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K-12 Special Education Frequently Asked Questions


 What do I get?

Bachelors’ of Science in Special Education with a concentration in Adapted Curriculum or Accessing the General Curriculum,

Licensure: Virginia Teaching License: Kindergarten-12th grade Special Education: Adapted Curriculum or Kindergarten-12th grade Special Education: Accessing the General Education Curriculum. 

 What is the difference between adapted curriculum and general curriculum special education?

General curriculum licensure: prepares teacher candidates to work with students with disabilities who are pursuing a standard high school diploma and working within a general education classroom the majority of the time.

Adapted curriculum licensure prepares teacher candidates to work with students with disabilities who are more significantly impacted by their disability and working on a specialized curriculum.

 Can I complete both licensure area requirements?

Yes, with hard work and collaboration with your advisor you can pursue and complete both licensures.

 Who is eligible to apply?

Anyone who already holds a high school diploma and is interested in a career as a special educator is eligible.

 When does it start and how long does it take?

A full-time student will be able to complete the program in 4-years. Part-time students are subject to varying timelines.

 What kind of practical experience will I receive?

Each student participates in multiple field experiences prior to doing 2 student teaching placements. The field experiences will be in all K-12 school levels; elementary, middle, and high school. You will work with student with varying categories of disabilities.

 Where will I be taking courses and in what format?

Most teacher education courses take place on the JMU campus in Memorial Hall and are face to face courses. You will also take general education courses which can be offered all over the JMU campus.

 How many students are in the program?

The Special Education Program runs in a cohort model. The typical cohort is 20-25 students each year. If you are a full-time student, you can expect to have the same group of classmates for most of your teacher education classes. Some courses are open to students in other programs and, consequently, may be larger.

 Can I student teach outside the area as opposed to near Harrisonburg?

At this time, special education student teaching placements are limited to the school districts in and around James Madison University. Usually limited to no more than 1 hour of travel time in one direction.

 Can I still do the 1-year Master’s after completing the 4-year major program?

Yes, there are still options for completing the 1-year master’s although it is no longer required in order to get a teaching license.

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