Special Education / Grades 4-8 Education


About Special Education Pre-K - Grade 8 / Grade 4 - 8 Education

Become an exceptional teacher for special needs students.

Earn certification to teach students in grades 4 - 8 and a license to teach special education for children in pre-kindergarten through grade 8 with this dual major bachelor's degree from California University of Pennsylvania.

Cal U's special education program has its roots in applied behavior analysis, and our teaching programs have been producing top teachers in Pennsylvania and beyond for over 160 years. This bachelor's degree will give you the comprehensive training in general middle level education and deep expertise in teaching children with cognitive disabilities, learning disabilities, emotional problems and physical disabilities.

Cal U supplies you with the support and hand-on training you need for a top career.

  • Get individual attention and advising from top faculty.
  • Participate in supervised field experiences with different groups of children.
  • Complete one semester of student teaching, including classroom experience with general and special education students.

Program Highlights: Special Education / Middle Level Education

Concentrations: As a middle level education /special education bachelor's degree student, you will choose one of four concentrations:

Top Accreditation: This undergraduate degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Cal U's education programs have also been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.

Learn more about applying.

$61,910 is the mean annual salary for special education teachers in middle schools. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
At Cal U you'll participate in three field placements in special education and grades 4­-8 education, as well as one semester of student teaching.
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Degree Benefits

As a special education bachelor's degree student, you will:

  • Gain in-depth knowledge of human development and learning, and teaching students with exceptionalities.
  • Have the option to continue on at Cal U to earn a master's degree in special education.
  • Develop instructional techniques for all students with special needs, including training in applied behavior analysis, behavior modification and working with autistic students.
  • Benefit from career support from faculty and Cal U's Career and Professional Development Center.
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Graduate Outcomes

The number of grades 4-8/special educationgraduates finding professional employment has increased dramatically in recent years, especially in the content areas of math and science and in special education. Cal U alumni can be found teaching in schools in Pennsylvania and across the United State in roles such as: 

  • Special education classroom teacher.
  • Resource room teacher.
  • Homebound instruction teacher.
  • Hospital teacher.
  • A variety of roles in sheltered workshops and community-living arrangements for adults with disabilities.
Special Education / Middle Level Education Bachelor's Degree
Cal U professors look at statistics on a computer.


Gain n expert insight and learn best practices from Cal U special education faculty members who are at the top of their fields. Your professors will have real-world expertise and experience in topics such as applied behavior analysis, the use of technology to teach students communication, interventional strategies, working with students diagnosed with emotional disabilities, classroom management techniques and more.

A Cal U student interacts with an elementary student.


With in-classroom experience in two local school districts, program alumnae Brenda DiEugenio '04 (Dual B.S. Special/Elementary Education) is now a special education teacher for Agora Cyber Charter School. "I encourage students to be their own strongest advocate. Take time to reflect on and learn from every experience to grow both personally and professionally."

Special Education / Middle Level Education Bachelor's Degree Courses

This four-year dual major bachelor's degree results in certification to teach grades 4-8 and special education for grades Pre-K-8 upon graduation and completion of Pennsylvania certification requirements. Degree courses will also prepare you to meet the standards of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

Course Examples
  • Social Contexts Of Disability In Popular Media
  • Exceptional Child
  • Special Education Foundations And Collaboration
  • Behavior Principles
  • Assessments And Positive Behavior Interventions
  • Applied Behavior Analysis For Special Educators
  • Life Skills Planning And Instruction
  • Assessment And Prescriptive Teaching
  • Transition Planning And Instruction

View Course Sequence

Special Education

Bachelor's Degrees
Master's Degrees


Special Education Faculty

Dr. James Burton
Associate Professor


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Dr. Diane Fine
Associate Professor and Coordinator, Reading Specialist Program and Integrative STEM Education Program


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Dr. Peter Heh
Assistant Professor


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Dr. Jason Kight
Associate Professor and Chair


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Dr. Kalie Kossar
Associate Professor


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