About Special Education

The Special Education program prepares students to work with people with special needs from kindergarten through age 21. Students can choose between four areas of emphasis to fit their career goals: 1) elementary, 2) secondary math, 3) secondary language arts, and 4) generalists. Students will demonstrate knowledge, understanding, and application of skills during seven supervised practicum teaching experiences within partnered schools before beginning their student teaching experience.

Special Education Steps:

1. Exploring the Profession

  • Fingerprinting/Background check: Complete your fingerprinting/background check before your first practicum. Complete this step at Field Services Office in HIN 325. This should occur by the end of your first semester.
  • Develop Grad Plan: You will develop your grad plan in an assignment in SPED 200. For additional assistance contact the Advising Center for the College of Education and Human Development in Chapman 103.
  • Writing Proficiency ExamThis exam is administered once per semester in the Testing Center. You will receive an email notification and information during the semester you are enrolled in SPED 200.
  • Technology Exam: Go to the McKay Computer Lab (3rd floor of the library) to take the exam. Complete this exam by the end of your third semester.

2. Acquiring Content Knowledge

  • Develop Professional Resume: As you develop skills and experiences through your coursework and practicums, you should begin a resume and update it often. For assistance, contact Career Services in MC 129.
  • Standard I Lit examThe Standard I Lit exam is taken during ED 344.
  • Standard II Lit exam: The Standard II Lit exam is taken during ED 345
  • Standard III Lit exam: The Standard III Lit exam is taken during ED 345.
  • First Faculty Review: As you begin to enroll in practicum courses, you will be contacted by your faculty mentor to participate in a Faculty Review. During the Review, you will discuss your successes and challenges in the major. Faculty reviews will continue every semester.
  • PRAXIS Multiple Subjects: 5002 - Language Arts Subtest: After ED 345 5003 - Mathematics Subtest: After MATH 205 & 206 5004 - Social Science Subtest: After completing all history/social science courses 5005 - Science: After ED 259

3. Developing Proficiency

  • PRAXIS: Special Education Core Knowledge: You will be prepared to take this exam after completing SPED 424 – Assessments.
  • Apply for Student Teaching: Begin your application process for student teaching by following the steps outlined on the Field Services website.
  • Student Teaching Cover Letter & Resume: Complete a cover letter and create your student teaching resume following the guidelines provided by the Field Services Office.
  • Grad Plan Approval: To complete your student teaching application, you will update and complete your grad plan and have it approved through I-Plan. Need assistance? Contact the Advising Center for the College of Education and Human Development in Chapman 103.

4. Growing Professionally

  • Prepare for Interviews: Contact Career Services in MC 129 to develop your interview skills & participate in a mock interview.
  • Student Teaching Interviews: Contact Field Services for information regarding interview dates, location, & to schedule an interview.

5. Emerging Professional

  • Present Portfolio: You will attend training meetings to help you prepare your Senior Portfolio and Presentation. You will complete and present the portfolio the semester prior to student teaching. 
  • Complete Professional Resume: Update and revise your professional resume. Include your capabilities and skills gained through practicum and other experiences. Use this resume as you complete applications and contact employers at job fairs
  • Create IPLP: You will begin your Individual Professional Learning Plan (IPLP) during senior practicum.
  • Apply for Graduation: Use the link to apply for graduation during your last semester (student teaching).
  • Update and Review IPLP: During student teaching, you will review and update your IPLP with your student teaching supervisor.
  • Seek Teaching Positions: Research school district of interest to you and complete applications. Attend job fairs to get broad exposure to many districts.
  • Exit Survey: The exit survey will be posted on I-Learn during the last week of student teaching.

6. Post Graduation

  • Alumni Survey: Let’s stay connected! The Alumni Office will send a survey via email. Complete the survey and continue to be part of the BYU-Idaho family
  • Apply for Idaho Teacher Certification: Apply for your Idaho certification immediately upon graduation. Obtaining an Idaho teaching certificate will prove to be very helpful if you apply for a certificate in another state. 
  • Verification of Employment: Complete the state required verification of employment during years 1, 2, and 3 of your teaching career. You will receive an email from Field Services to assist you in completing this step.