BA Special Education
WGU Tennessee’s online teaching degree leading to special education certification will prepare you to fill a vital need in your community. The BA in Special Education (K-12) teaches the content knowledge and effective teaching skills to become a special education instructor for students with mild to moderate disabilities. This degree encompasses a cross-categorical model for initial certification. You’ll become a highly qualified educator prepared to make a difference with those who need it most. This degree program leads to dual licensure in Elementary Education and Special Education.
Who the program is for:
- Individuals who need a bachelor’s degree and want to become a certified special education teacher.
- Unlicensed substitute teachers, career changers, retired military personnel, school paraprofessionals, and others who feel the call to teach.
- Individuals who have completed some college coursework or have applicable work experience.
- Individuals who can typically spend 15 or more hours per week on their studies.
Note: As part of Western Governors University, the online teaching degree programs at WGU Tennessee are NCATE accredited.
Your Program of Study
In WGU Tennessee’s online special education degree program, you’ll learn the essential skills and knowledge needed to become a highly qualified special education teacher. This program includes the following areas of study, supervised practice teaching in an actual classroom, and completion of a professional portfolio.
- General Education
- Teacher Education Foundations
- Teacher Education Diversity
- Special Education
- Preclinical Experiences
- Instructional Planning and Presentation
- Elementary Education Methods
- Demonstration Teaching (includes practice teaching)
Total Program: 137 Competency Units (credit equivalents)
Less: Any competency units waived through transfer of prior college credits.
Note: Your prior college experience may waive some degree requirements.
Tuition and Fees
Basic Tuition: $2,890 per six-month term
Resource Fee: $145 per six-month term (non-refundable)
Application Fee: $65 (one time)
Demonstration Teaching (Student Teaching) Fee: $1,000 ($100 application fee + $900 fee)
At WGU Tennessee, tuition is charged at a flat rate once every six months. Your tuition covers the minimum "full-time load" of competency units (the equivalent to credit hours)12 CUs is the minimum for undergraduate studentsas well as all coursework attempted in that time. For the most part, there is no limit on the number of competency units you can attempt in a 6-month term. Whether you complete more or fewer units, you are charged the same flat rate.
Tuition compares favorably to the rates of Tennessee state universities. Our tuition is also typically half what other online universities charge. At WGU Tennessee, you enjoy the cost savings of a nonprofit university.
Federal financial aid is available to those who qualify. Learn more about financial aid
The WGU Tennessee Advantage
WGU Tennessee leverages Western Governors University’s unique, competency-based approach to education. This approach measures learning, not time spent in class. Your progress is based on your demonstration of essential skills and knowledge in special education.
As a WGU Tennessee student, you’ll receive a top-notch education through a curriculum, learning resources, mentoring, and student services provided by Western Governors University. This means you’ll enjoy the advantages of:
- Superior learning resources. You'll have access to all of Western Governors University’s courses of study, learning modules, e-textbooks, tutorials, and simulations as you complete your program.
- Personal support from a dedicated mentor. You'll have the support of a mentor who will be your guide throughout your WGU Tennessee program.
- Online communities from Tennessee and WGU's national student community. You’ll be able to take advantage of our robust student community and interact with students from both within Tennessee and from all over the country.
- Flexible online degrees that fit your lifestyle. Learning can occur anywhere and anytime. You'll be able to establish the pace at which you complete your rigorous program and create a schedule that works for you.
One of the best values in Tennessee higher education, WGU Tennessee will enable you to earn a relevant degree on your schedule and within your budget.
Time to Completion
How long it takes for you to complete your program will vary. Because WGU Tennessee is competency-based, the pace at which you complete your program depends on how quickly you are able to take and pass the required assessments. Many students are able to proceed faster than the normal pace (described below) designed into each program. But doing so isn’t easy.For students with an associate’s degree or its equivalent: 2 to 2½ years.
For students with little or no prior college: 4 to 5 years.
WGU Tennessee maintains a generous credit transfer policy. Learn more about transferring credits.
Speak to an Enrollment Counselor for a personalized estimate of your time to completion.
WGU Tennessee Admission Process
To enroll into this WGU Tennessee program, you must:
- Be a Tennessee resident and provide proof of residence.
- Possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.
- Complete Western Governors University's three-part online Readiness Assessment. This test helps determine your likelihood for success in a WGU Tennessee degree program. This requirement will be waived for applicants who possess an AA or AS degree.
Before beginning the Demonstration Teaching (student teaching) portion of the degree program, you will be required to complete the PRAXIS I Pre-Professional Skills Test and potentially a PRAXIS II exam. Registering and paying for these exams may be your responsibility. You are required to meet these Tennessee-specific requirements prior to beginning the Foundations of Teaching domain of study.
Speak to an Enrollment Counselor who can help you understand what is required of you.