Today’s integrated classrooms require teachers and paraprofessionals to have strategies addressing the needs of these classrooms. This Special Education certificate provides teachers and paraprofessionals with the knowledge, skills, and strategies to support students with disabilities. The curriculum for this certificate focuses on the origins of special education, the legal issues and strategies involved, and the techniques for teaching a diverse population. Students acquire proficiency in adaptive techniques, as well as strategies for building positive classroom and school environments for all students.
Candidates for positions and careers in education should explore health requirements associated with employment in a school setting. Prospective students with special needs that may affect their learning are encouraged to contact the Disabilities Services Coordinator for accommodation options.
The health and safety of children, adolescents, and other learners are of paramount concern to the program. Prior to employment, applicants for teaching positions in public and private schools in New Hampshire must undergo background checks through the New Hampshire Department of Safety. For admission into the Teacher Education associate degree, the Special Education certificate, and the Career and Technical Education certificate, applicants must likewise undergo national criminal background checks. The cost of the background check is the responsibility of the student. Applicants with a criminal record, depending on the nature of this record, may not be eligible for field experience or employment. Applicants are advised to discuss such matters during an admission interview to avoid confusion.
Technical standards provide guidance to students about the skills and abilities they need to function successfully in the program and ultimately as teachers in the public and/or private school classroom. Applicants who suspect they may be unable to meet one or more of the technical standards should contact program faculty members to discuss their concerns. Program faculty considers all academically qualified candidates, provided that the technical standards can be met with reasonable accommodations. Students in the program must have:
- Sufficient strength, stamina, and motor coordination.
- Sufficient hearing and visual acuity to ensure a safe environment, along with an ability to respond quickly to emergencies.
- Sufficient verbal ability to express and exchange information and ideas, as well as to interpret important instructions to children, adolescents, colleagues, and parents.
- Sufficient writing skills to record students’ daily progress and milestones, and to compose a variety of reports.
- An ability to work with frequent interruptions, to respond appropriately to unexpected situations, and to cope with extreme variations in workload and stress levels.
This certificate is a prerequisite for the North Country Teacher Certification Program.