Frequently Asked Questions

Can I enroll at Miami, choose a major in special education, graduate in four years and go straight to a teaching position without going to graduate school? 

Yes. Miami's special education program is designed to allow our students to earn a degree in four years and go straight into a classroom position. There is a high demand for special education teachers and school districts actively recruit new graduates in special education. Our focus is preparing undergraduates for teaching careers though we do have an avenue for obtaining a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology with an Educational Focus.

Our students appreciate being placed in real-world situations as early as their sophomore year, and continue through the senior year with student teaching and the senior capstone. These field experiences allow students to initially observe, eventually assist veteran teachers, implementing teaching methods presented in class; and tutor children in reading.

By graduation, special education majors have been gradually immersed in their future profession. There is mentoring and feedback each step of the way, and by the time a student teacher is put in charge of a classroom he or she is well prepared for the challenge.

I thought I had to get my master’s degree or enroll in a five-year program to get a teaching license. 

No, when you complete Miami’s undergraduate program you are eligible for a 4-year Resident Educator license. That is the first step to becoming a teacher.

I think I want to be a teacher, but I’m not sure.

We think teaching is a great career, but we also know it’s not for everyone. Our recommendation is that you visit your favorite former teachers when you are home for holidays and breaks. Ask if you can sit in on their classes or help them with something. Talk with them about their lives as teachers. In the sophomore year of the Special Education pre-major, just prior to applying to the major, students take a field experience class that assists in gaining the first understanding of how special education services are provided in public schools. This experience also provides and opportunity to confirm interest in the major.

What license will I obtain through the Inclusive Special Education Program?

Once you have successfully completed the undergraduate program and passed the required Ohio Assessments for Educators, you are eligible for the State of Ohio Mild-Moderate license. This license permits you to teach children with mild to moderate disabilities in kindergarten through high school.

What is an intervention specialist? 

Intervention specialist is just another term, somewhat more updated, for describing a special education teacher.

What does an intervention specialist do? 

The role of an intervention specialist with a mild-moderate license can vary greatly. The role is largely determined by the needs, policy and philosophy of the hiring school district. An intervention specialist may have his/her own classroom where, during parts of the school day, children come to receive special instruction in a needed subject area, take a test in a modified presentation or receive assistance in a needed area of development or skill. An intervention specialist also travels to general education classrooms to collaborate with teachers in modifying instruction and providing in-class assistance and instruction to children. Some school districts utilize a co-teaching model, pairing a general education teacher with an intervention specialist. An intervention specialist could participate in all three of these models. Intervention specialists are collaborators, working with the team of people needed to meet the needs of individual students. The special education major at Miami prepares our students to work effectively in all of these settings.

Are there other licensure programs available at Miami? 

Yes, Teacher Education offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in early childhood education, middle childhood education, and adolescent/ young adult education. Other Miami departments offer licensure programs in art, music and foreign language.

What sets your programs apart from those of other universities? 

In addition to being able to complete a licensure program as an undergraduate, your education coursework will help you learn to apply technology to your teaching. Our program provides a focus on issues of social justice and incorporates opportunities for service learning and undergraduate research.

When I’m admitted to Miami does that mean I am in your program? 

You start out as a pre-major in the program and apply for the program either in the second semester of freshman year or the first semester of your sophomore year. Admission to the cohort is competitive. Several factors determine admission to the cohort, including a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.75 or better, 100 documented service hours with children with disabilities (paid or volunteer), successful completion of or enrollment in three courses (EDP 201, EDP 256 and EDP 220) and a written essay describing your interest in the field. Since our pre-majors apply to the cohort sophomore year, we utilize GPA as an indicator of academic capability in lieu of Praxis I.

Cohort? What is a cohort? 

The cohort is simply the group of students who take certain courses together. Typically, it is the group of students who applied during the same year. Cohort students often become close personally and professionally, even after graduation.

What testing is required? 

The Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE) tests are required for licensure in Ohio. For more information, visit Ohio Assessments for Educators. 

Cohorts, Ohio Assessments for Educators, licensure programs—it all seems overwhelming. Will there be advisors to help me understand the process? 

Absolutely. That’s an advantage to majoring in special education at a university where the department is focused on undergraduates. As a small program you will know the Program Advisor well and have close access to the faculty in the program.

Will I take all of the classes in my major with only other special education majors? 

No. The majority of your major classes will be in educational psychology, but you will also take classes with general education majors from teacher education. You will take one block of classes in the middle childhood content area including several reading methods classes in teacher education. This provides a necessary understanding of general education curriculum and Ohio content standards and establishes the groundwork for collaboration between the general education and special education.

What are career prospects like for graduates of Miami’s teacher education programs? 

Our special education graduates are highly regarded. This, paired with the high demand for qualified special educators today, makes the transition from student to teacher an easy one. Our graduates have enjoyed a near 100% placement rate for some time. 

I want to be a special education teacher in a state other than Ohio, can I do that?

Our programs prepare educators for licensure in the state of Ohio. Although we have reciprocity with many states, teacher/professional licensure requirements are subject to change. Please check appropriate state's board of education website for the most up-to-date license requirements.