Buies Creek, N.C.-According to the National Center for Education Statistics in 2006-2007, 13.6 percent of all public school students in the United States required Special Education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. And the need for Special Education teachers continues to be great. To respond to this need, Campbell University's School of Education will offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education in fall 2010.
Dean Karen Nery, whose teaching background is in Special Education, said the program is something she has been wanting for a long time. The School of Education is currently phasing out the Family and Consumer Sciences program, merging several of the courses, such as the Birth to Kindergarten teacher licensure, into the Professional Education curriculum, Nery explained.
"We looked at what was best for the School of Education and concluded that there is a much greater need for a Special Education program. The school systems have practically required it of us," Nery said.
The program was developed during the 2009 spring semester and is currently under review at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. It will be ready for implementation in the fall of 2010.
Based upon the general curriculum for Special Education programs around the state, the Campbell program is well-grounded in a liberal arts curriculum, containing a minimum of 64 hours in the arts and sciences and 57 hours of professional education pedagogy for a total of 128 hours. Introduction into the course study will begin no later than the fourth semester of study and will include an Introduction to Education, Curriculum, Children with Exceptionalities, Psychology of Teaching and Writing Across the Curriculum. As candidates begin coursework in the specific area of Special Education, study will include the following courses: Assessment of Special Needs Students, Students with Learning Disabilities, Students with Mild and Moderate Disabilities, Students exhibiting Behaviors related to Behavior/Emotional Disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism, Special Education Program Development and Adaptive Technology in Special Education. In addition, students will complete a practicum experience during their introduction coursework and an additional practicum course followed by student teaching in their final semester of study.
"With the Special Education track, I think we're doing a better job of meeting students' specific needs," said Nery. "It opens up a whole new area of job opportunities for education majors. I'm really excited to see this program get started at Campbell."