Bachelor of Science in Education in
Special Education and Early Childhood Education
There is a national shortage of teachers who are certified in special education. Graduates with dual certification are in demand. Teachers seeking Special Education PK-8 certification in Pennsylvania must also be certified in either Early Childhood/Elementary (PK-4) of Elementary/Middle (4-8).
Ship’s BSEd in Special Education and Early Childhood Education program prepares students for certification in both PK-8 Special Education and in PK-4 Early Childhood. Students learn what it takes to work with typical learners as well as those with many different disabilities—intellectual, learning, and speech communication disabilities as well as autism and emotional/behavioral disorders.
Students can complete the degree requirements (135 credits) in 9 semesters. The curriculum includes:
- General education courses (48 credits),
- Professional core courses (75 credits), and
- Student teaching (12 credits) in two field placements
(8 weeks in a PK-4 inclusive environment and 8 weeks in a PK-8 Special Education setting).
Teacher Education/Special Education at Ship
At Ship, we want only the best students to enter teaching, so our admission standards are high. Those who successfully complete this program are qualified to apply for a dual PK-4 and Special Education PK-8 teacher certificate, which makes graduates eligible to teach in pre-school through eighth grade classrooms.
Shippensburg University has a rich heritage of preparing some of the finest teachers in the region. Our outstanding faculty is devoted to designing and teaching a demanding, relevant, philosophical and clinical curriculum. Faculty members are highly sensitive to the impact of cultural diversity on the growth and development of children. While these factors are important in the development of curriculum in any educational program, they are especially critical in the educational planning for students with disabilities.
Our students are well prepared to take the special education content tests necessary for teacher certification and have a perfect record of passing these challenging tests. Information about tests and registration can be found at the Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests website.
Practical Field Experiences
Students seeking dual certification in PK-4 and special education can look forward to more applied experiences with children and professionals in schools and other educational settings. Hands-on work in the field starts in the sophomore year at Ship. Students are required to complete at least 180 hours of clinical field experience. With the sophomore and junior hours added in, Ship students leave with 262 total hours of field experience.
These experiences allow students to observe and facilitate teaching practices in both private and public schools. Students take the theories and methods they learn in class and apply them in real classrooms before student teaching in their senior year.
Locally, Shippensburg University has placed students in 66 different districts, which has nearly 400 schools that serve the counties of Adams, Bedford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Philadelphia, and York. Additional information about field experiences can be found at the Office of Field Experiences.
The Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School provides a unique opportunity for Ship students to observe and participate in elementary school activities and classroom teaching experiences with children in kindergarten through fifth grade. The College of Education and Human Services faculty and Shippensburg Area School District teachers teach the lab school classes. The curriculum reflects the best developmental and educational practices. Lessons demonstrate how to apply the most current educational techniques.
The Bartos Child and Family Center, located in the same facility as Luhrs Elementary, provides an opportunity to engage with children ages one through five.
Financial Aid for Teachers
To encourage people to become and remain teachers, the federal government offers the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. Under this program, if you teach full-time for five years in a qualified elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency, you may be eligible for forgiveness of some of your student loans.
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who agree to teach for four years at a qualifying elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency. A grant does not need to be repaid.
Scholarships for education majors are available to all students who qualify. To find out if you are eligible to receive a scholarship, visit the Shippensburg University Scholarships page.
- Shippensburg Education Association helps future educators develop an understanding and appreciation for the education profession.
- Keystone State Reading Association helps promote literacy in local schools.
- Bridge for Kids serves children in area elementary schools.
- Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) open to students enrolled in elementary or secondary education programs who have an interest in the education of children with special needs.
- People Involved Equally (PIE) offers social opportunities, peer support, and assistance to and with area adults with developmental disabilities.
- Kappa Delta Pi is a national honorary organization for elementary and secondary education majors.