Associates Degree IN Special Education: Course Curriculum

Published Sep 07, 2009

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An associate's degree in Special Education includes course curriculum to aid students in understanding and teaching students with special needs. A Special Education course curriculum typically covers psychology, developmental studies and educational theory.

Course Curriculum for an Associate's in Special Education

An associate's degree in Special Education offers students the coursework necessary to work with Special Education students or in a Special Education classroom. Some schools offer a pure Special Education degree, which may provide required coursework for a teacher endorsement. Other schools offer the degree in conjunction with, or as a concentration with, teacher certification courses for early childhood, elementary, secondary or K-12 education. An associate's degree in Special Education does not necessarily provide all of the state required classes for teacher certification. Students interested in public school teaching may need to pursue additional associate's or bachelor's level degree work. An associate's degree program in Special Education may include some of the following classes:

  • Disabilities - A general survey course covering the most common disabilities teachers encounter in a Special Education classroom.
  • Disability Law - Such courses deal with legal and ethical framework for making appropriate decisions for disabled students.
  • Classroom Strategies for Special Education - This type of course teaches the skills to work with disabled children by working through behavior analyses, intervention plans and behavioral supports.
  • Behavior Management - This type of course instructs teachers on how to deal with singular behaviors arising from certain behavioral disorders.
  • Curriculum Development - Teachers learn to design their curriculum for each individual student, dependent upon the child's disability.
  • Sign Language - A course in sign language may be necessary for any Special Education teacher planning to work with the deaf.
  • Educational Technology - A course in educational technology covers improving students' learning performance with technological aids.
  • Assessment - Assessment courses train teachers to assess the individual needs of Special Education students based on their disability.
  • Behavior Disorders - Teachers learn to understand and manage behavioral disorders within the classroom.
  • Learning Disabilities - A course on learning disabilities covers some of the most common problems, including dyslexia, dysnomia (problems with memory), dyscalculia (problems with math) and dysgraphia (problems with writing).
  • Physical Disabilities - A survey of common physical disabilities helps teachers adapt their curriculum for certain students.
  • Curriculum Planning - Future Special Education teachers must learn to design a curriculum geared towards students with particular cognitive disabilities.
  • Student Teaching - Most degree programs in education require a student teaching experience, lasting from a couple weeks to a an entire semester.

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