Special Education - Early Childhood and Elementary

The ACU Special Education with Early Childhood and Elementary degree prepares students to serve children in both self-contained special education and regular education contexts. Students are prepared to meet the needs of diverse populations, from those with mild learning differences to those with significant disabilities. 

This program includes extensive field experiences in contexts that include early childhood, primary, and intermediate classrooms. In these experiences, you will actively engage in assessment and instruction, learning how to adapt for the specific needs of each child. 

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Teacher Casey Orr helps third grade student with her reading assignment.

What can you do after graduation?

  • Special Education Teacher 
  • Elementary or preschool teacher
  • Children’s minister
  • Early intervention specialist
  • Educational consultant

Kristin McNally's Story

Through her own journey as a student with dyslexia, Kristin learned what can happen when a learner has the support that is needed. Her story illustrates the kind of support teacher candidates will receive when they come into the ACU Teacher Education Program ready to commit themselves to their preparation. 


Teacher education students can participate in a number of real-world learning experiences, including:     

  • Study abroad
  • Innovative schools site visits
  • Meaningful field experiences
  • Global Service Trips
  • Undergraduate research

Degree Details

Required Hours

University Requirements: 56 credit hours + Major Requirements: 72 credit hours + Electives: 2 credit hours = Total Required: 130 credit hours*

Example Coursework

Effective Teaching Strategies for English Language Learners

Teaching Students with Special Needs

Emotional and Behavioral Disorders in Children

Teaching Students with High Incidence Disabilities


Teacher Education

Application Deadlines

Early Bird: November 1st

Regular: February 1st

National Candidates: May 1st