Special Education, B.A.

Juneau, e-Learning

The Bachelor of Arts in Special Education program prepares teacher candidates to develop and implement culturally responsive special education services for students with disabilities. The program focuses on the unique needs of:

  1. children and youth with disabilities;
  2. Alaska’s diverse Native and non-Native communities; and
  3. Alaska’s remote, rural, and urban communities.

Candidates who complete the B.A. in Special Education program can receive an Alaska Teaching Certificate with an Endorsement in Special Education (Grades K-12) from the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development.

Courses are offered at the Juneau campus and through a variety of virtual platforms. The e-Learning option allows candidates who live and work in Alaska’s remote and rural communities to remain in their home communities while completing their degrees.

Admission to Senior Year Practicum and Student Teaching

Requires membership in the SOE adopted data management system. The software is necessary for selected upper-division courses in the degree program.  Refer to the FAQ in the Student Services page of the SOE website for additional information https://www.uas.alaska.edu/education/student-services/index.html  In addition to UAS admissions requirements, students must complete the following to be admitted into the senior year:

  1. Minimum GPA of 3.00
  2. Successful completion of all pre-senior year courses with grades of C 2.00 (not C-) or better
  3. Application for student teaching, including fingerprinting and background check
  4. Praxis Core/CASE exam scores meeting Alaska Department of Education & Early Development requirements for initial teacher certification. The Praxis Core exam assesses basic knowledge in reading, writing, and math.
  5. Two letters of recommendation from individuals other than an education professor speaking to the student’s potential as a certified teacher.

Exit Criteria

  1. Satisfactory completion of all courses
  2. GPA of 3.00 or higher
  3. Praxis II exam (Special Education Core Knowledge and Application exam 5354), with scores meeting Alaska Department of Education & Early Development requirements for initial teacher certification.

Students must complete the GERs, the Alaska Native Knowledge Graduation Requirement, as well as the specific program requirements as listed for a minimum of 120 credit hours. Courses used to fulfill the breadth requirements can also be used to fulfill the GERs as long as minimum credit requirements have been met. The degree must include 42 credit hours of upper-division (300 or above) courses, 24 of which must be completed at UAS.

Minimum Credit Hours 120
General Education Requirements 35
Alaska Native Knowledge Graduation Requirement 3
Breadth Requirements 22
Major Requirements 63
General Education Requirements
Complete all General Education Requirements.35
Breadth Requirements
MATH S211Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers I3
MATH S212Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers II3
ED S230Introduction to Educational Technology3
Language Requirement: 14
Select one of the following: 3
Child Development
*Lifespan Development
Select one of the following: 33
*Introduction to Alaska Native Studies 2
Indigenous Oral Literature 2
Alaska Studies
AK Native Ecological Knowledge 2
Alaska Native Cultures
Alaska Native Social Change
*Northwest Coast Native Art History & Culture 2
History of Alaska
Advisor approved elective
Select one of the following: 4 3
Multicultural Education
Intercultural Communication
Major Requirements
ECE S420Developing Literacy in the Early Years3
ED S222Orientation to the Teaching Profession3
ED S302Foundations of Literacy and Language Development 53
ED S333The Learner and the Learning Process3
ED S405Children's Literature in the Alaska Context 3
ED S448Classroom Management in K-8 Classrooms3
ED S452Student Teaching6
EDSE S405Early Childhood Special Education3
EDSE S410Assessing Students with Disabilities3
EDSE S412Curriculum and Strategies: Low incidence3
EDSE S422Curriculum and Strategies: High Incidence3
EDSE S482Inclusive Education for Students with Disabilities3
EDSE S483Language and Literacy: Assessment and Intervention3
EDSE S485Transition Planning for Secondary Students3
EDSE S486Special Education through the Lens of Alaska Native Peoples 3
EDSE S494Special Education Practicum (Special Education Practicum)3
EDSE S495Professional and Ethical Practice3
Select one of the following:3
Supporting Student Engagement
Seminar: Special Education
Major Elective: 6
Classroom Management and Child Guidance in ECE 6
Upper division course 7
Advisor Approved
Total Credits120

Three to five credits of a single Alaska Native or other language (other than English). With departmental approval, students who study abroad in a language other than English, or who have a documented proficiency in a language (other than English), will be considered to have met their language requirement.


Meets the Alaska Native Knowledge Graduation Requirement.


Each course listed meets the DEED course requirement for Alaska Studies.


Each course listed meets the DEED course requirement for Multicultural Education and Cross Cultural Communication. 


Requires passing scores on Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CASE) or passing scores on DEED approved Basic Competency Exams (BCE).


Completion of this course will allow the candidate to include Pre-K to their DEED SPED endorsement. 


Or other upper-division EDSE courses from UAF or UAA. Consult with your advisor regarding options.

1. Council for Exceptional Children Standard 1 Engaging in Professional Learning and Practice within Ethical Guidelines: Candidates practice within ethical and legal guidelines; advocate for improved outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities and their families while considering their social, cultural, and linguistic diversity; and engage in ongoing self-reflection to design and implement professional learning activities.

2. Council for Exceptional Children Standard 2 Understanding and Addressing Each Individual's Developmental and Learning Needs: Candidates use their understanding of human growth and development, the multiple influences on development, individual differences, diversity, including exceptionalities, and families and communities to plan and implement inclusive learning environments and experiences that provide individuals with exceptionalities high-quality learning experiences reflective of each individual’s strengths and needs.

3. Council for Exceptional Children Standard 3 Demonstrating Subject Matter Content and Specialized Curricular Knowledge: Candidates apply their understanding of the academic subject matter content of the general curriculum and specialized curricula to inform their programmatic and instructional decisions for learners with exceptionalities.

4. Council for Exceptional Children Standard 4 Using Assessment to Understand the Learner and the Learning Environment for Data-based Decision Making: Candidates assess students’ learning, behavior, and the classroom environment in order to evaluate and support classroom and school-based problem-solving systems of intervention and instruction. Candidates evaluate students to determine their strengths and needs, contribute to students’ eligibility determination, communicate students’ progress, inform short and long-term instructional planning, and make ongoing adjustments to instruction using technology as appropriate.

5. Council for Exceptional Children Standard 5 Supporting Learning Using Effective Instruction: Candidates use knowledge of individuals’ development, learning needs, and assessment data to inform decisions about effective instruction. Candidates use explicit instructional strategies and employ strategies to promote active engagement and increased motivation to individualize instruction to support each individual. Candidates use whole group instruction, flexible grouping, small group instruction, and individual instruction. Candidates teach individuals to use meta-/cognitive strategies to support and self-regulate learning. 

6. Council for Exceptional Children Standard 6 Supporting Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Growth: Candidates create and contribute to safe, respectful, and productive learning environments for individuals with exceptionalities through the use of effective routines and procedures and use a range of preventive and responsive practices to support social, emotional and educational well-being. They follow ethical and legal guidelines and work collaboratively with families and other professionals to conduct behavioral assessments for intervention and program development.

7. Council for Exceptional Children Standard 7 Collaborating with Team Members: Candidates apply team processes and communication strategies to collaborate in a culturally responsive manner with families, paraprofessionals, and other professionals within the school, other educational settings, and the community to plan programs and access services for individuals with exceptionalities and their families.