College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Special Education

Why Special Education?

student reading

Saint Joseph’s University offers a dual Special Education/Early Childhood/Elementary certification which provides pre-service teacher candidates with a thorough base in the foundations, principles, ethics, values, and methods of special education. This dual certification program examines issues of inclusion and least restrictive environment, the effect of socioeconomic background, and the impact of gender and race on learning. It provides candidates with state-of-the-art knowledge and skills in scientifically-based diagnostic and intervention programs that meet the needs of our increasingly diverse student population. Today, almost every classroom includes a number of students with disabilities -- either physical, educational, emotional, or a combination of all three. Our innovative curriculum is designed to develop and refine competencies in professional educators in order to meet the demands of teaching students with special needs in a variety of school environments, public and private, urban and suburban.

By deciding to become a dual certification candidate, to include a special education certification to your professional credentials, our graduates become much more marketable as they prepare to meet the demands of the contemporary classroom. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of special education teachers is expected to increase. Employment prospects should be excellent, as many districts report difficulties finding adequate numbers of certified special education teachers. With a Special Education Certification from Saint Joseph’s University, our graduates help fill the gap.

What our pre-service teacher candidates in the Special Education certification program are saying:

  • “I realized the importance of supporting students with special needs and helping them grow and become independent learners.”
  • “I understood that classrooms are becoming increasingly diverse, and it is my responsibility to know how to meet the needs of every child in my future classroom.”
  • “I feel like I will be able to touch the lives of more students, contribute more to my field, and touch the future.”
  • “Every child has a right to a high quality education.” 
  • “With my special education certification, I now have the skills to reach and teach all students.”
A career in Special Education is rigorous, intellectual and ethical work.