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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


  • Foundations in Education (EDUC321)

    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.

    3 credits

  • Educational Psychology (EDUC324)

    Identification of different approaches to K-12 students’ development, learning, performance, and critical elements needed to structure an effective learning environment. 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 (EDUC326)

    Development of effective lesson plans that include all required components. Creation of effective long-range plans, assessments, and evaluations. Integration of a variety of instructional strategies within lesson plans to meet student needs. Identification of appropriate data practices related to student assessment and progress.

    3 credits

  • Educational Equity (EDUC363)

    Identification of various groups in American communities and how to foster communication. Analysis of Minnesota-based American Indian tribes. Description of biases, discrimination, prejudices, racism, and sexism in the classroom and the influence personal identity has on student learning. Evaluation of the effects that various diversity factors have in the classroom.

    3 credits

  • Classroom Technology (EDUC368)

    Description of foundations of technology integration practices. Development of a personal technology integration philosophy. Creation of instructional materials to develop understanding of digital citizenship. Evaluation of technology integration resources. Identification of appropriate technology tools for meeting objectives. Application of best practices in technology integration. Analysis of tools for collecting data.

    2 credits

  • School-wide Systems Field Experience (EDUC395)

    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. 30 hours over 10 weeks.

    1 credits

  • Special Education Student Teaching Seminar (EDUC451)

    Development of strategies for personal and professional efficacy and engaging resources. Analysis of the impact teachers’ personal and professional practices, second language, and communication have on student learning. Alignment of an instructional plan with the needs of a learner. Application of academic language.

    3 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED480H

  • Introduction to Special Education (SPED305)

    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 Instruction and Behavior Management for Exceptional Learners (SPED308)

    Introduction to 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 supports. Demonstration of how evidence-based instruction can be adapted. Identification of how required curricular components direct instruction. Analysis of positive instructional environments.

    3 credits

  • Reading Foundations (SPED320)

    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.

    3 credits

  • Reading Field Experience (SPED321)

    Supervised reading instruction in a K-12 setting. Assessment and analysis of reading ability. Creation of lessons and application of reading instruction skills/strategies. Designing of an environment that fosters reading. Identification of how personal faith connects with the professional responsibilities of a teacher. 30 hours over 10 weeks.

    1 credits

  • Characteristics of Mild-Moderate Disabilities (SPED400)

    Exploration of the five disability categories represented under Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS). Identification of strategies that support stakeholders of children with mild-moderate needs. Explanation of topics that form the basis for special education practice for students with mild-moderate disabilities. Identification of the impact culture and linguistics has on special education.

    3 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: SPED470

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

    Development of an instructional sequence for students in special education. Evaluation of data for making accommodations and modifications. 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

  • Special Education: Planning and Programming (SPED425)

    Development and evaluation of both 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. Demonstration of best practice and collaboration techniques between school, family, and outside agencies.

    3 credits

  • Responsive Instruction, Intervention and Assessment (SPED431)

    Identification of appropriate assessment measures and professional resources related to interventions. 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. Description of student assessment results.

    3 credits

  • Introduction to Behavioral Methods & Mental Health for Mild-Moderate Special Needs (SPED441)

    Introduction to behavior methods and mental health for students with mild/moderate

    3 credits

  • Classroom-based Assessment (SPED455)

    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.

    3 credits

    Corequisite Course: 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. 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/10 weeks.

    1 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED410;SPED455

  • ABS Field Experience (SPED473)

    Identification of students with mild to moderate disabilities through the special education referral, evaluation, and eligibility process. Clarification of IEP team meeting and development components, as well as roles and responsibilities of IEP team members. Identification of effective academic and behavioral interventions, accommodations, and modifications. Integration of faith and teaching.

    1 credits

  • Consultation, Collaboration, and Resources (SPED475)

    Focus on the communication skills necessary to consult and collaborate effectively with parents, administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, and agency personnel about the special needs of students. Identification of resources, outside agencies, as well as transition needs and services. Clarification of personal beliefs and adjusting to diverse student needs within special education.

    3 credits

  • Student Teaching: Academic Behavioral Strategist (SPED480H)

    Management of timelines and ethical responsibilities of a special educator. Implementation of appropriate interventions and procedures necessary to process moral dilemmas related to special education due process. Consultation with parents and professionals to provide special education services. Analysis of personal development. Integration of duty, virtue, responsibility, and Christian values.

    4 credits

    Corequisite Course: EDUC451

  • 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 (CORE330)

      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.

      3 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.

      3 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 program'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.