Career & Professional Opportunities

Special education continues to be recognized as a teaching shortage area by the Connecticut Department of Education. Graduates of our special education programs are in high-demand and often readily find employment. It is an exciting field of study which changes over time as new research results are gathered and disseminated!

Professional opportunities and career paths for special educators vary with the types of credentials they acquire. Our program in special education is a comprehensive one, and thus, program completers are trained to understand the most commonly recognized disability categories as identified in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It is because of their thorough understanding of cognitive processing and academic achievement components associated with these disabilities that special educators have the knowledge-base to identify appropriate strategies and best-practices to promote student success.

Since inclusion of students with disabilities into the general education curriculum has become the norm, special educators primarily serve as consultants to and collaborators with general education personnel in public school settings. However, they may also serve as the primary instructor of subject matter should they have the credentials to do so. Special educators may also work in regional-based or private educational facilities and provide direct and/or indirect support to students with exceptionalities. They often:

  • Perform academic achievement assessments
  • Share data and interpret results
  • Are integral to planning and placement teams
  • Create individualized educational programs designed to meet the unique learning needs of this population of students

Special educators may be a case manager and may also serve as liaison to/between parents, general educators, school psychologists, social workers, speech and language pathologists, and others.

Learn more about how the University's Career Planning Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.