Special Education Non-Certification Tracks

The non-teaching tracks in Special Education prepare students to work with individuals with disabilities outside the classroom setting. This major will serve you well if:

  • You are pursuing a Special Education degree and plan to work with state, local, or nonprofit agencies that serve individuals with disabilities. This includes direct-service providers and advocacy groups.
  • You plan to pursue an advanced degree in special education or related fields (e.g., researchers in special education, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists).
  • You wish to work with individuals and families with disabilities in faith-based or church settings.

Special Education (BA): Non-teaching tracks

  • A minimum 50–52 credits are required for the non-teaching tracks, including 23–37 upper-division credits.
  • If you are an incoming student interested in the Special Education major, and listed Special Education as your first-choice major, you are admitted to the program along with admission to SPU. This will ensure that you receive advising and information about the Special Education program requirements. 

Special Education Studies emphasis

In collaboration with the special education advisor, students are placed in community-based settings working directly with individuals with disabilities, working in agencies that serve students with disabilities, or working alongside professors on research projects dealing with disability issues. 

  • A minimum 10 practicum credits are required to complete the major.
  • This practicum is set up in collaboration with a special education advisor or the students self-selects a placement for advisor approval.
  • This practicum is not for teacher certification. However, the practicum can take place in a non-traditional public school setting.  

Educational Ministry emphasis

Students in this track benefit from a partnership with the School of Education and SPU’s School of Theology. Coursework from both programs provides you with a foundation in both disability studies and educational ministry.

  • When you graduate from this program, you are prepared to address issues regarding individuals with disabilities in church and parachurch organizations.
  • Internship/Practicum requirements for this emphasis provide graduates with methods to foster inclusion of all individuals in worship and church life.
  • A minimum 10 practicum credits are required to complete the major.
  • The practicum is in collaboration with SPU’s School of Theology.

Entering and completing the major

In order to earn a degree, you must complete at least one academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, so if you change your mind about a major or minor, or want to include an additional program, you are able to do so, as outlined below.

Note that the University encourages you to enter your chosen major(s) and minor(s) by the start of your junior year. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should enter a major within their first two quarters at SPU.

  • If this is your first quarter at SPU and you identified the Special Education major as your first choice on your application for admission to the University, you have gained entry to the major.
  • To change to or add a major or minor in this department, follow these instructions
  • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
  • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements that are in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year you enter the major or minor.

Professional Certification Disclosure

SPU’s Undergraduate Teacher Certification Program meets the educational requirements for certification in the state of Washington. Each state has different professional licensure and certification requirements. Eligibility for certification/licensure may involve more than degree completion and may include professional examinations, background checks, and fingerprinting. The requirements for certification/licensure can change without notice.

The state professional licensing boards make the ultimate decision as to whether or not an individual will be eligible for licensure based on the rules and regulations in place at the time the individual submits their application for licensure. Find information here about certification/licensure in the state where you intend to teach.