Nov 30, 2022  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Bulletin

Special Education (Multi-Categorical) (BS)

Federal CIP: 13.1006 Education/Teaching of Individuals with Mental Retardation

The degree in Multi-categorical Special Education is intended for those candidates who plan to work with students with special needs. The B.S. degree in Multi-categorical Special Education allows for certification of teacher candidates in grades PreK-12 in the areas of learning disabilities, mild to moderate mental disabilities, and emotional/behavior disorders. The degree is recognized by the National Council for Exceptional Children and the South Carolina Department of Education.

Learning Outcomes

Students completing the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Special Education are expected to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in each of the following areas.

Learner Development and Individual Learning Differences

Beginning special education professionals understand how exceptionalities may interact with development and learning and use this knowledge to provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences for individuals with exceptionalities.

Learning Environments

Beginning special education professionals create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments so that individuals with exceptionalities become active and effective learners and develop emotional well-being, positive social interactions, and self-determination.

Curricular Content Knowledge

Beginning special education professionals use knowledge of general and specialized curricula to individualize learning for individuals with exceptionalities.


Beginning special education professionals use multiple methods of assessment and data-sources in making educational decisions.

Instructional Planning and Strategies

Beginning special education professionals select, adapt, and use a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies6 to advance learning of individuals with exceptionalities.

Professional Learning and Ethical Practice

Beginning special education professionals use foundational knowledge of the field and the professional Ethical Principles and Practice Standards to inform special education practice, to engage in lifelong learning, and to advance the profession.


Beginning special education professionals collaborate with families, educators, related service providers, individuals with exceptionalities, and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways to address the needs of individuals with exceptionalities across a range of learning experiences.

Majors must maintain an overall GPA of 2.75 with no grade lower than B- in all EDUC, EDRS and PHED courses in their program.

All education programs include a general education strand, an appropriate content area strand, and a professional education strand specific to the major. The syllabi of courses required for the preparation of educational personnel in each professional education program reflect knowledge bases, current research, effective practice, and school effectiveness. Further, the course content has been aligned to the principles of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), the respective Specialized Professional Association (SPA) standards, the South Carolina state curriculum standards, the ADEPT assessment instrument, and the Southern Wesleyan University School of Education and Music Studies dispositions.


Southern Wesleyan University places the responsibility of fulfilling all requirements for graduation with the teacher candidate. A teacher candidate should be familiar with the appropriate graduation requirements as stated in the Southern Wesleyan University General Catalog and the additional requirements explained in the School of Education Teacher Candidate Handbook, available online at

State law requires that each person enrolled in a teacher education program in South Carolina be advised by the University that a prior criminal record could prevent certification as a teacher in this state. The South Carolina State Department of Education requires each teacher candidate to submit fingerprints and undergo a state criminal-records check by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and a national criminal records check by the FBI before the candidate is cleared to participate in clinical experiences. Teacher candidates who have questions about this requirement should see the Coordinator of Field Studies.

A teacher candidate may not graduate or participate in commencement exercises unless all academic and extra-academic requirements have been satisfied. The teacher candidate is responsible for completing all the necessary paperwork and submitting it to the School of Education and Music Studies and/or the Office of the Records before graduation deadlines.

Failure to follow University and State requirements, schedules, and deadlines may result in a delay of one or more semesters in the teacher candidate’s program and planned graduation.


The teacher-education candidate is responsible for reading the full explanation of the Lock Assessment System in the School of Education Teacher-Candidate Handbook, available online at


It is the strong belief among the faculty members of the School of Education and Music Studies that the teacher candidate’s preparation for the education profession should include field experiences in classrooms that reflect a diverse student population. These classrooms should include students who are characterized by differences in race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and abilities. Accordingly, the Coordinator of Field Studies will assign the teacher candidate to varying cooperating schools and grade levels that include a demographic makeup that approximates that of the diverse communities comprising the local school districts. Specifically, the teacher candidate will be assigned to a minimum of three different grade levels in three different schools in fulfillment of the requirements of the field experiences.


This is the last field experience prior to the clinical experience (student teaching) and involves the teacher candidate in cooperating classrooms at two different levels. At least one of these assigned pre-clinical classrooms will usually serve as the classroom in which the teacher candidate will partially fulfill the requirements for the clinical experience. A total of 80 hours is required in the cooperating classrooms, half of which must be fulfilled in each academic setting. The teacher candidate will prepare lesson plans and teach lessons in the cooperating classrooms. In order for the teacher candidate to continue to the clinical experience, the cooperating teachers must submit favorable evaluations regarding the student’s role in their classroom.


The capstone courses for the education major are EDUC 4627 Clinical Experience I and EDUC 4637 Clinical Experience II, which occur during the teacher candidate’s last semester. The clinical experience must be considered the highest priority among the teacher candidate’s other activities. The fact that the student’s schedule has been arranged so that all academic requirements have been fulfilled prior to the Clinical Experience attests to the importance the School of Education and Music Studies faculty assigns to the Clinical Experience semester. The teacher candidate must provide evidence that the Praxis II content area tests have been passed before admission to Lock II and Expanded ADEPT Plan. (Before state licensure can be obtained the teacher candidate must pass both the Principles of Learning and Teaching and the Praxis II: Subject Assessments exams). Because of the demands inherent with Clinical Experience responsibilities, maintaining outside employment during the clinical experience semester is strongly discouraged. Permission from the Coordinator of Field Studies must be obtained to maintain outside employment, when necessary.

The teacher candidate is evaluated for competency in each of the ten Performance Standards of the South Carolina System for Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Professional Teaching (ADEPT). The ADEPT instrument is used to evaluate the teacher candidate in a fashion that simulates the formal-evaluation process of a teacher employed in the state of South Carolina with at least a provisional contract.

Detailed information regarding the entire Clinical Experience semester is contained in the School of Education Clinical Experience Handbook. This document is distributed to all teacher candidates during the orientation sessions that are scheduled prior to the beginning of the semester during which the teacher candidate plans to complete the Clinical Experience. It is also available online at when the teacher candidate clicks on the “Education Resources” link.

Attendance at all orientation sessions is mandatory in preparation for the clinical experience.

The teacher candidate must complete professional education courses and the required number of courses in each major to fulfill the certification standards mandated by the South Carolina Department of Education. The teacher candidate should refer to the School of Education Student Handbook for detailed information regarding the requirements for the teacher-education program.

Special Education (Multi-Categorical) BS Requirements

Specified Core Curriculum

Students earning a bachelor’s degree must complete all Core Curriculum  requirements.  The following specific core curriculum course(s) is required.


In addition to core curriculum (40-44 credit hours) and major courses requirements, students must complete elective coursework appropriate to their degree. A minimum of 10 credit hours is required for most bachelor’s degrees, including elective coursework. Students are strongly encouraged to work with their advisor to identify courses that complement their program area.


*All EDUC, EDRS, and PHED courses require a B- minimum grade with an overall GPA of 2.75. Admittance into Lock I requires an overall GPA of 2.75.



Core Curriculum Requirements 40-44 hrs.

Major Requirements 75 hrs.

Electives 5 hrs.


Total: 120 hrs.

Add-On Certificate Program in Special Education

On-campus students seeking initial certification will need to double major in Special Education and their chosen field.