Special Education is a rewarding field for individuals who like to help others. This program will prepare people to teach students who have special needs that affect their ability to learn.
Special education and teaching programs include topics such as:
Special needs for exceptional students
Individualized study plans
The Education Training Academy (EdTrAc) was founded in 2005 through support of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant.
The grant provided funding to develop and implement certain courses and services that would meet the goals listed below.
Following the expiration of the grant in 2009, Normandale has continued to support the EdTrAc program to ensure the quality foundational preparation of future teachers.
Careers in Special Education
Projected Job Growth
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of special education teachers is projected to grow 6% from 2012 to 2022.
The employment growth of special education teachers will vary by type.
However, overall demand will be driven by increasing enrollment and continued need for special education services.
Minnesota is currently experiencing a shortage of teachers in special education, specifically Emotional/Behavior Disorders (EBD) which our program prepares teachers for.
Types of Jobs
Individuals taking Special Education Foundations may choose to focus on the following careers:
Adult Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers
High School Special Education Teachers
Interpreters and Translators
Kindergarten and Elementary School Special Education Teachers
Preschool Special Education Teachers
ISeek.org lists the median salary in Minnesota for the following classifications of Special Education Teachers:
Preschool - $60,780 annually ($29.22 per hour)
Kindergarten & Elementary School – $54,132 annually ($26.03 per hour)
Middle School - $62,177 annually ($29.89 per hour)
High School - $61,902 annually ($29.76 per hour).
Special education programs prepare students to identify and teach students with emotional disturbances, physical, or developmental challenges. Challenges may include autism, speech and language impairments, blindness, deafness, or emotional disabilities.
Degrees & Certificates in Special Education Foundations
The Associate of Science degree in Special Education Foundations prepares students for a major in special education at a 4-year college or university. It also is excellent preparation for students who wish to work as paraprofessionals or educational assistants in a PK-12 classroom.
This degree incorporates all Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) goals. The degree also includes the requirements for entrance into third-year courses in many other four-year universities or private schools offering a special education major.
Normandale has a partnership which enables students to obtain a four-year special education degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato on the Normandale campus. Completion of the degree does not guarantee entrance into any particular program.
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The Special Education Foundations Transfer Pathway (AS) offers students a powerful option: the opportunity to complete an Associate of Science degree with course credits that directly transfer to designated Special Education bachelor's degree programs at Minnesota State universities.
*The curriculum has been specifically designed so that students completing this pathway degree and transferring to one of the seven Minnesota State universities enter the university with junior-year status. All courses in the Transfer Pathway associate degree will directly transfer and apply to the designated bachelor's degree programs in a related field.
*Universities within the Minnesota State system include Bemidji State University; Metropolitan State University; Minnesota State University, Mankato; Minnesota State University Moorhead; Southwest Minnesota State University; St. Cloud State University; and Winona State University.
Minnesota State University, Mankato offers the Bachelor of Science program in Special Education on the Normandale Community College campus.
Individuals who have been arrested, charged or convicted of any criminal offense should investigate the impact that the arrest, charge or conviction may have on their chances of employment in the field they intend to study or on their chances to obtain federal, state and other higher education financial aid.
Incorporate the following Required Courses into the General Education/Minnesota Transfer Curriculum or Additional Course Requirements sections below.