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The B.A. in Special Education offers a mostly online format, with occasional on-campus Saturday sessions, allowing adult learners the flexibility to meet requirements on the job and finish their degree efficiently.

A flexible pathway is available for those not seeking a teaching license and for those who need flexibility around student teaching requirements.

To earn an undergraduate degree from Bethel, you will need a total of 122 credits. The listed number of required credits is based on a minimum of 60 transfer credits from previous professional, military, or educational experiences.

If you are applying with fewer credits, your enrollment counselor can help explore options for obtaining additional credits.


Online with Occasional Saturdays

You'll complete coursework online, with occassional on-campus Saturday sessions.

Location: St. Paul

Start Dates: Courses start every 6 weeks. Contact your enrollment counselor for details.

Total Credits


Finish in as Few as

30 months


  • Introduction to Special Education (SPED205)

    Identification of the impact historical and philosophical foundations, legal bases, and contemporary issues have on special education. Identification of common disability category characteristics. Description of the impact culture, faith, and linguistics have on special education. Description of how the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) impacts special education.

    2 credits

  • Introduction to Academic and Behavior Support (SPED309)

    Understanding of how special education and general education academic systems work together. Identification of functional behavioral assessments, processes and principles of individual and school-wide systems of support. Demonstration of how evidence-based instruction can be adapted. Exploration of co-teaching models. Identification of how required curricular components direct instruction. Analysis of positive instructional environments. Description of outside resources and supports.

    4 credits

  • Teaching Reading (including field experience) (SPED322)

    Identification of relationships among reading, writing, and oral language, comprehension processes, and instructional strategies. Description of the structure of the English language and word identification strategies, and the role of vocabulary knowledge in language. Analysis of different texts for K-12 classrooms. Assessment strategies for reading and writing needs. Recognition of characteristics and instructional strategies for the specific learning disability: dyslexia.. Assessment of reading ability and creation of lessons and application of reading instruction skills/strategies. Identification of how personal faith connects with the professional responsibilities of a teacher.

    4 credits

  • Characteristics of Students with Mild-Moderate Disabilities (and Field Experience) (SPED401)

    Exploration of the five disability categories represented under the Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS) license. Recognition of students with mild to moderate disabilities through special education evaluation. Clarification of IEP components, as well as roles and responsibilities of IEP team members. Identification of effective academic and behavioral interventions, accommodations, and modifications. Investigation of the impact culture and linguistics has on special education. Integration of faith and teaching. Includes 30 hours of field experience in a K-12 setting.

    4 credits

  • Norm-Referenced Assessment (SPED410)

    Description of standards and critical elements in the special education assessment process. Identification of test development principles and evaluation of standardized assessment instruments for special education decision-making. Description of responsibilities of assessment team members. Synthesis of assessment data. Application of scriptural principles to assessment in special education.

    4 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED454;SPED470

  • Instructional Strategies for Students with Mild-Moderate Disabilities (SPED418)

    Development of an instructional sequence for students in special education. Evaluation of data for making instructional decisions. Identification of differentiation strategies. Application of evidence-based practices. Identification of the relationship between teaching and learning theories and academic standards. Exploration of the relationship between faith concepts and instruction in special education.

    4 credits

  • Responsive Intervention and Assessment (SPED432)

    Identification of appropriate assessment measures, including curriculum-based measures, and professional resources related to interventions and student learning preferences. Interpretation of assessment and progress monitoring data to make informed instructional and placement decisions. Creation of instruction and modifications incorporating research-based interventions and based on data collected through collaboration with stakeholders. Identification of professional special education organizations, publications, and resources.

    4 credits

  • Introduction to Student Mental Health and Systems of Comprehensive Support (SPED442)

    Introduction to research and etiology of mental health diagnoses common among students with mild/moderate

    4 credits

  • Classroom-based Assessment (SPED454)

    Description of legal, professional, and ethical standards in assessment related to informal assessment measures and environmental factors influencing student achievement and behavior. Description of student’s learning style, strengths, and analysis of behavior based on observations and assessment data. Identification of the influence diversity, age and gender have on assessment.

    2 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED410;SPED470

  • Assessment Field Experience (SPED470)

    Identification of students' strengths and needs through assessment. Identification of the purpose of multidisciplinary teams. Development of an evaluation report. Development of a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA). Explanation of assessment results with family, student and staff. Creation of interventions. Development of a plan for continued professional development in the area of assessment. 30 hours/12 weeks.

    1 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED410;SPED454

  • Consultation and Collaboration in Programming for Students with Disabilities (SPED474)

    Focus on collaborating with various stakeholders to support students with disabilities. Development and evaluation of an individual education program based on student assessment results. Consideration of technology, supplementary aids, services, and transition needs of students. Synthesis of cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity. Clarification of personal beliefs and adjusting to diverse student needs within special education.

    4 credits

  • ABS Student Teaching (SPED480)

    Management of timelines and responsibilities of a special education teacher/case manager. Implementation of procedures necessary to incorporate referral, assessment and evaluation, and IEP planning. Consultation with parents and professionals to provide special education services to students. Implementation of appropriate interventions. Analysis of personal and professional growth, development, and efficacy. CQ: TEAC451

    6 credits

    Corequisite Course: TEAC451

  • School-Wide Field Experience (TEAC395)

    Supervised observation in K-12 inclusive education setting. Analysis of student needs, classroom environments, and related cultural factors. Development of a personal standard for effective teaching. Implementation of effective lesson plans. Identification of MN edTPA language. Impact of personal faith on the special education teacher role. SP: 30 hours over 8 weeks.

    2 credits

  • Student Teaching Seminar (TEAC451)

    Analysis of the impact communication and teaching practices have on student learning. Consideration of the learner’s needs while aligning an instructional plan to help ensure student success. Application of appropriate academic language related to lesson planning, instruction, and assessment in the K-12 environment. CQ: SPED480

    1 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED480

  • Foundations of Education (TEAC521)

    Introduction to the teaching profession and focus on influences shaping education. History, philosophy, psychology, sociology, legal matters, reform, and other current education issues. Student mental health and impact of chemicals in student lives, families, and schools. Personal growth planning, collaboration, and connection between professional responsibilities and personal faith and values.

    2 credits

  • Educational Psychology (TEAC524)

    Identification of different approaches to K-12 students’ development, learning, performance, and critical elements needed to structure an effective learning environment. Understanding of the developmental process of language acquisition and the influence of culture on learning. Synthesis of early assessment theory and current issues. Description of theories that influence learning and behavior related to the learning environment. Integration of Christian or personal faith perspective of learning.

    4 credits

  • General Methods of Instruction (TEAC526)

    Development of effective lesson plans that include all required components. Creation of effective long-range plans, assessments, and evaluations. Design of lesson plans that integrate a variety of instructional strategies and incorporate student assets including language and culture. Description of appropriate data practices related to student assessment and progress. Planning of opportunities that utilize culturally responsive practice to engage all students and especially multilingual learners and those who have been historically marginalized.

    4 credits

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Education (TEAC528)

    Identification of various groups in American communities and skills to foster culturally affirming communication and collaboration. Description of Minnesota-based American Tribal Nations and communities. Analysis of how biases, discrimination, prejudices, racism, and sexism impact student learning in the classroom and influence personal identity. Recognition of the impact school environments and practices have on the delivery of equitable education.

    4 credits

  • CORE Courses

    A distinctive feature of Bethel's programs is our commitment to the development of the whole person. In addition to courses within a program, students explore personal values and faith formation in a hospitable environment that respects learning from one another's perspectives. Rather than teaching students what to think about Christianity, we teach students how to think about the Bible, Christian history, and personal faith.

    • Examining Crucial Questions (CORE330H)

      Summary of the Christian biblical narrative. Identification of the roles of scripture, history, experience, and reason, as they form convictions related to social and ethical issues. Examination of selected theological concepts using the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, as well as the application of those concepts to real life situations.

      4 credits

    • Community, Self and Formation (CORE300)

      An exploration of self in the world, based on personal experience and classical spiritual practices. Students are challenged to think systemically about contexts of family, faith community, workplace and broader culture as they plan for lifelong formation and contribution to the well-being of others.

      4 credits

Licensure and Accreditation

  • Bethel’s B.A. in Special Education program has approval through Minnesota’s Professional Education Licensing Standards Board (PELSB).
  • Student teaching courses are required to be taken at Bethel.
  • If you want to obtain a teaching license in a state other than Minnesota, check that state's requirements for licensure.
    • Bethel University cannot confirm whether courses or programs meet requirements for professional licensure in states outside of Minnesota. Students should contact their state's licensing bureau to determine whether Bethel's program meets requirements for licensure in their state.

Why Choose Bethel?

Learn why you should choose Bethel (Google doc) for a B.A. in Special Education.