classroom behavior has a big impact on learning, especially for those who consistently exhibit inappropriate behaviors in the classroom.
ESPE 4350Collaboration and ConsultationLearn the importance of interpersonal relationships with other professionals and the family members of students with exceptionalities.
ESPE 4500Teaching Learning Strategies for Students with ExceptionalitiesEmphasizes 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.
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