Elementary Education / Special Education (BA)


Earn your Elementary Education Degree at SNHU

Become an engaging, inspiring leader in the classroom with the Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Special Education degree program at Southern New Hampshire University. This degree program leads to elementary teaching certification for grades K-8 and general special education certification for grades K-12.

Throughout this program, you’ll gain comprehensive knowledge of instructional theory and practice and general special education. You’ll also examine traditional and innovative research-based approaches to teaching a diverse population of students. And you’ll meet the requirements for both the elementary and special education endorsements without taking any additional credits (120 total credits).

Graduates of this program are highly marketable candidates for both elementary education and special education teaching positions.

Complete your BA and MAT in Just Five Years

Looking for an opportunity to refine your teaching skills even more? Further pursue your passion for teaching and working with children as you earn your bachelor's and master's degrees — as well as your teacher certification — in our combined five-year program.

Whether you're entering college straight out of high school or you've been working in the "real world" and always wanted to teach, you can add SNHU's Master of Arts in Teaching program to the BA in Elementary Education degree program, taking your preparation for teaching that much further – and making you that much more marketable. With so much hands-on experience, a five-year MAT program helps prepare you for the competitive teaching field by providing more breadth of experience and knowledge in the field.

Elementary Education Degree / Special Education Certification Curriculum

Required Core Courses

General Education Program

Elementary Education/Special Education Courses

EDU-200: Introduction to Education
This course gives students an overview of American education through analysis of its historical and philosophical roots. Contemporary issues in American education are emphasized. Non-education majors may use this course as a social science elective.
EDU-208: Assessment, Accountability and Teaching in the Classroom
This basic course for classroom teachers explores various techniques necessary for designing and implementing authentic measures to assess successful student learning.
MUE-261, EDU-270, 271 or 220
EDU-235: Learning with Technology
This course develops students' knowledge and skill with technology with the ultimate aim of using technology to enhance student learning and achievement. This course also introduces students to learning target (standards/outcomes) and a general model of curriculum development, implementation and assessment. Offered every fall and spring.
EDU-245: Literature for Children and Young Adolescents
This course offers an interpretive and critical study of literature that is appropriate for children from preschool through the eighth grade. The course will focus on the various literary genres, elements of fiction, authors and illustrators.
EDU-261: Emerging and Early Literacy: Grades K-4
The course will examine several major theoretical perspectives on literacy development from K through 4th grade. Students will explore and create literacy environments that encourage the development of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the early elementary classroom. Students will also learn a variety of effective strategies for the instruction and assessment of reading and writing in the early elementary classroom. Differentiating instruction to meet the needs of students from diverse backgrounds and with special needs will be integrated into the course content.
EDU-270: Foundations of Teaching and Learning
This course will introduce students to classroom structures that support differentiated instruction and other research-based approaches for effective teaching. Topics include lesson planning and reflection, state standards and grade level expectations, small group and whole group instruction, and assessment tools and strategies.
EDU-324: The Inclusive Classroom
This course examines teaching strategies and techniques for early childhood, elementary education, middle school, and high school. Students will conduct in-depth study of behavior theory and practical application in the classroom environment. Students will learn to promote learning environments where students can set goals and accept responsibility for their own learning. Modification and accommodations will be researched at each level discussing the best approaches depending upon the age of the child. Alignment with the regular education curriculum includes a review of the Grade Level Expectations and the Grade Span Expectations and Common Core Standards. Students will leave this class with a good understanding of the progression and development of students with disabilities K-12 personally, socially physically, and academically. TCP acceptance is required.
SPED-260 or SPED-210 Must be enrolled in the Teac
EDU-335: Methods of Teaching Elementary Mathematics
This course is a study of mathematics taught in grades K-6 and the current methods for teaching this content. Extensive experience with manipulative materials is provided. Field experiences are required. TCP acceptance is required.
MAT 106 and MAT 206 Must be enrolled in the Teache
EDU-362: Literacy in the Content Areas: 4-8
In this course, students study effective practices that support the development of reading comprehension and writing strategies for accessing information across content area subjects in grades 4-8. The course focuses on the strategies that enable students read and write about non-fiction. Students will also examine ways to address the particular needs of students with diverse language, cultural and learning requirements using the applications of strategic reading and writing. TCP acceptance is required.
EDU-261 Must be enrolled in the Teacher Certificat
EDU-363: Literacy Facilitation for all Learners
This course focuses on the attributes of struggling readers and writers, on diagnosing difficulties and developing literacy intervention plans. Students do a case study by performing a literacy diagnosis of one struggling student, developing an intervention plan and beginning its implementation. TCP acceptance is required.
EDU-261 Must be enrolled in the Teacher Certifica
EDU-370: Science for Early Learners
This course applies developmental theory to the construction of curriculum and explores methods for teaching health and science. Students focus on preparing developmentally appropriate experiences that promote investigation, problem solving, and exploration. Methods of instruction and assessment are practiced. Attention will be given to designing constructivist lesson and unit plans that align with science literacy standards. TCP acceptance is required.
Must be enrolled in the Teacher Certification prog
EDU-419: Integrating Social Studies and the Arts in the Elementary School
This course will explore developmentally appropriate strategies for incorporating movement, music, drama, and the visual arts with the content, processes and attitudes of social studies. Curriculum content, materials, instructional strategies, and organizational techniques for integrating social studies and fine arts in early childhood and elementary grades will be addressed. TCP acceptance is required.
Must be enrolled in the Teacher Certification prog
EDU-440: Differentiating Instruction
This course will examine processes for differentiating instruction to maximize learning by creating different learning experiences in response to students' varied needs. Special Education, English Learners, and cultural and linguistic diversity will be covered. TCP acceptance is required.
Take EDU-490; and must be enrolled in the Teacher
EDU-490: Student Teaching and Seminar
All teacher education majors seeking certification will participate in 16 weeks of full-time practice teaching at nearby schools. During the 16 weeks, the student teacher receives close and continuous supervision and guidance from teaching personnel at the school and by a member of the Southern New Hampshire University faculty. This course also includes seminars at the university. TCP acceptance is required.
Must be enrolled in the Teacher Certification prog
PSY-211: Lifespan Development
The purpose of this course is to engage students in meaningful exploration of theories, basic concepts, and research methodologies in psychological development. Students will gain an understanding of patterns of human development from conception through death, including the biological, cognitive, and social-emotional development and the interplay between these areas. This course will also explore the roles of environmental and genetic factors, culture and history, continuity and change in development. Offered every semester.
PSY-108 or PSY-108H
SPED-210: Early Childhood Issues/Disabilities
This course will explore types of disabilities, developmental delays and exceptionalities, as well as the effects of disabling conditions on cognitive, physical, language, social and emotional development and functioning of children birth to grade 3. Additional topics include the identification and evaluation of children with exceptional learning needs, as well as instructional methodology and strategies for selecting and modifying materials and equipment to provide differentiated instruction that addresses and accommodates individual strengths and challenges. Legal requirements and responsibilities for providing education to students with special needs will be addressed. Students will become familiar with the purposes and procedures for developing and implementing Individual Education Plans (IEPs), 504s, and Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs).
SPED-230: Implications of Special Education
Students will examine the personal, physical, social and academic issues related to programming for children with disabilities. An emphasis is placed on practical aspects of behaviors associated with a child's disability and the importance of the classroom environment. This course also addresses the history of Special Education, as well as current trends and research. This is the foundation course for certification or licensure as a General Special Education Teacher Grades K-12. Federal and state legislation will be reviewed as well as the NH State Standards for Children with disabilities and include the Individuals with Disabilities Act as it relates to the Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorized as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) including title II of the ADA and section 504 and The Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1973, as amended.
SPED-210 or SPED-260
SPED-260: Children with Exceptionalities
This course provides students with deep understanding of children with disabilities and specific characteristics of disabilities and how they impact learning in the general curriculum. Students will examine and be prepared to define ways in which such disabilities are diagnosed and possible strategies and techniques (to include assistive technology) to assist the student in the general classroom to the extent possible. Tiered Support Systems will be discussed as a general education initiative that can serve the needs of all students. Students will research resources available for families and schools to support the needs of disabled children. The role of the family and school as partners will be developed as a critical technique to serve the needs of students, as well as facilitating effective meetings and communication efforts that must be part of the role of special educator.
SPED-314: Consultation and Collaboration
This course presents the IEP process from referral to completion. Student will be expected to clearly define roles and responsibilities within the school for the special education teacher, the general education teacher, paraprofessionals, and other personnel within the school. Additionally, students will examine and develop a process to meaningfully engage parents in the process preschool through age 21. TCP acceptance is required.
SPED-230, and SPED-210 or SPED-260, and SPED-350 M
SPED-350: Special Education Assessment
This course focuses on formative and summative assessments used within the general education classroom, as well as specialized assessments and observations for children with disabilities. Students will complete this course with an understanding of assessment terminology, test interpretation, and implications regarding access to the general education curriculum. TCP acceptance is required.
SPED-210 or SPED-260 Must be enrolled in the Teac

Students may also select two (2) free electives.

Licensure Information

This program is approved by the New Hampshire State Department of Education for Teacher Certification as leading to an initial teacher’s license or endorsement in New Hampshire.  Southern New Hampshire University cannot guarantee licensure, certification, endorsement, or salary benefits.  View disclosure information.

University Accreditation

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Contact Us

Phone: 888.327.SNHU
Email: enroll@snhu.edu