Frequently Asked Questions

Congratulations! By visiting our webpage, you are taking positive steps toward a brighter future. Many students like you have wondered how the program can help them create the career they’ve always wanted. We’ve compiled some of our most Frequently Asked Questions so you can find out a little more about our program, to see if it’s right for you.

What do Special Education teachers with cross-categorical certification do?

With the exception of teachers who work with students with profound and multiple disabilities in self-contained classrooms, the vast majority of special education teachers now work in regular education settings with students who have learning, cognitive, and emotional/behavioral disabilities, thus the needs for cross-categorical certification.

When students with disabilities are served outside of regular education classrooms it is typically in a "resource room" where students with various disabilities are provided specialized instruction, either individually or in small groups. The teacher may spend some time with a student or small group working on such things as study skills, preparing for a test, organization and test-taking strategies, and other strategies that help them learn more effectively and efficiently.

The individual education and placement plans developed for students with special needs are increasingly driven by the student’s instructional and behavioral needs rather than by category of disability diagnosis. Similarly, special education teachers are assigned a caseload of students with special needs based on their education plans rather than disability. Cross-categorical certification allows teachers to effectively plan curriculum for and successfully teach a wide variety of students.

What is the job market for special education teachers?

According to the Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11, “The number of special education teachers is expected to increase by 17 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Although student enrollments in general are expected to grow more slowly than in the past, continued increases in the number of special education students needing services will generate a greater need for special education teachers.

The number of students requiring special education services has grown steadily in recent years because of improvements that have allowed learning disabilities to be diagnosed at earlier ages. In addition, legislation emphasizing training and employment for individuals with disabilities and educational reforms requiring higher standards for graduation have increased demand for special education services.

In addition to job openings resulting from growth, a large number of openings will result from the need to replace special education teachers who switch to teaching general education, change careers altogether, or retire. At the same time, many school districts report difficulty finding sufficient numbers of qualified teachers. As a result, special education teachers should have excellent job prospects.”



For answers to questions not addressed here, contact the program director at the address, telephone, or e-mail address listed on the Contact Information page.