Special Education Minors
Inclusion. That’s the focus of the two minors in special education at UNI.
- Early childhood special education teaching
- Special education teaching: Instructional strategist (I or II)
With a great need in school districts everywhere, these special education minors, together, are among the most sought after at UNI. You’ll discover how to help children who learn differently. Kids with special needs, learning disabilities or behavioral difficulties within a range of ages, cultures and language.
Learn alongside exemplary UNI faculty and teachers within local schools. Gain the specialized knowledge to help eliminate barriers. Get prepared to lead diverse classrooms and help your future students reach their full potential.
Extensive co-teaching opportunities
8% job growth projected in next decade
Nearly 100% placement of recent grads
Interested in a Special Education Minor?
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Contact us directly at:
Department of Special Education
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0606
Phone: (319) 273-6061
A Focus on the Youngest
Ready to explore? This minor prepares you to teach all students in diverse, inclusive classrooms— even your youngest students.
If your particular focus includes infants through kindergarten, add this minor and gain the additional scope and skills to bring an understanding of special needs to your work in child care centers up through kindergarten classrooms. Pair it with your early childhood, elementary or secondary teaching major and add to your flexibility in seeking positions.
A Foundation for Practice
If your interest in special education ranges from K-8 into high school, this minor and its emphases give you the knowledge, skills and experience you need. Carefully sequenced coursework and hands-on experiences ensure a foundation of teaching practice for working with children with learning and behavioral challenges with mild and moderate disabilities or intellectual disabilities, as well as their families and fellow educators.
“I chose early childhood special education because I have a passion for working with young children, especially those with special needs. UNI prepared me to be a teacher through the field experiences we complete.”
Courses & Endorsements
Whatever your choice, coursework for each minor includes an introduction to legal, advocacy and assistive technology practices as well as field experiences that match the age level of your focus. A sampling of courses among the two minors include:
- Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners
- Services to Families with Infants and/or Toddlers with Developmental Delays or Disabilities
- Including Young Children with Special Needs into the General Education Programs
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication
- Construction and Behavior of Humanistic Supports
- Specialized Assessment and Instruction for Students with Disabilities
- Creating and Sustaining Positive Inclusive Learning Environments
- Method courses in literacy and mathematics (K-8) or inclusive learning (5-12)
In Iowa, the special education minor leads to an endorsement that pre-service teachers can add to a major in teaching at the early childhood, elementary or secondary level.
Early childhood education teaching minor:
- Endorsement 262: PreK-K Early Childhood Special Education
- Endorsement 1001: Birth-Grade 3 Inclusive Settings
Special education teaching: instructional strategist minor:
- Endorsement 260: Instructional Strategist I: Mild/Moderate Disabilities K-8
- Endorsement 261: Instructional Strategist I: Mild/Moderate Disabilities 5-12
- Endorsement 264: Instructional Strategist II: Intellectual Disabilities K-12
You will apply for your teacher licensure and endorsement approval upon completion of your degree.
Beyond the Classroom
Let’s Get Real
The high quality of UNI’s special education minors is anchored in field experiences to help you meet the needs of all students from various cultural and language backgrounds and/or with disabilities. Unsurpassed hands-on experience includes two full semesters of half-day, week-long co-teaching experiences — specific to your special education minor — that build upon and enrich your other classroom experiences leading up to and including student teaching.
You’ll find several special education-focused scholarships available — in addition to general scholarships for UNI or College of Education students. Most offer up to $1,000 a year and are renewable. Just fill out the University Scholarship Application for Undergraduate Students. And be sure to check out other loan and student employment opportunities.