Special Education

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The PA Special Education Certification program equips Education major students with expert knowledge and best practices to significantly impact the lives of K-12 students who have special needs. This fully online, biblically integrated program maximizes a student’s capacity to engage these students in enriched and meaningful skill development and growth in all areas of life. Teachers with special education certification are in high demand as general educators or special educators in inclusive or more restrictive classrooms. 

At a glance

Programmatic Credits


Standard Completion Time:

1 semester


Why Study Special Education?

Special education training at Cairn equips general education and special education teachers with the vision, knowledge, and tools to expertly create instructional programs and environments that enable these individuals to learn effectively and enjoy more meaningful, productive, and richer lives. Upon successful completion of this program, PK-4 education graduates earn the PK-8 Special Education Certification, 7-12 education graduates earn the 7-12 Special Education Certification, and PK-12 education graduates earn either the PK-8 or 7-12 Special Education certification as selected at entry to the program. Candidates are also eligible to apply for Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Certification in Special Education.

Why Study Special Education at Cairn?

Up to 210 hours of integrated special education field experience and practicums prior to preservice teaching
Includes two Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) courses verified by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) with a focus on students with autism. ABA is the most research-supported scientific treatment for autism and is highly effective for individuals with other disabilities as well.
Option to add two more ABA courses to be eligible for PA Autism Spectrum Disorders endorsement and also meet the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) coursework requirements
Dual-level degree program option to simultaneously earn an MS in Special Education in Instruction or MS in Special Education in ABA

Career Paths

  • General Education Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Autistic Classroom Teacher
  • Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA)

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