Elementary Special Education (1-8)

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The Elementary Special Ed major prepares teachers to work with children (kindergarten through eighth grade) who have who have high incidence disabilities. This type of teaching requires specialized skills, and Delaware State offers the perfect environment for developing those skills, with small class sizes and a supportive atmosphere that emphasizes direct faculty-student interactions. The program requires 70 hours of field experience and covers the latest methods in instruction, diagnosis, testing, child development, and assessment. In addition, our students develop strategies for meeting the often difficult challenges involved in special education.

The United States faces a critical shortage of special education teachers, so graduates of this program are likely to find many job opportunities.

Professional Preparation

All graduates become licensed teachers in the state of Delaware. The college has campus chapters of professional teaching organizations such as Kappa Delta Pi and the Council for Exceptional Children.

Students will develop professional teaching skills in

  • language development
  • remedial and developmental reading
  • behavior analysis and modification
  • assessment and diagnosis of exceptional students
  • lesson planning and classroom management
  • communication with parents and family members


All faculty in the Special Education program have teaching experience with learning-disabled students between grades 1 and 12.

Faculty in the College of Education, Health and Public Policy offers more than academic instruction. They act as mentors, taking a personal interest in students to help them meet challenges in the classroom, the professional world, and in life. College Of Education professors represent a diversity of cultural and ethnic backgrounds and have an impressive list of achievements in research and writing, as well as excellent connections within the education community.

Research and Experience

The Elementary Special Education major requires dozens of hours of direct classroom observation and student teaching experience, spread across three years of the program. The process begins in the sophomore year, with more than 20 hours of early field experience (EFE) and concludes with a full semester of student-teaching placement during the senior year.

Students have the opportunity to conduct research in behavior change and response to intervention (RTI). They present their findings during the annual Honor’s Day proceedings.