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Education - Special Education Grades PreK-12, Bachelor's


The DeSales Special Education PreK-12 program prepares you teachers to meet the needs of students with exceptionalities in the modern classroom.

As a graduate, you'll be certified Special Education PreK-12 and qualified to teach in multiple settings, including Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, and Secondary classrooms.

From specialized course instruction and unique field experiences, you'll become well-versed in theory and practice. 

You'll be taught by dedicated faculty with years of experience in the field of Special Education. They'll guide and supervise you in your field and student teaching placements.

University clubs like Best Buddies and campus-wide events like the Special Olympics support the passion our students have for the field of Special Education.


The DeSales Special Education PreK-12 certification program is one of the first in the state to be approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education! 

Admissions Requirements

At DeSales, we not only look at your past academic achievement but also your potential for future growth to determine your admission.

We find that students who have demonstrated significant achievement within a demanding curriculum are best suited for academic life at DeSales. Quality of academic performance plays a critical role in the admissions decision making process. This helps indicate a student's potential for academic growth going forward. We welcome applications from all qualified students regardless of race, religion, sex, national, or ethnic origin.

Application Checklist

  • Application Fee: None
  • Transcripts: Official High School Transcript
  • Standardized Tests: Test-optional for students applying for Fall 2022*
  • Recommendations: Completed Guidance Counselor Form and Teacher Recommendation Form
  • Please refer to the Program Specific Requirements section for any requirements specific to this program

All materials can be mailed to:
DeSales University Admissions Office
2755 Station Ave.
Center Valley, PA 

* SAT scores are highly recommended for students applying for the Nursing and Health Science programs. Please refer to the Program Specific Requirements section for any requirements specific to this program.

Additional recommendations

High School Academics - Remember, there is no single preferred high school academic program, but a college preparatory course of study is highly recommended. Here's an example:

  • Four years of English
  • Three or four years of college preparatory mathematics
  • A minimum of two years of modern, foreign, or classical language
  • At least two laboratory science courses

Visiting DeSales - A personal, on-campus interview is strongly recommended, but is not required. We encourage you to visit so that you'll have a chance to learn more about DeSales, and we'll have the opportunity to learn more about you, too.

Learn more about Undergraduate Admissions & Aid 

When to Apply

We encourage you to apply early in your senior year. We use a rolling admissions system, which means you will be notified promptly about your admissions status—usually within four weeks of our receipt of your completed application.

Priority deadline for scholarship consideration is December 1 of your senior year.


The comprehensive program includes specialized coursework in the field of Special Education, school-based field experiences in diverse settings, and full-time student teaching during the final semester.

Major Program Coursework:

SE304: Curricula and Strategies for Moderate to Severe

SE306: Transition

SE308: Collaboration and Consultation

SE312: Technology in Special Education

SE316: Curricula and Strategies for Mild Disabilities

SE318: Positive Behavior Management

SE323: Assessment and IEP Development

Accommodations and Adaptations:

ED218: Introduction to Exceptionality

ED364: The Inclusive Classroom

ED366: Literacy for Content Learning

ED373: Teaching English Learners

Successful completion of the clinical field experience components of the special education program are necessary for admittance to student teaching and/or certification. A minimum of 170 hours of clinical field experiences are required prior to student teaching per the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

Once candidates have completed all courses within the professional sequence, they are ready to student teach. Student teaching is offered in four separate courses during the final semester of senior year within a public school. No other course work is permitted during student teaching and candidates may not enroll in SE 430, SE 432, SE 434, or SE 436 unless they have fulfilled all the requirements mentioned above and have been formally accepted into the Professional Educator Program.

Candidates for the Special Education Certification are placed in two seven-week, settings during this 14-week full-time experience.

Graduation Requirements

Careers & Internships

Certification in Special Education PreK-12 prepares teachers for careers in Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, and Secondary classrooms.

Students gain experiences in diverse field settings, including high-incidence and low-incidence disabilities and inclusive and self-contained classrooms.

This undergraduate degree and certification prepares students for careers in:

  • Public School Employment
  • Charter School Employment
  • Private and Parochial School Employment
  • Cyber and Online Teaching

DeSales has Internship opportunities with:

  • CAI Autism2Work
  • Lehigh Valley Health Network
  • Bucks County Intermediate Unit
  • Mercy School for Special Learning
  • Camelot for Children
  • Lehigh County Children and Youth Services

Tuition & Fees

DeSales can help make your college expenses affordable through a combination of grants, loans, student employment, and scholarship resources.

Cost of attendance for undergrads for 2022-2023

Resident Students

Direct Costs Tuition - $41,100

Room and Board - $13,500
Mandatory Fees - $1,500
One-time Orientation Fee for First-Year students and Transfers - $200
Total = $56,300 (including first-year/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,468
Personal Expenses - $3,706
Total cost for resident students: $61,474

Commuter Students

Direct Costs
Tuition - $41,100
Mandatory Fees - $1,300
One-time Orientation Fee for First-Year students and Transfers - $200
Total = $42,600 (including first-year/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,468
Personal Expenses - $3,706
Transportation Costs - $2,138
Total cost for commuter students: $49,912


Direct Costs
Tuition - $41,100
Mandatory Fees - $1,300
One-time Orientation Fee for First-Year students and Transfers - $200
Total = $42,600 (including first-year/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,468
Personal Expenses - $3,706
Transportation Costs - $2,138
Living Expenses - $7,870
Total cost for off-campus students: $57,782
*First-year students are required to reside on campus or commute from home.

Parking Fee - $75


Dual Degree Undergraduate-to-Graduate Programs

If you are enrolled in an undergraduate-to-graduate degree program — for example a 5-year, 3+2, 3+3, program — the undergraduate tuition and fees apply only to the undergraduate portion of the program. As you progress into the graduate phase of your program, graduate tuition and fees apply. Please see your respective graduate program for more information. 

The financial aid process may appear overwhelming at first glance, but don't worry, we'll help you through it.

Accepted students are automatically be considered for scholarships upon receipt of a completed application and are awarded regardless of financial need. Funds for scholarships are limited, so we do encourage students to apply early.

Our comprehensive financial aid packages carefully explain the types and amounts of assistance —including federal, state, and institutional — that you may be eligible for to help cover education related expenses.

Total cost of attendance includes estimates for tuition, fees, room, board, books, and personal, transportation, and living expenses.

You can estimate your total cost of attendance with our Net Price Calculator

Katie Blamey, Ph.D, DeSales University

The DeSales Special Education PreK-12 program is the right choice for students who feel passionate about working with students with exceptionalities.

— Katrin Blamey, Ph.D. , Associate Professor, Department Chair

DeSales Teachers are in Demand

With the teacher shortage in the United States, our graduates find employment in the Education field with ease. DeSales grads are highly sought after and accept positions in public, private, charter, and parochial schools in Pennsylvania and in other states.  
Teacher in a classroom
DeSales Education Classroom

Expand your PreK-4 Certification to Middle School

Students certified in our PreK-4 program can easily add 5th and 6th grades by passing the state-approved add-on test. The good news is that 100% of DeSales students who have taken the additional test have passed! This testing option is a fast-track for students interested in working with middle level students. 

Want Dual Certification? Add on an Early Childhood and Elementary PreK-4!

Students certified in our PreK-12 Special Education program can easily add Early Childhood and Elementary Education PreK-4 grades by passing the state-approved add-on tests. This testing option is a fast-track for students interested in dual certification.