Education - Special Education
A career in special education requires understanding, extensive knowledge, specialized skills and a willingness to serve others. If these are some of your attributes, then special education may be the major for you. UW-Eau Claire offers outstanding teacher preparation and continuing education paths in special education.
Find your path
UW-Eau Claire special education graduates are in high demand and report around 100 percent placement rate. You will prepare for specialized jobs in a variety of settings including school, mental health facilities, social service agencies, rehabilitation agencies and hospitals.
You will have the opportunity to do great community work through special education student organizations. Through Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC), students participate in community activities such as Special Olympics. SCEC sponsors a scholarship program for high school seniors who have a disability and who intend to receive further training or education. Best Buddies is another organization that matches college students one-on-one with adults with cognitive disabilities. To date, UW-Eau Claire Best Buddies has supported more than 100 friendships since the chapter began in 2004.
Gain experienceIn the Human Sciences and Services building you’ll have access to hands-on experiences and modern facilities, including the department’s Resource Center, the University Human Development Center and the LEAP Clinic. For more than 20 years,
faculty have directed students within the LEAP Clinic, a community-based summer program that addresses academic and behavioral needs. This clinic has served 40-60 students per year from the Eau Claire Area School District as well as from other area school districts. The LEAP Clinic received a Promising Practice Award (2007) from the Wisconsin PK-16 Leadership Council. This hands-on opportunity provides our graduates with a distinct advantage and cultivates competence and confidence that leads to 100 percent job placement.
The Special Education in Scotland program provides majors with an international experience in the field of special education. This experience includes a two-week school placement with students with disabilities and allows students to understand what comprises special education in other countries. In addition, students can be placed in urban and reservation schools to gain cultural immersion experience.
MajorsSpecial Education, Unified Early Childhood (birth to 9 years)
Learning Disabilities — Middle Childhood through Adolescence and Regular Education, Middle Childhood through Early Adolescence
Cognitive Disabilities — Middle Childhood through Adolescence, and Learning Disabilities, Middle Childhood through Adolescence
Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities — Middle Childhood through Adolescence and Regular Education, Middle Childhood through Early Adolescence
Learning Disabilities — Middle Childhood through Early Adolescence or Early Adolescence through Adolescence
Suggested freshman curriculum
• University writing
on placement exam.
For test-out options, see
• Mathematics for
• Intro to Special
Special admission noteStudents must apply for entrance to the Special Education program. Students must pass the Proxis core or have the required ACT/SAT/GRE scores, complete 30 credits non-education coursework, have a minimum 2.75 resident and cumulative GPA, and complete the following two courses successfully: Introduction to Diverse Learners and School and Community Experience in Special Education.
• General Biology
• Computers in Education
• Fundamentals of Speech
• School and Community
• Intro to the Visual Arts
• Humanities course
• Social Science course
• Physical education course
More advising information
Typical positions held by special education graduates include teaching in public or private schools, administering special education programs or services for
children and youth with disabilities, conducting research, developing curriculum and supervising teachers, and developing instructional materials.
More career information
Places our grads teach:
• Chippewa Valley
• Richfield, MN
• Juneau, WI
• Washington, D.C.
• Anchorage, Alaska
• Minneapolis, MN
• Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Department contact information