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Special Education PreK-12 - Accelerated, Bachelor's


The DeSales Special Education PreK-12 program prepares 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.

Admissions Requirements

If you have a high school diploma or GED and the desire to learn, you meet DeSales' basic requirements for the Adult Studies program. Anything beyond these basics puts you on an even faster track to earning your DeSales degree or certificate.

You are welcome to apply as long as you meet one* of the following:

  • have been out of high school for 5+ years;
  • are a veteran or active duty service member; 
  • have a full-time career and/or other significant non-academic responsibilities, such as being self-supporting or having financial dependents; 
  • already have a bachelor's degree and are now pursuing a certificate, second degree.

*Additional documentation may be required to determine eligibility. 

If you have already attended some college...

We will be happy to evaluate your prior college courses to the number of credits you may be able to transfer toward your DeSales' program.

  • DeSales accepts up to 75 credits from regionally accredited colleges and universities.
  • All transferred credits must be applicable to some curriculum offered at DeSales University.
  • You must complete at least 15 three-credit (or more) courses at DeSales University to earn a degree from DSU.
  • Only credit is transferred, your grades for transfer courses are not calculated into the your GPA at DSU. (Exception: grades earned at LVAIC institutions via the cross registration process are included in the calculation of your DSU GPA.)

Please review our transfer policy

Earn credits for your non-college experience...

The DeSales Adult Studies program can give you college credits for the knowledge and skills you have acquired through non-college learning. Our prior learning assessment enables you to demonstrate what you've learned. Examples of non-college learning may include:

  • Work experience
  • Military training
  • Non-traditional training

Learn about our prior learning assessment

Three steps to admissions

  1. Apply to Adult Studies
    The application process begins with an Adult Studies Application for Admission. A copy of your high school diploma or GED is also required
  2. Meet with an academic advisor
    One of our staff members will help you set up an appointment with an advisor at one of our locations.
  3. Choose your classes
    Your advisor will help you come up with your personal education plan.

Criteria for admissions to the Adult Studies program

A non-traditional student is defined as “Any student, regardless of age, whose primary adult responsibilities are non-academic, and for whom those responsibilities take priority at this time in their lives.”

Non-traditional learners meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Have a career and other significant non-academic responsibilities (e.g., being self-supporting, working full-time, having financial dependents) that conflict with traditional college experiences;
  • Be out of high school for 5+ years at the time of first undergraduate registration, or have a 2-4 year interruption in his/her undergraduate education;
  • Is a veteran or active duty service member; 
  • Needs to be enrolled in an online program due to significant non-academic responsibilities (e.g. being self-supporting, working full-time, having financial dependents);
  • Must take fewer than 12 credits due to significant nonacademic commitments (e.g. being self-supporting, working full-time, having financial dependents);
  • Is pursuing post-baccalaureate studies (e.g., certificate, second degree), primarily with undergraduate courses.


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.

Tuition & Fees

The Adult Studies tuition rate is significantly lower than the traditional day program.

If your employer offers tuition reimbursement, our tuition deferment plan can reduce your out-of-pocket cost each session by allowing you to defer the reimbursable portion of your tuition.

  • Special tuition rates — lower than traditional day programs.
  • Tuition deferment available.
  • Financial aid — you may be eligible for Federal Pell Grants and Student Loans, and Adult Studies students can apply for two DeSales scholarships (Federal Student Aid does not apply to certificates).

The Office of Financial Aid — Here to Help

We'll guide you to make the best choices to fund your education at DeSales University. We can help make your college expenses affordable through a combination of grants, loans, student employment, and scholarship resources.

Contact Financial Aid
610.282.1100, ext. 1287
Fax: 610.282.0131
Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Tuition and Fees for the 2023 - 2024 school year

  • Adult Studies Tuition: $560/credit*
    + variable Adult Studies Lab Fees per course where applicable
  • Nursing courses: $640/Credit
  • Audit a Class: $270.00/credit

*Adult Studies tuition is subject to change with notice.