Two emphases are available in the Special Education program. Each student is required to choose one of them, as coursework, practice, and internships are focused in these areas. After all the requirements for the degree have been completed, students will be recommended for licensure through the Utah State Office of Education.

Emphasis in Mild/Moderate Disabilities

  • Candidates with this emphasis certify to teach students with learning or behavior difficulties that impede normal or expected academic achievement.
  • Elementary teachers work primarily with beginning or remedial skills in reading, writing, math, and social behaviors.
  • Secondary teachers address the same skills areas, in addition to preparing students to transition to vocations or post-secondary education.
  • Student with mild/moderate disabilities spend most of their time in normal classroom settings; some receive special education according to individual need. Teachers work with students who may have learning disabilities, communication disorders, or emotional and behavioral difficulties. Some students may have intellectual disabilities, high-functioning autism, or difficulties that result from traumatic brain injury.

Emphasis in Severe Disabilities

  • Candidates with this emphasis certify to teach students with disabilities requiring functional academics and life-skills instruction (e.g., communication, social behavior, and daily living activities).
  • Students may have intellectual disabilities, autism, other mental disabilities, and/or health impairments.
  • Students with severe disabilities may be taught in self-contained classrooms with occasional experience in general classroom settings.