Students who are interested in working with special education students in a public or accredited private school in kindergarten - grade 12 should consider certification in Special Education. Special Education teachers will work with students with identified disabilities (learning disabilities, behavior disorders, mental disabilities, physical or other health impairments). Special Education teachers are also responsible for assessing students to determine their disability and the required accommodations in the classroom (IEP), and meet with family to discuss appropriate educational goals and support.
There are currently two different certification programs available in Special Education at Missouri State University. If you are interested in Special Education, you will need to choose one of the programs below:
Cross Categorical, Mild/Moderate Special Education (K-12) (SEACT Program)
Cross Categorical, Mild/Moderate Special Education is the most common area of Special Education, and is considered one of the highest need areas of certification in the State of Missouri and throughout the country. Students who pursue certification in Cross Categorical, Mild/Moderate Special Education as a post bac or masters student are eligible for a Provisional Teaching certificate and are required to work as a teacher in a K-12 classroom while completing their coursework. This requirement may also be met by working as a full-time para-professional in a classroom serving students with mild/moderate disabilities. Because most students teach full-time while pursuing this combined certification and master's program, it is considered a part-time, 3-year program.
Students in this area of Special Education work with students who have mild to moderate disabilities. They do not work with students who have severe disabilities, and do not work with students who are diagnosed with autism or visual impairments.
Visually Impaired Certification (Birth - Grade 12) (VIP Program)
While many Visually Impaired teachers have chosen to add this certification to their existing certificate in Cross Categorical Special Education, Visually Impaired certification can be completed at Missouri State as an initial certificate program. Teachers with certification in Visually Impaired (Blind and Partially Sighted) [Birth - Grade 12] work specifically with students who have visual impairments. This program was designed to allow students to earn initial certification in Missouri, however since the program is offered online candidates from other states may access the coursework and then could transfer their certification from Missouri to their home state*.
*(Missouri State does not guarantee the transferability of this certification to other states. Students are encouraged to investigate the requirements to transfer this certificate to their home state prior to beginning this program).