Purdue University’s College of Education says its new accelerated degree program, Fast-Track, will get special education teachers into classrooms sooner. The program begins in fall semester 2018, and offers special education majors the opportunity to graduate within three years.
Purdue special education clinical instructor Jasmine Begeske says the Fast-Track program is for students willing to work year-round to earn their degree. “The students will save on tuition, have opportunities to study abroad and engage in field experiences in local classrooms each semester,” she said. “They will complete about 200 hours of field work before student teaching, preparing them to work with a diverse range of student need".
A licensed special education graduate would be qualified to teach kids with mild emotional, learning or intellectual disabilities from preschool through 12th grade. Begeske says many states other than Indiana are reporting a need for more special education teachers. Focuses of the program include using assistive technology, developing instructional material and environmental changes. Purdue will continue to offer a four-year degree as well, along with an option to teach intense-needs special education students.