Special Education

Chairperson: Kimberly Weber

The Department of Special Education offers a major in Special Education that emphasizes learning experiences in applied settings. Public and private schools, as well as a variety of non-school settings, provide students the opportunity to combine academic training with practical experience. Candidates who earn the Bachelor of Education degree with a major in Special Education are prepared to work with individuals having mild to severe disabilities, such as learning disabilities, pervasive developmental disabilities, and behavior disorders. The major focuses on skills needed to function in a resource room, a self-contained classroom, or an inclusionary model. The Department of Special Education also individualizes for candidates who plan to work outside the school setting.

Two teaching endorsements for the State of Washington can be earned through completion of the B.Ed. The first endorsement is in Special Education that permits teaching special needs students preschool through twelfth grade. The second endorsement is in Early Childhood Special Education and permits teaching special needs student’s birth through third grade. Many candidates also choose to complete an endorsement in Elementary Education that permits teaching regular education students kindergarten through eighth grade. In doing so, the candidate must meet the mandated certification requirements. All students majoring or minoring in special education who wish to become endorsed to teach special education in the State of Washington must complete:

  1. 1) The coursework.
  2. 2) The Special Education in-school practica (EDSE 306 and EDSE 406).
  3. 3) Application for and acceptance into Teacher Certification.
  4. 4) Student teaching in a special education classroom.
  5. 5) State of Washington certification requirements.


Students who wish to become endorsed in Early Childhood Special Education must complete:

  1. 1) The Special Education major.
  2. 2) The Special Education In-School Practica (EDSE 306 and EDSE 406).
  3. 3) Application for and acceptance into Teacher Certification.
  4. 4) Student teaching in an Early Childhood Special Education classroom.
  5. 5) A series of four courses specifically addressing critical issues, background, and pedagogy for early development, methodology, physical development, and communication (EDSE 345, EDSE 350, EDSE 351, and EDSE 352).
  6. 6) State of Washington certification requirements.


In the Early Childhood Special Education program students are taught to serve young children with disabilities from birth through early school years.

All Gonzaga University students may enroll in EDSE 150, 155, 225, 306, 335, 307, 320, 340, 406, or 407. All other upper division courses require official acceptance into the major or minor in special education. Acceptance and continuance in the major or minor are dependent on an overall Gonzaga GPA of at least a 3.00; a 3.00 average or higher in EDSE 150, 320, 340; a minimum of 3.00 in EDSE 320; a pass and positive evaluations in EDSE 306, 307, 406, or 407; recommendation by the advisor; and approval by the faculty in the Department of Special Education.

Core Curriculum of the School of Education The core curriculum or common body of knowledge of the School of Education consists of 47 credits which are common to and required of all undergraduate degree programs: the first 31 credits are from the University core; the remaining 16 credits are specific to the School of Education. Transfer students should consult the General Degree Requirements and Procedures section of this catalogue for possible modifications to the philosophy and religious studies core requirements.

University Core
  1. Thought and Expression (7 credits): ENGL 101, SPCO 101, and PHIL 101 (preferably taken in the same semester)
  2. Philosophy (9 credits): PHIL 201, PHIL 301, and PHIL elective
  3. Religious Studies (9 credits): RELI 100, RELI 200, and RELI 300 levels: one course from each level
  4. Mathematics (3 credits): MATH 100 level or above. Students pursuing teaching certification should consult their education advisor for a math course that will count toward certification and satisfy this core requirement.
  5. English Literature (3 credits): ENGL 102, ENGL 103H, ENGL 105 or ENGL 106 School of Education Core
School of Education Core
  1. Fine Arts (3 credits): at least a total three credits in VART, MUSC, or THEA
  2. Laboratory Science (4 credits): one course with laboratory in either BIOL, CHEM, PHYS, EXSC, or EDPE (Physical Education majors must take EDPE 376/EDPE 376L)
  3. Social Science (6 credits): A History course plus an elective from the following: ECON, SOCI, POLS, PSYC, HIST: as recommended by your education advisor
  4. Social Justice: Social Justice is a common component of all education coursework. This requirement can only be met by completing any course designated by the College of Arts & Sciences as a social justice course on Zagweb.