Special Education and Rehabilitation

College of Education

Stroud Hall Room 108



This degree program prepares candidates to teach students with mild to severe disabilities as well as working with parents, general educators, and related service personnel.

The programs in Special Education reflect a curriculum that combines existing and emerging theory and best practices based upon a conceptual framework that develops educators who are reflective and deliberate decision makers.

Beginning educators develop knowledge, process, and professionalism. Graduates of Special Education/Dual Certificate programs will be eligible to apply for certification to teach students in grades Pre-K to 4, 4 to 8, or 7 to 12 with specific content, depending on their area of specialization, in addition to teaching special education in Pre-K to grade 12.

The department offers the Integrated Program of studies cooperatively with the Departments of Early Childhood and Elementary Education and Professional and Secondary Education, leading to certification in both Special Education Early Childhood, Middle Level Education or 7 to 12.

All teacher education candidates should be in frequent consultation with their academic advisors to make sure they are meeting the appropriate program and certification requirements which will vary depending on a variety of circumstances.

Student Organizations

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is a campus group that is part of an international organization that promotes quality programs for individuals with disabilities. CEC provides great opportunities to meet fellow special educators and work with individuals of all ages who have disabilities. Some of the CEC activities include:

  • Visiting adults with intellectual disabilities at a local state developmental center
  • Helping with Special Olympics
  • Tutoring at-risk students
  • Scheduling guest speakers to present information about current special education topics
  • Attending a state-level CEC conference

Sigma Pi Epsilon Delta is the national Honor Society for special education and rehabilitation majors. After completion of 9 credits of special education major coursework and with two recommendation letters, students may apply to join the honorary. Interested applicants must have earned an overall cumulative quality point average of 3.25 or higher in addition to 50 hours of working with individuals with disabilities. Honor society members support activities for individuals with disabilities in the community.

Best Buddies is an international organization that enhances the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment. At East Stroudsburg University, we match university students and individuals with intellectual disabilities throughout the community in one-to-one friendships.

Rehabilitative Services Student Organization (RSSO) is the organization for majors in Rehabilitative and Human Services. Members of the organization host speakers from adult service agencies and provide services from area rehabilitation agencies. Our organization is also an active supporter of the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Association, which is the state chapter of the National Rehabilitation Association.


Several scholarship opportunities are available to ESU students majoring in Special Education or Rehabilitative Services:

  • Dr. John Kovalkoski Memorial Scholarship
  • Class of 1937 Scholarship
  • Class of 1938 Scholarship
  • Class of 1940 Scholarship
  • Class of 1942 Scholarship
  • Class of 1945 Scholarship
  • Class of 1954 Scholarship
  • Class of 1955 Scholarship
  • SOAR Scholarship

For application deadlines and procedures, contact the Special Education and Rehabilitation Department at 570-422-3558, or visit Stroud Hall, Room 108 or www.esu.edu/sped.

About the Program

  • Special Education Pre-K-8 with Dual Certification in Pre-K-4
  • Special Education Pre-K-8 with Dual Certification in Middle Level (4-8)
  • Special Education 7-12 with Dual Certification in Secondary Content

Special Education is an exciting and rewarding field and one that is also challenging and demanding. ESU is renowned for producing outstanding special education teachers who improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.

The Special Education Dual Certification programs at ESU prepare special education teachers to teach children with mild to severe disabilities and to work with parents, general educators, and related service personnel. ESU’s Special Education programs reflect the latest research into best practices and a conceptual framework that develops educators who are reflective and deliberate decision makers.

In February 2010, ESU's dual Special Education programs received the highest level of praise from Pennsylvania’s Department of Education (PDE) for developing outstanding programs to prepare special educators to teach Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) through 8th grade. PDE also recommended these programs as models for other universities to follow.

Graduates of the Special Education/Dual Certification programs will be eligible to apply for certification to teach general education students in either Pre-K through 4th grade, 4th through 8th grades, or 7th through 12th grades, in addition to teaching students with disabilities in Pre-K through 8th grade or 7 through 12th grades. Requirements will vary based on program entry and completion dates. Check with the department for details.

Are you interested in ...

  • Working with children and youth who have various disabilities
  • Becoming involved in the academic, behavioral, and social development of students
  • Teaching  life skills and providing career counseling to students

Why choose Special Education Dual Certification Programs at ESU?

  • Qualified, experienced faculty
  • Small class sizes
  • Practical experiences
  • NCATE accredited programs

Is a Special Education Dual Certification Program a career path for me?

Career Potential

  • Special education teacher
  • Early Intervention teacher
  • Elementary school teacher
  • Middle school teacher
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Teacher’s assistant
  • Child care worker
  • Transition coordinator

More detailed career information is available from the department.

Department Admissions

Please refer to the section The College of Education in this catalog for specific requirements for admission into teacher education programs. Majors should meet regularly with their academic advisor in order to discuss and monitor major requirements and procedures for admission into each program. Information on requirements and procedures on admittance are available in the department student handbook available in the department office.

Student Teaching

One semester of student teaching is required for certification in Special Education. Students must have a 3.0 or higher GPA prior to graduation from ESU in the State of Pennsylvania. In addition, all students must pass the required PRAXIS certification tests required through the Pennsylvania Department of Education.