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Special Education: Elementary (BA)


Student majors in the Special Education program are trained to be imaginative, enthusiastic and supportive of all children in all environments. This accredited program focuses on creating strong bonds both in and out of the classroom and connecting with creative young minds on an altogether different level. With the majority of courses featuring a hands-on, experience-based component, SVSU students are able to have diverse field experiences across multiple grades and locations. These real-world opportunities provide Special Education majors the opportunity to implement evidence-based instruction under the supervision of SVSU faculty, supervisors and practicing teachers. As a whole, these aspiring educators learn how to effectively support and advocate for students who are eligible to receive special education services under Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cognitive Impairment and Learning Disabilities in a kindergarten through twelfth-grade and post-secondary setting. These cardinals don't just encourage their students—they imagine, play and create alongside them!

Cardinal Points

  • Nearly 100% of all Special Education majors are immediately employed upon graduating. 

  • SVSU's Special Education Program is Nationally Recognized by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). 

  • Students have practical teaching experiences through field placements in Saginaw, Midland and Bay counties and beyond prior to student teaching. 

  • Students are able to earn a special education teaching endorsement under the categories of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cognitive Impairment and Learning Disabilities. 

The Special Education curriculum at SVSU explores a variety of different disciplines and offers specialty endorsements in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Cognitive Impairment (CI) and Learning Disabilities (LD). Life as a Special Education major includes exemplary courses and diverse field experiences that prepare students for the road ahead whether that be certification, graduate school or immediate job placement.

Highlighted Courses

These are the Special Education core courses that apply to all three endorsement areas:

  • TE 430 Introduction to Special Education
  • TE 516 Classroom Management Techniques for Effective Instruction
  • TE 532 Assessment & Planning in Special Education
  • TE 535 Collaboration and Consultation in Education
  • TE 541 Teaching Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities: K-12+
  • TE 445 Seminar Special Education
  • TE 460 Student Teaching - Special Education

In addition, there are specialized courses designed specifically for each endorsement area to ensure SVSU students have the expertise to effectively teach youth who have Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cognitive Impairment and Learning Disabilities.

Complementary Minors/Majors

Our Students After Graduation...


Anchorage School District
Ionia Intermediate School District
Owen-Gage Schools
Inland Lakes High School
Pinconning Area Schools
Durand Area Schools
Meridian Public Schools
Saginaw Township Community Schools
Brandon Community Schools
PCMI Educational Services
Kenowa Hills Central Elementary
Chesaning Union High School
Midland ESA
Bay-Arena ISD
Genesee ISD

Career Opportunities

Post-Secondary Education
Special Education Teacher
Pre-School Teacher
Elementary Teacher
Middle School Teacher
High School Teacher
Supervisor (Special Education Administration)
Director (Special Education Administration)

  • 3% projected growth for the employment of special education teachers with a bachelor’s degree through 2028. (U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • $59,780 is the median yearly pay for a special education teacher in the U.S. (U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • With a bachelor’s degree from SVSU’s Special Education program, students are prepared for careers as teachers and advocates at every level of education. 

Fully integrated into social networks, SVSU Connect is a valuable networking space dedicated to the community of SVSU students, faculty and alumni which cultivates a culture of helping and giving back. In addition to connecting with each other, students at all points along their journey can reach out to alumni mentors for guidance and insight into making the most of their SVSU experience and successfully transitioning into life after graduation.