The mission of the Special Education Program is to prepare knowledgeable educators
who understand child development and variations in student abilities, skills, and
maturation; and who use that knowledge to plan, implement, and evaluate educational
programs based on individual student needs, family input, and current research.
Alum calls Special Education a "Rewarding" Experience
We offer three degree program options for individuals interested in a career in special
- Undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) degree in Inclusive Education with initial North Carolina (NC) licensure in Special
Education, General Curriculum Grades K-12 and Elementary Education Grades K-6.
- Students with undergraduate degrees in Special Education or other education areas
can enter the Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) degree program and earn master’s level North Carolina licensure in one of three areas;
Gifted Creative and Innovative Education, Mild to Moderate Disabilities, or Severe/Profound
- Students who have bachelor degrees in a field other than education can pursue the
Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree and earn both their initial (A) and master's (M) level licensures in either
Special Education - Adapted or General Curriculum.
We offer two add-on licensure options for individuals seeking to expand their special
- An add-on license in the Adapted Curriculum is available to students in the BSED in
Inclusive Education. The AC add on prepares students to instruct learners with severe
disabilities in grades K-12. Students take four courses exploring topics such as understanding
students with severe disabilities, positive behavioral supports, teaching life skills
and academics to learners with significant intellectual disabilities, using assistive
technology, and assessing students with severe disabilities. The courses are offered
in a face to face format on the WCU campus. The program requires 12 student credit
hours of study (four courses), that can be completed in 4 consecutive semesters. Field
experiences will be built into the coursework. The four courses required to add on
the license are "Exceptional Learners in the Adapted Curriculum," "Positive Behavior
Interventions and Supports for Students with Severe Disabilities," "Assistive Technology,"
"Accessing the Adapted Curriculum."
- Undergraduates or graduate students can add on licensure in Academically or Intellectually Gifted (AIG) education Grades K-12. Teachers who hold or are eligible for a NC license in any
area can participate in this online program. Students in the AIG program learn techniques
for screening, identifying and evaluating gifted learners; explore models and methods
for differentiating instruction; learn how to promote creativity and problem solving;
and learn how to advocate for gifted students regardless of issues of gender, disability,
ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and language.
We offer an 18 hour minor in Special Education through which other majors can learn best practices for working with students with
In addition to these options, the Special Education Graduate Program offers teachers
a Professional Development Credential in three critical skill areas:
- Creativity and Differentiation
- Response to Intervention for Social and Emotional Behavior
- Collaboration with Families and Professionals
- Instructional Technology
This online professional development opportunity is highly interactive and will help address real
issues teachers face in today's classrooms.