School of Health Sciences & Education

Special Education

Earn a degree in Special Education from Saint Francis University

You will receive a B.S. Special Education degree that qualifies you to be recommended for PDE Special Education Certification PreK-12.


Whether you choose to work in 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.

 

Offered: On-Campus

CURRICULUM & COURSES

Special Education 

  • Degree Paths
  • Learning Objectives
  • Teaching Certification Exams and Requirements
  • Degree Paths

    Bachelor of Science in Special Education

    • Offered
      • On-Campus
    • Description
      •  Students receive a B.S. in Special Education that qualifies them to be recommended for the PDE Special Education Certification PreK-12
    • Course Catalog
    • Plan of Study

    Bachelor of Science, Early Childhood Special Education Concentration

    • Offered
      • On-Campus
    • Description
      • B. S in Education with Concentration in Early Childhood Special Education 
    • Course Catalog
    • Plan of Study

    Special Education-Minor


     

  • Student Learning Outcomes:

    • Content and Pedagogical Knowledge:  Pre-service teachers will acquire knowledge of teaching content and pedagogy including understanding and knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice, teaching standards, varying forms of assessment, differentiated instruction, technology integration, state and federal mandates, behavior management, and implementation of best practices.
    • Clinical Competence:  Pre-service teachers will possess the ability to provide effective instruction to a diverse population of students. Students within the professional program will utilize assessment and observation to guide instructional practices. Graduates will possess the necessary content knowledge as well as clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities to provide appropriate instruction for all learners in an educational environment conducive of learning.
    • Interpersonal and Communication Skills:  Pre-service teachers will possess interpersonal and communication skills including verbal, nonverbal, and written forms that result in effective information exchange with students, parents, administration, and colleagues.
    • Professionalism:  Graduates will demonstrate effective academic and professional skills, attributes, attitudes, and behaviors necessary to function as a practicing educator. Program completers will demonstrate qualities and characteristics as defined by the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) for recommendation for Level I teaching certification.
  • Teaching Certification Exams and Requirements

    An applicant for a teaching certificate must complete, in addition to all legal requirements, a program of teacher preparation approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Certification programs offered by Saint Francis University have been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. 

     

    The PAPA, PECT, and Praxis Series provide tests and other services for Pennsylvania and other states to use as part of the teacher licensing and certification process.

     

    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires that you pass basic skills testing to assess your ability in reading, writing, and mathematics by the end of your third semester.

     

    You must then pass the PECT or Praxis II exams, which consists of multiple tests that measure your knowledge of your respective teaching discipline, before you may student teach. Current certification testing requirements can be found on the PDE website.

    Important Links

    PAPA (Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment)

    PECT (Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests)

    Praxis

    Title II Required Reporting

     

     

Dedicated Professionals; Passionate Teachers

You will gain knowledge working with professors in the Education Department who are specialists in their respective fields of study. They are caring, dedicated professionals who love teaching both on-campus undergraduate students and providing flexible options for returning adult students.

 

Program Lead:  Dr. Stephanie Ivory, sivory@francis.edu814.472.2844

Career Outlook in Special Education

Employment of special education teachers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Demand for special education services and teachers should rise as children with disabilities are increasingly being identified earlier and enrolled in special education programs.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Special Education and Saint Francis University

  • What are field experiences?

    Field experiences are off-campus activities that provide opportunities to apply theories and concepts studied in the classroom. These experiences are directed by University faculty, facilitated by teacher mentors, and are an integral part of all education courses leading up to student teaching. Activities include, but are not limited to, observing, tutoring, lesson planning, and developing instructional materials. Field experiences may take place in public or non-public schools, or in community agencies approved by University faculty.

  • What is the International Honor Society in Education?

    Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), International Honor Society in Education, was founded in 1911 to foster excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching. For over a century, the Society has consistently grown, starting with a local chapter to become the international organization it is today, with an initiated membership that exceeds 1.2 million!

    Using a variety of programs, services, and products, KDP supports and advances educators throughout the phases and levels of their teaching careers.

    The Mission

    Kappa Delta Pi strives to sustain an honored community of diverse educators by promoting excellence and advancing scholarship, leadership, and service.

    The Vision

    Kappa Delta Pi desires to help committed educators be leaders in improving education for global citizenship.

    Learn more about KDP at kdp.org.

     

     

  • Are there Study Abroad Opportunities?

    Yes!

    Our students have served as part of the Education Team on the HUGS United mission trip as well as taken part in other study abroad and service-related opportunities.

  • What are the goals of Student Teaching?

    The student teaching semester is an extremely significant period in the teacher preparation program.  It represents both an end to undergraduate education and a beginning to the wonderful and challenging career of teaching.  It is both a requirement for certification, and an opportunity to prove that the teacher candidate deserves to belong to the learning community of the teaching profession.  

    It is the responsibility and mission of the Saint Francis University Education Department to ensure that all teacher candidates have the opportunity to gain experiences that allow them to practice, develop and demonstrate competencies in their certification area. Program candidates should be provided with a broad set of meaningful interactions with Pre-K-12 students and professional staff, as well as willing and qualified site mentors.

    The experience requires several other professionals: cooperating teachers, university supervisors, and building principals, as well as university and district administrators. 

    Student Teaching Goals

    The following goals provide a foundation for the Education Department’s professional program: 

    • To prepare teachers who are committed to students and their learning.  
    • To prepare teachers who are responsible for facilitating, managing, monitoring student learning. 
    • To prepare teachers who know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to diverse learners.
    • To prepare teachers who are reflective decision-makers; who understand theory, think systematically about their practice, and who learn from experience.
    • To prepare teachers to assume a variety of professional roles.
    • To prepare teachers who are members of learning communities. 

      For more information or questions regarding PDE certification, contact Melissa Peppetti at mpeppetti@francis.edu.
  • What is the Education Club?

    The Education Club is open to any student interested in pursuing teaching as a career, or in promoting the advancement of teaching.This club meets periodically and sponsors a variety of events such as guest speakers, service activities, and the American Education Week celebration.

     

  • What are my career prospects in Education?

    Our graduates find jobs in school districts across the United States. In fact, 98% of our recent graduates are employed or enrolled in graduate school.