Education is a fundamental and necessary part of youth for all children. Special educators teach and support students with disabilities for success during the school years and prepares them for life after high school, including employment, further education, and independent living. Students with special needs require supports, accommodations, and effective instruction to enable them to succeed. Special Education teachers have the joy and the challenge of working with and forming relationships with students, their families and colleagues. The University of Oklahoma College of Education’s nationally recognized Special Education program works to ensure its graduates have the knowledge and the experiences needed to effectively teach students with special needs.
The Special Education curriculum is designed so that students can receive a Bachelor of Science degree in four years. Along with coursework, students complete over 400 mentored classroom hours prior to their student-teaching internship. During their sixteen-week internship, students observe, prepare and develop lesson plans, teach, and participate in all other Special Education teacher duties.
A Special Education student graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree. To obtain this degree students must complete three types of coursework including general education, professional education and specialized education as shown in the degree checksheet linked below.
Upon graduation and passing appropriate Oklahoma certification exams, students are recommended to the Oklahoma State Department of Education for Special Education certification in mild to moderate disabilities from pre-kindergarten through high school. One hundred percent (100%) of OU’s special education majors have passed the required state tests, which include the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET), Oklahoma Subject Area Test (OSAT), and the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination (OPTE). Students who desire elementary education certification need to take two additional courses and pass the elementary OSAT exam. If students desire a secondary certification in a content area such as history, math or English, the content area state OSAT exam will need to be passed after obtaining the initial special education certification.
Certification for Non-US Citizens
Non-US citizens are able to obtain Oklahoma Special Education teacher certification upon successful completion of their plan of study and the Oklahoma certification exams.