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Teacher Preparation Program

Special Education Pre-admission Experience

Observation or experience with children and youth who have disabilities

To be eligible for admission to the teacher certification program with a major in Special Education, students must have completed one or two supervised pre-admission experiences with children or youth who have special needs. These experiences must total at least 42 hours. Prospective students are encouraged to talk with Special Education faculty about where the experiences might occur. Applicants to the Special Education program must submit forms verifying completion of the experience(s). Current MSU students who apply during the Fall Semester have until the first week of Spring Semester in the same academic year to submit their forms. Transfer students must submit their forms at the time of their matriculation at MSU. Although applicants to the Special Education major are not ranked by their performance in the experience(s), only students who have completed the required experience(s) will be considered for admission. The purpose of the experience requirement is to help students learn whether they might enjoy special education teaching and consultation and to provide them with a foundation for acquiring the knowledge and skills they will need if they are admitted to the program.

Students are encouraged to consider sites in their home communities. Typically, local school districts and intermediate school districts offer educational programs for pre-school and school-age students with special needs in which special education teachers collaborate with parents, general education teachers, therapists, and other school personnel. Other public and private agencies also offer services for children with special needs and their families. These services range from teaching and assessment to those involving leisure time activities such as art, music, or dance; scouting; camps and after-school sports. Resources for locating a site might include a Special Education Director in a school district, a teacher or parent of a child with special needs or the telephone directory.  Often, MSU advisors and faculty in Special Education can offer suggestions. The volunteer experience can be divided between two settings, or it can be completed in a single setting. 

When you have completed the experience(s), please complete (typed responses are preferred) and return the Student Reaction Form.  A second form, the Supervisor Reaction Form, should be completed by your site supervisor and mailed to 134 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824 under separate cover. Your response is an important part of your application for admission to the Special Education major and will be reviewed by the Special Education Admission Committee.  Enjoy your volunteer experience!

Note: The Forms are PDF documents which require the free download of Adobe Acrobat.