Newberry to launch special education major
by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - May 24, 2023
NEWBERRY — Newberry College has announced the launch of special education as its 39th undergraduate major.
The program will lead to teacher licensure in multi-categorical special education, including behavioral, emotional, intellectual and learning disabilities, from kindergarten through grade 12. Newberry’s program will be transfer friendly, allowing an easy transition of associate degree credits. The program will also carry the South Carolina Read-to-Succeed Endorsement.
Among the state’s 12 institutions that offer undergraduate degrees in multi-categorical special ed, Newberry’s will be the only program offered in multiple modalities, including in-person, online or hybrid. With only 120 required credit hours, Newberry’s program will allow students to earn their degrees in less time than other institutions.
“This innovative new program is designed to be open and accessible to meet the needs of not only our students, but also more than 109,400 students with disabilities across South Carolina and many more beyond,” said Dr. Susan Fernandez, dean of education at Newberry College. “This flexible, high-quality program will offer opportunities for non-traditional students, student-athletes, and others who can benefit from a teaching credential in special ed.”
Newberry College will also partner with the School District of Newberry County for the necessary field and clinical placements.
There are over 200 vacancies in special education roles across South Carolina, and career opportunities are only expected to grow as demand increases. Across the state, special education teachers in kindergarten through grade 12 earn an average of $54,493, according to data gathered from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Nationwide, the special education field is projected to grow 4% between 2021 and 2031, with about 37,600 new openings each year, according to the bureau. In 2021 and 2022, the number of public school students who received special education services was 7.3 million, or 15% of all public school students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.