Student Teaching

Earn a master's in Special Education

Carlow University offers a Master of Art in Education with a Special Education Certification for Pre-K, K-12. The certification is available as a stand-along initial teaching certification or an add-on to an existing teaching certificate. The program can be completed in 1-2 years.

Program Highlights

  • Hybrid course options available
  • Earn your degree in 1-2 years
  • Integrated practicum experiences
  • Strong background in structured literacy
  • Field and student teaching placements may be arranged in locations across Pennsylvania

Special Education Curriculum

Carlow believes in the transformational power of education. We celebrate diversity, champion social justice, and work tirelessly to address issues of equity in education. The program will prepare college graduates, mid-life career changes or veteran educators to meet the needs of children with a wide variety of mental, physical, social, emotional and behavioral disabilities in multiple settings.

All courses are taught by experienced faculty and veteran educators. Students holding an initial teaching certification in any area can opt for a customized program. 

Study abroad opportunities 

Carlow offers two study abroad opportunities ideal for students studying special education.

  • Carlow Cares: Sligo, Ireland (Summer Program): Students participating in the program will stay in Sligo, Ireland, where they will be assigned to a school, hospital, or community setting which provides services to individuals with special needs. 
  • The Carlow Cares: Nicaragua program is designed as an alternative to spring break for students who are looking for a meaningful way to spend their time away from classes.  Students participating in this program will volunteer in rural schools or clinics that provide healthcare to Nicaraguans who cannot afford it.  

Certification and endorsement

Students do not have to be a practicing or licensed education in Pennsylvania to complete this degree.

Autism Endorsement

Students completing special education may also elect to complete coursework for the autism endorsement.  Special education certification is not required for the autism endorsement.  However, general education certification or special education certification is required by the PA Department of Education in order for an Autism Endorsement to be added. This certification may be in Early Childhood (Elementary), Middle Childhood, Special Education or Secondary Education (Level I or Level II licensure).  

All children deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be." - Rita Pierson, educator


Special Education Teacher Opportunities

  • Median pay: $61,030

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, special education teacher jobs are projected to grow through 2028 adding over 13,000 jobs. Job opportunities are primarily available at public schools, private schools and learning centers. 

Locally, special education teachers are employed at:

  • The Children's Center of Pittsburgh
  • The Watson Institute
  • Head Start of Fayette County
  • Tender Care Learning center
  • Woodland Hills School District