For many college students, education is a popular major and is offered to some degree on the majority of college campuses around the world. As an education major, students can expect to learn about teaching methods and theories, educational law, students with exceptional abilities, classroom management, and also to practice these skills and theories in a variety of classroom settings throughout their college career.
However, there are some college programs in education that are important to the education field, but are not readily offered at a large number of colleges and universities. The rarity of these majors has been based on data available from the College Board, which has listed these programs as being offered at fewer than 100 colleges and universities registered with the Board. All of these programs are offered as a bachelor's degree, while some may also be offered at the associates, masters, and doctoral levels at many more institutions.
Everyone deserves an education, but some students who may have special disabilities will need adaptive measures in order to accommodate for a disability. Majors in special education or intervention specialist education can be found at many colleges and universities, but programs centered around these specific disabilities can only be found at a handful of schools.
Students majoring in early childhood special education can expect to learn methods, theories, and laws related to teaching students with special needs, usually in grades preK through three. Only thirty-seven colleges and universities offer this program, including Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.
Unfortunately, some students with special needs have multiple disabilities, making it more difficult for these students to learn in a traditional classroom environment. Students majoring in multiple disabilities education learn how to accommodate these students and create a positive educational environment for them. Eighteen colleges and universities offer this program, including Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.
Whether a student has been in an accident or suffered brain injuries at birth, injuries sustained to the brain or brain stem can make a huge difference in how a student learns. Students in this program will learn how to adapt lessons to complications of brain injuries, brain development, and take general education courses in addition to classes in anatomy and physiology. Only one school, Dillard University in Dillard, Louisiana, offers this program.
Sometimes, students enrolled in special needs education programs may need adaptations made to traditional teaching methods due to an impairment. While these students may otherwise not have other reasons for being placed in special needs programs, the nature of their disability, may qualify these students for special instructional and assessment methods and special educational services.
Students who are blind or otherwise visually impaired pose a challenge to educators, who must adapt most of the educational process to fit the needs of these students. Students in this major also learn how to identify students who may need special support services and adaptive techniques for students with visual impairments. Four colleges and universities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico offer this program, including Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Physical handicaps can impact a student's ability to learn in many different ways, from not being able to jump around in music class to not being able to hold a pencil. Students in physically handicapped education programs learn not only how to teach students with physical handicaps, but also how to recognize, diagnose, and counsel these students, as well as provide them with special services to support them. Only nine colleges and universities offer this program, including LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Additionally, students looking to enroll in disability-specific education programs can look into programs that prepare teachers to work with students with hearing, speech, emotional, and mental disabilities, in addition to Autism education programs and education of students with developmental delays and disabilities.
Regardless of a student's interest, students interested in any area of special needs education can expect to be encouraged to think outside the box when it comes to teaching students with special needs. However, careers in working with students with disabilities and helping them to learn and grow can be a rewarding, fulfilling, and challenging experience.
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