Special education teachers have the opportunity to have a positive, lasting impact on the lives of children and youth with disabilities.  Special educators are responsible for providing specially designed instruction to these students by adapting and developing materials that match the special needs of each individual. Special education majors develop the knowledge and skills needed to work with students, families, and other professionals to ensure that students with disabilities reach their learning potential.

What You Can Teach

The special education program prepares students interested in teaching children with mild disabilities; including children with learning disabilities, mild intellectual disabilities, emotional-behavioral disabilities, and orthopedic impairments.  Careers in special education can involve a variety of roles, including teaching in self-contained settings, teaching resource classes, co-teaching with general education teachers, supporting general education teachers through consultation, and/or some combination of these roles. Special education certification covers primary through Grade 12, and special educators are likely to teach and support students in a variety of subjects. Students majoring in special education are required to double major with either elementary, middle grades, or secondary education.  

Program Contact Information

Dr. Roland Sintos Coloma
Chair and Professor, Department of Teacher Education



Our NKU Teacher Education programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Beyond the Classroom

Special education majors gain valuable professional experience working with teachers in a variety of school classrooms across northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati; beginning with the first course of the program and concluding with a full-time, semester-long experience.

In addition, some students have the opportunity to use the knowledge gained in special education classes to provide tutoring and respite care for individuals with disabilities in the community..