New component enhances Campbell’s Special Education program

Buies Creek, N.C.—Campbell’s Special Education teacher certification program begun this fall has been amended to include elementary education majors who are well on their way to receiving a degree. Dr. David Dennis, coordinator of the Special Education program at Campbell, explained how the new “Extension”component works.

“The Special Education program aligns itself pretty well with the education curriculum in general,” said Dennis. “A logical step was to offer a Special Education Extension program of which elementary education majors could take advantage without extending their graduation date.”

The component contains only five extra courses that can easily replace elective coursework requirements, Dennis explained. In the same amount of time, the majors not only receive a degree in elementary education, grades K-6, but a certification in Special Education.

Dennis went on to explain additional advantages of the Extension program.

“Since more students with special needs are now being included into regular education classrooms, teachers will be better prepared to work with the diverse educational needs of their classes,” he said. “In the job market we find ourselves in today, the teacher with special education certification is much more marketable.”

Campbell’s Special Education teacher certification program opened this fall with 15 students and is expected to continue to expand as knowledge of the program increases.

“This is a great start for a new program,” Dennis said. “It supports the already strong teacher education curriculum currently being provided. The pedagogical approach we’re using is a very practical, real world, real classroom methodology. And we are planning to be very involved in the community and local schools with students participating in different aspects of special education within those schools.”

The Special Education degree program initiated this fall provides a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and contains a minimum of 74 hours in the arts and sciences and 46 hours of professional education for a total of 120 hours. Introduction into the course of study begins at the fourth semester. Students complete course work in specific areas of special education which include the assessment of special needs students, students with learning disabilities, students with mild and moderate disabilities, students exhibiting behaviors related to behavioral and emotional disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and Special Education program development.

 In addition students participate in practicum experiences during their introduction coursework in exceptional children and during their senior year of study. The students also perform student teaching internships during the final semester of study.