Department of Special Education

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Every student can learn, regardless of their ability or disability. Our teachers learn research-based practices designed to teach students with disabilities the academic and social skills they need to succeed in school and beyond.

The Department of Special Education is committed to improving the lives of children and youths with disabilities by preparing teachers at both the initial certification and advanced degree levels. Special education teachers are prepared to work in schools and agencies serving persons with a diverse range of disabilities age 0-21.

The mission of the Department of Special Education is to focus on effective instruction including:

  • Arranging instructional environments
  • Conducting individualized assessments
  • Delivering individualized lesson content
  • Strategies for managing behavior
  • Utilizing technology
University of Louisville Kentucky Autism Training Center

Special Education Faculty

Special Education faculty members are committed to continuous scientific research and bring in over $1 million each year in grant funding to support research, training, and service delivery. Faculty members have authored or co-authored numerous books including:

  • Characteristics of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders of Children and Youth (Tim Landrum)
  • Aligning IEPs to the Common Core State Standards (Ginevra Courtade)
  • Managing Classroom Behavior Using Positive Behavior Support (Terry Scott)
  • A Guide to Teaching Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders, Fall 2012 (Monica Delano)

Additionally, our faculty have published in the top professional journals in our field, including Behavioral Disorders, Exceptional Children, Intervention in School and Clinic, Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, Journal of Special Education, Teaching Exceptional Children, and Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities. Faculty are widely recognized and regularly present research across the nation and internationally – including Canada, Jamaica, Australia, Ireland, Germany, and New Zealand.

Special Education Programs

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Programs with an Online Option

Several programs are offered with an online option. Courses offered online are facilitated through Blackboard, the University-wide distance education platform. Programs with an online option offer 80% of the course work via Blackboard, however, all core courses are offered both online and face-to-face once a year.

Graduate Student Opportunities

Not only do special education graduate students have multiple opportunities to be involved with faculty research and work collaboratively on publications and presentations, but we're excited to announce receipt of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education for doctoral study. Read details about the doctoral scholarship.

Did You Know?

US News lists Special Education Teacher as a Top 50 best career in 2011 with a 17% projected growth (or 82,000 jobs) for the next 10 years.