Bachelor of Science in Special Education


$377 Per Credit

UW-Stout’s online Bachelor of Science in Special Education program prepares future teachers for a cross-categorical license to teach elementary, middle, and high school students with disabilities in the areas of learning, intellectual, emotional, and behavioral disabilities. Our Special Education online, degree completion program is designed for working adults. If you’re committed to living or working away from campus, our customized online instruction will prepare you to meet the needs of a diverse student population.

This program is designed to meet the requirements of licensure in the State of Wisconsin.

Program Description

As a special educator, your mission is to both advocate for your students and their families while providing an appropriate level education for each student’s ability. To succeed, you’ll need to know how to assess the characteristics of the learners you serve, design effective teaching strategies, and develop the right attitude to practice within established standards.

You’ll work with general education teachers to:

  • Develop lesson plans, materials, tests and access student learning
  • Adapt curriculum to be appropriate for each student
  • Teach specific learning strategies and study skills

The special education teacher responsibilities also include:

  • Assessment
  • Developing individual education and transition plans
  • Working with families and other support services

Increasingly, students with disabilities have been integrated into general education settings. Their education is usually supplemented by support services provided by a special education case manager. As a special education teacher, you must possess a working knowledge of all general education curriculum subjects and content.

Career Opportunities

According to the 2014–15 Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Employment of special education teachers is projected to grow six percent from 2012 to 2022. … Employment growth will be driven by continued demand for special education services. Many job opportunities will stem from the need to replace teachers who leave the occupation.”

With the exception of teachers who work with students with profound and multiple disabilities in self-contained classrooms, the vast majority of special education teachers now work in regular education settings with students who have learning, cognitive, and emotional/behavioral disabilities, thus the needs for cross-categorical certification.

When students with disabilities are served outside of regular education classrooms it is typically in a “resource room” where students with various disabilities are provided specialized instruction, either individually or in small groups. The teacher may spend some time with a student or small group working on such things as study skills, preparing for a test, organization and test-taking strategies, and other strategies that help them learn more effectively and efficiently.

The individual education and placement plans developed for students with special needs are increasingly driven by the student’s instructional and behavioral needs rather than by category of disability diagnosis. Similarly, special education teachers are assigned a caseload of students with special needs based on their education plans rather than disability. Cross-categorical certification allows teachers to effectively plan curriculum for and successfully teach a wide variety of students.


At UW-Stout, you’ll do more than earn an education—you’ll do on day one. We empower you with the skills and experiences necessary to thrive in today’s dynamic world. From innovative labs and studios to industry partnerships, we provide unparalleled opportunities for you to engage with real-world scenarios and gain invaluable hands-on experience. You’ll graduate not only with a degree but with the confidence and expertise to excel in your chosen field.

Universities of Wisconsin Application (All Student Types)

Common Application (New Freshman Only)

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