VERDICT / You can start off with a bachelor’s degree and move around within the field. Alternate Route – Two of the state board approved alternate route programs for Mississippi, The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), The Teach Mississippi Institute (TMI) and the Mississippi Alternate Path to Quality Teachers (MAPQT) include Special Education in the list of approved subject areas for licensure.
Highly Qualified guidance for Special Education – The United States Department of Education has confirmed with Mississippi Department of Education that No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires Special Education teachers who are the primary teacher of instruction giving grades to Special Education students in core subject areas (language arts, math, science or social studies) show subject area competency in those core subject areas.
For this age group, special education teachers also must know how to work with family members as well, becoming parent trainers as well as a support system for families learning about disabilities, and they must be able to inform parents of legislation governing disability rights.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment in special education is expected to grow 17 percent through 2018 thanks to earlier diagnosis of learning disabilities and legislation emphasizing tougher graduation standards for special education students.
For Secondary Special Education teachers, the Praxis II Fundamental Subjects 5511 test is sufficient for highly qualified” status in Language Arts, Science, Math, and Social Studies if the teacher teaches exclusively Special Education students assessed against alternate achievement standards.