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Special Education


As a Special Education major at PennWest Edinboro, you’ll earn a dual degree in the content area and education level that interests you most, which will lead to teacher certification, as well as a Special Education certificate. Whether you choose to work in an early childhood, middle school or secondary education setting, you will build age-appropriate skills in the areas of learning support, emotional support, life skills and autistic support so you can help every child succeed.

PA public school students require special education services

Meet A Growing Need

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than a quarter million students in Pennsylvania public schools alone require special education services.

Why Edinboro Stands Out.

Since its founding in 1857, Edinboro has focused on teacher education. Our strong legacy translates to a philosophy of excellence and a commitment to developing future teachers who are prepared to make a difference in the lives of all children and their families.

PennWest Edinboro led the movement for inclusion of individuals with disabilities in 1973 with the Enactment of Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act. This Act states that if a service is provided to the non-disabled person, it must also be available to individuals with disabilities. This access clause in the law set the basis for PennWest Edinboro to take the lead in the State System of Higher Education initiative to serve individuals with disabilities.

How Edinboro Supports You.

Education is not just about reading, writing and arithmetic today. Teachers must provide specialized and individualized instruction at every grade level, from kindergarten through high school. PennWest Edinboro's Special Education program prepares you to meet the diverse needs of these students.

As you develop core professional competencies using problem-solving and database approaches, you'll grow in your ability to work with children, families and adults with a broad range of needs.

Opportunities abound for students like you.

Learn from faculty who are passionate about teaching, research and scholarship. Most have terminal degrees in their fields as well as classroom teaching experience. They bring the real world and best practices together to create a dynamic and relevant learning environment.

Go beyond the classroom early and often, in both rural and urban schools. Your experience will include teacher-shadowing as well as a semester of student teaching. Some students participate in our partnership with the Philadelphia Urban experience or volunteer to student teach in Mexico and Ireland.

Choose Edinboro's Living and Learning residence floor for Education majors. It's a way to immerse yourself in your future profession while you form lifetime friendships.

Join a professional organization such as Council for Exceptional Children, Student Pennsylvania State Education Association or BOROeyc, or the Kappa Delta Pi Honors Fraternity.

Graduate ready to join Edinboro alumni who are teaching all across the country, or pursuing graduate programs in reading education, curriculum and instruction, school psychology, counseling or special education programs concentrating in autism, behavior management and learning disabilities.

Become Part Of The Edinboro Legacy.

There are many reasons to pursue your Education degree at PennWest Edinboro.

My four and a half years at Edinboro did more than prepare me for my career in teaching. I felt confident going into my classroom on that first day, ready to greet all of my children! I was taught how to treat every student as an individual, and I learned how to meet the needs of every single child in my classroom. From my professors, to my advisor, to my peers, I learned and grew so much as an educator. Edinboro will always have a special place in my heart!

Lauren Hippo,
Class of 2016 - 4th grade teacher, LaFayette Elementary, Harnett County Schools, Kipling, NC

Accreditations Matter

Edinboro's programs are accredited by the following organizations:

A Dual Degree Makes You More Valuable.

Edinboro offers many opportunities for dual certification. See the plan of study and curriculum requirements for each program here:

Questions About This Program?

Dr. Penelope Orr
Department Chair
125 Butterfield Hall
Email: porr@pennwest.edu
Phone: 814-732-1684

Start Today.

Take charge of your experience. Ask questions, meet our students and professors, and see the campus yourself.

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