There are several exceptionality options for undergraduate and graduate study, including ample opportunities for classroom and field-based study and experiences through partnerships with area schools, intermediate units, organizations, and community events.
Through the College of Education's Conceptual Framework vision, the Department of Exceptionality Programs develops students into transforming educators and interpreters who not only effectively manage constant change but also meet the individualized needs of their future students and adults.
Programs of Study
The ASL/English Interpreting Program is a rigorous four-year interpreter education program. This program prepares students to interpret in various settings upon graduation. Students first learn ASL skills, then later in the program, they learn how to interpret between ASL and English. The students are instilled with the values of life-long learning.
Our Special Education: PK-12 and Early Childhood Education program offers students the opportunity to gain dual teaching certification in Special Education (PK-12) and Early Childhood Education (PK-4). We also offer a non-degree advanced teaching certification in Special Education (PK-8 and/or 7-12) for certified teachers and a Special Education Supervision Certification. These programs are accredited through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
M.Ed. in Special Education (Initial Dual Certification) is for or graduate students seeking an initial teaching certification for Special Education PK-8 (moving towards PK-12) Special Education and Early Childhood Education (PK-4).
M.Ed. in Special Education (Advanced Certification) is for graduate students who have a certification in a discipline other than special education and are seeking to expand certification to Special Education (currently for PK-8 and moving towards PK-12). The additional certification can expand options for employment.
M.S. in Special Education is for graduate students wanting to enhance their knowledge, skills, and dispositions, or take courses to specialize in a specific area of special education and who are not seeking certification. For example, students getting an M.S. in Special Education may already be teaching and want to gain the Social, Emotional, Behavioral Endorsement, Special Education Supervisory certification, or take extra courses in areas like reading or instructional technology.
Special Education Supervisory Certification Program is for graduate students who have taught in special education settings and are seeking special education supervisory certification through the Pennsylvania Department of Education. This program is 100% online and includes a 6 credit field-based capstone experience and can be completed in approximately a years-time. This program can be integrated into a Master in Science in Special Education degree.
Social, Emotional, Behavioral Endorsement is for post-baccalaureate students, who have a Pennsylvania Department of Education teaching certificate, seeking a 12 credits program (3 credits field-based), that can be added to their PDE teaching certification.
The Education of the Deaf/HH Program is a teacher preparation program. It is an undergraduate B.S. Dual Deaf Education (PK-12) and Early Childhood Education (PK-4) teacher certification program. Graduates of this program can become a teacher of deaf and hard of hearing children and youth or a general education pre-school through 4th grade teacher. This teacher certification program is accredited through CED, the Council on Education of Deaf, and PDE, the Pennsylvania Department of Education.