Special Education, BSE

On Campus, Day
student and child at special olympics

In Short

With a rich tradition of delivering teacher preparation programs, we have a program for you, specifically if you're interested in working with students in special education programs.

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Program Overview

Fitchburg State was founded over a hundred years ago to prepare teachers for the area’s public schools. If you are interested in working with students in special education programs, the Education Department at Fitchburg State offers two programs: teacher of students with moderate disabilities, (grades PreK-8) with elementary licensure, and teacher of students with severe disabilities (all grade levels) programs.

The Education Department of Fitchburg State University fully recognizes and embraces the diversity and challenges that teachers face in today’s public and private schools. The comprehensive program of study is one which deliberately integrates and celebrates these challenges by providing an inclusive model for teacher preparation. Each course provides research based methods to assess students’ needs in order to differentiate instruction. Techniques and strategies that address the needs of all learners in the inclusive classroom are emphasized. Courses have been specifically designed to provide teacher candidates with content and strategies to be knowledgeable, skillful, ethical, and caring educators in the 21st century.

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Watch the video below to learn about Erin Donelan's experience as a special education major in the severe disabilities concentration.

Career Opportunities

While most of our graduates find work in public or private elementary schools, education collaborative classes, or preschool and day care programs, others work in residential programs, rehabilitation facilities, adult services, and corporate education programs. Graduates are employed all over the country because they have completed a nationally accredited program and fulfill the minimum state requirements for licensure in most states. In addition to Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, recent graduates have been hired by school systems as far away as Arizona and Alaska.

Secondary Accreditation

Fitchburg State University is a member in good standing of the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), a national accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. These programs have been awarded full accreditation by AAQEP through December 31, 2030. Accreditation acknowledges that a program prepares effective educators who continue to grow as professionals and has demonstrated the commitment and capacity to maintain quality.

Experiential Opportunities


The purpose of the student teaching practicum/internship is to provide candidates who have reached the teacher candidacy stage of their academic programs with hands-on experience in an approved school setting.   
Read more about: Practicum

Study Abroad

Faculty-led study abroad course opportunities increase student life-transforming experiences, as do student/faculty cooperative research projects.
Read more about: Study Abroad

Curriculum and Other Information

The Special Education, BSE offers two concentrations: