About the Degree
The Bachelor’s of Arts (B.A.) degree in Special Education provides preservice teachers with the knowledge and skills to teach K-12 students with mild to moderate disabilities through rigorous coursework, structured practicum experiences, and frequent scholarship and service opportunities.
The goal of our program is to prepare our future teachers and leaders with evidence-based practices related to behavior management, social skills, academics, and assessments. Additionally, we value providing real world applications and experiences for our students through practicum and service opportunities. We also provide authentic feedback and support throughout all of these experiences and opportunities.
Our special education program values experiences in and out of the classroom. Therefore, our students are active in coursework, research, and scholarship.
Students have opportunities to work with current, practicing teachers in local schools to apply the evidence-based practices learned throughout the coursework. Specifically, students spend at least 100 hours in the field before internship. These practicum experiences are structured times teacher candidates can work with cooperating teachers (CTs) and UofSC Aiken instructors. The beginning practicum experiences will incorporate observations and some lesson planning. Once students are enrolled in advanced coursework, they will have opportunities to teach K-12 students with disabilities in various settings (e.g., coteaching, resource, self-contained) with the support of both their CTs and instructors. The instructors plan pre-conferences with students to review lesson plans before implementing the plan with K-12 students. This mimics the observation process that is completed in most schools with teachers and administrators.
Additionally, students have the opportunity to give back to the community through our Council for Exceptional Children student group on campus. This group has planned events at local schools for students with disabilities. Specifically, our students planned fall and winter festivals with crafts and games for elementary students. They used their knowledge about special education to develop adapted games to provide access to all students.
Moreover, our students are active scholars and researchers. Currently, one of our undergraduate students is implementing a self-regulation intervention at a local school with 40 preschoolers. Three of our students presented at the South Carolina Council for Exceptional Children’s conference in Myrtle Beach last spring and four of our students are providing professional development to local teachers. Additionally, our students routinely present at the UofSC Aiken Scholar Showcase.
Plans of Study
At UofSC Aiken, we offer various paths toward teacher licensure. Our B.A. program provides the required coursework for certification in K-12 multi-categorical special education. This can be completed on our Aiken campus or through Palmetto College. Additionally, we offer add-on licensure pathways for teachers who are currently certified.
Please click on the links below to learn more about these specifics paths for licensure.
Victoria Reyes, Spring 2020 Intern
“The special education program at UofSC Aiken has prepared me for future endeavors and has given me opportunities of a lifetime that I never thought I would have. The professors truly care for you as a person and not as just another student in their class.”
Taylor Doughty, Spring 2021 Intern
“The special education program at UofSC Aiken has really challenged me. The professors push me to do my best and expect nothing less. I know that when I leave, I will be a confident teacher! I can’t wait to change the lives of students with intellectual disabilities!"
Falcone Dunlap, Spring 2021 Intern
"This program has given me countless opportunities to learn more and grow as a person and as a future educator. The professors, faculty, and staff care about my success inside and outside of the classroom. These individuals go above and beyond to ensure my success, which has helped me maintain a nearly perfect cumulative GPA during my time here. I have been able to present undergraduate research at the South Carolina Council for Exceptional Children conference along with my fellow classmates, which not many people have the opportunity to do. I have assisted with presenting research at the Freedman Learning Center in Aiken and have been able to create close connections within many of the Aiken County Schools. I have been blessed with a wonderful support system both inside and outside of the school, which has helped me become successful in my time here at UofSC Aiken."