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Why should I earn a special education degree?
Gain the skills necessary to give your students the opportunity to grow.
Ask any special ed teacher – there will be challenges, but the connections you form with your students are worth every bump in the road.
As programs grow, so does the demand for teachers with this important skill set.
What Can I Do With a Special Education Degree
- Special education teacher
- Special education specialist
Why study special education at BVU?
Partner with exercise science majors to host Unified Sports Day for special needs children. Collaborate with computer science students to develop virtual reality learning activities. From teamwork with your fellow students to advice from our supportive, experienced faculty, this is a journey you won’t have to take alone.
Through BVU’s partnerships with local schools, you will receive field experience in almost every class you take, and—with a quality degree in special education from BVU—you can not only pursue special education teaching but also program directing and developing in a variety of settings.
The Right Tools to Help Students
Education Students Visit Assistive Technology Center
Students from the Student Chapter of Council for Exceptional Children organization traveled to the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research. They spent hours learning about assistive technology which can help learners with reading, writing, organization, note-taking, math challenges, and resourcing skills. Learning about this assistive technology can be helpful for students with multiple needs (such as dyslexia) and increase their learning and engagement in the classroom.
You can earn your bachelor’s degree in special education without leaving your community. Hybrid courses combine the benefit of live video instruction with the convenience of online learning. In addition to a weekly class, hybrid students complete their coursework online and receive personalized advisement from local BVU site staff.
Special Education Courses
- Major in Special Education (56 credit hours)
The Education Core (16 credit hours)
The education core, which is required of all students seeking a teaching license, is the nucleus of the teacher education program and includes basic courses in education and psychology. Elementary education majors, students seeking secondary licensure, and Post Baccalaureate students are required to take all EDCO courses for a letter grade and to earn a minimum grade of “C-“ in each course.
- EDCO 250 Educational Psychology/Human Development and Field Experience*
- EDCO 280 History of American Education
- EDCO 291 Human Relations Field Experience (Note: Special Education majors complete ESSI 292)
- EDCO 390 Instructional Technology and Innovative Teaching
- EDCO 301 Introduction to Exceptional Learners
- ESSI 303 Methods of Teaching Differentiated Curriculum and Field Experience
* Prerequisite: Students must complete a background check prior to beginning this field experience. The
background check will be conducted by BVU's Human Resource department and is at the student's expense.
Special Education Courses (38 credit hours)
- ESSI 102 Introduction to Learners with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
- ESSI 103 Introduction to Learners with Significant Behavioral Disabilities
- ESSI 210 Special Education Law and Professional Practices with Field Experience
- ESSI 220 Multidisciplinary Assessment and Evaluation Practices
- ESSI 230 Transitions and Self-Determination
- ESSI 292 Instructional Strategies in Special Education and Field Experience
- ESSI 306 Methods for Teaching Students with Cognitive Disabilities with Field Experience
- ESSI 307 Methods for Teaching Students with Behavioral Disabilities with Field Experience
- ESSI 310 Behavior Interventions and Supports with Field Experience
- TEAC 494 Student Teaching - Elementary Special Education
- TEAC 495 Student Teaching – Secondary Special Education
Support Work (18 credit hours)
- EDUC 336 Literacy Foundations I
- EDUC 337 Literacy Foundations II OR SEDU 337 Literacy Foundations II
- EDUC 338 Literacy Methods and Field Experience OR SEDU 365 Methods of Reading in the Content Areas and Field Experience
- MATH 123 Mathematics for Elementary Education I
- PHED 321 Adapted Physical Education
- SEDU 421 Methods of Teaching Secondary Mathematics and Field Experience
Transfer to BVU
BVU has transfer agreements with Iowa’s community colleges, helping you get the most out of your hard-earned credits.
Contact an academic advisor at 712.749.1000 to see how your credits will transfer.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
We’ll help you figure out your options for financial assistance and possible scholarships.Learn More Info
Special Education Faculty
Our instructors are committed to helping you build the future in Iowa and beyond.See Our Faculty
Transfer Your Credits
Do you have previously earned credits or an associate degree? BVU accepts most — if not all — of your credits so you don’t have to retake courses.View Course Equivalencies
Earn a Master’s Degree Faster with Our Accelerated Program
With BVU's Plus One program, you can earn your special education, teaching English as a second language, or organizational leadership master's within one year of graduating with your bachelor’s degree.
Hybrid | On Campus
An elementary education major prepares future teachers to teach grades kindergarten through six.
Hybrid | On Campus
Designed for students who have an interest in an education-oriented career beyond becoming a licensed teacher.
Hybrid | Online
Education and Training
BVU's education & training minor supports individuals involved in training in human services agencies and related organizations.