Which type of SPED cert is best?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by frtrd, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. frtrd

    frtrd Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2012

    Hello all,

    I'm considering getting certified in special ed (I'd like to teach high school). I'm a psych geek so I'm particularly interested in getting an Emotional Disabilities certificate.

    I'm wondering -- since this is so specific, does it have worse job prospects than the Cross Categorical certification?

    Also, do high school ED teachers have self-contained classrooms (and teach all subjects)? Or do they see students once a day and teach only one subject? I'm confused how it works.

    Thank you :)
     
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  3. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    Nov 18, 2012

    In my state, we only have a generic special ed certification, but I do know that ED is usually not a preferred area to teach and the job market is pretty good for ED.

    Self-contained/supplemental will really vary by the district. You might be self-contained and teach all subjects or you could coteach and be a support teacher... it really depends!
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Nov 18, 2012

    The question really comes down to what you want to do with your certificate. The cross cat certificate will provide more flexibility when looking for a job or if you decide to change career paths.

    If you see yourself teaching ED for your entire career, then the ED certificate will help to keep you working with this population.

    Each district runs their program differently. Some high schools will run their mild ED programs as resource where the teacher will work with students of all disabilities categories. Other high schools will have a self-contained ED classroom where the teacher will teach all subjects to a group of students (and some students may earn time in the general education classroom). Other high schools have an ED program, where you may teach only one subject to a variety of students with ED. Other high schools may have an emotional support class that you would teach to a variety of students diagnosed with ED.
     
  5. frtrd

    frtrd Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2012

    Ooh, thank you, that is very helpful :)

    Also, would you happen to know whether special ed teachers are certified to teach regular classes? Could I apply for both non-special ed and special-ed high school positions?
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Nov 18, 2012

    With just a special education certificate, you would not be qualified to teach non-special education classes. However, once you have the special education certificate, you could add endorsements or certificates (whatever your state calls them) to qualify you for teaching a subject area instead.
     
  7. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    Nov 18, 2012

    Some schools offer dual credential programs where you earn both a special ed and a single subject. You would need to show subject matter competency for the single subject. This may be done through undergraduate coursework - for instance if you were an english major. It is also possible depending on where you are to show competency though exam - pass the CSET in your area. There is still graduate coursework you need to do and also clinical practice - actually teaching/student teaching/internships, etc.
    The other thing to keep in mind when specializing is job prospects. What is possible in your geographic area? Would you have to move. Just having a credential does not guarantee any job.
     
  8. geegee1981

    geegee1981 Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2012

    I have Cross Categorical certification, and i quickly found a job.....
     
  9. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Nov 18, 2012

    I think many schools only now offer a cross cat certificate. Districts (at least mine) are moving far away from having specific rooms for specific categories of disabilities.

    If you are cross cat, you can teach ED/EBD, but also you are not limiting yourself to that.

    I would check into state and district specific requirements. I'd speak to the HR departments near your district and ask.
     
  10. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    Nov 18, 2012

    My state is bringing back cross cat next year. However, it will require a specialization within like 2-3 years of completion to keep from voiding.

    Cross cat will have the most jobs.

    EBD will have the most specific jobs.

    In my state, you cannot teach severe/profound students without the specialty. (Waivers and high need situations aside.)
     
  11. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Nov 18, 2012

    It all depends on your state

    In NJ, nobody can just get a sped cert anymore

    You have to be qualified to teach another subject (elementary, specific subject middle school, specific subject high school, art, etc.)
     
  12. Accountable

    Accountable Companion

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    Nov 19, 2012

    I suggest you get some real-world first or second hand information before committing to such a focused certification. I have a general Spec Ed certification and worked with ED kids my first two years. I was in the self-contained behavior unit teaching all subjects. Two years were plenty for me.

    I also became certified in high school Social Studies (general ed), and now I co-teach inclusion in that department.

    Keep your options open.
     
  13. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    Nov 19, 2012

    If you don't mind, would you say you burned out on ED, or just were happy to move on?
     
  14. frtrd

    frtrd Rookie

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    Nov 20, 2012

    Thanks again to everyone who replied. It seems to vary quite a bit from state to state. I'll have to do some thinking!!
     

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