University of Connecticut
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Why Become a Special Education Teacher?

The Role of Special Educators in Today’s Schools

Special Education is an exciting and challenging field that offers a diverse range of experiences and opportunities. Students who are eligible for special education services range from having mild learning and/or behavior needs to more significant disabilities. In today’s schools, the role of special educators has expanded dramatically. For example, special education teachers may:

  • support a wide range of students who are experiencing learning and/or behavioral difficulties in both special and general education settings
  • co-teach with general education teachers
  • provide support and consultation to teachers, paraprofessionals, and administrators
  • coordinate individual and school-wide assessment procedures
  • facilitate team meetings to develop individualized supports for students
  • work closely with parents and the community


The IB/M Special Education Program in the Neag School of Education

The IB/M teacher certification program is a three-year program combining the junior and senior years with a mandatory fifth year. By the end of the program and the completion of all requirements, students receive both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree, and are eligible for Connecticut certification in Comprehensive Special Education (Grades K-12).

The IB/M Program in Comprehensive Special Education is the highest ranked graduate program in Special Education in New England. The program also is unique in that it offers students opportunities to receive advanced specialized training for students with disabilities and at risk for learning/behavior difficulties in the areas of:

  • Positive Behavior Supports
  • Literacy Supports


Career Opportunities in Special Education

Because there is a critical shortage of special education teachers both in Connecticut and across the nation, job opportunities are plentiful. In addition, our graduates are aggressively recruited by school districts around the state and country due to the reputation of the Special Education program at the University of Connecticut and the exceptional quality of our students. Many of our students select from multiple job offers after graduation.

The IB/M Program Special Education Program is for students who:

  • are interested in improving outcomes for students with disabilities and at-risk for failure
  • want to support all students in a variety of classroom settings
  • enjoy collaborating with students, their families, and educational professionals
  • desire a comprehensive education to prepare them for a competitive job market in the high needs area of Special Education
  • are motivated, intelligent, and dedicated future educators

For additional information or questions about the Comprehensive Special Education program go to or contact Dr. Mike Coyne at




Ann L. Traynor
Director of Advising &
Certification Officer
Academic Advisory Center
Gentry Bldg, Rm 322
(860) 486-1354

Anna-Maria Heredia
Academic Advisor
Gentry Bldg, Rm 324
(860) 486-8901


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Storrs, Connecticut 06269-2064
Phone: (860) 486-3813
Fax: (860) 486-0210