Program Overview

The B.A. in Special Education (K–12) is designed to prepare you to become a certified special education teacher. The program is a good fit for unlicensed substitute teachers, career changers, retired military personnel, school paraprofessionals, and others who feel the call to teach.

This challenging program teaches the content knowledge and effective teaching skills necessary to become a special education instructor for students with mild to moderate disabilities. As part of this program, you will also complete a supervised student teaching component designed to give you invaluable in-classroom experience.
 
Note: This degree is a cross-categorical model for initial certification. In some states, this program leads to dual licensure in Elementary Education and Special Education.

WGU is the first exclusively online university to receive NCATE accreditation for its degree programs that lead to teacher licensure.

Western Governors University is: 

  • Challenging—The ideal student is a motivated self-starter who can commit at least 15 to 20 hours per week to their studies.
  • Accredited—Western Governors University is regionally accredited.
  • Affordable and Nonprofit—Tuition is less than half the cost of other reputable online universities. Your tuition goes toward your education, not to shareholders.
  • Competency Based—An innovative learning model, designed for adult learners like you, that measures learning, not time spent in class.
  • Respected—Your degree coursework is relevant and up-to-date because it’s designed and developed in collaboration with industry experts.
  • Flexible and Online—With no set class times, you can log in and learn anytime, anywhere.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Bachelor

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree: Yes

    Accreditation & Licensing

    Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

    National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

    Requirements

    The program requires a total of 137 competency units (CUs), the equivalent to the traditional credit hour.

    To be admitted into this Teachers College program, you must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent. Applicants who do not possess an appropriate AA or AS degree will also be required to take and pass the WGU Readiness Assessment — a short, multi-part online admissions test that helps determine the likelihood of success in a WGU program.

    Before beginning the Demonstration Teaching (student teaching) portion of the degree program, you must also meet specific admissions requirements for the state in which you reside. These can include state-specific basic skills tests (such as the PRAXIS I and/or II). Registering and paying for these tests may be your responsibility. You are required to meet these state-specific requirements prior to beginning the Foundations of Teaching domain of study.

    School Overview

    WGU offers over 50 degree programs in teacher education, business, information technology, and healthcare (including nursing). These programs are best suited for individuals with at least one year of college experience.

    Online degrees based on your skills and knowledge

    At Western Governors University—a private, nonprofit, online university—your competence is the ultimate focus of every degree program. By emphasizing mastery of essential skills and knowledge as opposed to accumulating credit hours or seat time, WGU’s innovative approach to online learning rewards focused, hard-working adult learners. Progress toward your degree is based on passing rigorous assessments (such as tests, projects, assignments, etc.) which measure your skills and knowledge in your field of study. We call it competency-based learning.

    WGU’s rigorous yet flexible learning model gives the university a unique advantage over other online programs.

    Here’s what the WGU advantage means to you:

    Flexibility and Affordability. Our competency-based approach to learning allows for extensive personalization of your degree program. With assessments determining your success instead of credit hours or seat time, you’ll enjoy an education that can fit into your schedule. In most cases, you will access course material or study independently at the time and place you choose. Also, if you come into your program with years of knowledge and experience, you may be able to complete your assessments faster. Since you pay for tuition at a flat rate per six-month term, you’re paying for the time you need to complete your assessments. The faster you finish your assessments, the more money you can save.

    Credibility through Accreditation. WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Teachers College at WGU is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)—the first exclusively online teacher education institution to achieve this distinction. WGU’s nursing programs are also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington DC 20036).

    Commitment and Support. As a WGU student, you’ll have the support of a team of mentors committed to your success. You will work with a dedicated student mentor as well as course mentors who will support you every step of the way through your degree program. You’ll also interact with an online learning community of students in your same program, so you’re never alone.

    If you’re an organized, independent learner willing to devote at least 20 hours a week to your studies, but require flexibility in time and place to complete your education, WGU could be the smart choice. As a nonprofit institution, WGU does not rely on state or federal funding and is not subject to review from funding agencies.

    Note: In Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington, through partnerships with these states, WGU operates as WGU Indiana, WGU Missouri, WGU Tennessee, WGU Texas, and WGU Washington respectively. Students who live in these states will receive information from and ultimately enroll in these state universities.

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