STEP 3:  Find a preparation program that works best for you

So, you might want to pursue a career in special education... Excellent!

Now you need to think about what preparation program works best for you. Ask yourself, “What am I looking for in a preparation program?” “What kind of learner am I?” “Is a degree program important to me?” “Will I be able to attend school during the day?” “Do I need to keep my ‘day job’?”

We have a great variety of teacher preparation programs in Minnesota. There are special education teacher preparation programs that are online, face-to-face, or a combination of the two. There are weekend and evening programs and more traditional day programs. There are different costs associated with each program (e.g., travel, ability to work, tuition). Learn more about financial aid on the Identify Financial Aid page. 

Contact several colleges and/or universities and ask questions. Be prepared to show a college representative a transcript of any college courses you have taken so they can advise you about additional courses you will need. Map out with an academic advisor what classes and experiences you need and which would be helpful and when they are offered. Learn all you can about the program you choose. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education website also has tools to help you choose a program.

Minnesota Board of Teaching
The Minnesota Board of Teaching (BOT) is a separate state agency from MDE. The BOT establishes and maintains educator licensure standards, approves institutions and licensure programs to prepare Minnesota teachers, and establishes and enforces the Code of Ethics for Minnesota teachers. Teacher candidates who complete a BOT-approved teacher preparation program will have met the standards established in Minnesota Rule. View information about the BOT on their website. A chart of state-approved special education teacher licensure programs provided.