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.
Ship’s BSEd in Special Education and Early Childhood Education program prepares you for certification in both PK-8 Special Education and in PK-4 Early Childhood. You will 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.
Our 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.
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.
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.
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). A degree in Special Education from Ship increases your potential for employment in your chosen field.
The average salary for Special Education jobs in PA is $50,000.
Students can complete the degree requirements (135 credits) in 9 semesters. The curriculum includes:
- General education courses (48 credits)
- Professional core courses (75 credits)
- 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)
- 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.