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Special Education Teacher Training Program

  • Available as major (B.S. degree) and as a focus, both leading to Illinois Learning/Behavior Specialist 1 Endorsement

    Equip yourself to affirm the God-given dignity of students with disabilities through high- quality teaching and intervention. Become a special education teacher.

  • As a special education teacher, you will provide intervention and support to students with disabilities in curricular and extra-curricular areas, as student needs demand.

    At Olivet, you can:   

    • Learn techniques to support students both academically and emotionally.
    • Equip yourself to teach effectively in a multi-cultural classroom.
    • Develop a Christian perspective on the value of individuals, persons with disabilities, service, professional growth and collaboration.
    • Learn how to plan lessons and manage a classroom.
    • Grow in your critical thinking and research skills.
    • Understand the historical, Biblical and contemporary perspectives regarding care for individuals with disabilities.
    • Accomplish so much more!

    The role of a special educator varies greatly depending upon the school, district and students being served. Special educators may work in a team teaching setting, a resource setting, a self-contained classroom or a combination of the three. You may be called on to teach courses in reading, writing, math, social science or science. You will also be asked to support students behaviorally and emotionally. With a student's individualized needs in mind, you will be responsible for designing instructional programs, lessons and learning activities to contribute to student growth. You will create a positive educational climate in which your students can learn.

    You will also have the responsibility of showing your students what it means to be a Christian and a good citizen in today's world. Students will be observing you. When you take an interest and genuine concern in your students - and respect their different points of view - they will take note.  

    Putting knowledge to work   

    Before your student teaching experience, you will complete 130 hours of field experiences, including 85 hours working with students with disabilities in a multi-cultural setting. The Teacher Education Program will assist you in securing the school placements for all your field experiences.

    Your  student teaching  assignment gives you experience in taking on more responsibilities for directing the learning activities of a group of students in a real-world classroom. Minimum student teaching time is 60 full official school days. You will be supervised by a classroom teacher, the principal of the school and the university supervisor. A faculty member will observe you on site. This is a time for you to grow, learn and develop as a teacher.

    Our  Student Education Association  (SEA) empowers you and other future educators to invest in the lives of the next generation. Through professional and social activities, you will bond with other students, faculty and educators who are already working in their chosen careers. SEA is the largest student organization on campus with more than 200 students who take part in activities each year.

    Kappa Delta Pi , an international honor society in education, was established in 1911. This group exists for the purpose of promoting professionalism and excellence in teachers, and to recognize outstanding contributions in the field of education. Each year, 80 students are inducted into the Nu Beta Chapter at Olivet, which was chartered in 1973. Juniors and seniors majoring in various fields of education are eligible with a minimum grade point average of 3.3.

    "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" (Matthew 25:40)


    A career as a special education teacher may be right for you if you enjoy:

    • Teaching students whom others have struggled to reach.
    • The challenges and rewards of helping children overcome difficulties.
    • Spending time with children and youth with disabilities.
    • The unique insights, gifts and contributions that come from students with disabilities.
    • Impacting children in a positive, lasting way.

    For more information

    This is a brief overview of what this program offers. For more detailed information about procedures and requirements, go to the online catalog.

    Special Education is part of School of Education.