The College of Education Offers a New Undergraduate Program

The College of Education Offers a New Undergraduate Program

By Maddie Little

The College of Education will soon be offering a new undergraduate program through the Division of Education and Leadership.

Students who complete the Dual Licensure Inclusive Educator Pathway will be eligible for both an elementary education teaching license and a special education endorsement.

How does the program work?

Students will work on their traditional program coursework for the first two years of the Early Childhood/Elementary Teacher Preparation program. Then, students can elect to concurrently pursue the Endorsement in Special Education during their junior year. Students who add the concentration to their degree will take one special education (SPED) inclusiveness class during the spring term of their junior year. Then, in their fourth year, candidates will take one additional SPED class each term. Candidates will also take a few SPED courses in the summer as well. During summer classes, candidates will complete a practicum and focus on extensive support needs.

Why implement this new program?

In the U.S., nearly 65% of students with disabilities spend 80% or more of their day in general education environments (NCES, 2020). Students with and without disabilities “are more successful when teachers (a) apply scientifically based instruction in the general classroom, (b) evaluate student progress to determine whether sufficient learning is occurring, and (c) adjust instruction based on the individual needs of students” (Prater, 2018). Many strategies for teaching learners with disabilities are equally effective for learners without disabilities. Several of these practices are already in use in the general education classroom, including multitiered support systems, universal design for learning (UDL), differentiated instruction, and learner-specific adaptations. 

“The skills and expertise gained from an inclusive educator dual-licensure program focused on these practices will have a positive impact on outcomes for K-12 students,” explains Shari Hopkins, professor of special education. Hopkins emphasized that it is essential that we teach our students these practices to help them be successful in any classroom.

Why should students elect to join this program?

The dual licensure program brings the general education and special education faculty together to ensure that their courses align with what students need to be successful as classroom teachers. This program offers more general education content knowledge to students that want to work in special education. It also provides students who want to be general educators with more tools in their tool belts for working with diverse learners.

Most importantly, this program supports all pre-service teaching students in serving a community of diverse learners.

NCES. (2022, May). Students With Disabilities. Coe – students with disabilities. Retrieved November 4, 2022, from

Prater, M. A. (2018). Supporting Students in General Education. In Teaching students with high-incidence disabilities: Strategies for diverse classrooms (pp. 259–259). essay, SAGE.

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