B.S. Ed in Special Education PreK-12
Congratulations on your decision to pursue a teaching career. Effective teachers are developed from strong professional programs that incorporate broad knowledge of the world, human development, and pre- professional experiences. Professional growth involves understanding the ways children can be helped to interact with the curriculum to make learning the most productive experience possible. Furthermore, knowledge of and the ability to use a variety of teaching strategies effectively is a measure that distinguishes the master teacher.
WCU Special Education department prepares future teachers to be effective educators. Our faculty is committed to supporting the development of teachers equipped with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to construct quality educational programs for children with disabilities. Our mission is to foster knowledgeable, passionate, competent, and reflective graduates who will serve as eloquent, articulate advocates for all children, families, and special education professionals. Stand-alone majors may pursue Special Education certification [only] and have the option of adding a minor.
Highlights of Curriculum
- Overview of Disabilities
- Behavior management
- Instructional Strategies
- Assessment Course [writing RR’s, IEP’s and NOREP]
- Transition Course
- Trauma Informed Education
- Culturally Responsive Teaching
- Addressing the needs of students with severe disabilities
Teacher Candidacy Information
Teacher Candidacy is the process that confirms your intent to pursue teacher certification at West Chester University. All students seeking to achieve the Teacher Candidacy status must have achieved the following minimum requirements:
- 48 credits at the college level (100 level or above)
- Cumulative GPA of 2.9
- 3 credits in college-level English composition [WRT Coursework]
- 3 credits in literature taught in English [LIT 220]
- 6 credits in college-level mathematics [MAT 101 & 102]
- Passing scores on the Basic Skills Assessment (SAT/ACT/CORE/PAPA)
In addition, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.9 to continue taking advanced professional education coursework.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TEACHER CANDIDACY
MORE INFORMATION ON PA TESTS
The field experiences are designed to give students first-hand experience with students in grades Pk-12 with disabilities served in different kinds of placements across the continuum. Specific course work is taken concurrently with field experience where students are learning characteristics, teaching strategies, application, and theory. Integral to the success of such an experience is the necessity for students to reflect and question what they are observing/ experiencing in different placements serving students with disabilities. This provides students with the theory and research necessary to become an effective teacher - the opportunity to integrate theory and practice.
Students must obtain clearances for each course containing field experience in accordance with Pennsylvania statutes. These include:
- Pennsylvania Criminal Record Checks
- FBI fingerprinting
- Pennsylvania Child Abuse Record checks - required for all who enter a school.
All clearances must be completed prior to the first day of the field course in which you are enrolled and updated every year. Please contact the Office of Candidate Services at 610-436-2999. All other majors - no retest is needed until applying for student teaching except in rare cases. Some school districts hosting early field students and student teachers require a TB test issued within the year they begin their school district assignment.
NOTE: School district requirements take precedence over university policy. Failure to maintain a current set of clearances will prevent you from enrollment and/or may require your dismissal from field-based courses, blocked classes, and student teaching.
Degree Completion Requirements
To be cleared for graduation with a B.S.Ed. in Special Education, all undergraduate students must complete the following requirements:
- Complete all coursework - refer to undergraduate catalog/program guidance sheet
- Achieve grades of C and above in all special education coursework
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
- Achieve and maintain Teacher Candidacy Status - access to designated advanced professional education courses will be restricted to teacher candidates who have applied for and received Teacher Candidacy status.
The Department of Special Education offers a program of study leading to certification at the PreK-12 level. B.S.Ed. in Special Education - PreK-12 will qualify students for PDE special education certification at the PreK-12 level.
Upon completion of all coursework, students will qualify for award of the B.S.Ed. degree in Special Education. Students must be awarded the degree before they can be recommended for certification.
Upon award of the degree and achievement of passing scores on state certification exams, students will be recommended for certification. The initial certification qualifies students for a Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate in PK-12 Special Education, valid for six years of teaching. Passing scores on state certification exams are required for certification.
Chair and Assistant Chair
Dr. Beatrice Adera | REC 304 | email@example.com | 610-738- 0455
Dr. Dawn Patterson | Recitation 210D | firstname.lastname@example.org | 610-436-3363
Student Success Coordinators - available for additional academic advising support:
Ms. Michelle Adkins | 201B Recitation Hall | Madkins@wcupa.edu | 610-436-2521
Mr. Thom Nixon | 201A Recitation Hall | Tnixon@wcupa.edu | 610-436-3408