Very Interested in Special Ed but...

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Emy SUkenaga, Oct 22, 2016.

  1. Emy SUkenaga

    Emy SUkenaga New Member

    Oct 22, 2016
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    Oct 22, 2016

    Hi, my wife and I recently moved to AZ as para's. She is in a middle school and I'm at a high school. This is my second year as a para, and I absolutely love it. I enjoy everything about it, but obviously it's really hard to survive on a para's "salary". My ultimate goal would to become an OT- working with mainly autistic kids, but I'm also interested in applying my music background to that profession.

    In order to get to that goal we obviously need to pay for our education. We both have bachelor's degrees already, and there is a program at a local community college to receive just your certification in Mild/Moderate Special Ed. It's cheaper than a master's and less time. They offer an intern pathway where you can work for 16 weeks instead of having student teaching for 12 weeks. The weird thing is they require the NEA tests (Elementary Ed I & II, and Special Ed) to be taken BEFORE you're admitted into the program.

    We've also considered getting our master's in special ed, but it's more expensive, and will take longer than just our certification. Since my main goal (my wife's goal is to go into school administration) is in OT, I'm wondering if it's worth getting my master's in special ed or if I should just get the certification in special ed? Right now, the goal is to get out of this rut of not being able to pay for barely anything. But I'm also looking for opinions. I have a significant amount of undergrad debt, where my wife doesn't have any. I also know that it's harder to find a job with a master's degree in education (at least that's what I've heard).

    I'm sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong thread, I couldn't really find one to fit my question.
  3. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

    Jun 1, 2008
    Likes Received:

    Oct 22, 2016

    Some large districts have free credential programs in high needs fields (sped). Go for the cheapest route to raise your income. Tackle your masters later once you are financially stable.
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Jan 2, 2007
    Likes Received:

    Oct 26, 2016

    I agree with Special-t to get your foot in the door with a certification in special education first. I would think that to become an OT, you would need to tailor your master's degree to that arena, and not special education.

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