Skip to main content

Undergraduate Program in Inclusive Education

B.S.Ed. in Inclusive Education

Students in inclusive education physical therapy class


The Inclusive Education program prepares candidates to teach in inclusive K - 6 settings as either elementary or special education teachers. Candidates complete an array of courses, field experiences and service which prepare them to help students with and without disabilities learn together as they master the general education curriculum.  From child development to educational philosophy, content methods to classroom management, language acquisition to English as a second language, candidates are well prepared to teach students with diverse learning needs.

With successful completion of the program and licensure requirements, students earn a Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) degree in Inclusive Education and are recommended to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for initial licensure in both Exceptional Children General Curriculum (K-12) and Elementary Education (K-6).  Inclusive Education graduates are highly sought after teachers who have flexibility in employment and the ways they choose to teach across their careers.

Learn About Admission

Program Requirements

The Inclusive Education degree requires 126 hours including 42 Liberal Studies hours, 27 hours in the Professional Education Sequence, and 57 hours of program/major courses..  Through this curriculum, students learn to effectively identify and assess students’ abilities and needs, differentiate instruction so that all students learn, and manage classrooms so school is a positive and productive experience. Candidates also practice new skills in course-related field experiences, build interpersonal strengths through community-based service learning activities, and tie it all together in a year-long internship their senior year.

Curriculum Guide

Supplement Your Major

Other majors can supplement their skill set with a Minor in Special Education through which they will gain information on students with disabilities and best practices for supporting their growth and development. Students can shape their minor by selecting special education elective courses specific to their interests and/or career goals.

The minor requires 18 hours including SPED 240: The Exceptional Child (3) and 15 hours of guided elective hours from the following options.

  • SPED 241, 310, 311, 315, 344, 400, 401, 407, 414, 471, 475, 477
  • CSD 451, 452
  • SPED 312, 423, 430 (Restrictions apply, see curriculum plan below)

This curriculum plan identifies minor requirements and details on guided elective options.

For additional information on our Special Education Minor or for specific questions, please contact Kelly Kelley.

The Adapted Curriculum Add-On Licensure (K-12) program leads to an Adapted Curriculum license that can be added to a license in any area of special education (e.g. SPED: General Curriculum). The add-on license in the adapted curriculum is available to students who want to add the license on to the BSED in Inclusive Education. Satisfactory completion of the BSED in Inclusive Education results in recommendation for the EC Special Education: General Curriculum license, allowing teachers to work with EC populations who have mild-to-moderate disabilities. Adding on the Adapted Curriculum license will also allow teachers to work with EC populations who have severe/profound disabilities.

The courses are available at the undergraduate level and are provided in face-to-face format, on-campus. The course sequence meets the state requirements for add-on adapted curriculum licensure, provided that the student also meets state requirements for Adapted Curriculum licensure exams. The four courses required to add on the license are:

  • SPED 241: Exceptional Learners in the Adapted Curriculum
  • SPED 311: Positive Behavioral Supports for Students with Severe Disabilities
  • SPED 344: Assistive Technology for Severe Disabilities
  • SPED 414 : Curriculum and Methods for Studetns in the Adapted Curriculum

To be considered for admission to the undergraduate Adapted Curriculum licensure program, you must hold or be eligible for a North Carolina license. BSED students in the Inclusive Education program are eligible to add on the license.

The program requires 12 student credit hours of study (four courses), that can be completed in 4 consecutive fall/spring semesters. Field experiences will be built into the coursework.

The AIG Add-On licensure (k-12) program leads to an AIG license that can be added to a license in any area of education (e.g., SPED: General Curriculum or Elementary Education). Adding on the AIG license will allow teachers to work with gifted student populations.

The courses are available at the undergraduate and graduate level and are provided in online format. The course sequence meets the state requirements for add-on AIG licesure. The four courses required to add on the license are:

  • SPED 400 or 500: Creative Thinking and Problem Solving
  • SPED 477 or 577: Curriculum Differentiation for Gifted and Creative Learners
  • SPED 471 or 571: Foundations of Gifted and Creative Education
  • SPED 475 or 575: Methods and Models of Gifted and Creative Education

To be considered for admission to the undergraduate or graduate AIG licensure program, you must hold or be eligible for a North Carolina license. BSED students are eligible to add on the license.

The program requires 12 student credit hours of study (four courses), that can be completed in as little as three consecutive semesters. Field experiences will be built into the coursework. Please note that one of the courses is offered in the summer semester only, and requires a one-week field experience on WCU’s Cullowhee campus. Two courses are offered in the fall, and one is offered in the spring.

Required Field Experience

Inclusive Education majors are required to complete 50 hours of service learning as part of the program.  Service learning nurtures development of one’s altruism, develops a respect for the dignity of others, and provides students with important experiences with community agencies and supports. Service is defined as time spent as a volunteer working in a recognized school, agency or community organization supporting individuals with and without disabilities and/or their families. Service appropriate for this requirement should involve working directly with individuals in a helping function.  It is also important to provide service across various community settings in order to develop a rich understanding of the diversity of individuals, families, academic programs and community resources. 

Students will complete 30 hours of specified service across 3 courses. Students will self-select an additional 20 hours of service to complete across 2 additional settings. Students are responsible for gaining approval from their course faculty or Suite 201 advisors for planned activities prior to their service and for documenting course specific and self-selected service details in their electronic portfolio according to the following schedule:

Course Plan Level Course Specific Service Self-Selected Service

Sophomore Year

SPED 240 – 10 hours

SPED 310 - 10 hours

Junior Year

EDEL 416 – 10 hours

SPED 312 - 10 hours

Senior Year

EDRD 440 – 10 hours  


Students must successfully document and reflect on their 50 hours of service by the end of their Intern I semester. Once all service hours have been successfully evaluated, student names will be submitted to the Registrar’s Office so the requirement can be recorded as met in student degree audits.

The College of Education and Allied Professions maintains a partnership with public schools throughout the region. As a student with a major in inclusive education, you’ll work with a group of highly qualified faculty in the School of Teaching and Learning and with cooperating teachers from the public schools.

Our students participate in a year-long internship during their senior year. Our two-stage internship gradually familiarizes you with real-world classrooms under the mentorship of dedicated, experienced public school teachers and a university supervisor.

Inclusive Education interns complete their internships in inclusive elementary classrooms working with students with and without disabilities. Interns are dually placed with elementary education and special education teacher teams where they will have extensive experiences mastering the competencies of both educator roles and building the collaboration skills necessary for effective inclusion and instruction of students with diverse learning needs.  Interns will spend time in the range of settings through which their teachers work and support their students.

While participating in Internship I, interns spend 15 hours a week in their K-6 public school classrooms while taking courses at WCU.  During Internship II, interns work in the same public school classrooms full time, Mondays through Fridays. Interns are evaluated on the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards using the Certificate of Teaching Capacity.

For additional internship information and deadlines, visit the Office of Field Experience website.

Office of Web Services