Special Education (PreK-8)
Today’s classrooms are filled with learners who have a diverse range of skill sets and personalities. The program provides students with the proficiencies and confidence needed to connect with every child, both with and without disabilities. Graduates successfully secure employment to teach in a wide range of settings, including urban schools as well as schools in suburban and rural areas. Graduates of the program leave Springfield College prepared and ready to lead classrooms of elementary-aged children, including those with exceptional learning needs.
Strong partnerships with area elementary schools
Partnerships with area elementary schools provide real-world learning opportunities that distinguish Springfield College elementary graduates from the rest. Preparation for becoming special education teachers begins in year one. Each week, students work with elementary children from partner elementary schools. Working in pairs, they prepare and lead lessons in science to a group of 12 children and begin to develop skills in differentiated instruction to support all learners. Field based experiences with elementary children continue through year four, at which time they begin student-teaching.
Early field experience in partner elementary schools with some of the area’s best teachers, allows students to see first-hand the ways in which what they learn through their coursework translates into elementary classrooms. Students experience important special education practices, such as developing individualized programming, designing and implementing interventions to support diverse learners, data collection and analysis, and collaboration with professionals in a variety of service fields.
Springfield College students develop the skills to plan from a universal design for learning perspective, to ensure meaningful access to the general education curriculum, to facilitate inclusive programming, and to embed assistive technology in their instruction. Teachers at Springfield College partner elementary schools are recognized at the local, state, and national levels for their leadership and teaching excellence.
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To comply with Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education regulations, students preparing to be special education teachers are required to complete one of the following arts and sciences majors: American studies, English, or mathematics and computer technology.