Special Education Major

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Every year, the need for special educators increases—both across North Carolina and throughout the country—as current teachers retire and as more special needs students are identified. By majoring in special education at Barton, you’ll be qualified to help meet this demand. Our program offers a degree in Special Education with the opportunity for students to earn licensure in one or two areas of special education. Students who complete the Special Education degree may choose to seek a teaching license in Special Education: General Curriculum or in Special Education: Adapted Curriculum, or in both of these licensure areas. You will also have the opportunity to obtain a second degree, as well as an additional license, in elementary education, if you choose. In addition, you may take coursework that leads to North Carolina licensure in other areas as well.

Curriculum Requirements

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Special Education: Special Features

With Barton’s program in Special Education, you’ll be licensed to teach Kindergarten through 12th grade in the general education setting, the adapted curriculum setting, or in both of these types of special education programs. As part of your training, you’ll participate in many practicum experiences in various types of classrooms at a variety of grade levels.

Special Education Course Information

Required courses for all special education majors include:

  • Learners and Learning in the 21st Century with an integrated practicum
  • Introduction to Exceptional Children with an integrated practicum
  • Curriculum Development
  • Classroom Assessment
  • Children and Adolescent Literature
  • Practicum: Reading Laboratory
  • Elementary Reading
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Behavior Management Strategies for Special Education
  • Assessment in Special Education
  • Special Education Methods: General Curriculum
  • Special Education Methods: Adapted Curriculum
  • Teaching Skills Lab
  • Classroom Management
  • Methods courses in teaching language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies
  • Education Capstone
  • Student Teaching

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Several scholarships are awarded to second semester juniors about to enter their senior year. These scholarships are open to all education majors.

During the senior year, the Gamma Mu chapter of Kappa Delta Pi awards a scholarship to the graduate deemed the outstanding student teacher.

The department also awards a number of other endowed scholarships to rising seniors each spring.


You’ll complete a series of practicum placements that culminate in one full semester of student teaching. Usually in your sophomore year, you will take a course that includes class visits to local schools and time that you will spend individually in classrooms. That same year, you will also take a course that includes class visits to a variety of special education classrooms, and you will spend additional time observing and assisting in a classroom with children with special needs. In your junior year, you’ll spend 30 hours in a reading classroom. At the beginning of your senior year, you’ll spend one full day a week in your student-teaching placement. Your final semester is full-time student teaching in that classroom.

Special Education Career Opportunities

When you graduate from Barton, you’re fully qualified to teach special education. Our majors are employed as teachers in Wilson County, Wake County, Nash County, Johnston County, Mecklenburg County, and in various other schools in North Carolina and in other states.

You’re also prepared to enter graduate school in special education or other areas of education.

Clubs and Organizations

The Student Council for Exceptional Children Chapter gives you an opportunity to grow professionally and learn about other aspects of special-needs children. Students may also join the North Carolina Association of Educators, and high-achieving students are invited to be inducted into Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education.

School of Education

The Barton College Teacher Education program is approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and is nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The Teacher Education faculty members are highly qualified professionals who have experience teaching in public schools. Students are placed into the field early and have strong support from the community of public school partners, college faculty, and learners in the Teacher Education Program.

Contact Us

Dr. Jackie Ennis, Dean
School of Education
Hardy Center

800-345-4973 x6431
252-399-6571 (fax)